Nurse Aide Certification Renewal FAQs

CNA Certification

The certification period for all Certified Nursing Assistants only lasts two years, and every nurse aide must renew their certificate in order to continue working. The renewal process is different between states, but most have the same underlying expectations of CNAs. There are many good reasons for having to renew your certificate besides remaining employed. Refreshing your memory, sharpening your technical skills, or developing your professional abilities can add more layers of value to the work you do as a nurse aide. Renewal is mandatory, but the requirement is a convenient excuse to take more classes and further invest in your education.

Why Renew?

The reason for expiring certificates is to make sure that all nurse aides continue to perform their duties with a high level of professionalism and skill. The basic renewal requirement in every state is that the CNA has been employed for compensation, with at least 8 hours worked over their two-year certification period. This is a very easy criterion to meet for most nurse aides, whether employed part-time or full-time.  Some states are not satisfied with basic employment, and require that every CNA complete several credit hours of continued education. These credit hours can be gained at a number of institutions, including community colleges, technical schools, nursing programs, or community centers like the American Red Cross. Classes are widely available in a number of formats, and some online courses can be completed for renewal credit. Using these classes as an opportunity to study something that interests you or something that can improve your professional value will be the best way to capitalize on your time. With more education and a wider range of expertise, it is possible to make more money as a nurse aide.

When do I Renew?

The two-year certification period begins the day that your certification is completed. The board of nursing in your state is responsible for maintaining all administrative records and will send a reminder several months before the date of expiration. The exact time of reminder varies between states, but generally all states give advanced warning of at least one month. Checking your status on the Nurse Aide Registry will also be informative.

How do I Renew? 

            The process varies between states. Some require that renewal be completed by mail-in form and others require nurse aides to complete the process online. The most important part of renewal is continued employment, so keeping in close contact with your employer will make the process less stressful. Your boss can provide you with important details on their employer code and administrative details to help the state identify and verify your place of employment. The best places to find answers on your state’s specific requirements are on the Nurse Aide Registry and at the state board of nursing.

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