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Healthcare Industry Information: Does a CNA Certification Expire?

If you are thinking about becoming a CNA, you should know that you will need to regularly renew your certification, usually once every 24 months. A CNA license is valid for two years from its issue date. The requirements to renew your certification will usually include working for an employer in the nursing field for a specific amount of time and completing your continuing education courses.

These requirements from renewing your CNA certification will vary from one state to the next, so if you have recently moved to another state and what to restart your CNA career, you will need to learn more about the renewal requirements for your current state of residence.

In some states, you may renew your CNA certification if you have not worked at all throughout the 2-year period, but the process of renewing will often be more of a challenge. Since the requirements are not standard throughout the country, it is best to always get in touch with your state board for clarification if you are unsure about what you need to do to reinstate your CNA license.

What You Need to Do to Renew Your CNA Certification

nurse looking on a paper

Here are the basics on what you need to do to successfully renew your CNA Certification.

Check the Date

Take the Evaluation Test

Register for a Certification Class

How to Go Back to Your Job as a CNA After a Long Hiatus

nurse holding a paper

There are several reasons why a CNA may need to renew their license. They may have wanted to review their other choices for employment in the medical industry. They may have quit their job to take care of an ailing family member, or they may have decided to stop working while they worked on starting a family.

No matter what your reason may be for originally leaving your job as a certified nursing assistant, it can be difficult going back to work after a long hiatus. Whether you were able to easily renew your license or if you needed to go back and start over to get your certification once again, here are a few things that you can do to make your return to the work force much easier.

Take Care of Your Lapsed CNA Certification

The sooner that you can take care of your expired CNA certification, the better off you will be. If you know that your license is about to expire, you should do what you can to reinstate it, even if you aren’t sure about returning to work just yet.

If you have been on an extended hiatus it is possible that your CNA license has expired without you realizing it. It is common for CNAs to forget to renew their license the first time, so it really isn’t a big deal if you take care of it as soon as you can.

CNAs who are on an extended break and do not expect to return to work after 2 years have passed may not bother to renew their license on time. Many times, it is because they aren’t sure if they want to return to the same profession, and therefore they feel that they shouldn’t bother with paying for a renewal fee.

So, the first step in returning to your old job as a CNA is to get your lapsed license renewed.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you want to renew your lapsed CNA Certificate.

  • Work Requirement

The requirements to renew your CNA license will be different for each state. However, in most states, CNAs who would like to reinstate or renew their certificate will need to show that they have completed a minimum of 150 hours of work in the field within a 2-year period.

The 2-year period doesn’t always have to be the two years immediately before renewing your license. In some locations, you only must show that you have that the last tie you worked as a CNA, you worked for a minimum of at least 150 hours within that time.

  • Citizenship 

CNAs who are going back into their old profession are usually very surprised to find out that they need to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship to receive their new license. Obviously, this isn’t a major issue for most people who have proof readily available to show. But if you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you will need to prove that you are first, eligible to work in the United States, If there is any reason why getting your CNA certification renewed would be a problem for you, it would be in your best interest to speak to an attorney or another individual who could help you get your paperwork ready.

  • Criminal Background Check

It is very likely that whenever you go to apply for a new CNA job, your new employer will perform a background check on you. However, CNAs are also required to have a new background check any time that they renew or reinstate their CNA Certification. They are also responsible for paying for any fees that are associated with this check.

Sometimes you will be required to provide fingerprints during this background check, while other times it will be performed by using some of your personal information such as your address or social security number. Regardless, it is unlikely that you be able to get your certification back if you refuse to have the background check performed. If there is something that could cause an issue your background check, it would be best to get in touch with your state board to find out what you can do.

  • FEES

To renew your CNA license, you will have to pay a fee or two. There will always be renewal fees that you must pay whether your license has lapsed before the expiration date or if you are renewing it o time. The fee will vary from one state to another but is usually costs between $25 and $50. Some states may charge you an additional fee if you allowed your CNA certificate to lapse. So, you may end up paying more than your standard fee.

If you are eligible to renew your CNA license, you shouldn’t have to pay any additional fees aside from those mentioned. If you must retrain to get your license back, or if you need to retake the exam, you will have to pay for tuition and exam fees once again as well.

Retrain to Retake Your Exam

taking the exam

If for any reason you are unable to renew your CNA license, you will need to be retrained. This means that you will also have to take the CNA licensing exam once again. It can be very frustrating to redo everything you have already accomplished, but this is a process that you will have to follow if you are certain you want to return to the everyday duties of a certified nursing assistant.

Update Your Resume and Begin to Apply for a New CNA Job

Once you have your CNA license again, you will need to update your resume and start applying for jobs. This is the last step that you will need to overcome. Make sure that all your information on your CNA license is accurate, update all your work history and add in any new skills you have acquired during your hiatus.

Is It Worth Renewing Your CNA License?

It can be a complex ordeal to have your CNA certification renewed after you have taken a long hiatus from work. But for most people, returning to work as a certified nursing assistant is a simple task that doesn’t require much to restart your career. Usually, CNAs must renew their license, update their resume, and then start applying for jobs in their area. Even if you must take a few additional steps such as training again or taking your exam all over again, it still shouldn’t take you very long to get back to be a certified CNA.

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