What You Need to Know About Requirements for a CNA License

Certification or licensing is an important factor for your employment as a certified nursing assistant. CNAs, as the name suggests, should be duly certified by the state in order to be recognized by the law to work as nursing assistants. However, some states allow unlicensed CNAs to work, but eventually and especially for career advancement, licensing is deemed to be a necessity. What are the requirements for CNA license? There are two options that are discussed as follows.

CNA Certification by Endorsement Requirements

Certification by endorsement means that you are already a licensed can from another state, but you wish to transfer your license to another state. In more technical terms, this is certification by reciprocity. This is especially helpful if you, a CNA, is moving to another residence or perhaps looking for greener pastures.

Certification by endorsement for CNAs have the following basic requirements:

  1. Completed application form and proof of payment of fees
  2. Proof of citizenship (e.g., birth certificate, driver's license, etc.)
  3. Copy of your current and active CNA license from previous state
  4. Copy of certificate of successful completion of state-approved CNA training program
  5. Endorsement form from the state where you acquired your current license
  6. Criminal background check

For the fees, it depends on the state that you are interested on transferring. To give you a rough estimate, some states require a minimum fee of $50, but this may not include the fees for the criminal background check.

CNA Certification by Examination Requirements

Certification by examination means that you are, in most cases, a fresh graduate from a CNA training program and that you will have to take an examination to earn your certificate. You will need to take the examination within a year from graduating, otherwise, you will need proof that you have acquired a minimum number of hours spent as an employed CNA in a medical facility.

Certification by examination for CNAs need to comply with the following requirements in order to qualify:

  1. Completed application form and proof of payment of fees
  2. Proof of citizenship
  3. Copy of certificate of successful completion of state-approved CNA training program
  4. Proof of passing grade from clinical and knowledge test
  5. Criminal background check

The usual fees for examination is around $50, more or less. Accepted payment methods are through money order, cashier's (or personal) checks, and major credit or debit cards. In some states, the payment is optional, though you need to pay for the criminal background check.

Clinical and Knowledge Pretest

The clinical and knowledge test is a pretest that, as the context suggests, you need to take before taking the actual certification exam. It is a short exam encompassing the gist of the actual exam. You must have at least a passing score of 70% in order to qualify.

CNA certification is a critical process for your career stability. You will need to check your respective board of nursing for a more detailed information regarding the requirements. However, those stated above are the essential ones.

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