Explore the Possibilities of a CNA Career

Learn more about the CNA life and get details about how to enroll in NextStep’s training-to-placement CNA program.

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Plan Ahead for Practice Labs

Understand practice lab requirements and scheduling.
Check your schedule early to plan in-person labs!

Kara Preas Huertas, Manager of Customer Success
April 30, 2021

We’re so excited about your progress in the NextStep CNA program! As you continue your coursework in the app or on the web, make sure you plan ahead for the six required in-person practice labs. 

Practice labs give you an opportunity to try out your new knowledge in a real world setting! It’s normal to feel a little nervous about putting your new skills into practice. But you’re going to do great. A nurse instructor will be there to support you, and you’ll be learning alongside your peers.

The Washington Department of Nursing requires certain skills to be evaluated and approved by a registered nurse. Some skills will be evaluated in person during practice lab. For others, you’ll be required to record a video of yourself performing the skill that will be evaluated remotely. If the evaluator feels you need more practice on a particular skill, you’ll be notified you need to attend an open lab to redo your assessment.

Review and practice skills at home before each lab.

During lab, you’ll practice skills with your peers and a nurse instructor. Then, you’ll record videos that will be graded. Practicing at home beforehand will make you more comfortable and more likely to succeed in the lab and on the state exam. Also — PRO TIP — the checklists on the practice lab skills cards found in the in-person section of the app tell you EXACTLY what your instructors will be looking for in the skills tests. Reviewing the checklists closely will help you pass your lab skills on the first try! 

Lab Rotation and Scheduling Options

The lab schedule is designed so all of your practice labs can be completed in one weekend. Each lab is four hours long. Open labs provide time to practice skills you don't quite feel confident performing or to redo any skills you missed. Plan to attend at least one open lab block.

Complete the Required Skillsets BEFORE Attending Each Lab.

Preparation is key to practice lab success! Make sure you’ve finished all required skills in the app prior to your scheduled lab date and have reviewed the skills that you’ll be practicing in lab. Sign in to the app and go to the In-Person Practice Lab tab to review!

Lab 1 - Mahoney: Complete the Reposition and Move skill set
Lab 2 - Seacole:
Complete the Basic Care Skills skill set
Lab 3 - Taylor:
Complete the Personal Care skill set
Lab 4 - Staupers:
Complete the Restorative Care skill set
Lab 5 - Barton:
Complete the Special Procedures skill set
Lab 6 - Nightingale:
Complete all remaining skill sets

Remember, look at your availability early on and work with your mentor to plan your lab schedule as soon as possible! It’s important to keep making progress on your skills. If you haven’t completed all the required skills before your scheduled lab date, you’ll have to reschedule — and labs book up fast! Our lab is located at 12832 Interurban Ave S, Tukwila, WA 98168. Don’t forget to plan your route and calculate travel time in order to arrive on time for each lab.

Planning ahead will help you stay on track to graduate, get certified and start your new CNA job!