CNA Certification in Hawaii

If you are searching for an entry-level nursing career, you can consider training to become a certified nursing assistant.  Many certified nursing assistants go on to become nurses at some point in their career.  You will need to receive training and pass a certification exam before becoming a certified nursing assistant.

Training Hours and Requirements

Hawaii offers several state-approved nursing assistant training programs.  If you want to qualify to sit for the nursing assistant certification exam, you will need to attend a class that has been approved by the state of Hawaii.  Training programs in Hawaii must offer at least 100 hours of training.  Thirty-hours of training must be in a classroom setting with the other 70 hours being in a clinical setting.

It is necessary to complete your training course successfully before taking the certification exam.  You should try not to miss any of your training classes.  If you must ever miss a scheduled class, talk with your instructor immediately to determine how to make up your work.  After graduating from a course, you can sit for the certification test.

Transferring CNA Certification from Another State to Hawaii

If you already hold a nursing assistant certification in another state, you can apply to have that certification transferred to Hawaii.  In order to qualify to apply to have your certification transferred, you will need to have completed a training program that was approved in your prior state.  You will need to verify that you passed the certification exam.

You must have an active certification in the other state to apply to transfer your certification.  Your certification must be listed in good standing on the Nursing Aide Registry for your former state.

It will also be necessary to provide documentation that you have worked in your home state as a nursing assistant.

The application forms to transfer your CNA certification can be found at:

Steps for Reciprocity
1) Complete the application form found on the above website. Provide Prometric with a copy of your current CNA certificate, which must include an expiration date and the name of the State you are transferring from.

2) Mail all completed application materials to Prometric, located at:
Prometric – HI Certified Nurse Aide Program
354 Uluniu Street, Suite 308
Kailua, HI 96734

CNA Certification Renewal

Certified nursing assistants must renew their certification every twenty-four months. Renewing your certification is primarily a matter of proving that you have been paid to work in your field over a two-year period. You will need to complete the renewal form in its entirety and submit it before your certification expires. You should pay careful attention to the instructions to ensure that any necessary papers and fees are submitted along with your renewal form. The certification renewal application can be found online at:


Q: Can I work in a nursing home in Hawaii if I do not have the CNA license?
A: You can work, provided you do not call your self a certified nurse aide. You will also have some restrictions on the duties you can do. Your pay might not be as good as that of someone who is already certified.

Q: What do I do if I let my certification expire?
A: Depending on when it expired you will either have to do just the certification exam or do the whole training program as well as the test again.

Helpful Resource: Free nursing assistant classes in Hawaii and CNA training in Hawaii


11 Responses to CNA Certification in Hawaii

  1. Kimberly November 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    I took A CNA Course twice, once in 2003 and again in 2005. The first time I took the class, I passed it, but was unable to take the ARC test. Then in 2005, I took and completed the class again, and decided to take the ARC test as soon as I could. I completed the program and passed the test with no problems. A few months later, I applied at Maui Memorial Medical Center where I worked for almost six years. When the time came to renew my License, I received my letter from ARC that I signed and gave it to my nursing manager for her to sign and mail in. Unfortunately, several months passed before I realized that my CNA License had expired. When I asked my manager the date that she mailed in the letter, she told me that she didn’t. She said that I didn’t need to be certified to work at that facility. I was disappointed to hear that, seeing as I paid twice to go through the program. After awhile, I stopped making a big deal about it, figuring i’d be working at that hospital as and aide untill I finished college, then i’d apply as a RN., but unfortunately I lost my employment there on Dec. 09, 2010. I immediately started my search for another job. I was unable to obtain employment at several facilities because I was no longer “Certified”. After a few months, I finally got a job in a retirement facility. The duties there are very different from the hospital.

    My question is, am I able to get my CNA License back, without having pay again to go through the CNA program and re take the state approved test?

    • Admin November 17, 2011 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Kimberly. This is something that the DCCA in Hawaii must decide. According to the rules, if your license has been expired for over 5 years, you need to retake the training as well as the test. In your case however, you have worked as a CNA in the last two years so that counts for something as well. Its marginal to say the least. Their contact info is available at

  2. Katie January 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I’m not from the US but I have a visitor visa. I’m planning to take a training for CNA, take the exam and eventually try to apply for work. Will I be able to take the training and exam provided that I am not a citizen and only a visitor in the US?

    • Admin March 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      I’m not sure you can go to school and/or work on a visitor visa. Please check with the relevant authorities.

  3. Robin May 24, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    I had taken my Nurse Aide Exam with the American Red Cross (AMR), and unfortunately I did not pass. Since there is a gap between my Nurse Aide Training Course back in July 2009 and the AMR Exam, the instructor who administered the exam advised retaking the Nurse Aide Training Course.

    My question is, do you know of any programs that may be able to provide tuition assistance? I called Department of Human Services First-To-Work, Oahu Worklinks, WCCHC Health Career Training, Community Colleges, and other programs in regards to tuition assistance, and majority of their responses were lack of funding.

    • Admin May 24, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      That is a major problem right now. As part of the workforce investment act you could receive free training but that is becoming harder. They look at so many metrics such as your income level, whether you are unemployed and all that. The best way these days is to look for Nursing Assistant Trainee positions. We have some advertised for the major states, but we haven’t found anything in Hawaii yet. I’d suggest calling up any nursing homes in your area and asking about trainee positions. Nursing homes have a high turnover rate for CNA’s so a lot of them are resorting to giving free training in return for getting you on a long term fixed contract. if that’s something you’re ok with, you can call and ask around in your area.

  4. Ray June 23, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    I just recently moved back to Hawaii from CA where I held a CNA license but it expired with me not renewing it. I did work as a CNA in CA for over 3 years at a hospital. I just got my CNA licensed reactivated in WA state where I also held a CNA, it expired in 2009 but is now in active status. My question is will I be able to transfer my WA certification to Hawaii even though my last CNA job I held in WA state was in 2008. And I originally got my CNA certification here in Hawaii back in 2002

  5. anne July 13, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    I got my cna certificate in Arizona but not my license I am in Hawaii and thinking about staying can I take my test here or do I have to take the class again?

  6. laura kidd November 4, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    i have a cna license from south carolina but cant figured out how to transfer it to hawaii i need help thanks.

  7. Lauren January 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    I took a cna class in Illinois and passed but left the state before the state exam. I moved to Hawaii is there a way I can take the Hawaii state exam only

  8. grace February 7, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    hello i have a CNA license from arizona and i just moved to hawaii.i would like to transfer my certification but i dont have any work experience as cna yet.coz i jut got it..can i still transfer it? thnx

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