In order to work as a certified nursing assistant (CAN), you don’t only need the education-you also need the CNA Certification. The certification process is a two part exam which tests you both on your textbook education with a multiple choice exam and on practical applications of your knowledge by testing you in a real world setting. Even when you pass this exam, your work is still not done because you have to be able to renew your certified assistance license on a regular basis in order to keep it. How do you renew a certified nursing assistance license?
Each state or province is going to have slightly different requirements (At the very least that you are certified to work in that state or province), but there are some overall requirements to keep in mind. First, you must have been working as certified nursing assistant for about 24 months in order to qualify for renewal. If you haven’t been working for over two years, you’ll have to take the exam again.
Assuming you’ve been working for two years, you will have to complete a form set out by the Nurses’ Aid Registry. This form will ask you detail the work you have done and other educational tools you have added to your repertoire. Many states require you to do a certain amount of additional education a year (usually just a class or two) in order to keep your license, so detail this in the form. Your current or a past employer will have to sign off on it and then the package is sent for processing which takes around two weeks.
It’s very important not to let your certification lapse. Not only will you likely have to take the exam again in order to prove that you are still knowledgeable on correct CNA practices in the workplace (especially the more obscure ones), but workplaces will want an updated certificate from new hires and letting yours lapse may ruin your job search. It’s really not hard to renew your certification and should be done every two years in order to stay on top of things.
In order to renew your certification in Canada, you will have to go through the Canadian Nursing Association and check what steps you need to take.
In the United States, you will have to contact your state health board for renewal information.
Very often, you will be sent a package well before your license expires with all the information you need to renew it and you can use this information to get things like exam times (if necessary) and the forms you need filled out in order to prove that you have been working well as a nursing assistant. Renewing your certified nursing assistance license may be a bit of a nuisance, but it’s important if you want to keep working in this field.