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Certified Nursing Assistant

Course Overview


If you have questions about the CNA online training program, please contact us.

Phone: 605-668-8475
Business Hours
Mon.– Fri. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Avera CNA Online Training Solutions 3.5© is designed to prepare a nursing assistant for employment, and to meet the qualifications for taking the South Dakota nursing assistant certification exam.

Program Design

  • Help nursing assistants understand their role in the nursing process including infection control, legal and ethical implications and residents’ rights.
  • Provide nursing assistant training focusing on specific skills while providing a broad understanding of nursing concepts including culture change, customer service and teamwork.
  • Provide a variety of learning environments designed to fit the unique way each student learns.



In addition to specific content to prepare for the nursing assistant certification exam, the program addresses the need for employee retention and quality care. The content is designed to comply with federal and state requirements for nursing assistant training in a variety of health care settings.

For Students & Employees 

  • Reduce stress by training with techniques that enhance positive interactions in the workplace while providing skills to deal effectively with challenging health care situations.
  • Prepare for testing by working through content that incorporates the knowledge and skills they'll need to successfully pass the exam.
  • Prepare for the future by exposing them to broader systemic concepts that help bring wisdom and compassion to the workplace.

For Organizations

  • Increase retention by educating nursing assistants using contemporary teaching/learning methods.
  • Increase creativity and innovation by encouraging nursing assistants to engage in life-long learning.
  • Improve service by embedding customer service training in all aspects of nursing assistant training.
  • Inspire passion and engagement by personalizing the role the nursing assistant plays in caring for patients and residents.


Required Materials

For this course each student will need the following materials:

  • Textbook: The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute and Long-Term Care, Sixth Edition (JoLynn Pulliam, Pearson, 2019) ISBN-13: 978-0134846651 or ISBN-10: 0134846656.
  • South Dakota CNA Candidate Handbook
  • Online access to Nursing Assistant Training Program Self-Paced Classroom

Course Requirements

This self-paced online course is divided into three units. Students are guided through the course material via a Course Syllabus and online learning prompts. Upon completing each unit, the student must record results for each unit on the Training Documentation Form (75 percent or greater is required).

Unit 1

When Chapters 1–7 and 19 are complete, the student will have met the 16-hour learning requirement that must be completed prior to resident/patient contact while employed in a long term care nursing facility, as required by Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA’87). The facility’s RN instructor will verify the student has met the state of South Dakota’s requirements to work with residents.

Unit 2 and 3

When the remaining two units are complete, the student will have completed the didactic portion of the Avera CNA Online Training Solutions© program. Students shall complete the final exam (75 percent minimum score); results are to be recorded onto the Training Documentation Form and approved by the facility’s RN instructor.

Students also will be required to complete an 8-hour skills laboratory which includes demonstration by the instructor and return demonstration.

Each student is required to complete 16 hours of clinical instruction under the direct guidance of either the facility’s RN instructor or Avera Education & Staffing Solutions’ primary instructor.

SD State Certification Exam

Upon successful completion of the total 75 hours of nursing assistant training, the student is eligible to take the South Dakota State Certification Examination. Each student will be required to complete a computerized knowledge test consisting of 75 randomized questions and then perform five randomly selected skill tasks.

Skill steps are identified for each task and a minimum number of steps to be performed. Students will be evaluated on these steps. The purpose of the Skill Test is to assess performance of skills. Students must receive the minimum passing score of at least 75 percent on the Certification Exam.

The Certification Exam may be taken three times and if not passed, an extension may be granted by the Department of Health, depending on individual circumstances. Once passed, student will be placed on the SD Board of Nursing Registry.

Course Enhancements

Course Enhancements

Each online unit includes a variety of activities including reading, lectures and activities. Activities are designed to reinforce required content and add variety in order to enhance different student learning styles.


Each self-paced online learning unit is designed to complement the Textbook: The Nursing Assistant: Acute, Subacute and Long-Term Care, Fifth Edition (JoLynn Pulliam, Pearson, 2012). ISBN-13:978-0132622554 or ISBN-10:0132622556 or Sixth Edition.

Students must read the associated textbook chapter and then complete the corresponding chapter presentation and other self-paced learning activities.


A Word About Copyright

All materials are to be used ONLY by participants of the Avera CNA On-Line Training Solutions 3.5© program.

  • The materials and recordings are for educational purposes only. Avera Education & Staffing Solutions and their representatives do not render any legal, medical or professional advice.
  • No portion of this program may be reproduced without prior written permission. This applies to all computer files, documents, and recordings.
  • The accompanying video material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Duplication of video content is illegal. IT MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED in any part without prior written permission. Participating in or allowing duplication is prohibited by law.

The video devices are to be used by the organization, which leased or purchased it ONLY. It may not be RESOLD, ALTERED, REVERSE ENGINEERED, LOANED OR RENTED. The video and any on-line recordings may not be used for broadcast, satellite, cable or closed circuit-television.

Moving Health Forward

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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