CNA Certification in Tennessee

If you are looking to train to become a certified nursing assistant in Tennessee, you will be happy to know that there are various training programs in the state.  In order to be eligible for the competency exam for nursing assistants, you must attend a training course that was approved by the Department of State.

Training Programs and Requirements

You can find training programs in Tennessee at nursing care facilities, community colleges, higher institutes of learning and even some high schools.  These training courses need to cover at least 75 hours of instruction.  You will need to spend at least 16 hours of study in the classroom before you can start the clinical component of your course.

When you are completing your clinical instruction, the clinical experience must be supervised.  You will work under the direction of a nurse.  Training courses will last for a few weeks and provide a relatively quick and inexpensive way to enter into the healthcare field.  After you have finished a class, you can take the competency examination for certification which will have both a written and a skills portion.

Transfer your CNA Certification To Tennessee

Individuals who have graduated from accredited nursing programs can request certification as a nursing assistant. They can do so by contacting the Department of Health in Tennessee and completing any required paperwork.

If you worked as a certified nursing assistant in another state and attended a state-approved training program, you can apply for certification in Tennessee through reciprocity. You must be listed as active and in good standing in your former state in order to transfer your certification to Tennessee. An application can be obtained from the Department of Health in Tennessee at:

Steps to transfer your CNA license to Tennessee:

  1. Download the form along with the instructions at
  2. Provide all requested information in part 1.
  3. Attach a copy of both your social security card and Photo ID to the application form where indicated.
  4. Mail the form to the state where you hold an active certification. Your current state registry will complete all required information in Part II and return it directly to the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry. You should check with your former state registry to see if they require a fee in order to verify your certification information.

The instructions below are exceptions to the above-stated information. If you reside in one of these states, the following list will help you get started:

  • If you are listed on the California, Colorado, Illinois or Missouri Nurse Aide Registry you will need to complete Part I of the application for reciprocity and submit it directly to the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry.
  • If you are on the Alabama, Georgia and Illinois Nurse Aide Registry, you may be eligible to challenge the Tennessee Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation.
  • If you are listed on the North Carolina Nurse Aide Registry you must re-train and re-test in order to be certified in Tennessee.

Questions can be directed to the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry at 615-532-5171 or 1-800-778-4504.

CNA Certification Renewal in Tennessee

It is necessary to renew your certification every two years when you are working as a certified nursing assistant in Tennessee. Renewal forms are easy to complete and will be mailed prior your certification expiration date. In order to renew your CNA certification, you are required to work for pay a minimum of 8 hours at a facility licensed or certified by the Division of Health Care Facilities during the past 24 months certification period. You will be required to provide proof of employment either by a paystub, payroll printout or by completing a notarized attestation form. Make sure to complete the renewal form in it entirety and return all requested documents prior to the expiration date on your current certification.

Helpful Resources: Free CNA training classes in Tennessee and Accredited CNA programs in Tennessee


10 Responses to CNA Certification in Tennessee

  1. beth April 22, 2011 at 2:45 am #

    My CNA certification has been lapsed for about 8 years but i have worked in home health (private care) during all but the last 3 years is there any way i can get re certified without having to go back through classes?

    • Admin February 1, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Unfortunately, taking the training is mandatory if you haven’t worked over the last 5 years with an active license.

    • Kimberly May 19, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      challenge the cna test I did and got mine back

  2. Anita Borren October 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I need to renew my licence they ran out in may I worked until may of this year can I renew without taking classes again

    • Vanessa a Karnes January 24, 2021 at 7:01 pm #

      Can I fax my transfer application to Tennessee instead of mailing it

  3. Amber December 15, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    I took the training about 4 years ago but never took the test. Can I still take the test and not have to train again?

    • Tanisha bell December 28, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      I was trying to find out what all I need to take the class

  4. Tiffany Trimm September 15, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    I’m looking to transfer my CNA certificate to TN from I’LL are there any special requirements and will my license still be active in I’LL?

  5. Tiffany December 11, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    My Tennessee certification expired in March of 2013 but I am also certified in Alabama and I have been working there so am I still active in tennessee

  6. Jeff February 22, 2016 at 4:48 am #

    I am about to finish CNA training in KY. I live on the KY/TN state line. Can I get reciprocity without working in KY first? Or do you have to work in KY before applying for it?

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