CNA Recertification and Renewal of CNA Certificate

All the certified nursing assistants are required to renew their license once in every two years. The prerequisites for certification renewal may vary from one state to another. In case, the CNA does not attain renewal before the last day of certificate’s validity period, the certificate gets expired. In such a situation, he will have to get recertified to be able to practice as a CNA again.

Recertification is required in one of the following situations:

  • If the certificate gets expired because it wasn’t renewed in time;
  • If the CNA fails to fulfill the prerequisites of certificate renewal, outlined by the Nurse Aide Registry of the state (discussed in the upcoming section);
  • In case, the nurse aide wants to work in a state other than the state, in which he has originally gained the CNA certification from and the target state does not have any reciprocity arrangements with your state or if you fail to meet the CNA licensure prerequisites of the target state.

Prerequisites for Renewal of CNA Certificate

The requirements of CNA certificate renewal may vary from one state to another and can be changed in due course of time. It would be best if the candidate contacts the Nurse Aide Registry of his state and gets the accurate and up-to-date information about these prerequisites. General requirements for renewal of CNA license are outlined below:

  • The certified nursing assistant must have worked for at least 150 hours at a healthcare facility. The required number of working hours is different for different states.
  • The CNA shouldn’t have any felony charges against him. In case he does, a proper declaration of the felony convictions is required to be submitted. If he fails to inform the board about such charges, he will immediately be expelled from the state’s nurse aide registry (if any undeclared felony charges are found during background check).
  • Some states may also require a CNA to undergo specific number of hours of continuing education in every two years.

NOTE: – If the CNA fails to complete the number of working hours necessary for renewal, his certification is considered as inactive. In case, he does not get his license renewed on time, or lets it lapse significantly, the license is considered as an expired one. Some states consider expired certificate and inactive certificate as same thing.

Process of Certification Renewal

If the CNA fulfills above mentioned requirements, he can apply for a CNA license renewal before his certificate expiry. For this, he will be required to get the Nurse Aide Registry Renewal Form and submit the filled form to the Nurse Aide Registry of his state.

The first section of the renewal form asks for your personal information, and the next section asks you to fill in your employment details. It would be better if your current employer (or any other employer from past 2 years) fills out the form for you. Sign and mention the date on the application and send it to the mailing address of your state’s nurse aide registry. The state also asks you to produce documents, which prove that you have completed the required number of continuing education hours or working hours. Your CNA license will be renewed within three to four weeks, after you have dropped the certificate renewal application.

Process of Recertification

If a certified nursing assistant does not get the CNA certificate, renewed in time (which leads to its expiration) or if he fails to fulfill the certificate renewal prerequisites, he will be required to get a recertification. In such a situation, the below mentioned things can happen:

  • The CNA will have to get enrolled in the state-approved CNA class once again. After going through the CNA training, he will be required to clear the certification examination too. This leads to wastage of both time (6 to 7 months) and money (CNA training + Examination fees). So, it would be better if he strives to fulfill the renewal criterions and apply for certificate renewal on time.
  • He will be required to clear the CNA examination again. The examination fee will have to be submitted by him again. Whatsoever, this situation is a little less painful than the previous one. One can simply brush up his CNA syllabus and get past the examination.

Some states follow the first way of recertification and some follow the second one.

Some Warnings and Tips

  • If you are required to reappear for the CNA exam, simply go through the sample state CNA tests. This is the best way to brush up your knowledge and skills.
  • If you already know that you won’t be allowed for a license renewal because you do not satisfy the prerequisites, do not apply for it. Wait until you fulfill all the requirements of renewal.

CNA Guide by States

CNA eBook