Nursing Assistant Certification

​Nursing Assistant Certification

All nursing assistants must be certified in order to work.  If there are any nursing assistants working in your facility who are not certified, they must immediately apply for certification.

The CNA certification is the basic level of certification.  Any other certifications are in addition to the CNA certification.  The CNA certification must be completed first or in conjunction with any additional certification.

The following are additional certifications that are specific to Federal law or State regulation.  The additional certification will appear on the CNA certification card.

  • Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA) – has passed the Geriatric Nursing Assistant examination and meets Federal requirements – required for all nursing assistants working in licensed comprehensive care facilities.
  • Certified Medicine Aide (CMA) – meets state requirements – required to administer medications in a licensed comprehensive care facility.  Only a GNA with one year of experience and who has completed an approved 60-hour medicine aide course taught in a community college are eligible to become a CMA.
  • Dialysis Technician – Meets training requirements of the state – required to work in dialysis units in Maryland.  Click here for more informing on becoming a Dialysis Technician.
GNA Registry
Federal law requires that a state maintain a GNA registry listing the status of GNA certification and those who have had disciplinary action taken against them.
The Board has a combined CNA certification database with the GNA registry.  Information regarding GNA certification will be found on the Board’s license verification web site.  There is no cost for the registry.  Renewals of certification are now handled by the Board.
GNA Testing
Examinations are offered through Credentia Nurse Aide Credentialing Services and the Maryland Geriatric Nursing Assistant Testing Service.  Credentia notifies the Board of examination results.  Those passing the examination will be provided a GNA certificate.  A new certificate will be issued with the GNA initials at the next regular renewal.  The GNA certification will appear on the online verification at the Board’s web site under “License” in the top green title bar.
  1. MDGNATS offered by the Credentia (phone: 888-204-6249) may be contacted directly to:
    • Obtain the Maryland Geriatric Nursing Assistant Candidate Handbook which explains the written and clinical testing process, including the 20 skills tested in Maryland;
    • Register for the examination: To download the application to register for the GNA Examination, please go to the Credentia website at Click on the “Create an Account” link under step 3 on the home page to create an account and submit a testing application.
    • Cancel a scheduled test session.
    • Arranged special accommodations. (Instructions on the application)
    • Change the candidate’s current address or name prior to testing. Driver’s License or ‘Proof of Address Change’ document is required on the day of the exam.
      Credentia may be reached at: 888-204-6249 to update your address.
  2. CNA training programs must be approved by the Board of Nursing prior to accepting students.  Students will not be permitted CNA certification if they complete a program that has not been approved by the Board and will not be eligible to take the GNA examination.  A list of Board approved Nursing Assistant training programs is available on the Board’s web page.  Click here for information on how to become an approved CNA and or dialysis technician training program.

Training programs, which have not been approved by the Board of Nursing, must immediately cease and desist training candidates.  The training program must submit all materials specified in the Regulations Governing Nursing Assistant Training Programs, COMAR 10.39.02.  Interested parties may contact the Board at​.

Renewal of CNA Certification
CNA certification is for a 2-year period following the date of the first renewal.  Costs for renewal is $40 for the 2-year period.
The expiration date of certification for GNAs, Medicine Aides, and Home Health Aides match the CNA expiration date.  There is no charge for the GNA or Medicine Aide certification. Those certificate holders that have initially been certified will be required to re-certify as the certification expires on the 28th day of the individual’s birth month in an odd or even year. If the individual is born in an odd year the certificate will expire in an odd year. If the individual is born in an even year the individual will expire in an even year. 

GNA Certification 
The Board of Nursing is responsible for processing GNA certification and renewals, not the testing service.  GNA certification will be indicated on the CNA certification.  There is no cost for GNA certification or renewal if the individual meets the requirements for GNA certification.  GNA certification will expire at the same time as CNA certification.
updated 1/30/2024

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