nurse chris image by John Keith from

How to Become a State Tested Nursing Assistant

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Although typically referred to as certified nursing assistants (CNA) by nursing boards in other parts of the country, in the state of Ohio nursing assistants are referred to as State Tested Nurse Assistant/Aide (STNA). STNAs are trained and tested and their credentials are maintained by Ohio Department of Health's Nurse Aide Registry. An STNA usually works in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care settings.

Locate a nurse aide training class approved by the Ohio Department of Health by searching online or calling the Ohio Department of Health at (614) 752–8285. There are about 425 programs throughout the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Community colleges and health centers across Ohio offer the STNA training program regularly.

Complete the necessary program prerequisites required by your training program provider. These generally include completion of a high school diploma or GED, two-step Mantoux TB test, current vaccinations and a criminal background check.

Attend the required training program. Though some courses may be offered at a longer duration, the Ohio Department of Health require STNA candidates have a total of 75 clock hours of instruction; with a minimum of 60 hours divided between clinical skills and classroom training. When taken full-time, the course can be completed in as little as two weeks. Community college programs generally result in college credit.

Mail your STNA application and proof of completed education to the Ohio Department of Health. You can download a copy of the application from the Nurse Aide Registry website in the Resource section included in this article.

Take and pass the state test. Often, your education provider will offer state testing at your training site, and D&S Diversified Technologies manages administering the test across the state.

The test will take about four hours; a 79 question multiple-choice written test must be answered within 90 minutes and is followed by a five-part skills test that will require you to demonstrate and perform hand washing and four additional skills you learned in your training program. The four skills will be taken from a 25-skill list provided in the STNA candidate handbook. You must score 80 percent or higher to pass.

Await your results; you will receive a passing letter from the test administrator and a laminated card from the Ohio Board of Health by mail if you passed, or a letter from the test administrator informing you to apply to re-take the exam if you did not pass.


Review Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) rule 3701-17-07.3 and section 3721.32 of the Ohio Revised Code to familiarize yourself with all the state statutes that pertain to STNA certification. Some facilities offer training for STNA candidates, sometimes for free if you sign a job contract. An STNA candidate may work as a nurse aide at a facility concurrent with or immediately following the training program, for a maximum of four months before he is required to register with the Ohio Department of Health Nurse Aide Registry.