Certified Nursing Assistant FAQs

Certified Nursing Assistant FAQs

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How to I self report a criminal conviction?

Please visit the Florida Health Care Complaint Portal to report your criminal conviction. https://www.flhealthcomplaint.gov/

How do I change my name?

Name changes require legal documentation showing the name change. To change your name, please submit supporting documents, which must be one of the following: (Any one of these will be accepted unless the department has a question about the authenticity of the document)

  1. A copy of a state issued marriage license that includes the original signature and seal from the clerk of the court.
  2. A divorce decree restoring your maiden name.
  3. A court order showing the name change (adoption, legal name change, federal identity change).
  4. A copy of a certificate of naturalization or H1B Employment Visa (note: foreign applicants and/or licensees may not have state issued documents).


If you are a licensee, you may either update your name online or via email/mail. To update online:

  • Login to online services by selecting your profession from the dropdown menu and entering your information
  • Find the “Manage My License” menu
  • Select “Request Name Change” and submit your request along with legible supporting documents
  • Once you have entered your new information, click on “Submit”

If you prefer to email or mail in your address change, please complete the update address form and email to: MQAOnlineService@flhealth.gov

Or mail to:
Division of Medical Quality Assurance
Licensure Support Services
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Bin #C10
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-32260

If you an applicant, you may either email or mail in your name change, please complete the change name form and email to: MQA.NursingAppstatus@flhealth.gov


mail to:
Department of Health
Medical Quality Assurance
Board of Nursing 4052
Bald Cypress Way, Bin C-02
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3252

PROCESSING TIME: If you are submitting an name change request by mail, please allow 5-7 business days for processing. Online requests will be processed within 48 hours. Please Note: An updated license will not be automatically sent. A duplicate license request must be submitted.

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 by email at MQA.CNA@flhealth.gov.

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.

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 my 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 License Verification site at: https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/HealthCareProviders

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 CNA training program or may I simply challenge the exam?

CNA applicants may “challenge” the exam. Completion of a state approved CNA 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 Endorsement 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 (full 120 hour program) and retake both parts of the exam. You can find a list of approved training programs at https://floridasnursing.gov/education-and-training-programs/.

Does Florida require out-of-state certified nursing assistants applying for Endorsement 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?

Each certified nursing assistant must complete a minimum of 24 hours of in-service training each biennium. For candidates certified during the biennium period, the training shall be prorated to 1.0 hours of in-service training per month from the month of initial certification to the end of the biennium.

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?

The biennial renewal in-service hours shall include: Blood-borne 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 Background Screening Unit 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 Endorsement 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 Endorsement.

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 an active CNA, LPN, RN, or APRN license you may request an exemption review through the Department of Health. If it is determined the disqualifying offenses do not make you ineligible for employment, you will be granted an exemption, thereby, allowing you to work.

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

This would vary from program to program. You will need to check with any prospective programs, but this will not satisfy the background screening requirements for licensure.

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?

Emailed requests will be accepted, provided the email address matches the one listed on the application received from Prometric. Applicants wishing to change their CNA application route may also submit a written request by mail or fax with an original signature to our office:

4052 Bald Cypress Way Bin C-02
Tallahassee, FL 32329
Fax: (850) 617-6460

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 Applicant – EDOH0380Z

LPN/RN Applicant – EDOH4420Z

APRN Applicant – EDOH4420Z

LPN/RN Multi-State Upgrade Applicant – EDOH4420Z

Need to Verify a License?

To verify a Nurse Licensure Compact Multi-State RN or LPN License:
Access https://www.nursys.com and click on "Look up License".


To proceed to the DOH License Verification page (information on Florida licensees only), click here.