Certified Nursing Assistant FAQs


Certified Nursing Assistant FAQs

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Do I need to keep the registry updated on any personal information?

Yes, you are required to notify the registry in writing of any changes in your name or address. Official notifications and renewal forms are sent to your address of record.

How do I get in touch with the Florida Nursing Assistant Registry?

You can reach the registry at (850) 245-4125 or you may write to the Department of Health, Florida Nursing Assistant Registry at 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C13, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3263.

How do I obtain a duplicate or replacement of my certificate?

You may visit www.flhealthsource.gov to request a duplicate for $25. You should receive a new license in two (2) or three (3) weeks.

How do I change my name?

You may submit a request including your full name as it appears on your application or license, profession, applicant ID or alpha numeric license number, your new name, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number and your signature.  Attach supporting documents, which must be one of the following:

  • A copy of a state issued marriage license that includes the original signature and seal from the clerk of the court
  • A divorce decree restoring your maiden name
  • A court order showing the name change (adoption, legal name change, federal identity change)

Any one of these will be accepted unless the Department has a question about the authenticity of the document. If you wish to receive a new license that reflects the name change, you must request a duplicate license.

Mail your $25.00 payment and request to:

Division of Medical Quality Assurance
P.O. Box 6320
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6320

If you need to change your name, and you prefer to renew online, please submit your name
change request by mail and allow 5-7 business days processing time before you renew online.

Are there instances where I may begin my employment as a nursing assistant prior to obtaining certification?

Yes, there are three (3) exceptions which allow you to work for a maximum of four (4) months (120 days) while awaiting receipt of your Florida certification: (1) applicants enrolled in or have completed a state approved program, or (2) applicants who have been verified as being actively certified in another state, or (3) applicants who have preliminarily passed the state exam but have not yet received the certificate. (See 400.211, F.S.) All of these are at the determination of the employer.

Can a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) work in a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) capacity without a CNA certificate?

No, the CMA must have a Florida CNA certificate in order to work as a CNA in Florida.

How do I become a Medical Assistant in Florida?

Medical Assistants are not licensed in Florida; however, a medical assistant may become certified through the American Association of Medical Assistants, 800-228-2262. Please see Section 458.3485, Florida Statute (F.S.) for more information regarding medical assistants.

Are Home Health Aides (HHAs) regulated in Florida?

For information regarding the regulation of HHAs in Florida, please visit the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) website at www.ahca.myflorida .com or call (888) 419-3456.

As a Home Health Agency, can I use a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) as a Home Health Aide (HHA)?

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) regulates home health agencies.  For information on what a home health agency is allowed to do, please visit the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) website at www.ahca.myflorida .com or call (888) 419-3456.

What can I do if I do not get a renewal form?

Renewal forms are no longer sent to licensees. CNA renewal postcards are sent out about 120 days before the expiration date. Licensees may renew online or print off their renewal form from our online site at: www.FLHealthSource.gov.   If you recently moved and left a forward address with the US Postal Service within the last 6 months, you will need to change your address online at www.flhealthsource.gov or submit the address change on the renewal form with the correct fees in order to renew your certificate or receive any notifications.

What happens if I do not renew by CNA certificate by the expiration date?

If you do not renew your certificate by midnight of the expiration date, your certificate becomes delinquent and you cannot work as a CNA until the certificate is renewed. In order to renew your license after the expiration date, you will need to meet the work and in-service training requirements, pay the original renewal fee and pay a delinquency fee. If the certificate is not renewed by expiration date,  two years later, your certificate will become null and void and you will have to take the CNA examination again to be certified in Florida.

How will the registry know if my certificate has lapsed?

The expiration date of CNA certificates now shows on the Department of Health Internet Licensure Look up screens at: http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/cnanet/cnalist.aspx

Are my expenses associated with obtaining my certification reimbursable?

If you complete a state approved training program and meet specified requirements, you might be eligible to receive reimbursement for some of your expenses. You should ask your employer (nursing homes are the only employers which do reimburse) or the district Medicaid office in your area for details.

Am I required to attend a training program or may I simply challenge the exam?

You may “challenge” the exam. Completion of a state approved training program is not required unless the applicant has failed part of the exam three times.

What exams are required to become a certified nursing assistant in the state of Florida?

You must pass both the written and the performance exam offered by the testing vendor, Prometric, to be certified as a nursing assistant in the state of Florida. The only exception to this is for approved reciprocity candidates.

How long are my exam scores valid?

Examination results are valid for two years. So, if you pass one part of the exam, you must pass the second part within two years or you will have to repeat both parts of the exam to be certified.

Is there a time limit to take the part of exam, which I failed?

Yes, you must pass both parts of the examination within two years to be certified in Florida.

What if I fail part of the exam three times?

You must complete a Board approved CNA training program and retake both parts of the exam. You can find a list of approved training programs here

Does Florida require out-of-state certified nursing assistants applying for reciprocity to complete any exams?

Florida does not require the testing for those candidates who have been verified as being actively certified and in good standing in another state. Otherwise, you will be required to take the written and performance exams in order to be placed on Florida’s Registry.

If I become certified in the middle of the year, how many in-service training hours am I required to complete by my expiration date?

The CNA is required to have 1.0 hours of in-service per each calendar month or a total of 12 hours for a full calendar year. Therefore, if certified in June 2013, the CNA would be required to have 6 hours by December 31, 2013.

Is it my responsibility or is it my employer’s to supply my in-services?

It is the CNA’s responsibility to keep documentation of all in-services received. If the employer does not provide the in-service it is the CNA’s responsibility to obtain the in-services.

What are the mandatory in-service hours for CNA?

Every 2 years, in-service hours shall include: Bloodborne Pathogens, Infection Control; Domestic Violence; Documentation & Legal Aspects for CNAs; Resident Rights; Communication with impaired clients; CPR skills; and Medical Error Prevention/Safety. A CNA’s agency or facility may require their employees to  complete specific  in-service hours as part of their employment.

Is background screening a requirement for certification as a certified nursing assistant?

Yes, background screening is required by Florida law for this certificate/license. All offenses are reviewed.

How will the candidate know if he is not clear to be certified?

If the result of his background report shows arrests and offenses, or incomplete dispositions, they will receive a notice from the Board office requesting additional information. Depending on the types and seriousness of the offenses, the applicant’s file may go before the Board of Nursing for further review. If the Board denies the applicant’s file, the applicant will receive an official Intent to Deny Order and will have right of appeal.

Can I still sit for the exam even though there’s something in my background?

Each application is reviewed on its own merits. The Board of Nursing has created guidelines for specific offenses to be cleared in the Board office; however, the staff cannot make determinations in advance as laws and rules do change over time. Violent crimes and repeat offenders are required to be presented to the Board of Nursing for review. Evidence of rehabilitation is important to the Board Members when making licensure decisions.

What is a Level 2 background screening?

A Level 2 background screening is a state and national background check conducted pursuant to Chapter 435, F.S. for employment.

When is a background check required for the CNA applicant?

All new CNA applications to the testing company (Prometric)  and by reciprocity will be required to have a background screen prior to certification.

How will the candidate know about the fee and background requirement?

The testing company includes a notice of the fees in the application bulletin for the CNA applicants by Examination. Information regarding the background requirements and screening are also reflected in the application for CNAs by reciprocity.

How will the candidate know if his background check is clear?

Applicants for certification by examination will not be made eligible to test until the file is considered complete and clearable. Applicants for certification by reciprocity will be licensed once the file is considered complete and clearable.

When the background report is clear, meaning no criminal history, how long will it take to obtain the FDLE background report, screen it, and issue the license?

For the applicant by examination – If the application is properly completed, the request to the FDLE agency has no errors, and the background result is clear, the applicant will be granted eligibility to test and the license will be issued in approximately 14 days after passing the exam.

For the applicant by reciprocity – If the application is properly completed, the request to the FDLE agency has no errors, and the background result is clear, the license will be issued upon determination.

If the Board denies the candidate a license, will he receive any refund of testing and background fees?

No, there are no refunds if the Board does not approve the candidate. This is the same as in any other health care practitioner application or testing process.

Can I be disqualified or ineligible to work as a certified nursing assistant?

Yes. To be eligible for employment in long-term care as a certified nursing assistant, you must hold current certification and have no disqualifying offenses as outlined in Chapter 435 and Section 408.809, Florida Statutes. Licensees with a disqualifying offense may apply for an exemption (employment waiver) in order to work in certain facilities.

Can only felonies disqualify me from employment?

No, both felonies and misdemeanors may be disqualifying. The disqualifying offenses are outlined in Chapter 435 and Section 408.809, Florida Statutes.

What do I do if I am told I am disqualified from employment due to a problem with my background screening?

If you hold a CNA certificate, you may request an exemption review through the Registry. If it is determined the disqualifying offenses  do not make you ineligible for employment, you will be granted an exemption, thereby, allowing you to return to work.

What is the employer or training program role to the potential CNA exam candidate?

Their role is to inform and educate the candidate of the requirement and the process for background screening prior to the certification.

Is a background check required when entering a CNA training program/school?

The training program/school may have its own background requirement, but the Department of Health does not have a requirement for a background check prior applying for certification.

What is the difference between a background check used for employment screening and a background screening used for licensing/certification purposes?

For licensure or certification by the Board of Nursing, all criminal offenses are screened and reviewed prior to licensure or certification. For employment background screening, the employer uses a specified list of disqualifying offenses pursuant to Chapter 435 and Section 408.809, Florida Statute. If the employee has one of these specified offenses, he cannot be employed until he receives an exemption.

Am I required to have a background check?

Applicants for initial licensure are required to submit fingerprints via Livescan for a Level II background screening. Applicants who are fingerprinted after January 1, 2013 will have their prints retained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

How do I change my CNA application route?

Applicants wishing to change their CNA application route must submit a written request with an original signature (MUST be mailed- will not accept fax, phone call or email) to our office:

4052 Bald Cypress Way Bin C 13
Tallahassee, FL 32329

These requests can no longer go through Prometric. They must request the change with the board office.

What ORI number do I use to do my Livescan?

CNA Examination applicant – EDOH0380Z
CNA Reciprocity applicant – EDOH4400Z