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Being a certified nurse assistant fills you up with a sense of dignity and pride. This noble profession is thriving rapidly and assures you a brighter future. But before you enter into this career, you first need to obtain a CNA certification. For every nurse, certification is the stepping-stone for accomplishing his/her career goal. It makes a huge difference by formally acknowledging their talent.  Each state in the USA conducts training programs to prepare the aspirants for the CNA certification examination.

CNA Certification Requirements

Prerequisites for certification vary from state to state which comprise minimum age of a candidate, training hours, educational aspect and many more. The below mentioned are some common requisites which aspirants are supposed to fulfill prior applying for the certification.

  • Proficiency in the English is a must for interacting with the patients.
  • The minimum age of the candidate should be 18 years or above.
  • Completion of high school education is mandatory.
  • Licensing agency requires the fingerprints and background check of the applicant. So submit them at the time of application.
  • Practical and theoretical training must be completed from an affiliated institute.
  • It is mandatory for every aspirant to clear the licensing examination conducted by the respective state.
  • Send the completely filled and notarized application form to the State Licensing Office.
  • Submit the Verification of Training form to confirm that the school from where you have undertaken training is accredited.
  • Pay the required licensing fees which differ from state to state.

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What is the procedure to get a nurse aide license?

In order to earn a certified nursing assistant license, you are required to follow the below mentioned steps:

Step 1 - Nursing aide registry licensing authority provides you an application form for your respective state. You have to fill up this form, attach the current attested photographs, notarize it and end up with your signature. Check all the details and post it to the State Licensing Office’s local division. For registration charges, affix a demand draft with form.

Step 2 - For assuring the credibility of your training program, licensing authority will give you a Verification of Training form. You need to send this form to your training school, which will send it further to the nurse aide registry after filling the requisite details.

Step 3 - The local Department of Public Safety will ask for a criminal background and medical check.  Besides, fingerprint cards must be filled. Submit all the documents to the department.

Step 4 - Your application for licensing should be approved by the local board of nursing. Their approval makes you qualified for the certification.

Step 5 - Sometimes, in case, if you insist for an urgent certification, you are sanctioned a temporary license only when you provide fingerprint cards and processing fee (which may range from $300- $600). These figures may change according to the state. In order to speed up your licensing process, you may get an endorsement application.

Step 6 - The whole procedure of licensing may take 30 to 60 days, and applications are processed according to their arrival dates.

Through an official letter or email, the State Board of Nursing will notify you about your application status. However, aspirants are not allowed to call the nursing board.

The different states of USA set their own certification rules and norms. Hence, the licensing requirements, working requisites and fees can be changed according to the state’s regulation.

Benefits of Obtaining a CNA Certification

  • Certification is an evidence of your capabilities that you can handle the responsibilities associated with the job efficiently.
  • Nursing assistant license brings forth several job opportunities.
  • Employers prefer certified candidates over non-certified ones.
  • If you hold certification, you can enjoy high salary packages.
  • A license brings you respect, professional credibility and recognition.
  • It boosts up your confidence.
  • It confirms the patients’ family members that the patient is in safe hands and will receive intricate care and vigilance.

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How to transfer a CNA license to some other state?

After finishing the CNA training program and earning the certification, a candidate becomes ready to carry out his/her work. But, if s/he does not find an appropriate job in his/her own state and wish to explore advance nursing opportunities, then the aspirant will have to switch to some other state. However, every state entails a candidate to own a license of that particular state before start working there. For this, you need to transfer your certification officially to the other state. It is a long process which should be followed by every nurse who relocates.

First of all contact the nurse aide registry of your state and ask for “Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity”. Except a few states, all the other states of the USA encompass reciprocity agreements and admit the certificates from other states. In this situation, nurses are not required to take the state licensure examination again. On the other hand, if the states do not have transfer agreements, then you have to retake the training and qualify the nurse aide exam for the state.

Apart from the application fees, you need to submit a background check, educational proofs, driver’s license, social security number, current CNA certificate, and employment details to your new state registry. Send copies instead of original documents. However, these transfer requirements may vary from state to state.

CNA Certification Renewal

Generally, the CNA license remains applicable for two years and expires after this duration. However, some states require you to renew it annually. Candidates are informed about the expiration date by the nursing aide registry of the state through a reminder mail. Since some states have continuing education requisites to get the certificate renewed, therefore, check with your local certification authority. The renewal fees also differ from state to state. If you fail to renew the certificate on time, you will have to pay late renewal penalty fee.

Online Renewal

If you are not able to go to the office in-person for renewing the certificate, an online renewal facility is also available for you. The fees can be paid via a secure online payment system.

CNA Certification Verification/ CNA License Status Check

Certified nurse assistants can verify the status of their certificate online by simply visiting the official CNA registry website of the state and visiting the “CNA Certification Verification” page. You need to fill up the personal information and other required data. The page will automatically display your details and the status of your license. Besides, every state provides a toll-free number to help candidates get their current licensure status.

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CNA Recertification/ Reinstatement of a Lapsed CNA License

If you want to reinstate your lapsed CNA certificate, you should go to the licensing authority of your state.  This licensing body will ask you for an application attached with a document that confirms the successful completion of your CNA training or you may need to give re-examination for the same. All the formalities which were done earlier for the licensing might be required again to get recertified. Fees, background check and other requirements depend on your respective state.

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