CNA License Questions and Answers

Those who have successfully qualified to be a Certified Nursing Assistant will have had to pass a rigorous test and a study course that takes at least 200 hours to complete. But to practice as a CNA it’s necessary to have a license. If a license isn’t obtained, then they are operating illegally. However, obtaining and renewing a license is not a difficult process and can be done with the greatest of ease whenever needed.

What is the Certified Nursing Assistant Registry ?

The certified nursing assistant registry, which is available from each of the United States, affords both CNAs and their employers a measure of peace of mind. Unlike some employees who provide care for older Americans and those in need of medication management, there are required curriculum’s and other needs that CNAs must accomplish prior to being certified.
So, what benefits does the registry offer? There are several, but chief among them are the higher credibility for both providers and job seekers, the ability to show a clean working record, and the fact that the process is reasonably transparent.

  • Transparency
    Various state agencies monitor the certified nursing assistant registry for each of their locales. If any complaints or other issues have been raised against a provider, it’s listed on a website after it has been investigated. For family members of aging relatives or those who may need additional care, this provides peace of mind in knowing that their CNAs have been properly vetted.  Individual states provide these lists to anyone who makes a call or visits the website.
  • Higher Credibility
    The additional training that certified nursing assistants receive is borne out by the fact that they have to be certified by the state in which they want to work. This additional exam, if passed, gains them a listing on the certified nursing assistant registry for that state. Since the curriculum is standardized, prospective employers and clients know exactly what minimum skills the CNAs possess. This enables quicker job application process because employers don’t have to check references for the certification. It, also, demonstrates the extra time placed on training and ability to do more work.
  • A Clean Working Record
    It can be difficult to get a good reference from prior employers, even as a certified nursing assistant. But a clean working record is critical to working with less mobile populations, especially in the more lucrative fields like certified nurse assisting. The higher wages are guaranteed for those with good records who can demonstrate experience, and this can mean several more dollars per hour compared to home health aides.

To be more clear, that’s roughly several thousand dollars per year, and the knowledge that employers can guarantee that you’ve been certified, makes the registry a great resource for prospective CNAs.

How Many Years is My CNA License Valid for?

Those who possess their CNA licenses are expected to renew their licenses at least once every two years. Again, different states may have different regulations and rules, though.

How Can I Re-Certify My CNA License?

Firstly, in order to re-certify a license it’s a legal requirement that the license holder must have worked as a CNA at least once in the last 24 months. If not, then they will have to sit the test once again. Assuming the holder fulfills that requirement then they must follow the following steps to re-certify their license:

1. The Nurse’s Aide Registry Renewal Form must be obtained and all personal information should be written down.
2. Get an employer from the past 24 months to fill out the second part of this form.
3. Sign and date the application only after the employer has completed the form. Then send it away to the relevant place for a specific state. The necessary location can be found on an individual state’s board of nursing website.
4. It should take about two weeks for the renewal to be completed, and some states allow people to monitor the progress of their renewal application online.

How to Check the Status of Your CNA License?

This is simple as all it takes is a quick call to the Nurse Aide Registry for the relevant state. Then it’s just a matter of asking about the status of one’s license. However, it’s also possible to just go to the website and check the status of one’s license on there; although not all states have this facility.

How Can I Renew an Expired CNA License?

It gets quite complicated for those who have expired licenses as each state has different procedures. However, the first step is easy as it’s just a matter of contacting a specific state’s licensing board. After this it depends on the rules of the state and how long the license has been expired for. If a license has been expired for quite a while then the individual may be forced to retake all of their exams once again, as well as paying a pretty substantial sum to act as a fine.

In most states nurse aides must renew their certification every two years. Without re-certification an aide will no longer be able to work in a nursing home or as an aide. For CNA’s that work in a nursing home, the employer usually covers the renewal cost. Aides that are not employed must pay for their own re-certification unless their former employer has a clause in their employment contract that states they will cover the first renewal for an aide that was trained in their facility.

When you first work toward becoming a nurse aide you will complete training according to the regulations of your state. Some states require college courses which can take four or more months. Other states have a shorter training period, especially if an employer is providing the training. Almost every state has colleges that offer certified nurse aide or assistant courses. After finishing these courses you will be required to take an exam. The exam is broken into two parts a written and a hands on portion. To gain certification you must pass both portions.

Your certification will be issued by the state. Your name will be placed on the certified nurse aide registry in your state as soon as your results are recorded and submitted. If your employer has provided training they will also pay for your certification. If you attended classes through other means you will be responsible for the payment which is due when you arrive at the testing center.

When you need to re-certify things are a little different. You will receive notification from the state before you need to renew your license. You will also receive information on where you can go to pay for the re-certification. You can choose to pay the fee online in many states in order to avoid late fees.

If your employer paid for your training and certification your renewal notification will be sent to that employer in most states. If you receive the notification you should take it to your employer. Nurse aides that work for nursing homes are not responsible for paying their certification fees unless they are between jobs.

It is important to keep your certification up to date. If you do not then you can receive fines or worse. It is against the law to work in any state as a certified nurse aide without certification or with a lapsed certification.

How Much Does It Cost to Re-Certify My License?

This will, of course, depend entirely on the state in question, but these days it should cost between $120 and $150 on average to go through the process of re-certifying a license. But it costs even less if this process is done online through the board of nursing website for a specific state.

Do I Get My CNA License Number Online?

Yes, a CNA number can usually be found online. This is just a case of accessing the CNA registry for a certain state, entering the required personal information into the website, submitting the data, and then receiving the license number.

How Do I Renew My CNA License Online?

The main benefit of renewing online is that most states provide a dramatic discount on the price of renewing a license, which is because they don’t have to deal with paperwork and the storing of said paperwork.

Renewing a CNA license online is just a matter of going to the website of the specific state’s board of nursing and then following the instructions presented there. Most websites have easy-to-follow instructions and simple guidelines for submitting their applications online. As of this writing, nearly every state has facilities for submitting applications for renewals online.

Losing Your CNA License

After working hard in CNA training programs, you do not want to lose your certification. Many CNA programs are $10,000 or more for the full college education, training, and job placement. With this type of investment, you should take care not to lose your certification or to have it revoked. If you lose the certification card your state registry of nurses should have a copy for you to obtain. However, if your certification is revoked you will no longer be able to work as a CNA.

There are certain issues that can cause your certification to be revoked:

Failure to follow HIPPA regulations could get your certification canceled. HIPPA is a privacy act that could mean you have let private information slip out. The least amount of damage from this would be job loss; however, depending on the case you could also lose your certification.

Any breaking of health regulations can be cause for job termination and loss of certification. The state and federal government take CNAs positions very seriously because they must offer a standard of care. Breaking the standards of care, if you are proven at fault, can lead to revocation.

Elderly or patient abuse will result in a loss of certification. At any time you are a subject of a criminal or civil case your certification will be called into question, and most likely terminated.

If you lie on your entry form to become a CNA it can result in a termination of your certification. For instance, if you have a criminal record and lie about it this could result in a loss of certification.

Each state is different, but in general, if you have or become convicted of a crime you will lose certification- even if it is something like a DUI.

A lapse in employment as a CNA can lead to a loss of certification. If you have been unemployed in this industry for more than five years the state or employment you seek may require you to obtain a new certification. The good news is if you retake the exam and pass you can be recertified. Most lapses in work do not require you to retake the entire certified nurse assistant program again. Your state can tell you how long you can be away from work as a CNA before needing to retake the exam.

What Can I Do If I Lose My CNA License?

If a CNA license has been lost but the number is needed for an employer then this can usually be found online, as outlined above. However, if the license is forcibly taken away then that will depend entirely on the state and the reason for losing it. It’s best to contact the individual state’s board of nursing for more information on individual circumstances.