State Standards Exam General Information
All State Standards Exams are MULTIPLE CHOICE and can be taken upon meeting the prerequisites (such as finishing your training, or for "Endorsement" applicants, have completed the application process...).
We schedule them to be administered in our Conference Room periodically (see our calendar) and the fee for a scheduled exam is $100. If you want to schedule it on your time, the unscheduled fee is $500. You may also schedule the exam though PSI...which is scheduled through nabweb.org (see PSI for their fee schedule). "Our" exams are administered with paper and pencil; PSI administers them with a computer and they have several testing locations throughout the state (or nation). We do not know how OSDH will be scheduling these tests or if they will require that they be administered by PSI (as the changes in the statute seem to indicate...so more information on that will surely be forthcoming from OSDH).
The number of questions on the exams varies by line of service/license type, but 75% is the minimum passing score on all of our exams. The amount of time also varies slightly (you either have one hour or 45 minutes to take the exam).
NHA - 100 questions - 1 hour
CAA - 90 questions - 1 hour
RCAL - 50 questions - 45 minutes
RC - 33 questions - 45 minutes
ADC - 50 questions - 45 minutes
All of our State Standards Exams include questions from the Board's Rules and our Governing Statutes, plus questions from the OSDH Rules and Statutes covering the facility types that the license is valid for... If you order a Study Packet from OSBELTCA ($50) you will be given a copy of the appropriate guidance that is on the exam AND some questions to help point you in the right direction to start studying and preparing to pass the exam... Except AU students - they are provided the rules and statutes documents on the first day of class (and are provided practice exams during the course of AU that are designed to help them to focus on the proper material for the NHA State Exams).
EVERYONE has to take and pass the applicable state exam for the license they're applying for... No exceptions. IF you happen to have taken and passed the exam in the past but were not licensed (perhaps you did not finish getting the license because you have not yet passed the requisite NAB exam or for some other reason), the results of the State Exam are only valid for applicants for 24 months. So, if you were not licensed in Oklahoma in the last 24 months since you took and passed the state exam, you will be required to take and pass it again. If your license was vacated at the end of the year, if you didn't take and pass the exam within the last 24months, you are required to re-take and pass the State Exam. Again, there are no exceptions or waivers available to the Board on this. If you keep your license renewed annually, you are not required to retake the state exam. BUT, anytime you don't have a license (not issued, vacated...) and it has been more than 24 months since you last passed it, you will be required to take and pass the state exam again.
NAB Exams General Information
Currently, only NHA and RCAL applicants are required to have passed the NAB Exam(s) and we use this term in plural because since 2017, the NAB Exam (then singular) was broken into two parts - the "Core" and the "Line of Service" or LOS (a different one for NHA candidates/applicants/AITs and another for the RCAL candidates/applicants/AITs).
NOTICE, the first word in that previous paragraph was "Currently." There is a RULE CHANGE that is going to be effective in 2023 (8/15) that will require ALL OF OUR APPLICANTS to take/pass the NAB CORE EXAM at a minimum... NHA applicants will still be required to also take/pass the NHA/LOS exam and RCAL applicants will be require to also take/pass the RCAL/LOS exam (no change for either of them - but it is a change that all others will be required to take and pass the NAB Core Exam...
NAB does a Professional Practice Analysis every 5-7 years to determine what it is administrators do and how much time they typically spend in various areas and then develop the exams to mirror the results of that study, more or less, weighting the number of questions to equal the percentages of time spent in each of those areas, referred to as "Domains of Practice."
They determined that 82% of what ALL administrators do (regardless of the line of service) are the same and thus was born the "Core Exam" to address those items. To address the specifics of the different lines of service, there was an exam developed for NHAs, RCAL Administrators and Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Administrators.
The exams are based on the Domains of Practice and our NHA candidates are required to pass the Core and NHA LOS exams and our RCAL candidates are required to pass the Core and RCAL LOS exams. A passing score is essentially 75%.... or a scaled score of 113. Additional information regarding the NAB Exams can be found on the NAB website and we will also help you through applying to take those exams when that time comes.
However, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND anyone taking the NAB Exams should purchase the NEW and GREATLY IMPROVED "Study Guide" (available through the NAB website...linked above) but should time your purchase of that guide while keeping in mind that it is an "online" medium and will only be available to you for one year from purchase. NAB owns the exams... they also created this study guide. It would seem logical that they would be the "primary" and "preferred" source for study materials (including the reference list they have also published on their website along with FREE ACCESS to the "AIT Manual" with "hands on" things to do in a facility to help you prepare to be an administrator...
NAB Review Seminars (optional)
The NAB Review Seminars have been mentioned elsewhere on our site... We host them twice a year with the author of one of the referenced books giving the "lectures" for these 2 day seminars. They're typically scheduled in early February or late July/early August so you need to watch the calendar and if you're interested in attending, let Pam or Ginger know (and pay the fees... $300). We host them in our conference room and feedback has been great - people feel more confident and prepared going into the exams after attending these seminars. It is OPTIONAL - nobody makes anyone attend these. But, we strongly recommend them, especially for anyone struggling to pass any part of the exams. They are geared slightly more for the NHA candidate but an RCAL candidate also benefits from them... 82% of what is on the exams is "Core" and RCAL candidates have to pass that same exam. It's worth considering and a very valid option to help you prepare. As this Board also transitions (statute change) to be under the Department of Health, it remains to be seen whether the NAB Reviews will continue to be offered or not and what changes regarding that may take place.
State Exam Preparation
The following is a collection of YouTube videos created during the time we were conducting classes virtually during the height of the Covid Pandemic. These are from the Review for the State Examination and are still valid...
WHICH ONES should you watch? Depends on the State Exam you're taking (for the license you're applying for...) but here's the answer...
If you're applying for the NHA license, watch them ALL.
CAA applicants should watch Parts 1 and 2A. They may find the other parts instructive only in the idea that it highlights some differences...
If you're applying for the RCAL Administrators license, watch Parts 1, 2B and 2C.
If you're applying for the RC Administrators license watch Parts 1 and 2C.
If you're applying for the Adult Day Care Administrators license, watch Parts 1 and 2D.
Board related stuff – Part 1 (39:30)
Health Department stuff - Part 2
Nursing Homes/ICFs – Part 2A (1:01:11)
ALFs – Part 2B (13:27 – pretty short)
RCFs – Part 2C (16:05)
Adult Day Care – Part 2D (22:49)
We hope you find this helpful in your preparation for the state examination.