CNA License Expiration and Transfers

A senior caregiver writes to us, "My CNA license has expired. Do I need to take a refresher class?" Another asks, "If I move to another state after completing school, will I have to retake my exams?”

Our Home Care Expert, Lewis Myers responds, “The answer to this question varies state by state. Generally , the CNA should never let their license expire. In the state of Maryland, the CNA would need to re-take the course and become re-licensed.”

If you need to renew your Certified Nursing Assistant license, or if you are looking to transfer your license to another state, Caregiverlist has put together information about Certified Nursing Aide (C.N.A.) License and Certification Transfer, but here’s a brief overview:

As a CNA, you are a medical professional. Therefore, your license must be up-to-date in order to practice. First, check your CNA Registry Status from the state in which you live.

Get to know your state’s Board of Nursing. You will want to obtain your state’s CNA application form. Each state has different requirements for renewing your CNA license. If it’s been a long time since you’ve worked, you may need to retake your CNA training. Take a Certified Nursing Aide sample test to make sure you are ready.

If your license is active and you are in good standing, once again contact your state’s Board of Nursing to see if the state to which your are moving has a “Reciprocity Agreement” with your current state. Many do. This would allow you to transfer your license without retaking the exam. You will still need to supply:

    •    social security number
    •    driver’s license
    •    present C.N.A or C.H.H.A. state approval
    •    most recent employment details
    •    educational proofs
    •    background check


If the states do not have reciprocity agreements, then you will have to take your destination state’s licensing practical and theoretical exam. Get in touch with your new state’s Nursing Aide Registry to get the most up-to-date information.

Being a CNA is a great career move. The need for qualified CNAs is on the rise nationally, as you can see by our Senior Care Employment Infographic. Make sure you can move to where the work is by following all the steps necessary to transfer your CNA license to make the most of the senior caregiver employment landscape.

Comments (1) -

  • Marlene Cornett

    5/26/2013 10:37:26 AM | Reply

    Please inform me but a cna is certified from a school or other, stna is when you would need to keep up a license with the state, i have been a cna for 13 years and do not have a license with the state, i live in Ohio, would my certification be valid in Kentucky? Thank you

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