How To Get a CNA License

Medical, health care and allied fields are some such fields wherein the demand for working professionals would never end. These arenas are full of unending opportunities for young professionals and that is why, many high schools graduates are now stepping towards the same profession to start their career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

A certified nursing assistant is someone who assists senior nurses and doctors during various tasks in the hospitals and nursing homes.

The tasks of certified nursing aide include patient care, feeding the patients, helping them to bathe, changing their clothes and bed linens, keeping record of their health and medication regularly, reporting changes in patients’ health to doctors and intercommunicating between patients and doctors.

All these are vital and challenging jobs; and require high level of nursing knowledge, skills, dedication and the most important, certified nurse assistant certification.

Getting the CNA license is the last step of becoming a certified nursing aide. It signifies that the candidate is now eligible to work as a nursing assistant in any institution across the state. There are certain steps to obtain it:

  • Enrolling in a CNA training program (accredited)
  • Appearing for the CNA certification exam
  • Getting the certificate
  • Applying for the certified nurse assistant licensure
  • Getting the CNA license

Requirements for CNA License

  • One is considered for it, only after completing 18 years of age (after completing certification classes)
  • The licensure authority makes it mandatory to possess a high school diploma or an equivalent GED test certification before getting enrolled in certified nursing aide classes
  • One should attend the training program to the full and then appear for the state certification competency exam
  • One must pass both the written and clinical tests separately so as to become eligible for it
  • If the licensing authority demands some specific documents, then one must submit the same to the earliest
  • One should submit the official transcripts given by the respective school or college or university
  • One must submit the fingerprint card as a proof of clean background and record, as there are so many drug-abuse instances these days
  • One must submit the latest health check proof, as good health condition is one of the requirements for becoming a certified nurse aide
  • One must ensure not to be listed for any wrongdoing, in the records of local or state’s registry
  • One should possess sufficient proficiency in English so as to communicate well
  • One must be able to perform simple Math and statistics, as a nursing aide has to keep health records regularly

All of these pre-requisites are designed in such a way that, the patients’ relatives, doctors and the concerned organization is assured that the patient care is in safe hands.

They may differ from state to state, but are almost same everywhere. The students willing to become certified nursing assistants must be in touch with the local as well as the state’s nurse aide registry for regular updates.

Applying for license by correspondence is another way of opting for it. This facility is offered by many states under the reciprocity license. It only requires online registration and submission of a few documents. If one applies for it immediately after exam, then it is obtained within a month’s period.

Different Aspects of CNA License


It is not a permanent entity, but a temporary one. It has a fixed validity and activation period and this is why, it has to be renewed over a regular time interval. The renewal requirements vary from state to state, but usually the renewal time is in between 1 to 2 years.

The renewal process is a convenient one, but it has to be followed well before the expiry date approaches. Failing to renew it may cause serious complications regarding your nursing practice and skills. This leads to create troubles in the career of a nursing professional.


Verification is the process that checks out the exact status of your license. This status is in terms of ‘active’ or ‘inactive’.

An activated one signifies that the person is currently active in the nursing profession, while an inactivated one shows that the person is not working currently in the nursing profession.

Thus, one must be actively working as a nursing assistant in order to keep it active. Otherwise, the state registry declares it as inactive.


If a certified nursing aide needs to get transferred to another state for job or for any other reason, then the license has to be transferred from the previous state to the new one so as to continue working as a nursing professional anywhere in the new state. This process takes comparatively longer time.

Getting authorized is one thing, but along with that; a nursing professional must have certain skills like

Therefore, the CNA license is the proof of the individuals nursing talent and skills which are required while working as a nursing professional. Employers do consider the it as valid proof for appointing the candidates as certified nursing assistants.


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