This post is intended to help clarify the roles of the Washington Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Aging and Long-Term Support Administration with regard to CNA certification and testing.
The Washington State Department of Health only requires the certified nursing assistants to pay an annual renewal fee by their expiration date which is the licensee’s birth date, however, the OBRA registry (national nursing assistant registry) requires that you submit continuing education and/or employment hours to maintain your status on the registry.
The Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) ensures that certified nursing assistants meet federal requirements to work in a nursing home while the Department of Health (DOH) assures that each nursing assistant applying for a nursing assistant certification meets minimum requirements to work in any setting as a nursing assistant. If you need additional assistance with competency testing, sanctioned facilities, or the OBRA registry please contact the NATCEP program manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 725-2596. You may also contact the OBRA registry by email at email@example.com.
Certified nursing assistants receive their testing from DSHS and their training and certification license from DOH. CNA certifications are issued by DOH, as long as there are no grounds for denial of certification, to any applicant who demonstrates that the following requirements have been met:
- Completion of an approved training program or successful completion of alternate training meeting established criteria approved by the commission, and
- Successful completion of a competency evaluation test.
If employed in a nursing home, you must have completed training and OBRA testing through DSHS, and get certified/licensed through DOH within four (4) months from day you start work. If employed in a nursing home, you must register with DOH within three (3) days of employment to first obtain a nursing assistant registered (NAR) license.
A Nursing Assistant Registered (NAR) license is issued by the Department of Health to any applicant who pays any applicable fees and submits, on forms provided by DOH, the applicant's name, address, and other information as determined by DOH provided there are no grounds for denial of registration or issuance of a conditional registration. If you are hired by a nursing home to work as a nursing assistant while you are in training, you cannot perform nursing assistant skills for which you have not yet been trained and unprofessional conduct of any kind may result in permanent or temporary loss of a nursing assistant's license.