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In order to keep your CNA license active, you must regularly renew it with your state's nursing board or licensing authority. Most states require that your CNA license be renewed every two years. In this article, we will look at what happens when you don't renew, requirements for renewal, and how to do it.
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Requirements for CNA License Renewal
As mentioned previously, most states require that you renew your license. When you receive your CNA license, you should see an expiration date on it. If you don't know your expiration date, you can go to your state nursing board website or certification verification website to look up your license and check the expiration date.
In order to get your license renewed before it expires, you will need to have worked continuously as a CNA for the mandated number of hours per week as required by the state. In addition, your record must be clear of complaints of abuse or neglect.
If you haven't been working as a CNA continuously, your license status may change to null and void. You will then be required to reapply for a new CNA license, pass a background check, and take the CNA certification exam again.
Some states also required a minimum number of hours of continued education. If you do not meet continued education requirements, you may be required to take the CNA certification exam again in order to demonstrate that your knowledge is still current.
If you do not pass the exam, you may be required to take another CNA program. To avoid this, check your state's continued education requirements and complete the minimum number of hours required prior to renewing your license.
What Happens When You Don't Renew Your CNA License
In most states, if you don't renew your CNA license before it expires, you may be required to pay a late / delinquency fee in order to renew it. If it has been expired for a long time, you will need to apply for a new CNA license and take the CNA certification exam again, regardless of continuous employment.
You will want to avoid letting your license expire, as it will take longer to get a new license than renew the old one. Plus, you will have to pay the application, background check, and examination fees again.
How to Renew Your CNA License
If your state offers online license renewal, you will be eligible to use it if you do not need to change the status of your license or information on your license (such as your name). In addition, your license must not be delinquent. An online license renewal will also require payment by credit or debit card.
If you do not meet the above criteria, plus any additional requirements for your state, you may need to contact your state's nursing board or licensing authority to discuss other renewal options. Renewals take approximately two to three weeks to process.
Once your CNA license has been renewed, be sure to update your calendar for the next expiration date. This way, you can stay on time with future renewals.
Keep Good Records
In order to maintain your CNA license, you will need to keep a record of your continued employment, such as contracts, paystubs, etc. Some states suggest keeping such records for a minimum period of four years (sometimes longer) in case a review of your employment status becomes necessary. It's especially important to keep employment records if a facility you once worked at closes or you lose contact with former supervisors who can confirm your employment history.