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Become a CNA in Rhode Island

Steps to become a CNA in Rhode Island

Nurse assistants can access the training they need to apply for their Certificate of Registration in Rhode Island quite easily. 


To apply for an initial Certificate of Registration in Rhode Island, nurse assistants must:

  1. Be of good moral character,
  2. Have completed a state-approved training program or currently be enrolled in a nursing program and completed at least two (2) clinical courses, and
  3. Successfully complete the required nursing assistant exam. The cost of the qualifying exam for CNAs is $40 and must be either paid by the employer or reimbursed to the CNA by the employer after he or she has worked for six (6) months after taking the exam.

If a nursing assistant already possesses a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse license, they may also apply for a Certificate of Registration in Rhode Island.

If a nursing assistant is already holds certification or registration in another state or jurisdiction, they may apply for a Certificate of Registration in Rhode Island through reciprocity rules.

Nursing assistants who have completed a 100-hour training program in another state or jurisdiction that includes at least 20 hours of clinical training can apply for a Certificate of Registration in Rhode Island.

Applying for a Certificate of Registration requires:

  1. A passport photo.
  2. Proof of successful completion of a state-approved training program for nursing assistants.
  3. Proof of successful completion of the required test for nursing assistants in Rhode Island. If applicant has not yet taken the required examination, the fee for the test is $55—$20 for the written portion and $35 for the clinical portion).
  4. A certified check or money order for $40.
  5. A background check by the Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

If an applicant is applying for certification through reciprocity, they must provide their current registration and written documentation of at least three (3) months of continuous employment from an employer, OR proof of successful completion of a training program from their previous jurisdiction.


A temporary license is available to nursing assistants who are applying for an initial Rhode Island license through examination. This license is valid for 120 days.

CNA certification in Rhode Island is granted for a two-year period that expires on June 30th every other year. CNAs who wish to renew their registration must work for at least eight (8) hours every two years or complete another nurse assistant training and testing program. All types of health care facility employment, except private duty nursing, satisfy this requirement.



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