What You Need To Know About The Nurse Aide Registry

The nurse aide registry came about when the United States Federal Government passed a law called The Omnibus Reconciliation Act in 1987, which is a law that mandates that a Registry be kept of nursing assistants in each state. The registry is maintained by the Department of Public Health. Enrolment on the registry is generally for a period of 24 months, after which you will need to renew your enrolment according to the requirements of the state in which you practice.

The duties of the nurse aide registry include reviewing and approving or disapproving the nurse side training program curriculum; to review and approve or disapprove training programs; to review and approve or disapprove nurse aide testing. The registry is also tasked with developing and maintaining a list of nurse aide and non-technical services workers; maintaining a registry of nurse aides that have been accused of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of goods.

It certifies nurse aides, provides public education and develops policies, rules, procedures, and all the applications and forms necessary to implement the program.

It contains the following information about each and every nursing assistant, and various other healthcare workers:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Training Information
  • SSN
  • Any findings of abuse/neglect or misappropriations of property.

It is incumbent upon you to contact the registry when:

  • Your name changes (due to marriage or divorce) – if you change your name at any time after being placed on the nurse aide registry, you are required to inform the registry in your state. Your Change of Name request must be accompanied by written documentation such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or any other official documentation showing the reason for your change of name.
  • You move – you are required to keep the registry appraised of your current address at all times.
  • CNA Renewal – renewal of your Certified Nurse Aide License
  • Nurse aide Registry Verification is required
  • Nurse aide Certification Verification is required
  • Nurse Aide Test Information is required

Under federal law it is no longer possible for an individual who has not worked in paid nursing-related services for a period of 24 consecutive months or more to remain on the nurse aide registry. Failure to inform the registry of any updated status or apply for continued enrolment may jeopardize your enrolment status.

If you somehow lose your registry card you may apply to your state’s nurse aide registry for a duplicate to be sent to you. Most states have a Duplicate Registry Card Request form in their Department of Health handbook or on their website. There is usually no charge for this service.nurse aide registry

All healthcare employers must verify registry status of individuals applying for employment. Nursing assistants/aides who work in licensed and or certified skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies or intermediate care facilities must be certified.

There are slightly different requirements for getting your name into the registry in various states. In Alabama, for instance, you will need to successfully complete the state-authorized Nurse Helper course and competency valuation and must pass the certification exam comprised of written and skills tests. Alabama also requires that you work at least 8 hours within a 24 month period in a nursing home, infirmary agency, medi-care facility, or a hospice in order to remain on the registry; this must be paid work – volunteer work and self-employed work does not count. InArkansas, the Office of Long-term Care and the Arkansas Dept of Human Services has concluded a contract with Prometric to manage the state’s registry. You can find an examination bulletin on the Prometric site which will give you more information regarding the Nursing Helper Exam. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has a contract with Pearson VUE, an independent testing company, to develop, score, and report the results of the examination program required for the registration of nurse aides.

Verification can be done via telephone, e-mail, mail, in person or via the particular state’s Department of Public Health’s website.

What Is The Importance Of A Nurse Aide Registry?

For Nurse-Aids

In order for your name to be entered in the registry, you need to have completed a CNA course and passed both the clinical and theoretical exams in order to qualify and get licensed. Once you have done all that is required and applied for licensure, you will need to check the validity of your licence and ensure that it remains valid.

Getting and maintaining your CNA licensure will ensure that you gain access to an ever-expanding health care sector and new career paths with further study. It will also help you to get employment easily and in far more institutions, and also means better pay as most employers prefer to employ licensed CNAs.

For Employers

A nurse aide registry is important for employers in the healthcare industry because it protects both them and the public. In order for a name to be entered into the registry the individual concerned must have met both written and skills test criteria so that they could be certified for employment in long-term care settings, generally in nursing homes. This ensures that only those who are qualified to take care of the most vulnerable of our citizens do so.

Because the nurse aide registry also contains and maintains records of those who have been found guilty of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property, it means that they are effectively taken out of the system and cannot continue to use their jobs to abuse people or their belongings.

What really makes the registry invaluable is the fact that any facility or individual may inquire as to the status of a nurse aide by quickly accessing the registry through the internet. Here the individual can use a voice automated system, talk to a registry customer service technician, or use the web-based verification system. This means that there is no delay in verifying the registry status of a prospective nurse-aid employee. It also means that prospective employers can be assured that they are not employing someone who may abuse or neglect their patients or loved ones.

CNA License Verification

It is your responsibility to ensure that your license is valid at all times, as you will struggle to find employment if it is not. Firstly you should make sure that you get the original copy of your license, which contains the official seal of the state board of nursing and is the best proof of licensure you can get. It proves that you have a certified nursing license and will be the most important document in your curriculum vitae.

The steps to verify your license are:

  • Go onto the nurse aide registry website and type in your state to get the telephone number or website details
  • Check whether your state’s registry site has an online CNA license verification system
  • You can also visit the registry office in person; if you do this make sure that you have all pertinent information with you, including your licensing number
  • You will have to pay a small fee in order to verify your license; this fee changes from state to state
  • You can request that your license is either mailed or e-mailed to you
  • There are also various independent organizations through which you can verify your licens

CNA License Renewal

CNA licenses are only valid for a certain period of time, generally for one year, and once it expires it is up to you to ensure that it is renewed so that you can continue to practice as a Certified Nurse Aid. You will need to find out from your state as to what is required from you in order to renew your license so that you remain in good standing on the registry.

Most states will require a fee for re-licensing, but this differs from state to state, so it is best to find out exactly what your state charges. You may also have to provide proof of continuing education for your CNA license renewal in some states in order to prove that you have done training programs that have kept your knowledge of the field updated.

Remember to verify your license renewal on the nurse aide registry once you have received the renewed license.


If you are a nurse aide who is in currently listed on your state’s registry as being active and in good standing according to Federal nursing home nurse aide statutes, and are about to move to another state, you can apply to that state for enrollment into their registry if they have a reciprocity agreement with the state in which you are currently registered.

In order to find out whether you can be enrolled in the nurse aide registry of the state to which you are moving, you should access their registry’s website and find if there is reciprocity and complete the reciprocity form.

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