CNA Requirements

CNA Defined

A certified nurse assistant (CNA) or known in many locations as a nurse aide, provides assistance to the licensed vocational (practical) or registered nurse on duty. A CNA will find employment in an array of healthcare facilities.

CNA Requirements

Each state has their own requirements to becoming a certified nurse assistant. Training hours must be met in each state in order to register for certification.
Breakdown by Hours
All but fourteen states require less than 120 hours of training. These hours also include clinical experience.
•    Alaska
•    Arizona
•    California
•    Florida
•    Idaho
•    Indiana
•    Maine
•    Maryland
•    Michigan
•    Missouri
•    Oregon
•    Virginia
•    West Virginia
•    Wisconsin
A minimum age requirement must be met in every state. Most states require that the applicant to a CNA program be at least 18 and have a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED).

CNA Continuing Education

Continuing education is a great way to expand a knowledge base. Every state has their own requirement in which continuing education, is handled. There are typically three different types of requirements for continuing education for a CNA. They are: in-service education, continuing education, and minimum hours worked. In-service education is offered by hospitals and facilities. An instructor from the facility or one that is hired in will come to the facility to teach pertinent skills and up to date medical information. States that require continuing education will expect that a CNA go to classes provided online or at a college to maintain certification. CNA classes online cost significantly less than those offered at an institution. Some states only require a minimum number of hours to be worked in order to keep a license or certification. The state requirements are broken down as follows:

  1. In-Service Education- This is done at the facility in which, the CNA works.
    •    Alabama
    •    California
    •    Deleware
    •    Florida
    •    Georgia
    •    Illinois
    •    Indiana
    •    Iowa
    •    Kentucky
    •    Massachusetts
    •    Minnesota
    •    Missouri
    •    Nevada
    •    New York
    •    Wyoming
  2. Continuing Education
    •    Alaska
    •    Colorado
    •    New Hampshire
  3. Minimum Hours Worked
    All the other states require that the CNA show proof of hours worked within a 24 month time period.

If you are planning on becoming a CNA or you are currently working as a CNA and are curious about what is required in your state to maintain your license or certification, visit your state’s nursing board website. Most nursing board websites contains pertinent information for certified nursing assistants as well. You can also conduct a simple online search to research CNA requirements for individual states.


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