Certified Nursing Assistant Exam


If a candidate does not pass the CNA exam on the first attempt, most states allow for retakes. However, the rules and guidelines regarding retakes can vary by state. Generally, the following points apply to retaking the CNA exam:

  1. Number of attempts: Candidates are usually allowed a specific number of attempts (e.g., three) to pass the CNA exam within a certain time frame (e.g., 12 months) after completing their training program.
  2. Retaking a specific portion: If a candidate passes one part of the exam (either the written/oral test or the clinical skills evaluation) but fails the other, they typically only need to retake the portion they did not pass.
  3. Waiting period: There may be a mandatory waiting period between attempts, usually a few weeks or a month, depending on the state’s guidelines.
  4. Exam fees: Candidates may be required to pay the exam fee again for each retake. The cost can vary by state and testing agency.
  5. Reapplication: Candidates must follow the reapplication process for retakes, which might involve submitting a new application, providing documentation, and scheduling the exam.
  6. Additional training: If a candidate exhausts the allowed number of attempts without passing the exam, they may be required to retake the CNA training program or complete additional training before being allowed to attempt the exam again.


Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification typically needs to be renewed every two years, although the exact renewal period may vary depending on the state. The renewal process ensures that CNAs maintain their competency and stay updated on the latest best practices in their field. The following steps outline the general process for CNA renewal:

  1. Fulfill continuing education requirements: Most states require CNAs to complete a specific number of continuing education units (CEUs) or in-service training hours within their renewal period. The required number of CEUs or hours can vary by state, but generally ranges from 12 to 48 hours. These courses cover various topics, including new developments in patient care, infection control, and communication skills.
  2. Verify employment as a CNA: Many states require proof of employment as a nursing assistant during the renewal period. This usually means providing documentation that you have worked as a CNA for a certain number of hours (e.g., 8 hours) within the previous 24 months. The specific requirements may vary by state.
  3. Complete a renewal application: To renew your CNA certification, you will need to complete a renewal application provided by your state’s nurse aide registry or licensing board. This application typically requires you to provide personal information, employment details, and documentation of completed CEUs or in-service training.
  4. Submit renewal fees: Some states require CNAs to pay a renewal fee when submitting their renewal application. The fee may vary depending on the state and your specific circumstances.
  5. Maintain an active status on the nurse aide registry: Upon successful completion of the renewal process, your CNA certification will be updated, and you will maintain an active status on your state’s nurse aide registry.
  6. Background check: Some states may require a new background check during the renewal process, especially if you have moved or if there have been any changes in your criminal history since your initial certification.

It is crucial to consult your state’s specific requirements for CNA renewal, as there may be slight variations in the process, required documentation, and fees. Staying informed about renewal deadlines and requirements can help ensure that you maintain an active certification and avoid potential lapses in your ability to work as a CNA.

Scroll to Top