Every state has different requirements to become a CNA.
As a result, you can easily get confused.
Well, if you’re in Washington, then you’re in luck.
This is because we provide ALL the steps and requirements specific to the state. And, to make it easier, we’ll walk you through the whole process one step at a time.
So let’s begin your complete guide on how to become a CNA in Washington!
The 4 Steps on How to Become a CNA in Washington
Here are the 4 steps to becoming a CNA in Washington:
- Complete a state-approved CNA program
- Pass the NNAAP
- Apply for a CNA certificate
- Get listed on the state’s registry
Let’s move on to the details.
Step #1: Complete A State-Approved CNA Program
If you’re getting certified for the first time, then you must begin with your education.
In Washington, you need to complete at least 85 hours of training, this includes 50 hours of clinical training and 35 hours of classroom education.
Another important thing to remember is that your program provider should be state-approved. You can check this link for all the approved providers in the state.
Also, know that each provider will have its own eligibility requirements, so don’t forget to check those out and take the steps to fulfill them.
How fast can you complete the program?
It depends on your provider. But generally, it will take anywhere between 4 weeks (for accelerated courses) or 6 to 15 weeks (if taking normal courses).
Can You Skip CNA Training in Washington?
You can skip a CNA program if you already have a medical background and training.
First is the military. If you were formerly a military nursing assistant in the U.S. Air Force Apprentice Program, Army 91-C Program, or Navy Basic Hospital Corps School, then you qualify.
You are also exempted if you are an out-of-state CNA. Washington allows reciprocity. So as long as you submit proof that you have at least 35 hours of classroom education and 50 hours of clinical training in another state, then you won’t have to enroll all over again.
And lastly, you don’t need to enroll in a program if you are currently a nursing student or a graduate nurse. Students who can show that they are currently enrolled or have graduated from an RN or LPN program are granted permission to take the exam without additional training and classes.
Step #2: Pass the NNAAP
So you’ve already completed your Washington-approved CNA program?
Next up is the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP).
This exam is conducted by Credentia. It has 2 sections – a written/oral test and a skills evaluation.
The written/oral test has a total of 70 questions. 60 are multiple choice and the remaining 10 are reading comprehension questions.
The great news is that you can take this portion of the exam online! Just make sure to request it when registering.
As for the skills evaluation, you need to perform 5 nurse aide skills. The skills you will have to perform are chosen at random by a Nurse Aide Evaluator. You are given 30 minutes to complete everything.
Step #3: Apply for a CNA certificate
Unlike other states, you have to separately apply for a CNA certificate in Washington.
Thankfully, you can do this online.
Here are the steps:
- Create an account with Secure Access Washington (SAW)
- Apply for the Online Application Portal (Add a New Service > Department of Health > Online Application Portal)
- Answer a series of questions based on your public record
- Choose the credential you want to apply for
- Pay the application fee of $85 and a convenience fee of $2.50
- Upload any required documents
For more details, you can check this page.
Step #4: Get Listed on the State’s Registry
After you pass the NNAAP exam and complete the application process, your name will be listed in the Washington Nurse Aide Registry.
From there, you can pick up your CNA certificate at the state’s DOH site.
Frequently Asked Questions About CNAs in Washington
Here are some frequently asked questions about CNAs in Washington.
Where can you work as a CNA in Washington?
Usually, CNAs in Washington work in medical facilities such as nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and clinics.
How much is the NNAAP exam in Washington?
Here is a breakdown of the NNAAP exam fees in Washington :
- Written or oral test – $44
- Skills evaluation – $80
However, as of February 1, 2023, the exam fees will increase:
- Written or oral test – $45
- Skills evaluation – $110
How long does it take to become a CNA in WA state?
The majority of your time will be spent completing your CNA training. Now, as we mentioned, the program length will depend on your provider.
Some providers have programs that last up to 6 weeks, while others go all the way to 15 weeks. If you’re in a rush, then you can choose to go with an accelerated course, which will only take 4 weeks. Keep in mind, though, that these courses are usually more expensive.
How long does a CNA license last in Washington state?
In Washington, your CNA certificate will only be valid for 1 year. It will expire on your birthday, so you must make sure that you renew it before then.
And that was how to become a CNA in Washington.
Yes, it will take time and effort — but all that will be worth it in the end.
And if you follow each requirement and step one by one, you’ll soon be a certified nursing assistant in Washington.
So what are you waiting for?
Now that you know what needs to be done, you can get started right away.