Certified Nursing Assistants must have a current license with the Nursing Aid Registry in order to be employed by any institution in America. Most state nursing boards will send you notification when it’s time to renew your license; however, it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to keep your license active.
Most states typically require CNAs to renew their license every two years in order to stay actively employed, but there are many different circumstances that can affect the status of your license. Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Note: These answers are NOT definitive. The rules may vary depending on your state. Make sure you check with your state nursing board, DOH or CNA registry for the most accurate information. The guide below is simply there to give you a general idea of the regulations.
For State Specific Info, Please Select Your State Below:
Can You Transfer Your CNA License to Another State?
CNAs can transfer their licenses to other states by following the reciprocity process. The first step is to contact the Nurses Aide Registry in your current state of employment and request an application for enrollment by reciprocity.
Complete the application and send it to the nurse’s aide registry of the state that you are moving to. Sometimes, the state that you are applying to needs the information, while other times it’s your home registry that will retain the reciprocity application. Make sure you clarify which registry that needs the application. It’s also a good idea to always make copies of any information that you send to the registry for your files.
How Do I Renew My Expired CNA License?
Most states will send you a license renewal notification approximately every two years. It’s important to keep your current address information updated with your state’s CNA registry for this reason.
Prior to renewal, you have to pay a fee that differs from state to state.
The renewal notice is usually sent to you 60 days prior to your license expiration. In most states, the renewal process can be done online. CNAs must meet certain continuing education requirements each year prior to license renewal. Your state’s board of nursing will notify you of your specific states CE requirements.
Keep in mind that if your CNA license has been expired for more than five years, you will need to retake a CNA training program and successfully pass your states CNA examination.
Status of License if You Didn’t Meet CEU Requirements in the Past Two Years
CNAs must complete certain in-service training to meet continuing education requirements for renewal of certification. The CEU requirements can vary by state, and the necessary training can be found at your place of employment or online through your state’s registry.
CNAs must provide the licensing division with proof of the completed CEUs in order to keep their certification active. CNAs that allow their license to lapse longer than two years will have to complete a 75-hour training program and retest in order to measure their competency.
Status of License if You Haven’t Worked in the Past Two Years
In most states, CNAs that work at least eight hours within two years can renew their license by filling out the required paperwork and paying the necessary fees. The renewal process is different if you haven’t been actively employed as a CNA within the past two years.
If you have had a 24-month lapse in employment, you will be required to retake the certified nursing assistant training program and retake the test in many states. Because requirements may vary, inquire with your state nurse’s aid registry.
How do You Find the Status of Your License?
If you suspect that your license might be up for renewal, you can check on the status of your license by accessing your states CNA registry online. Conduct a search by your license number or name on the certification verification page.
Additionally, many states maintain toll-free numbers that you can call to check the status of your license.
Why Didn’t You Receive Your Renewal Notification in the Mail?
If you have moved and failed to provide your new address to your sate’s licensing authority, you may not receive the renewal notification in the mail. That’s why the burden rests on you to always update your information with the licensing authority.
Regardless of why you didn’t receive your renewal notification, you should call your nurse’s aide registry or inquire online about your current status. Additionally, know the rules and time frame of your state regarding the status of your license.
Can You Take the CNA Test in Another State?
Sometimes prospective CNAs want to take the nurse’s aide exam in a different state than they are receiving their current training. The CNA test varies from state to state; however, as long as your training program was certified in your state, you can generally take the CNA exam in any state.
Check with your state’s nursing board to confirm that your training program is certified. Keep in mind that in most states, training is valid for one year, so it’s important to take the exam within a year after completion of your training program.
Does Working as a Home Health Aid Count Toward Certification Renewal?
Many states have different regulations regarding the amount of hours you must work to qualify for recertification. Some states require only eight hours of work within a two-year duration, while others can require up to 40 hours of work as a CNA.
Home health aides and certified nurse’s assistants have different training requirements. An HHA works at the residence of the patient, while a CNA can work in a variety of settings to include a patient’s residence. CNAs are required to fulfill a training program and pass a state exam before they are eligible for employment. Because the requirements for an HHA are not always as stringent, this type of work does not count toward certification renewal.
Can I Obtain CNA Certification If I Have A Criminal Record?
You can take the CNA exam if you have a criminal record, but you may have issues finding employment. Your potential employment opportunities depend on the severity of the crime. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor in the past, it will depend on the actual crime and the specific rules of your prospective employer.
Most employers conduct background checks, and if you have been convicted of a felony some employers will not allow you to work; however, there are employers who will consider the circumstances of the crime and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction. Check with your state’s licensing authority to make sure there are no issues prior to training.
The state of Missouri has a very long FAQ section for nursing assistants. You can access it here
While they are for Missouri only, a lot of the rules are similar across all states(Any answer that mentions “federal” applies to all states). Always make sure to contact the State nursing board/CNA registry for the most accurate information.