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Renewing Your Certification

“I believe certification is an important credential that shows expertise and a commitment to ongoing learning in my specialty.” Read what certified nurses say about the value of maintaining their credential.

Opening of application system delayed

This is an important notice for those planning to apply to write a certification exam or to renew their certification: the application window will not open on January 9, as previously advertised. We anticipate the window will open on January 20 or soon after. Check back here in the coming weeks for a confirmed date.

Why is the application window delayed? CNA is making several improvements to the online certification application system. We require additional time to ensure the system is running smoothly for certification applicants. CNA thanks you for your understanding.

Your CNA certification is valid for a five-year term. You can renew your certification credential either by submitting a list of continuous learning activities or by rewriting the certification exam. You must also meet the eligibility requirements and continue to be a practising nurse in good standing.

The renewal process is completely paperless. The application and eligibility procedure are online-only and exams will be delivered at computer-based testing facilities across Canada. We have compiled useful documents regarding the online renewal process which you can find on our Application Process page.

Please contact us if you have any questions.


Important dates: Due to renew in 2020

2020 Poster [PDF, 268.1 KB]

Renewal by exam

Application window Exam window Results
Spring Jan. 9 – March 2 (delayed) May 1 – 15 June
Fall June 1 – Sept. 10 Nov. 1 – 15 Dec.

Retired exams in 2019

For a certification exam to be feasible there needs to be enough nurses practising in the specialty. This ensures a minimum number of exam writers annually. Five certification exams – gastroenterology, neuroscience, orthopaedic, perianesthesia and rehabilitation – were considered no longer sustainable for CNA. After much consultation with the respective nursing specialty associations, CNA has decided to retire these exams after November 2019.

Please note: Nurses certified in any of these five specialties can maintain their credential by renewing every five years through continuous learning only. Renewal by exam is no longer being offered.

Renewal by continuous learning (CL)

Application window
Renewal by CL Jan. 9 – Nov. 1 (delayed)

Please note:

  • All certifications set to expire in 2020 are due to renew.
  • Certified nurses in gastroenterology, neuroscience, orthopaedic, perianesthesia or rehabilitation can maintain their credential by renewing through continuous learning only. Renewal by exam is no longer offered.

Missed your 2019 renewal?
If you were due to renew in 2019, please contact the certification team to discuss your options as you’ve missed your renewal period.

Unable to meet the renewal eligibility requirements?
If you are unable to renew due to personal or professional reasons, you can request (before your certification expires) that your certification be declared inactive.

If you take no action, your certification will lapse and you will not be permitted to use the credentials in your practice.

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