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Licensing and Certification Program

COVID-19 CNA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Professional Certification Branch has prepared this list of FAQs to assist stakeholders with questions about temporary waivers of specific requirements for CNAs and applicants due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The information provided here is based solely on the CDPH's All Facilities Letters (AFLs) and the Governor's Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 state of emergency.  For general information about the licensing and certification process, please visit the Licensing and Certification Program's webpage.

Initial Certification

I am enrolled in an approved certification training program, but have not received my certificate from the California Department of Public Health, can I work?

A nurse assistant enrolled in an approved certification training program may continue to be employed throughout the declared emergency for more than 3 months after the start date of employment. (See AFL 20-35)

I am unable to complete my training or competency testing, what do I do?

A nurse assistant may delay completion of the training program and competency testing until after the end of the declared emergency but is encouraged to complete the program as training programs resume. (See AFL 20-35 )

A nurse assistant who has not completed the training program shall only render services at the competency level confirmed by the training program on a competency checklist to be shared with the facility. (See AFL 20-35)

I am unable to get tested for tuberculosis; can I work?

Due to the current state of emergency, a nurse assistant enrolled in an approved certification training program or competency evaluation program may provide patient care prior to having a test for tuberculosis infection. The nurse assistant shall complete the test for tuberculosis infection as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency.  (See AFL 20-35)

I am unable to get live scanned, what should I do?

Due to the current inability to obtain Live Scan services, applicants seeking initial certification or applicants seeking certification through reciprocity or equivalency, will not be required to submit proof of Live Scan completion until as soon as practicable but no later than 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency. For a list of Live-Scan vendors, please see  Live Scan Locations.  (See AFL 20-35)

Renewal Certification

Can I renew my certificate during the state of emergency?

All CNAs are encouraged to renew following normal timelines.

I am unable to complete my in-class CEUs/In-Service Training, what should I do?

A CNA seeking certificate renewal may complete any of the 48 required hours of in-service or continuing education units at any time during the 2-year recertification period and may complete all the required 48 hours through online or distance learning formats.  (See AFL 20-35)

Expired Certification

My certificate expired within the last 2 years; can I work as a CNA?

A CNA whose certification expired within the previous 2 years, or whose certification will expire during the state of emergency, may work as a CNA for the duration of the declared emergency without renewal.  (See AFL 20-35)

All facilities must check CDPH's online verification page to verify employment eligibility. Only those CNAs with a status of "active" or "employable during state of emergency" or who have a copy of their certificate that has been expired within the previous 2 years may be employed.  (See AFL 20-35)

My certificate has expired longer than two years, can I work as a CNA?

At this time, CDPH has not waived or offered any flexibility for those who have certificates that have been expired for over two year.  (See AFL 20-35)

Address Change

Do I need to report an address change?

A CNA must notify CDPH of a change of address as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the expiration of the state of emergency.  (See AFL 20-35)

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