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Become a CNA in Connecticut

How to Become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) in Connecticut

Anyone can become a CNA in Connecticut as long as they obtain an Associate’s degree from an accredited nursing program, have a license that is in good standing in another state, and possess a clean criminal record. Applicants should also have a strong interest in health care and a willingness to pursue further education.


Citizens of Connecticut can apply for licensure by either taking the Nurse Aide Competency Examination (NACE)—administered by the Connecticut Department of Health—or by obtaining an endorsement of CNA certification from a community college, university, or former workplace. Both types of licensure require applicants to provide the Department of Health with proof of citizenship, a $180 application fee, a completed application, and an official transcript that shows that the applicant’s degree was conferred.

First-time applicants, including Connecticut-trained nurses, student nurses and lapsed nurses, are typically required to apply for licensure by taking the NACE within 24 months of obtaining their Associate’s degrees. In order to be considered eligible for the exam, applicants must be able to prove that they completed no less than 100 hours of coursework in an accredited program. Out-of-state applicants must provide similar documentation, proving that they completed a program approved by their home state.

If an applicant already has a license in another state but plans to practice in Connecticut, they can apply for licensure by endorsement. When someone applies for licensure by endorsement, they must provide the department of health with paperwork that proves that they graduated from a state-approved program, obtained enough clinical hours to take the state board exam, passed the state exam, and practiced regularly in that state. They must also be able to prove that they have no criminal record and that their license is valid and in good standing.

After an applicant obtains an official CNA license in Connecticut, their license is valid for two years. To renew a CNA license in Connecticut, CNAs must ask their employers to sign a form that verifies that they worked at least one eight-hour shift of paid employment within the two year licensure period. Currently, there is no requirement for renewing applicants to obtain continuing education credits before they can recertify.


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