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Congratulations! The fact that you are reading this probably means that you have either received your certification as a Nursing Assistant, or that you are in the process of getting your certification as a CNA. What an exciting career you are entering! There is a great need for good CNA’s across our country, and this need will continue to rise. The geriatric population is growing, and will continue to grow in the upcoming years. The result of this growing population means that there is a projected increase in Nursing Home needs nationwide. Many experts expect there to be a large rise in the number of new nursing homes being built over the next five years. As such, there is, and will continue to be, a need for CNA’s to provide daily care for Nursing home residents.

Once you have completed all the requirements for receiving your CNA certification, it is important to keep in mind that most states require CNA license renewal on a yearly basis. Typically the State Nursing board will inform you of the procedures for doing this when you receive your initial CNA certification. Some states have different requirements such as a specific number of hours you will have needed to work in a year in order to renew your CNA license. Some states require continuing education. Most states simply require you to send in a small fee for CNA license renewal on a yearly basis. Below are some common questions that CNA certification holders have about the license renewal process.

CNA Certification License Renewal Process

You can assume that from that your certification needs to be renewed each year around the same time that you initially received your CNA license. State Nursing Boards also send out notification of the need to renew on a yearly basis. Since this reminder is what many CNA’s rely upon to remember to renew, it is vital that you keep a current address on file with the State Nursing Board. Usually you will receive notification that you need to renew approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of your certification.  Make sure you renew in a timely manner to ensure that your certification does not lapse.

What happens if my CNA certification license renewal lapses?

This is different from state to state. Some states would require you to fulfill some further classes, other states simply expire the CNA license permanently. Often your CNA certification can be reactivated by taking a similar CNA exam to the one you needed to pass for the initial certification. Many states require another background check in order to reactivate a certification that has expired.  Check with your State Nursing Board about their policies. Most importantly, make on time CNA license renewal a priority as your  job depends on your certification being valid and current.

Is there a fee to renew my CNA license?

The short answer is yes there is. Again, this varies from state to state, check with your State Nursing Board to find out what this fee is. Usually it is much less than the initial fee required when you send in your application to acquire your certification in the beginning. Often the fee is the only requirement for CNA license renewal.

Are there other prerequisites to renewing my CNA certification?

Again, this depends on the state in which you live. For example, Alaska requires you to prove that you have worked a minimum of 160 hours in a CNA capacity in order to renew your license. Therefore, if you are not actually working as a CNA, but have certification, your license can expire simply because you are not using it. Check with your state to find out if there are any prerequisites for CNA license renewal.

Where do I renew my CNA license?

There are usually several ways within your state to renew your certification as a CNA. Typically you can renew it in person at the Nursing Board Office. Some CNA’s prefer this option because they are sure that it has been done timely and properly. Most states have the option of renewing on line. Almost half of all CNA’s renew their certification on line yearly. Some states allow you to renew your application by mail as well. When you get your initial certification you will be informed about the renewal process and options.

Does every state require yearly CNA certification renewal?

Actually no, some states require renewal every 2 years, such as California. Just as with any component of the CNA process, each state has their own set of requirements. Check with your local Nursing Board to ensure that you are aware of all the requirements of CNA certification and license renewal for your state.

My state requires CEU’s, what are CEU’s?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. Some states require that you complete a certain number of credit hours of education to renew your CNA license. Typically, these are not difficult or long courses, but are in place to keep you up to date on CNA training. Just as with any profession, things change from year to year, job requirements evolve and medical procedures are improved. It is important for CNA’s, as with any medical employee, to stay up to date on the most current procedures and processes in order to give the best possible care to patients. This is why many states require CEU’s, to make sure CNA’s across the state are up to date in all the newest information needed to fulfill requirements of the position.

What if I misplace my CNA certification?

Check with your local Nursing Board Office, typically they can give you a duplicate. Often, they will charge a small fee for this duplicate license.

In short, it is important to know when your CNA certificate expires. Look for the CNA license renewal notification in the mail. Always remember to update your address and information with the local nursing board to ensure that they have current information on file for you. Check to see if the renewal in your state is yearly, or every two years. Check to see if your state requires a minimum number of hours worked within the year in order to renew your CNA certification. Take any required number of CEU hours to keep up to date on new CNA training and information. Keep in mind that there will be a fee to submit each time you need to renew your CNA certification. Pay the application fee in the office, through the mail, or online in order to renew your certificate. If you have any questions or concerns specific to your state or your renewal situation it is important to check with the Nursing Board in your particular state. It is extremely common for CNA certification requirements and procedures to differ from state to state. If you have worked in another state don’t assume that the process is the same, and always verify to prevent a relapse of your CNA license certificate.

Even if your state does not require CEU’s it is always a good idea to get continuing education units. This way, job providers can see that you are keeping yourself up to date on procedures. Also, you are ensuring that your patients are getting the most up to date informed care. This is the most important reason to stay up to date on CNA training and education.