Washington Nurse Aide Registry

OBRA Nursing Assistant Registry
Washington State Department of Health
PO Box 45600, Olympia, WA 98504-5600
(360) 725-2597

The Washington State Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) is the regulating authority for nurse aides in Washington State. ALTSA has designated Pearson Vue to administer the NNAAP Examination for the OBRA Nursing Assistant Registry. Pearson Vue will be working with NACES (Nurse Aide Competency Evaluation Service) to schedule and administer the NNAAP Examination.

Becoming a Nursing Assistant Certified in Washington

Required Training: In order to apply for initial nursing assistant certification, candidates must first complete the required training in Washington State. State-approved training programs typically consist of 85 hours divided into 50 hours of clinical practice and 35 hours of classroom instruction.

Examination: The next step to becoming certified is for candidates to schedule a test via Pearson Vue, which was designated to administer the (NNAAP) examination in the state of Washington. Training providers will upload the name of students who have successfully completed the training program with Pearson Vue. Each student will then receive account activation instructions, which they will use to activate their account and schedule a test.

Registry Enlisting: Upon passing successfully both parts of the NNAAP examination, candidates’ name will be added to the Washington CNA Registry.

Alternate Certification Pathways

Certification by examination is available for:

  • Student nurses or graduate nurses based on equivalent training.
  • Military nursing assistants based on the completion of the Navy Basic Hospital Corps School, the U.S. Army 91-C Program, or the Air Force Apprentice (Specialist) Program.
  • Out of state trained candidates upon providing evidence of completing a minimum of 35 hours of classroom instruction and 30 hours of clinical training.
  • Medical assistants or home care aides based on a bridging program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation and Allied Health Education Programs or the American Association of Medical Assistants and the American Medical Association.

Candidates will need to complete a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course.

Certification Renewal for Washington State Nursing Assistants

Nurse aides are required to renew their registration or certification every 12 months. The DOH sends nurse aides on the registry a notice during the 60 days renewal period that ends on the expiry date of the certificate. Nurse aides are expected to renew on time even if they do not receive a notice. Online, in person, and by mail renewal options are available. Only nurse aides who have worked for pay for 8 hours during the last 2 (two) years are eligible for renewal.

Reinstatement of a Lapsed Nurse Aide Certificate

Lapsed nursing assistant certificates can be reinstated only if the certificate holders retrain and retest. This applies to:

  • Nursing assistants who have failed to complete the mandatory 8 hours of paid nursing-related services within the last 24 months.
  • Nursing assistants who have failed to renew their certificate within 3 years of the expiry date on their certificate.

Out-of-state Certification by Endorsement

Nursing assistants trained and certified in another state may be eligible for certification by endorsement. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Download and print the certification by endorsement packet  
  • Complete the first part of the credential verification form
  • Send the application to your home state’s registry

Your home state’s registry will complete the bottom part of the application and send it to Washington State. If your home state’s registry confirms that your certificate is active and in good standing and you have completed adequate training and employment, your name will be added to the CNA registry in Washington.