CNA A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who is licensed to provide basic medical care to individual patients. He or she works under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse. For anyone who is interested in working as one, obtaining and maintaining your certification only takes a few steps.

In order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Be legal. You must practice with a certification. To earn that, you must pass the CNA exam.
  2. Be registered. Every state has a CNA Registry. Review the nationwide state registry list.

With the completion of these requirements, you should then know the renewal requirement of your certification in order to maintain your practice.


To begin the process, you will first need to find out what the requirements are in the state where you work. Many states require that you renew your certification every two years. However, the time requirements vary from state to state.

In many states, if you exceed the allowable time period, you will then be required to pay penalties in order to become recertified. You should find out what the time period for recertification is once you initially become certified. Make plans to complete requirements well before you exceed this time frame.

But in most cases, the renewal process begins when you complete a request form and submit it to the CNA Registry in your state. Most states will send these forms to you about four months before your certification is due to expire.

If you move, it is important to notify your state’s CNA Registry of your new address because forms will be sent to this address. If you do not receive your form within three months before your certification is going to expire, contact the CNA Registry directly. In most states, the CNA Registry is part of the Department of Health, but if you are not sure how to contact the Registry, talk to your employer or school.

Requirements for Renewal

During the re-certification process, the CNA Registry will perform a routine background check. If you have been arrested, charged with, or convicted of any crime (felony or misdemeanor, but not traffic offenses), you are required to report this information to the CNA Registry.

When the background check is performed, any information about criminal acts that are found can jeopardize your re-certification process. If you have not had any legal difficulties, this is a quick process that you will not need to provide any information for.

Another part of the re-certification process is a verification of your continuing education or mandatory training requirements. If you have let your license lapse significantly, you may be required to complete additional training or continuing education hours in order to regain your certification.

For those with a certification that has not yet expired, you will need to provide the CNA Registry with proof that you have completed the mandatory educational hours required by your state. 

For most Certified Nursing Assistants, the re-certification process is nothing to worry about. It takes just a few minutes of paperwork to keep your certification current with your state. Completing the re-certification process as early as possible will ensure that you are able to continue working without any difficulties.