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CNA Certification Program

“Certification really gives that extra knowledge that makes a difference in your nursing care.” Read what certified nurses say about the value of their credential.

Applications for 2018 CNA certification are now closed.
Our 2019 application period will open on January 10.

What is certification?

CNA certification is a nationally recognized nursing specialty credential for registered nurses. If you want to become certified, you can do so in one of 21 specialties by passing a rigorous computer-based exam. Your exam preparation will be unique, depending on what you already know in your specialty. We offer many exam preparation resources, as do many nursing specialty associations.

If you become certified, your credential will be valid for a five-year term. At the end of five years, you can renew by submitting a record of continuous learning hours or rewriting the exam.

The first certification exam, offered in 1991, was in neuroscience nursing. Today, more than 17,000 RNs are CNA certified (see breakdown by specialty and province/territory).

Care to Be the Best

Certified RNs are…

  • Recognized nationally for their practice excellence and commitment to lifelong learning
  • Valued by employers, because their certification demonstrates specialized knowledge and brings many benefits to organizations
  • Viewed as having enhanced professional credibility

CNA certification news

Important dates

Please note: All certifications set to expire in 2018 are valid until December 31, 2018.


Initial or renewal by exam

Application window Exam window Results
Spring Jan. 10 – March 1 May 1 – 15 June
Fall June 3 – September 12  Nov. 1 – 15 Dec.

Renewal by continuous learning (CL)

Application window
Renewal by CL Jan. 10 – Nov. 1

Please note: All certifications set to expire in 2019 are valid until December 31, 2019.