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Certified Nursing Assistants

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am 16 years old. Can I become a CNA?
A: Yes. The Department of Health follows North Dakota Labor Laws, which states anyone 16 years old or older can become a CNA.


Q: How much do I get paid as a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A: The average wage range in North Dakota for a CNA is between $13.00 and $16.00 an hour but can go even higher depending on the shift, location and your experience.


Q: Where are the approved North Dakota CNA training programs located?
A: To find out the closest training site in your area, download this file or call the Aging and Disability LINK toll free 855-GO2-LINK (855-462-5465) and select option 3 for the Direct Workforce Coordinator.


Q: How much does training cost?
A: If you are hired by a skilled nursing home or facility that offers the training, they will cover all training costs, including books and testing. If you choose to go to the training classes on your own, the cost varies from $500 to $1,000 depending on the training site.


Q: How much does testing cost?
A: The test costs approximately $125, depending on which company you test with. This cost includes the two types of testing, which is the written portion and the hands-on skills portion.


Q: Once I get certified, how do I keep my CNA certification active?
A: Every two years you will need to renew your certification on the North Dakota Department of Health’s CNA Registry. There is no charge or fee for CNA renewal. To renew your certification, you must have worked a total of eight hours performing nursing or nursing-related services in the last 24 months as a CNA and received payment for your hours worked. The eight hours worked does not have to be eight consecutive hours. The time can be broken down into two four-hour blocks, or four two-hour blocks and so on. As long as the total amount of time worked in a 24-month period adds up to eight hours or more, your certification can be renewed. You will be renewed 24 months forward from the last date worked.


Q: What if I already have the skills to do the work and don’t want to take the classes? Can I become a CNA?
A: If you feel you have the skills to become certified and do not want to take the training, you can decide to challenge the test. You would contact one of the two approved testing vendors in North Dakota and notify them that you want to take the test. You must pay the fees to take the test. Contact Headmaster at 800-393-8664 or the North Dakota Board of Nursing at 701-328-9777.


Q: What if I have an out-of-state CNA certification?
A: An out-of-state CNA can endorse into North Dakota if they are free and clear on another state’s nurse aide registry. The forms to complete this process are available here.  


Q: What if I had some legal charges in my background will I be able to become certified?
A: This will depend on your particular situation. You can discuss this with your potential employer at the time of your application or call the Aging and Disability LINK toll free 855-GO2-LINK (855-462-5465) and ask for the Direct Services Workforce Coordinator.