There’s nothing worse than coming to the realization that your CNA license renewal is due and you’re not ready! Because most states require CNAs to renew their licenses every two years, it’s helpful to have a system in place that will help you keep track of everything you need. Here are some tips to ensure that when the time comes to renew, you’ll be ready with everything you need.
There are two ways to find out when your license is expiring. The first is to check your actual, printed license. If you don’t have access to your license for some reason, the information is also available online at your state’s nursing board or certification verification website. It’s good protocol to take care of your license renewal at least a month before it expires, although (procrastinators: LOOK AWAY!) you technically have until midnight of the expiration date to submit an online renewal. The renewal process itself typically takes 2-3 weeks to process.It’s a good idea to document the expiration date in your digital calendar, but many health agencies send reminder notices 90 days before it’s time to renew, so the date shouldn’t come as a shock--even if you’re not a good planner.
Stay Up-to-Date with Continuing Education and Work Requirements
Because every state differs slightly in their licensing requirements, do your due diligence to investigate what your state’s health office demands. Most states require at least some degree of continuing education, and while some of those hours may be completed online, some cannot. In California, for instance, you are required to complete a total of forty-eight continuing education units. Up to 24 of these units may be taken through an approved online training program, and you must take care to complete at least twelve of those units in your second year. You can see why some advance planning is necessary to renew your license with ease.Additionally, most states require you to have worked, over the past two years, a minimum number of hours weekly as a CNA. If you haven’t done this, you may need to retake your certification exam and reapply for licensure. Keep good records of continuous employment (such as pay stubs or contracts) to avoid any problems with this requirement.
Fill Out the Application
Once your continuing education hours and work requirements are met, you’re ready to fill out the application. Simply go to your state’s board of nursing or department of health website for access to the documents and forms you need. Usually, the application is rather short and straightforward. Check out this link to New York’s application to see an example.You’ll also need to pay the appropriate fees for renewal, and indicate that your record is clear of complaints of neglect or abuse.If you fail to renew your license by the expiration date, you will be subject to late fees, and the process will probably take longer.If your license has been expired for a long time, you will most likely need to apply for a new CNA license and retake the CNA certification exam. All the information can be found on your state’s nursing board website.We hope this gives you all the information you’ll need when it comes to licensing renewal. If you’d like more details about the initial process for becoming a CNA, check out our complete guide.