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How Do I Renew My CNA License If I Have Not Worked?

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OBRA ’87 has reformed nursing homes and regulated training of nursing assistants. It required states to establish a Nurse Aide Registry. CNAs are now required to test for certification.

Renewal becomes the CNA’s responsibility. The registry approves and monitors all training; designs certification competency tests; maintains and updates records of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of patient property; and periodically renews certification for CNAs.

The registry mails renewals within three months of expiration. However, if for any reason during the CNA’s career, a certification lapses, there are certain steps that he must take in order to renew the license.

Check the last valid license available to find out how long the license was expired. The easiest way to renew a license is through each state’s registry online system. The amount of time since renewal could make a difference depending on state regulations. If the original certification has become unavailable, contact employers to obtain a copy of the original license. CNAs can phone the state registry with any recertification questions.

Contact a local Nurse Aide Registry. The registry is the ultimate authority when it comes to certifications. Renewal forms arrive three months in advance of renewal to the address provided on the registry. It is important to update names and addresses. Information remains current, and CNAs are able to receive important documents sent by the registry. Certification renewal forms will not arrive unless the address at the registry is accurate.

Pay the recertification fee if there has not been a 24-month consecutive lapse in employment. A nursing assistant may renew certification by doing qualified work for as little as eight hours every two years. State registries can ascertain that the nursing assistant has or has not worked in the previous 24 months. Simply obtain a license renewal form at the Nurse Aide Registry website for each state. Complete all sections of the form, and submit the application for recertification to the Nurse Aide Registry.

Retake the certified nursing assistant training program if there has been a 24-month lapse in employment. Depending on specific state regulations, challenging the state exam may be an option. A challenge means that individuals who meet special criteria are not required to take the entire certified nurse assistant course and can take the final examination to become a CNA.


Patricia Voldberg has been writing health-related articles for eHow since 2009. She retains a current L.P.N. and counselor license, along with 20 years of experience in long-term-care nursing. Voldberg holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Regents University, with an English minor.