CNA Certification in Massachusetts

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To earn the certification of the Nursing Aide in the state of Massachusetts, aspirants need to complete the Nursing Board approved training program, which is monitored by the ‘Department of Health and Human Services’. This group maintains the state’s registry that list down the information of the certified CNAs. After this, it is mandatory for candidates to take and pass the ‘Red Cross’ administered competency exam, or at the nursing facility where candidates take the training course.

Eligibility Requirement

To become eligible to enrol in the certified nursing aide program, candidates must fulfil the below mentioned requirements

  • Candidates must be 16 years old or above;
  • Candidate must take the health screening test. He/she must come a negative TB;
  • A criminal background, including fingerprinting check must be ended at the state and central level, and
  • Candidates must know be educated to the 9th grade standard.

When candidates meet the above requirements, they become eligible to apply for and take the training program.

How to Apply

Not all CNA aspirants need to attend the training course to become eligible to apply for the exam. The following candidates can forgo the nursing aide training

  • Lapsed CNAs, whose licenses remained inactive for more than 4 months. They only need to take the refreshing training;
  • Foreign trained nurses who submit the proper applications and proof of training;
  • Graduate or student nurses who got the proof of training and the required documentations ;
  • Former military personnel who submit the proper applications and the proof of training;
  • Reciprocity candidates who have completed their training in other states. They need to provide the proper applications and proof of the training; or
  • Qualified waivers under the state code- 42 CFR 483.150.

Others who are in need of nursing aide training course, work for employers who got the State Board of Nursing approved CNA program.    Besides this, the ‘American Red Cross’ (ARC) runs NAT training program in Massachusetts.

State approved training programs necessitate 75 hours of training course divided between classroom hours and clinical work. It is only after taking the Board approved training hours, candidates can sit for the nursing aide testing. The Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation (NACE) is used for testing. The exam got two portions- a manual skill and written test.  The exams can be given orally if aspirants suffer from testing problems. The exam is conducted only in the English language.


In Massachusetts, the CNA training cost is quite high. It comes around $1200. It takes over 4 months to finish the training. In addition to this, there are expenses on the state examination. At present, the registration fee for the examination is $ 93.

Certificate Renewal

License of the Nursing Assistant expires in 24 months, and is renewed biannually. The license of only those CNAs is activated who have worked as a paid CNA for at least 8 hours during the previous 2 years. The notification mail regarding the license renewal is sent to candidates around 2 months before the expiration of licensures. If CNAs don’t renew the license and let it expired then they need re-testing to activate the Nursing Aide credentials.

Must Know Facts

  • Candidates get 12 months to apply and qualify the NACE exam after the completion of training course.
  • Candidates are permitted to work for 120 days without winning the CNA certification. The condition is they must be enrolled in the state approved training program. They will be removed from the nursing services if they fail to complete the training and qualify the exam.
  • Candidates need to pass the exam within 3 attempts. If they don’t then they are required to take the training again.