How To Get A CNA License

There are steps that you will then need to take in order to receive your CNA license.  This is just a basic overview of the process of obtaining your license.  Each state has their own procedures that can differ from one state to another.

·    When you have completed your training course in its entirety, your school will provide you with the application that you need to apply to sit for the certification exam.  You will learn the date and time of your certification exam as well as anything that you will need to bring with you for the exam.

·    Contact the Nursing Aide Registry in your area for an application form to start the process of receiving your CNA license.  Complete the form in its entirety and do not forget to sign the form.  This form should be notarized.  The application will need to be sent to the local portion of the Licensing Office in your state.

·    You might be required to send a copy of photo identification along with your application for licensing.

·    You will need to provide education verification to the CNA licensing authority in your state.  This verification form will show that you completed and passed an accredited CNA training course.  The form can be completed by the instructor at your training program upon completion of your course.  They can submit it to the Nurse Aid Registry in your state for you.

·    Of course, you cannot become a licensed nursing assistant without first having completed and passed the licensing exam.

·    It is necessary to pass a criminal background check before you are able to receive your certified nursing assistant license.  This is something you might have already been required to do before enrolling in a training program.  It might also be necessary to be fingerprinted with the local law enforcement officials.

·    Medical Physicals might also be required to assure the licensing authority that you are in good health and can safely care for patients.  It will be necessary to have a TB test before you can work at a healthcare facility.

·    You must wait for your application to be approved by the Board of Nursing in your area before you can receive your CNA license.  Check with the licensing authorities in your local area. There are sometimes steps you can take to be approved for a temporary license.

The instructor at the school where you completed your certified nursing assistant training can help you learn the process of receiving your license.  You can also contact the local division of the Board of Nursing or the Nursing Aide Registry to help you further navigate your way through the process.

3 Responses to How To Get A CNA License

  1. LJ August 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm #


    I completed a CNA training course in Wisconsin last year July; it is now September 2010. I did not take the state test to get my license; I only took the course for my nursing program. My question is, even though it’s been over a year, can I still take the state test to get my CNA license without having to retake the CNA training course?

    • Admin August 31, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

      Hi Lana,
      Unfortunately, you have to take the CNA test within ONE year of completing the training program.

  2. LaVette Smith July 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm #


    I am considering re-entering the nursing field. In the past (1992-2001 estimation), I worked as a Licensed CNA in Virginia. I need some guidance as to how to go about re-entering this line of work. Do I take a refresher course and then the exam to become licensed again?

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