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CNA and CMA Certification Information

Obtaining CNA 1 Certification

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Eligibility to Apply for CNA 1 Initial Certification and Testing
You are eligible to take the CNA 1 Examination if you have:
  • Completed an OSBN-approved nursing assistant level-1 training program in the last two years; or
  • Completed an approved nurse aide training program in another state that was at least 75 hours in length (and met OBRA 1987 standards) within the last two years; or
  • Completed training as a military corpsman or medic (when such training met OBRA standards) and have had 400 hours of paid employment in a nursing-related capacity within the last two years; or
  • Graduated from an approved nursing education program one to three years ago; and
  • Complete a national criminal background check.  (Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about fingerprinting.)

Nursing Assistant (CNA1) Examination Description
Oregon CNA testing is provided by Headmaster Testing Service.  The examination is administered in several locations around the state.  The two-part test is comprised of:
  • A multiple-choice written exam (administered in a group setting), and
  • A manual skills test.  You will be tested individually in a clinical setting.  You will be given five skills to perform and the necessary supplies and equipment.  Actors serve as clients for this portion of the exam.  You will be observed and rated by a Registered Nurse using objective criteria.
You should notify the OSBN prior to testing if you require special accommodation due to a disability. Special note: Oral examinations are available.  Oral exams are comprised of questions read aloud on a pre-recorded tape.  Applicants respond in writing on the answer sheet provided.  A small portion of the exam consists of reading comprehension.  Candidates must be able to read and respond to these questions without the tape or other assistance.

Nursing Assistant (CNA 1) Exam Application Procedures
Oregon CNA testing is provided by Headmaster Testing Service.  The Candidate Handbook for Oregon is available on the Headmaster website.  There are two ways to apply for testing:
  1. Complete a Certification by Examination Application and send it directly to the OSBN office, or
  2. Schedule an exam date through your nursing assistant program instructor.  (Ask your instructor is this option is available to you.)
If you apply to the OSBN directly, refer to the application packet for details on scheduling your exam.  Keep in mind:
  • You will receive a letter from the testing service notifying you of the date, time and place for the exam before the exam date.
  • It is not realistic for you to work any shift on the day of the exam.  It is not advisable for you to work the night before or the evening of the exam.
  • Test results are scored by an independent testing service.  Results will be mailed to you in approximately 10 days after the test.  If you pass, you will receive an Oregon CNA certificate.   If you do not pass, you will receive notification about which skills or areas need improvement.

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Obtaining CNA 2 Certification

Requirements for Recognition as a CNA 2
  • Hold a current, unencumbered Oregon CNA 1 certificate; and
  • Complete an OSBN-approved nursing assistant level-2 training program; and
  • Pass the corresponding competency evaluation.
Click for a list of CNA 2 training programs.
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Obtaining CMA Certification

To become a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) in the State of Oregon, you must:
The required curriculum for medication aides includes subjects related to medication administration. Medication aide programs are available in several areas—click for a list of training programs.

Eligibility to Apply for Medication Aide Initial Certification and Testing
You are eligible to take the OSBN-approved Medication Aide Competency Examination if you:
  • hold current, unencumbered Oregon CNA certification;
  • are within one year of having successfully completed an OSBN-approved medication aide training program;
  • apply for the exam and pay the appropriate fees;
  • have documented a total of six months (either six months fulltime or equivalent part-time hours totaling nine months) paid experience as a nursing assistant.
The applicant who passes this test is a Certified Medication Aide (CMA) in Oregon and has his/her name placed on the CNA registry as a CMA. 
Click to schedule a CMA examination.

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CNA Endorsement into Oregon

Endorsement Eligibility
Endorsement: The process of obtaining a nursing assistant certificate in Oregon when you are, or have been, previously certified in another U.S. state or territory.  Generally, you are eligible for endorsement if you are currently or formerly certified in good standing in a U.S. state or territory, provided you are otherwise qualified.  Specifically, you must meet the OSBN´s education, work history and legal requirements:
  • You must have completed a nurse aide/nursing assistant training program that met OBRA standards.  (You will need to send us a copy of your certificate of completion--see the CNA Endorsement Application Packet for details.)
  • You must have at least 400 hours of paid employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant in that state in the last two yearsExceptions: This is waived if you have been certified less than two years.
  • Your 400 hours of paid employment as a CNA was under the supervision of a nurse.
  • You must complete a national criminal background check.  (Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about fingerprinting.)  Including false or misleading information on your application may result in denial of certification, disciplinary action, and/or a civil penalty ranging from $100 to $5,000.
Additionally, all sections of the Endorsement Application Packet must be completed before certification can be granted.  In addition to the general application, the packet includes:
  • Training verification. Oregon requires a copy of your certificate of completion from your nursing assistant training program.
  • Certification verification. Oregon requires written verification from the state in which you are currently (or most recently) certified.
Click for a copy of our CNA Endorsement Application packet.

Certification is Required in Oregon
CNAs may not work in Oregon using a CNA certificate from another state. Findings of abuse, neglect or misappropriation and/or discipline against a CNA in another state may hinder a person’s ability to obtain an Oregon CNA certificate or limit employment opportunities in Oregon. 

Verification of Certification from your Previous State
Before sending us your Endorsement Application:
  • Call the state where you are currently certified to:
    1. Determine whether your certification is current or expired.  If your certification is expired, you are not eligible for the endorsement process.  Since fees are not refundable, check your certification status before submitting this application.
    2. Inquire about the fee for written verification of your certification.  Most states charge a fee for written verification.
  • Send to the state where you are currently certified:
    1. Complete top portion only of the Verification form.
    2. Mail the Verification form and fee (if any) to the state where you are currently certified.  The state in which you are certified will return the completed form directly to Oregon State Board of Nursing.  There will be a delay if you send this form to us. 
Click for a list of nursing assistant registries located in other states. 
Exception for California Certificate Holders
Mail the blank Verification form along with the Endorsement application to the Oregon State Board of Nursing.  The OSBN performs telephone verification, as this is the only option available in California.

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Renewal Information

When will my certificate expire?
Nursing assistant and medication aide certificates are good for two years and expire at midnight the day before your birthday.  After being issued your Oregon CNA or CMA certificate, your first renewal cycle is dependent upon your birthday and whether you were born in an even year or an odd year. For example, your initial certification period may be as short as 60 days, or up to the full two years depending on the date your certification was issued in relation to your birth month and year.  
Certificate holders are eligible to renew their certificate up to 90 days in advance of the expiration date. As a courtesy, OSBN will send an email (to the address you have provided to us in your application) reminder to you at 90 days, 60 days, and a final notice at 15 days prior to expiration. However, failure to receive these email notifications does not relieve you from your responsibility to maintain current certification in Oregon. It is ultimately the nursing assistant’s responsibility to ensure that their certificate remains active in order to avoid a lapse in employment eligibility. To verify the email address on file in your records, submit an information request to: Oregon.bn.info@state.or.us or call 971-673-0685.

Renewal Fees
  • Certified Nursing Assistant 1 (CNA 1):  $60
  • Certified Medication Aide (CMA):  $75
 If you need to renew your license, you may do so online.  Click here to go to the OSBN Online Renewal Application System).

CNA/CMA Renewal Requirements
To renew a CNA certificate, a CNA must:
  • Work and be paid for at least 400 hours (approximately three months, full-time) of CNA duties in the two years immediately preceding the certificate expiration date. Volunteer work does not count for renewal. Caring for a family member counts for renewal only when it is paid employment.
  • Perform authorized duties as listed in the OSBN's rules under the supervision of a licensed nurse or under delegation by a Registered Nurse.
  • Employment as a CMA counts toward CNA renewal. However, work as a CNA does not count toward CMA renewal.
In addition, CMAs must have eight hours of medication-related continuing education during the two years immediately preceding the certificate expiration date.

What happens if my certificate expires?
If you allow your certificate to expire, you may have it reinstated by submitting a renewal form to the OSBN office with the appropriate supplemental fees. If you do not renew your certificate within 60 days of its expiration date, it will need to be reactivated (with additional fees) and you will need to complete a national criminal background check.

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Background Checks

The OSBN conducts a criminal records check through the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) on every application.  A national fingerprint-based criminal records check is required for all Exam, Endorsement, and Reactivation applicants, and for late Renewals that are 61 or more days past expiration date.  You are required to work with an OSBN investigator/advisor if you have a criminal record.  Providing details of your criminal history (if any) or previous disciplinary actions taken against your license or certificate by another state's Board of Nursing (if any) is part of the application process and must be completed before your license or certificate will be issued.  Some individuals may be denied licensure/certification based on their criminal or disciplinary histories.
Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about fingerprinting.

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CNA/CMA Administrative Rules

Divisions of the Nurse Practice Act Relating to CNAs and CMAs:

  • Division 61- Standards for NA and MA Training Programs.
  • Division 62- Standards for Certification of Nursing Assistants and Medication Aides.
  • Division 63- Standards and Authorized Duties for CNAs and CMAs.

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CNA/CMA Publications

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Refund Policy-Certificate Fees

Fees submitted as part of the application process are not refundable, per ORS 678.410(2). Be certain that you intend to complete the process before submitting your payment. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please call our Customer Service Center at 971-673-0685.

If an error has been made in your payment, contact OSBN Information: 971-673-0685, or e-mail oregon.bn.info@state.or.us to request a review of your account. Allow 10 working days for the refund to be processed as a credit to your credit card account.

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