Covid Hire Exam Challenge Info -CNA

Program Ends June 6, 2022! 

As of January 25, 2022 the Utah Nursing Assistant Registry (UNAR), in cooperation with the Utah Health Care Association and the Utah Department of Health, have created a path for those entry-level caregivers that are hired during the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration to challenge the state certification exams for certification as a nursing assistant in the State of Utah, without the requirement of completing a 1-hour Nursing Assistant Training & Competency Evaluation Program (NARCEP)  

All testers will be held to the same standard to which students completing a NATCEP are held. Please see the accompanying Covid-Hire Exam Challenge policy for details, such as who qualifies to apply. 

Test Prep/Materials Available

  • The UNAR-created materials described here are by no means meant to replace a 100-hour, instructor-led CNA training course (NATCEP). They are intended to help your staff development team and employees understand what to expect from the exams to best prepare.
  • The Covid-Hire Nursing Assistant Skill Proficiency Performance List (CNAPP) is an edited version of the NAPP list used in a traditional NATCEP training program. Each skill must be initialed by nursing staff (not the applicant), indicating that the applicant has demonstrated and performed the skill proficiently. Once completed, the form must be signed by a supervising licensed nurse staff member, verifying that the employee has learned and proficiently demonstrated all skills. This document must be submitted along with the Covid-Hire Exam Challenge application
  • The Utah Nursing Assistant Core Curriculum Guide provides objectives that are met in a NATCEP in our state and covers the information that is tested in the knowledge exam.
    • The use of a professionally published nurse aide textbook, such as Hartman’s Nursing Assistant Care: Long Term Care, is strongly encouraged in the study of these objectives.
  • The Utah Nursing Assistant State Certification Exam Guide is sometimes mistaken for a tool from which to teach tested skills. It is not. It serves to provide details about the knowledge and skills exams such as information about TMU, test scheduling, ID requirements, etc., as well as the skills steps by which they are being scored.
    •  The skill steps that are shown in the guide are the exact steps that the RN Skills Observers conducting the skills exam are scoring. It does not include all steps that may be necessary to provide complete care that would be considered all-inclusive of best care practiced in an actual care setting.
    • Testers receive credit for performing each of the listed steps. They do not get marked down for including additional steps, nor do they get “extra credit” for performing additional steps.


Application Process
Applications will only be accepted directly from a sponsoring facility’s email address (not the test applicant) and must include a signature block. This should be a person of authority such as an HR representative, Director of Nursing, or Administrator. Applications must be sent as a PDF attachment, from a facility email address that receives replies. Do not send via a scanner or copier that does not receive email responses.

Do not submit an application unless the sponsored employee is well-prepared to test. The tester has 1 year to complete testing and the clock starts ticking once the application is approved by UNAR. (This timeframe will likely be reduced to 120 days once emergency declaration is lifted.)

A Covid-Hire Exam Challenge application, along with a completed Covid-Hire Nursing Assistant Skill Proficiency Performance List (CNAPP), must be submitted for each applicant.
Once applications are reviewed for completeness and approved by UNAR staff, your employee will be added to the TMU system and receive an email prompting them to complete their TMU portal setup. Once setup is complete, the exams can be paid for and scheduled thru TMU. When both exams are successfully completed, the employee is certified.

Each tester will be given up to 3 attempts at both the knowledge and skills exams. The skills exam is $55 and the knowledge exam is $35, with each attempt requiring payment. If the tester is not able to successfully pass both exams within 3 attempts and expected timeframe, completion of a UNAR-approved training program would be necessary for further opportunities to test for certification.

Employees who are separated from employment prior to becoming certified in this process will lose their opportunity to complete testing. UNAR must be notified by sponsoring facility of separation of employment to prevent testing.

If you have questions regarding this process, please contact Donelle Rickets, BSN-RN, Director, Utah Nursing Assistant Registry ()


Find additional resources below: 

Covid Hire Exam Challenge Info Packet

CNAPP List- Fillable COVID Hire

UNAR State Certification Exam Guide

Covid Hire Exam Fillable Application

UNAR Core Curriculum Guide 

UNAR Skills Exam Test Instructions