One of the main stressors in having a professional license is having to maintain it. This is true for nearly every nursing profession, including Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). The good news is that you only have to renew your CNA license once every two years in most states.
Continuing education credits, also called continuing education units (CEUs), will need to be completed every two years as well. While it takes some effort, keeping on top of your licensure and continuing education will help you reduce your professional stress, and more importantly, keep you employed.
When it’s time to renew your CNA license, follow these six steps:
- Review your state’s license renewal requirements: Check your local state board’s website to review CNA licensing requirements.
- Check CEU requirements: Does your state require CEUs, and if so, how many are required? It’s important to have these completed before you apply for renewal. Always check to be sure you’ve completed any “required topic” CEUs.
- Locate your previous certifications: Designate a place in your home to put your certificates and proof of completion for training courses. Nursing boards can ask you to prove that CEUs were done. A good rule of thumb is to hold onto any CEU certificates for five years. You don’t want to get fined or have your license put on hold if the regulatory board selects you for an audit.
- Select an approved CEU vendor: When choosing a CEU provider online to renew your CNA license, always take courses from a state board-approved vendor. Ensure the content is relevant to your scope of practice.
- Submit your application and pay renewal fees: Complete your renewal application and attach proof of CEUs if they are required in your state. You will also need to pay any applicable renewal fees for your state.
- Get fingerprinted (if required): If this is your initial application or you are transferring your license from another state (reciprocity), you will likely need to provide your fingerprints. Your state regulatory agency will have information on how to complete your fingerprints.
What If I Let My License Expire?
If you fail to renew your CNA license before the expiration date, you will likely be put on to a delinquent status and will not be able to practice until you finish the requirements and pay the renewal fees.
What If I Move to Another State?
If you need to transfer your license to another state, you will need to go to the new state’s regulatory agency and look for the transfer requirements.
For more information and to help find the regulatory agency in your state, visit the National Council Of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) nurse aide registry.
Ready to start working as a CNA? Download the Clipboard Health app to search for shifts in your area.