CNA Certification in Virginia

You can obtain your nursing assistant certification in Virginia by completing a nursing assistant training program, passing the certification exam and applying to be placed on the nursing assistant registry.  You can also apply for reciprocity if you are a certified nursing assistant in another state.  Sometimes you can also become a nursing assistant if you have a nursing degree from an accredited learning institution.

Training Requirements and Hours

You will need to enroll in a nursing assistant program that meets all criteria and requirements set forth by the State Board of Nursing.  There are various programs that can be found throughout the state of Virginia.  Many programs are offered at nursing care facilities.  Other institutions of higher education also offer nursing assistant certification training.

You will need to attend a training program that covers at least 120 hours of training if you wish to become a certified nursing assistant in Virginia.  You will spend some time studying in a classroom setting.  Then, you will have some clinical training in a nursing care facility.  You will work directly with patients and be under the direction of a registered nurse.

It is necessary to schedule the nursing assistant competency exam after completing your course.  The exam will have a written and skills portion that you must pass before obtaining your certification.  All prospective nursing assistants must also pass a criminal record background check before receiving certification.

Transferring Your CNA Certification to Virginia via Reciprocity

You might be able to waive the training requirements in Virginia if you have a valid nursing assistant certification in another state. This can be accomplished through the process of reciprocity. Reciprocity is not guaranteed. You will need to apply to have your nursing assistant certification transferred to Virginia. You can receive the necessary application through the Board of Nursing in Virginia at:

In order to qualify for reciprocity in the state of Virginia you must have taken a state approved nurse aide training program and passed a state competency test. See the list of states that have exceptions/additional requirements on the instruction page of your endorsement application. You must also be listed as active and in good standing on your former states registry. Your application for reciprocity will be carefully reviewed to determine if your work and training history from your former state is enough to allow you to forego the training requirements in the state of Virginia. Individuals who graduated from a nursing program are also sometimes eligible to waive training requirements and to become certified as a nursing assistant.

Steps for Transfer:

  1. Obtain an application along with instructions at:
  2. You must have already completed a CNA training program in another state and passed the competency exam. You will need to still hold a current CNA certification in a state.
  3. It is not necessary to submit a fee for endorsement but be advised that the state where you hold a certification might require some type of fee to verify your nursing assistant certification.
  4. Answer all questions on the application truthfully and in their entirety.
  5. Have the verification form notarized that grants the state where you hold certification to release the details of your certification to the state of Virginia.
  6. If you have ever had any criminal convictions, provide a copy of the conviction documents as well as proof that you have completed all requirements of your conviction. You will also need to write a letter discussing the circumstances of your crime and to submit references from former non-medical employers.
  7. The application must be submitted to:

Commonwealth Of Virginia
Department Of Health Professions
Nurse Aide Registry
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, Virginia 23233

CNA Certification Renewal in Virginia

Do not forget that your nursing assistant certification will need to be renewed every twenty-four months. You will verify that you have performed nursing related duties during that time period. Forms will be mailed to you 60 days before your certification expiration date. You will need to complete the renewal form in its entirety and submit all requested documents along with the renewal fee to the address listed on the form. You are also able to renew online if you received an online renewal pin along with your renewal notice.

Helpful links: Free CNA training in Virginia and Accredited CNA classes in Virginia


Q: I took my CNA class and passed it in 2009.. Can i go take the stateboard now? I’ve  been doing homehealth for those years as well.. Can i still get a job as a CNA still?

A: You are required to take the state board exam within 2 years of completing the training classes and you have three tries within those 2 years. So, unless I have missed something, it would appear that your time has elapsed to take the certification exam. Depending on your state of residnece, you may be able to challange this rule since you have been working in the field without licensure since you completed the classes. Check with the state board of CNA in your state to see if this is possible. Good luck to you!

Q: I currently live in NC and I am getting ready to move to Virginia. I let my CNA certification run out in 09 and I would like to become a CNA once again in VA. I also have my Medication Aide Certification. What do I need to do in order to work in the state of VA with my Certifications? Also, since I am no longer a certified CNA in NC will my background be check in VA on the registry?

A: Since you have not worked as a nursing assistant in the last two years since your last renewal, your certification in NC is no longer valid. Since your NC CNA certification is no longer active, you cannot apply for endorsement in Virginia. You have two options available. The first option is to retake the CNA exam in NC and once again become certified. Then you can apply for endorsement in Virginia. Once your endorsement application is approved, you will obtain certification in Virginia without having to retake the nurse aide test in this state. The second option is to retrain and retest in Virginia. Once you complete your training, you can challenge the Virginia exam. If you decide to go with the first option and retest in NC you can contact them through Interactive Voice Response System to get a list of State Approved Test Sites at (678) 527-3010 (local) or (800) 414-4358.

20 Responses to CNA Certification in Virginia

  1. Glenda Hughey January 11, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    Trying to recieve an application for tranferring my cna certification to a Virginia certification.

  2. Cindy Flora May 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I am doing some research on Virginia CNA license renewal. I cannot seem to find anything regarding education requirements for renewal. (only proof of working as a CNA over the previous 2 years). Are they no longer required to have a certain number of educational hours for renewal in the state of VA?

    • Admin January 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      That is a federal requirement that applies to Virginia as well. You need to have at least 12 CEU hours if I’m not mistaken over 2 years. I’ll double check and update this thread when possible.

  3. deborah vincent September 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    i’am trying to get my cna license. i have a nurse aide certificate for about 10 years now. I want to to take the state boards. how do i go about getting that done?

    • Admin October 5, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      You only get two years after completing training within which to attempt the CNA certification exam. I’m afraid you will need to retake the training course and then do the exam.

  4. Shannon Kuykendall October 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    How can I transfer my CNA license from WVA to VA? What do I access online? Tried the site noted above, no longer in service.

    Thanks for any help that you may give. Need to do this ASAP.

  5. BA Sullivan January 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Where do we get the application to take the CNA test? I have not been able to find the application on line.

    • Admin January 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      You should be able to get them from the training center you got trained in. I’ll still try and look it up for you from the registry though and update this thread if I find it.

  6. Rochelle Hassel May 14, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Hi. my cna license expired in FL in 2009 i moved to Michigan and was working for agency until 2010. Now i live in Va. i was wondering would i have to do the training all
    over again to be certified in the state of VA ….your input will be kindly appreciated

    • Admin May 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

      Virginia only requires certification by endorsement. What this means is this: “In order to be eligible for endorsement, you must have: (1) taken a state-approved nurse aide education program and (2) passed a state competency test (in accordance with federal requirements which were promulgated following the 1987 OBRA legislation and which became effective in most states after July 1, 1989). Your certification must also be in good standing in all states with whom you have become certified and it must be current in AT LEAST one state in which you hold certification.If you do not have a certificate that is current, please contact the nurse aide registry office in the state in which you were most recently certified and employed as a nurse aide to determine whether your certification can be renewed/reinstated.”

      Since you also mentinoed Florida, here is some furher informatino that may be helpful. “–If you were certified South Carolina prior to October 1, 2002, or if your original state is Florida, please include a copy of the certificate of completion you received from your nurse aide education program. Registry offices in those states do not have this information available on their verification sites. Please note that not all of the education programs that are offered in Florida or in South Carolina prior to October 1, 2002, have been approved through the required regulatory office, and if you attended such a non-approved program, you will not be eligible for endorsement.”

      I do hope this was helpful information and I wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

  7. Roxana Bustamante May 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Hi I took a CNA training class In Colorado but because my husband got a new job I could not take the test to become certified. Will the training be accepted in order for me to take the test or do I have to take a new CNA class all over again. Thank you

  8. Latorie Lucy June 1, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    I received my CNA certification only at theage of 16. Due to me being underage, I wasnt able to get a job. I am now 18 and is struggling to find a job soon. I was recently informed that my certification runs up soon and I know I am required to have at least 8 hours of work. Is there anything I can do because it doesnt look like im going to have any luck finding a job anytime soon?

  9. Tonya C August 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    I was wondering if I recently recieved my CNA certification less than a week ago, can I transfer my liscense to VA. If that is possible how do I do it. Would I have to do the training all over again?

  10. Kelli October 30, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    I completed the can class in Virginia in June and it is now November but still the same year I’ve been working in a rehab center and was going to switch jobs but the employer said she believpes I can’t take the exam because its been over 120 days since I finished my course can I still take the state boards? I’m still in VA.

  11. Amy March 4, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    I am almost finished with my nursing program, however I had to drop out for a little while due to my mother having cancer. She passed away recently and I am ready to get back in it, but I remember in the early part of my nursing classes that they had said after we finished fundamentals and had our clinical hours in that we could sit for the CNA test. Is this true and what do I need?

  12. Melaney April 11, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    Hi I’m starting CNA course in June of this year and will complete in August. Planning to relocate to VA by December and would like to know how to transfer my certification. Is it a strenuous process? Will I need to begin taking application steps right after completing?

  13. cindy August 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    If i have a misdemeanor simple assault can I still become a cna?

  14. diana September 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    I took a cna course in high school over 35 years ago I never took the state board exam I have worked as an unlicensed cna for the same amount of time. Is there any way that my years of experience take the place of being retrained to the board exam

  15. uniqua wise April 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    I received my cna license in 2013 from a job corps in Marion va. they expired 2015 of June and I’ve been trying to get my pin number to renew them, I’ve even faxed a change of address but have to do it again because now I’m no longer in Marion or Maryland. I don’t know who I email or where to get help from. I just want my CNA license back.

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