CNA Classes in Washington (WA)

To work as a CNA in Washington, you’ll need to meet some basic criteria, take a state-approved training program and, finally, pass a competency exam. After that, the state will add your name to its CNA registry. The Washington Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) jointly oversee the whole certification process.

Eligibility Criteria

To sign up for CNA courses in Washington, you need to:

  • Be at least 18.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Pass a complete physical, including a drug and TB test.
  • Pass a mental health check.
  • Show proof of up-to-date vaccines.
  • Have a clear criminal background.

Training and Testing

Check out the Washington DSHS website for a list of state-approved CNA programs. You’ll need to complete at least 50 clinical hours and 35 classroom hours before you can sit the CNA exam. This includes at least 7 hours of HIV/AIDS training.

You may be exempt from training if:

  • You’re an out-of-state CNA and you meet the training criteria.
  • You’re enrolled in a nursing program, or recently graduated from one.
  • You have a lapsed CNA license.
  • You received nurse training in the military.

The CNA exam is managed by Pearson VUE. It has 70 multiple choice questions as well as a practical section, which tests you on 5 randomly chosen clinical skills out of a total list of 25. It’s recommended to take both parts of the exam on the same day.


CNA training in Washington ranges from $1,000-$2,000.

Pearson VUE testing fees are:

  • Skills and written testing: $110
  • Skills and oral testing: $110
  • Skills testing: $74
  • Written testing: $36
  • Oral testing: $36

License Renewal

Your CNA license is good for 1 year in Washington. You have to renew the license on or before your birthday every year. You can submit your renewal online.

Key Facts

  • If you have prior felony convictions, previously lost your license, have a history of liability claims or faced certain disciplinary actions, you may not be allowed to work as a CNA in Washington.
  • You have to pass the competency exam within 24 months of training. If you fail the exam 3 times within those 24 months, you have to reenroll in training and sit the exam again.
  • If you work for an approved health care facility, your employer should pay for your training and testing fees.
  • You can work as a CNA for up to 4 months while you complete training. You have to fill out a DOH application within 3 days of starting your nursing job. If you don’t get your license by the end of those 120 days, you’ll have to stop working until you’re added to the state registry.

Traditional Classes Training Centers

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