How to Become a Certified Assisted Living Nurse

How to Come a Certified Assisted Living Nurse


To prepare for the exam, you will want to think about your knowledge base, skills and experience. The four areas that are tested in the certification exam are recognizing the content outline shown at the American Nurses Credentialing Center website for their certification exams.

The four areas and the approximate percent of questions/items in each area of the AALNA Certification Exam for Assisted Living Nurses are:

  • The Aging Population (approx. 20% of items): includes demographics, social and health issues; theories of aging; communication; and end-of-life care issues.
  • Review of Systems, Assessment, and Care Planning (approx. 50%): common health problems of the older adult; interventions; pharmacotherapeutics.
  • The Organization of Health Care delivery (approx. 15%): regulations, reimbursement (Medicare/Medicaid), federal regulations (e.g., ADA), retention and discharge issues in AL.
  • Professional Practice (approx. 15%): includes management theory and style, staff development and performance evaluation; research and informed consent; negligence; ethical issues in practice; delegation and decision-making; budget issues.

AALNA has made a few preparation resources available to help participants prepare for the assisted living certification exam.

There is a pre-recorded webinar that has been created by the AALNA board, which was designed to provide a review of the specific concepts covered on the exam.  The exam can only be purchased while registering for the exam, and access to the preparation course and exam are given at the same time. In addition, the  is recommended as a study tool and a highly valuable resource for any assisted living nurse.

Also see our recommended reading/book list, which can be found at www.alnursing.org/certification. For study and refresher purposes, select a book specific to gerontological nursing practice and care of the older adult. There is no text or book for assisted living nursing management practice. However, some nursing administration books will provide information about management theory and practices, budget preparation, staff development, etc.

In preparation for the certification exam, you will also want to become familiar with the Scope and Standards of practice of Assisted Living Nursing.