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Maintaining Your Certification

Your certification is valid for five years, so you need to renew before the end of each five-year term.

As long as you hold a current RN registration or licence in Canada and have gained 2,925 hours of experience in your nursing specialty or area of nursing practice,* you are eligible to renew in one of two ways:

  1. Accumulate continuous learning (CL) hours
  2. Rewrite the exam

*Just one full-time year as an RN in your specialty or area of nursing practice counts as 1,950 hours of experience toward your certification renewal.

The vast majority of CNA-certified nurses renew their credential through the CL option, which requires you to accumulate 100 CL hours related to your nursing specialty or area of nursing practice over the five-year term.

CL and specialty nursing associations
Get a head start on your CL hours by joining a specialty nursing association. This membership connects you with colleagues, experts and leaders in your specialty area, with opportunities for continuing education, and automatically gives you four CL hours each year. That’s 20 CL hours toward your renewal requirements over the five-year certification period.

CL and continuing competence
Even though you submit your CL hours to CNA every five years, many nurses track their CL hours each year in conjunction with their provincial or territorial competence requirements.** You can claim up to 15 CL hours over your five-year certification term for completing learning activities related to meeting your jurisdictional regulatory standards.

**For more about continuing competence, read CNA`s Promoting Continuing Competence for Registered Nurses position statement.
Continuing competence programs vary in each province or territory. Be sure to review specific competence criteria in the jurisdiction where you are registered.