Nursing Assistant Types


Note: As of July 1, 2016, Arizona offers two types of nursing assistant credentials in Arizona:

  1. Certified Nursing Assistant, designated as “CNA”, or “Registry CNA”, and
  2. Licensed Nursing Assistant, designated as “LNA”

The “NEW” CNA: Although there were CNAs before July 1, 2016, the current CNA, also known as “Registry CNA”, is a new type of credential, effective July 1, 2016. Registry CNAs have fewer requirements for certification and less oversight by the Board. Registry CNA applicants need only meet the minimum federal requirements for CNA certification, and will be issued a certificate after completing an approved CNA program and passing the CNA tests. Registry CNAs are required to practice 8 hours every two years to renew their license/certificate. A criminal background check is NOT required, and certification is free.

The LNA: In contrast, the current LNA has requirements that are almost identical to the “old” CNA. The LNA must complete a criminal background check, has a higher level of oversight by the Board prior to and after issuance of the LNA license. LNAs are required to practice a minimum of 160 hours within the past two years to renew their license.

IMPORTANT – “Undeclared CNAs”: During the transition period from the “old CNA” to the new, “Registry CNA” and LNA, some nursing assistants who hold an “old” CNA certificate, issued prior to July 1, 2016, have not “declared” whether they wish to convert to either an LNA or Registry CNA (individuals cannot hold both credential simultaneously). These “old” CNA certificates are called “Undeclared CNAs”, or “UCNAs”. Upon renewal, holders of the UCNAs will be required to declare If they want to convert to a Registry CNA or LNA. In the meantime, they are treated as LNA-equivalents, because the requirements that were in place for the UCNA certificates at the time they were issued, were equivalent to the current LNA requirements.

**While there are still UCNA credentials that have not been converted to (new) CNA or LNA; the designator “UCNA” will be used in the Board’s license verification system.

Article shared from the Arizona State Board of Nursing