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Licensing and Certification Program

COVID-19 Certified Nursing Assistant 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 Certified Nursing Assistants (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 for more than 3 months after the start date of employment. A nurse assistant may delay completion of the training program and competency testing but is encouraged to complete the program as training programs resume. 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). For nurse assistants working in certified SNFs that were hired under this waiver on or before June 6, 2022 had until October 6, 2022, to complete their nurse aide training program and become certified.

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 in-service training/CEUs. What should I do?

A CNA seeking certificate renewal may complete any of the forty-eight (48) required hours of in-service or continuing education units at any time during the two-year recertification period and may complete all the required 48 hours through online or distance learning formats (See AFL 22-30). This temporary waiver will expire on February 28, 2023.

Expired Certification

My certificate has expired within the last two (2) years. Can I work as a CNA?

If your certification expired no earlier than March 30, 2018, or will expire during the state of emergency, and your status remains "employable during state of emergency" you may work as a CNA for the duration of the declared emergency without renewal (See AFL 22-30). 

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" may be employed  (See AFL 22-30). This temporary waiver will expire on February 28, 2023.

My has certificate expired. Can I complete the CEU requirements after the expiration date on the certificate?

A CNA who remains in an "employable during state of emergency" status will be allowed to complete in-service or continuing education units and count them towards renewal of the certification. Any of the forty-eight (48) hours of in-service and continuing education may be completed through online or distance learning formats (See AFL 22-30). The temporary waivers will expire on February 28, 2023. 

My certificate expired within the last two (2) years and I have not satisfied the work requirement. Can I renew my certificate?

The work requirement has been waived. You may complete your In-service/CEUs and submit your renewal package for review.  (See CMS Waiver, revision 09/29/2020 (PDF))

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