What Are the Licensing Requirements for Certified Nursing Assistant?


Quick Answer

In most states, to gain a license as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) applicants must have a clean criminal record, be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. They must also be drug free and complete screening for medical and mental health conditions, according to Nursing Assistant Guides.

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Full Answer

State requirements for CNAs vary, so applicants should check with their state to find out specific requirements. For example, some states allow a 16-year-old to obtain a license.

Recommended high school classes include biology, anatomy, chemistry and higher-level math classes. These are not mandatory, but a background in these and other courses can help pave the way to becoming a CNA. Some high schools offer specific CNA training programs and courses.

Applicants must have a clean criminal record, although there are a few exceptions. Crimes committed 7 to 10 years in the past may not prevent applicants from receiving a license, but they may hold them back from working in certain settings.

Once the basic requirements are met, take an approved training course, which lasts from 2 to 4 months, according to Learn.org. Submit fingerprints and an application, pay the appropriate fees and pass the certification exam to become a certified nursing assistant.

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