What to do if you failed your cna exam a third time?


Does anyone know if I have to take the FULL training course again or not?

Specializes in Adult Cardiac ICU. Has 6 years experience.

Yes, unfortunately you do. The upside is that you are already familiar with the material, so it should be much easier. Plus you now have a feel for the test, so that may ease any test anxiety you may have. Study, learn well and be confident.

Don't be discouraged. I failed my first two times and now (I work hard enough to be able to say this) I am great at my job. Test results aren't necessarily an indicator of how you will do in the field.


12 Posts

Well I don't know what to do then... I don't have the time or the money to do it over.

Specializes in Adult Cardiac ICU. Has 6 years experience.

It's a tough situation. If you feel that you know the material and truly want to be a CNA, then I would save up the money and go back to class whenever you can. It will be worth it. Here in Georgia, CNA classes run around $600-$700 and the test is $110. It pays off quickly once you start working, believe me.

Perhaps you can negotiate something with the school you attended? If you feel they failed to prepare you for the exam, they may let you take the course again for a discounted fee or something like that. I would discuss it with them.

ComeTogether, LPN

1 Article; 2,166 Posts

Specializes in Keeping my head above water. Has 8 years experience.

Whats the problem? Are you anxious, or is there something you aren't understanding.

I'm concerned that you failed 3 times. As harsh as this may seem, you may want to look into another field.


35 Posts

Did you fail the written or skills portion, or both? If its skills it could be nerves and you just need to practice each one more. If its written you're basically not comprehending the material being given.

But yes as someone said before 3 times failing you have to take the class again. Also at a different school (in ny that's how it is). Best of luck, which state are you in? Some states offer free classes

Missingyou, CNA

718 Posts

Specializes in Long term care. Has 20 years experience.

Some states reimburse you for the class once you begin working in LTC or a hospital. The trick is you must pass the state test..

I know someone who failed the 1st time and felt it was due to a very strict proctor. The next time she took the test she took it at a different site. She had to travel a bit further, but she had a different proctor and she felt it was why she passed the 2nd time around...just sayin...


12 Posts

I was an idiot under bad pressure that's all. I passed the written first time around. I'm very good with knowledge, but yes i HAD horrible anxiety the first two times. Then the last time I don't even know how I managed to screw it up. Forgot one little thing. I wouldn't even forget it on a normal basis, I'd remember because I care for the residents with all my heart at my adult family home. Yes obviously I can't learn skills. I've been working somewhere for 4 months and that's why I was hoping to pass the cna exam. Now I'm going to have to quit because I sure as hell don't have the money to go back. I guess I'll go into something i'm great at and not just amateur. I'm great at a lot of things, but obviously not this field. But who wants to have to take people to the toilet and wipe their butts and put on clean briefs all day? I never even decided I'd want to be in this field too long. I just figured I'd have a step up if I had the CNA under my belt and worked somewhere for a couple years than a person who just went to college and didn't work. Or a person who was working full time fast food. But, I guess it's not even possible anymore. I'm testing in Washington state, and I've been to three different locations. I had straight A's in high school for two years [junior and senior] and an Honor-roll [A-B] grade for the first two years. So I had a 3.7 GPA at the end of high school which was just this June. I also passed the CNA course with superb grades so I don't understand what WAS WRONG WITH ME.

I'm glad you guys are so kind trying to figure this out with me... :[


12 Posts

OH and guess what the evaluator told me? I was perfect but I messed up in the last skill and held the catheter wrong and failed the exam. >_

Specializes in Adult Cardiac ICU. Has 6 years experience.

Yeah, the written portion is generally pretty easy but the skills portion is graded VERY strictly. The proctors I've had all scrutinized every detail. It's bound to make anybody nervous, because you don't know what skills you have to perform and you have about five minutes to complete each one. It really messed me up because the instructor I had hardly went over the skills at all. I know she didn't even go over at least three of them once (it was her first time teaching a CNA course). I failed miserably and had to teach myself and practice at home.

I know that for the skills portion, they generally don't fail somebody for missing one step/performing one step wrong unless it's a safety issue. If you put the "patient" at risk by not locking the bed wheels, etc. then you will fail for ONE little thing. The catheter thing must have been a hygiene/infection control issue? I would suggest actually performing these skills on a dummy or volunteer, and having somebody who is knowledgable to correct you (maybe somebody from your class?). I found that the muscle memory of doing these activities was much easier to recall at the time of the test than trying to visually picture the list of steps. If you decide to keep pursuing this, good luck!


38 Posts

i'm in Washington also, yes you will have to take the full class again, and I'm not sure how you could hold it wrong? You just hold it and wipe it down. You follow whatever is bolded in the handbook


1 Post

i failed my skills test for the 3rd time i passed my written test now i have to retake the cna course all over again good thing is only for 3 weeks but i do have a question will i have to take my clinicals again?