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Washington State CNA License Requirements

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Washington state has specific requirements for those who want to become a CNA, more currently known as an NAC or Nurse Assistant – Certified. Washington requirements include training and testing through a state-approved provider and application with the Department of Health. To maintain the license, yearly renewals are required.


Applicants applying for to become a CNA, or NAC, must obtain a training certificate from the training facility prior to application for testing. The Washington Department of Heath requires training through a state-approved program, which must meet a minimum of 85 training hours. Enrollment in an LPN or RN program and those who completed military medic training also meet the training requirements. An additional seven hours of HIV/AIDS training, sometimes known as Bloodborne Pathogens Training, is also required and documentation must be provided.


Upon the completion of training, state-approved testing is required before application for a nurse assistant certified license. The testing is separate from the training program, although students will receive testing dates and information from the training facility upon completion of the required hours. Test results are sent directly to the Washington Department of Health. The application may be submitted to the department before it receives test results. Once the applicant is entered into the computer system, the test results will be applied to the application.


An application must be completed through the Washington State Department of Health after training and testing requirements are met. The fee for application is $30. During the application process, questions about physical and mental health, chemical dependency, previously denied or revoked licenses and prior felonies will be asked. Applicants are required to complete a Washington State Patrol background check. Out-of-state applicants and those with a criminal background are also required to submit fingerprints.


NAC licenses must be renewed yearly prior to the nurse assistant’s birthdate. No continuing education requirements are necessary for renewal. Renewal fees are $40. Late renewal is available for an additional fee when licenses are expired for less than one year. NACs with licenses expired for more than one year but less than two must complete a reactivation application. Expired licenses of two years or more require retraining and retesting.