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Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©

Frequently Asked Questions for Supplemental Instructors

 How do I enroll a student in the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program?

            AnswerContact Avera Education& Staffing Solutions (AESS) by phone (605-668-8475) or email ( ).  AESS staff will enroll the student in either the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions or on-site classroom Nursing Assistant Training Program. AESS staff will direct you through an on-line registration process. 

Must the student have computer access for this training?

            Answer: Yes; all students are required to have access to a computer (with sound and video capabilities, internet access, and the latest version of Adobe Flash Player* is recommended, along with the latest version of Adobe Reader.) Internet browsers recommended for accessing this course are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Students may also use Internet Explorer (latest versions are recommended). Cookies must be enabled to provide continuity and maintain your login from page to page. You must also enable pop-up windows and Javascript. Internet Explorer 8 is not supported; you must use Internet Explorer 9 or later.

*Please note that different operating systems such as Windows 8 may incorporate Adobe Flash Player into the Internet Explorer browser.  

Please contact AESS regarding technical difficulties, and have ready the operating system you are using, what internet browser you are using, and how you access the internet. If possible, try using a different internet browser and/or a different way to access the internet. For example, if you are on a network in a facility try WiFi.  

Tell me more about the clinical component of Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions program.

            Answer: The Supplemental Instructor is responsible for the 16 hours of clinical training in a direct care setting.   

What is the Supplemental Instructor training requirement? 

            Answer: Facility-based Supplemental Instructors must complete an initial Train-the-Trainer training and skills competency evaluation, plus annual skills competency evaluation at the on-site laboratory location provided by an AESS Primary Instructor. 

Once the student is enrolled, how does the student begin the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program?

            Answer: The student must read the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©  overview and syllabus which outlines the training program; this includes references to required reading in the textbook.  The required textbook is: Pulliam, JoLynn. The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care (5th Edition).  New Jersey:  Prentice Hall, 2011.  ISBN: 0132622556.  This textbook has an optional workbook that is not a required component of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program.  However, the facility may wish to purchase it as an additional training tool to reinforce instruction.  A link for the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program will be provided to the facility Supplemental Instructor via e-mail.  This link and its password will be active for the individual student’s use for 90 days.  The course overview, syllabus, and the introductory section of the program will provide guidance on how to work through the textbook chapters, work through on-line modules, and take the on-line chapter. Scores for chapter tests must be recorded to the Training Documentation and approved by the Supplemental Instructor. The Supplemental Instructor will then complete and forward the AESS Training Documentation form to:

  • fax                  605-668-8483
  • scan/email
  • mail                Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©

                           Training Documentation

                           1000 West 4th Street, Suite 9

                           Yankton, SD  57078           


PLEASE NOTE:  due to the size of the files, some of the activities may take a few moments to load to the computer workstation.

What materials are required for the course?

            Answer: The following are materials required for participation/completion of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program:

  1. The Nursing Assistant:  Acute, Subacute, and Long-Term Care (5th Edition) by JoLynn Pulliam (Prentice Hall, 2011 ISBN: 0132622556)
  2. The South Dakota CNA Candidate Handbook (SD Health Care Association and D&S Diversified Technologies, dba: Headmaster, Version 57 09/12)
  3. A computer with internet , Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 or later, sound and video capabilities
  4. Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© :  Training Documentation form (available at Classes/Nurse Aide Training Program)

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the content material covered in the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©  program or if I have technical difficulties with the on-line modules?

            Answer: Contact the Primary Instructor at Avera Education & Staffing Solutions at 605-668-8475 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday or you may submit your question to to the attention of CNA Training Programs.  Every effort will be made to respond to your question as soon as possible; all questions will receive a response within 24 hours (excluding weekends).

Upon completing the essential elements of the 75 hour Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program, what is the next step? 

            Answer: Send AESS the signed and dated Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©:  Training Documentation form and register for a testing date. 

Where can I find the AESS CNA Test dates and where is the testing location?


AESS CNA test dates are located at:

Testing Location:

Benedictine Center (4th floor)

Avera Sacred Heart Hospital Campus

1000 W. 4th St., Suite 9

Yankton, SD  57078

 What paper work must be completed prior to a student testing at AESS? 

            Answer: Select a CNA test date and then complete the on-line document AESS Eligibility Verification Form available at

The Supplemental Instructor must provide this document to AESS by one of the following methods:


Avera Education & Staffing Solutions

Attention:  Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©          

1000 W. 4th St., Suite 9

Yankton, SD  57078


The Eligibility Verification Form must be received by AESS no later than 10 days prior to the Exam.  Once AESS receives the Eligibility Verification Form, AESS will contact Headmaster to arrange and schedule the student for the Exam.  AESS will email a CNA Testing Confirmation (includes test date and time) to the facility Supplemental Instructor.   


The facility Supplemental Instructor may arrange for the student to take the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam independent of AESS, at your own facility, providing your facility is approved by SDHCA and Headmaster to be a Test Administrator and test site.

 What paperwork do I need to provide to AESS in order to register a student for the CNA Competency Exam at AESS’ business location?

            Answer: The following documents must be completed and submitted by the Supplemental Instructor to the AESS Primary Instructor:

  1. Avera CNA On-line Training Solution:  Training Documentation Form
  2. Eligibility Verification Form

What does the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam involve?

            Answer: The Exam consists of two parts:  A knowledge test administered on the computer and proctored by either the Staff Development/Supplemental Instructor in your facility OR by the AESS Primary Instructor at our location.  This portion of the Exam consists of 75 randomly presented, multiple choice questions to ascertain the student’s understanding of the knowledge necessary to be a successful Certified Nursing Assistant.  The second part of the Exam tests the student’s knowledge of the 26 essential skills required of a Certified Nursing Assistant.  It consists of five randomly selected skills the student must perform correctly in a laboratory setting before the Exam proctor to demonstrate competency with these required skills.  The complete list of skills to be mastered can be found at




How can I get a copy of the South Dakota CNA Handbook that includes the 26 skills used on the skills exam?

            Answer: The South Dakota CNA Candidate Handbook can be found and downloaded from the South Dakota Health Care Association website,

What if the student doesn’t pass one or both parts of the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam (computer and/or skills exam)?

            Answer: The Competency Evaluation Exam (computer and skills exam) may be taken a total of three times.  The student may retake the computer exam no more than three times, or must be reenrolled into the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©  program again.  In the case of facility-based students unable to successfully pass both the computer and skills exam after three (3) attempts, in extreme or unusual situations, the Staff Development/Supplemental Instructor may choose to contact the SD Department of Health, LTC Health Advisor, to determine whether the student may be remediated and then retake the exam.  Please note:  individuals with learning disabilities must bring this to the attention of their instructor prior to taking the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam.

Once the student passes the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam, what needs to be done to begin working as a Certified Nursing Assistant?

            Answer: The South Dakota Board of Nursing (SDBON) maintains an official registry of all certified nursing assistants qualified to provide patient care services in nursing facilities in South Dakota.  Once the student successfully passes the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam, the student’s name and status is added to the registry (   Once the student’s name is listed on the Registry, including their certificate number, the student is able to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant in South Dakota.  All questions related to the student’s status on the registry are to be directed to the SD Board of Nursing. 

Does the student have to renew their certification? 

            Answer: Yes; it is the CNA's responsibility to renew their certification every 2 years.  Please visit the SDBON website to review specific requirements (   

 Is the Nursing Assistant allowed to work in a nursing facility while enrolled in an Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions program?

            Answer: The student may work in a nursing facility up to 4 months from the date of hire, as long as they are enrolled in a nursing assistant training program and must become a Certified Nursing Assistant within 4 months.   

How long can the student wait to take the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam after they complete the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions©  program?

            Answer: The student may delay completion of the CNA Competency Evaluation Exam for up to 24 months from completion of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions© program, if not employed in a facility.