Certified Nursing Assistant

How to become a CNA in Minnesota

Athena Kan
May 5, 2023

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work in many different locations across the United States, but the specific requirements to become a CNA may differ depending on the state. If you are interested in becoming a CNA in Minnesota, this guide will provide you with information on the steps you need to take.

In Minnesota, the average CNA class costs $1200 and is 3 weeks long. Average starting salary ranges based on where in the state you are, but is around $18-22/hour, higher than the national average.

What are the requirements to become a CNA in Minnesota?

  • Pass a background check - the background check will check for any criminal convictions, including those involving theft, violence, or drug possession. 
  • Have required documents - You will also need to have certain documents, such as a Social Security Card or an ITIN Number. A high school diploma or GED is not typically required for private, state-approved schools, but it is required for community colleges and other federally-accredited schools. Students must be at least 16 years old.
  • Complete a CNA training program - In Minnesota, CNA training programs must be at least 75 hours long, which includes 16 hours of in-person clinicals in a nursing home or labs. Some schools may offer the classroom portion online. You can find a list of approved CNA training programs (and graduation rates) on the Minnesota Department of Health's website.
  • Pass the CNA exam - you have 4 months to pass your state CNA exam. The exam consists of a written portion and a skills demonstration portion. During this 4 month period, you can still work, although some employers may require you have passed.

Where can I find CNA classes in Minnesota?

You can view classes in Minneapolis or search by zipcode through Dreambound. Or, you can see the full list of state-approved programs on the Minnesota Department of Health's website.

How do I register for a CNA exam? 

After completing your training, your school will directly register you for the exam. You can also register with D&S yourself. 

The CNA exam varies per testing provider but costs between $200-240. If you need to reschedule or have any issues with the exam, you can contact D&S:


Phone: (800) 393-8664 

Email: [email protected] 


You are allowed to take the exam up to three times. If you are unable to pass within three tries, you will need to retake your CNA class. 

How do I prepare for my CNA exam?

Your CNA school will give you materials to help you prepare for the state test. D&S also has some practice questions on their site (check the left-hand column). For the skills portion, we strongly recommend reviewing videos to practice, although be sure to look for Minnesota-specific videos. 


How do I get a job as a CNA? 

In Minnesota, you can work for as long as 4 months between graduating and passing the exam. To check for the status of your CNA license, go to the nurse aide registry

Although you can start applying to jobs during school, employers generally prefer people who have passed their test. Your school will be able to recommend a facility to you based on your preferences (eg where you live, preferred shift schedule, preferred environment, etc). You can also work at the facility where your clinicals were, if you liked working there.

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Written by
Athena Kan

Athena is Co-founder and CEO of Dreambound.

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