Aide and Technician Certification Section (ATCS), which is the ‘California Department of Public Health’ monitors the CNA training programs of California.

The ‘Pearson Vue’ group administers the CNA certification exam, using the guidelines of the National Nurse Assistant Assessment Program (NNAAP). You can check out the guidelines of NNAAP on –

Eligibility Requirement:

  • Must be of 16 or above.
  • No criminal history or clearance of criminal record.
  • Successfully finished the state approved training program and scored the passing marks in the exam.

How to Apply:

If you have

  • taken CNA training or earned CNA certification from another state,
  • own a license of a registered or vocational nurse, or
  • taken training in programs that are alike to the training programs of California

then, candidates can earn advanced nursing credentials, like RN, etc. Candidates just need to contact and request an application from the ATCS office.

The ‘National Council of State Boards of Nursing’ of California requires aspirants to take training programs of at least 75 hours. At present, most of the CNA certification programs in California last for 150 hours, divided between the classroom lectures and in-hand learning. It usually takes over 6 weeks to finish the training.


Without the inclusion of testing fee, it costs from $ 600 to $ 1800 to take CNA training programs in the state for certification.

  • Written and Skill Evaluation fee: $ 90
  • Oral and Skill fee: $ 105
  • Criminal background check fee is not a part of testing but of the training program.

There are two sections in the NNAAP testing process. One is written (oral) exam and the other is the skill testing. Both sections of the testing are held on the same day. After passing both the sections only, candidates are certified as a CNA and registered on the ‘California Nursing Assistant Registry’.

There are 70 multiple choice questions in English in the written section and 5 randomly chosen nurse aide skills to perform at the Skills Evaluation section. Those 5 selected skills are to be performed in the time duration of 25 minutes.  A ‘Nursing Assistant Evaluator’ demonstrates skill and accordingly marks are allotted to candidates.

Individuals, who successfully pass the exam appear on the ‘California Nursing Assistant Registry’ and the state (not the Person Vue group) issues the CNA licensure to the individuals.

Must Know Facts:

  • Candidates must pass both- written and skill testing within the two years of the completion of the state approved training programs in order to earn CNA certification in California.
  •   CNA license expires in two years. It is needed to be renewed in every two years to maintain its validity. A reminder mail is send to the license holders 4 months before the expiration of the certificate.
  • If candidates are enrolled for the state approved training programs then they can work as a CNA without having the CNA certificate of the state.
  • Candidates are required 48 hours of CE units and proof of paid employment of at least 8 hours.

Candidates must take and qualify the exam within the one year of completion of the CNA training program.