This brief CNA license renewal guide takes a quick look at what the CNA license is, and how you go about renewing it.
What Is A CNA License?
Once you have completed a certified nursing assistant training course and passed the certification exam, you must apply for a state license before you can work as a CNA.
CNA License Renewal
Once you have your CNA license and are actively working as a certified nursing assistant, you will be required to renew your license on a regular basis. For most states, this is every two years.
How To Find Your CNA Renewal Date
When you get your initial license it should have an expiration or license renewal date on it. If it doesn’t, you should be able to check the date on your state’s nursing verification board’s website.
Requirements For Renewing CNA Licenses
In order to be able to renew your license you will need to have worked continuously as a paid CNA for a certain time period within the previous two years. The requirements for this vary from state to state and you can find more information on your state’s nursing verification board’s website. As an example, the requirement for California is that you’ve worked as a CNA for pay for at least one day, under the supervision of a licensed health professional, in the 24 month period prior to your license expiration date. You can view the full California CNA license renewal requirements here.
In addition to the requirement to have worked as a paid CNA for a period, you will also have to have a clean record. You will not be able to renew your license if you have any complaints about abuse or neglect on your record.
If you don’t meet the requirements for renewal, your license will become null and void and you will have to apply for a new CNA license, pass a background check and pass the certification exam again.
In some states you also need to complete a minimum number of hours of in-service training, also known as continuing education units or CEUs. Using California as an example again, the requirement there is for 48 hours of CEUs. If you don’t meet the in-service training requirement you may need to retake the certification exam to show that your knowledge is up to date. If you fail the exam you may need to take another certification training program. Therefore it’s important that you are fully aware of your state’s requirements and make sure you satisfy them before your license expiration date.
What If You Don’t Renew?
If you don’t renew your CNA license in time you may have to pay a delinquency fee to be able to renew it. If it has been expired for too long (the specific length of time varies from state to state) then you will need to reapply for your license and retake the certification exam.
How To Renew CNA Licenses
Most states now offer the option to renew CNA licenses online if you don’t need to change the license status and you have a debit or credit card to pay the renewal fee. If you need to change the license status or pay by cashier checks or money order, or if your license is delinquent, then you will usually need to renew by mail.
The CNA license renewal process usually takes about two to three weeks to complete.