CNA Certification in WA – Washington

You can earn a good income working as a certified nursing assistant in Washington.  As the name implies, you will be providing nursing related duties for patients in healthcare settings.  You will first need to receive training and certification to start on the path of becoming a certified nursing assistant.

Training Hours and Requirements

There are various places where you can look for CNA training courses including:  nursing care facilities, community colleges, adult education centers and nursing schools.  If you want to be able to receive certification, you will need to attend a course that has been approved by the Department of Social and Health Services.

Nursing assistant training classes in the state of Washington include 85 hours or greater of instruction.  You will spend time learning in the classroom as well as having hands on clinical training.  The course will teach you basic medical procedures, how to prevent the spread of disease and how to respond in an emergency.

You will also learn how to communicate well with patients, their families and other members of the healthcare team.  In order to enter into a nursing assistant training program, you need to take a drug screening and have a physical exam.

Reciprocity CNA Certification

It is often possible to transfer a valid and active certification from another state to Washington State.  You will need to request an application for reciprocity.  You can obtain this application through the Nursing Aide Registry in Washington.  The state of Washington will make sure that you are listed in good standing on that state’s Registry.  They will also verify that you worked as a certified nursing assistant and received all necessary training before having done so.  You must have passed the state exam for certification in your prior state if you want to transfer your certification to Washington.  If your application for reciprocity is not approved, then you will need to complete training in the state of Washington before becoming a CNA.

CNA Certification Renewal in Washington

The state of Washington is like any other in that you need to renew certification every two years.  The state will send you the forms for renewal well in advance before your certification expires.  This will provide you with the time you need to review and complete the certification documents.  You cannot renew your certification if you do not work as a CNA or in a job providing nursing related duties during those two years.  It will be necessary to call the Department of Health to determine how you can receive your certification again.


Q.   I am working as a CNA in California but have an opportunity to move to be closer to my boyfriend who lives in Washington.  I do not want to give up my job as a certified nursing assistant.  I am trying to figure out if I can continue my work with ease when I move to Washington.  Is there a way to transfer my certification from California to Washington?

A.  You can apply to work as a nursing assistant in Washington through reciprocity.  If your reciprocity application is approved you will be able to work as a certified nursing assistant.  There will be forms that you must complete including a verification form that will need to be mailed to the nursing assistant registry in California.  You can download this application by going to:

Q.  I have not worked as a certified nursing assistant for a while.  Actually my certification expired two and a half years ago. I was going to college to become a teacher but have decided I want to go back to work as a nursing assistant for the time being.  Of course, I was certified and on the registry prior to leaving work to go back to college.  Is it possible to pick up where I left off and become certified again with just a re-certification application?

A.  At this point, you will not be able to renew your certification with ease since it has been more than two years since your certification became expired.  Unless you are currently listed as a nursing assistant in good standing and with an active certification in another state, you will need to complete a training program again here in Washington.  You will also need to sit for and then receive a passing grade on the CNA test.

CNA Certification Information by State:

One Response to CNA Certification in WA – Washington

  1. Summer February 14, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    need renewal on cna license

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