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District of Columbia

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CNA Courses in Washington DC

Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, is a major city located in a tight place between Maryland and Virginia directly on the Potomac River. While it is known for its monuments, museums and government buildings, the city also has amazing nightlife, fabulous dining and historical neighborhood with charming shops. Visitors often head to the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial, or residents may spend an evening listening to music at the Kennedy Center or an afternoon browsing through one of the numerous Smithsonian Museums. While the city is small, it has 11 hospitals and 2,766 nursing homes where CNAs can find jobs taking care of the 659,000 residents.

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More About Washington DC

– Minimum Wage: $11.50
– Number of Hospitals: 11
– Number of Nursing Homes: 2,766


– Total Population: 658,893
– Population (ages 45-64): 145,624
– Population (ages 65+): 74,754
– Population (ages 85+): 11,203

Top Colleges Near By

– Georgetown University
– George Washington University
– American University

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in DC

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

The DC Department of Long Term Care monitors and regulates the District’s CNA training programs. Those who can waive training are graduate nurses as well as foreign-educated nurses who skip directly to the competency examination. Training must include at least 120 hours total. Of these hours, 45 are spent in the classroom learning theory and another 30 hours in a training laboratory where students practice skills. The final 45 hours are spent in a local health care facility putting the training into practice while providing direct care to patients under the supervision of a licensed nurse. This number of hours is much higher than the federal requirement and even higher than the average number of training hours provided in most states, which ensures that CNA students here are well-trained.

Each training program has its own eligibility requirements for students, including educational requirements. Many programs will provide a competency test prior to enrolling students to determine their reading comprehension. In addition, all students will need to have up-to-date immunizations as well as a negative tuberculosis test prior to providing hands-on patient care. They will also need to be able to meet the physical requirements of being a CNA, such as being able to lift at least 40 pounds and being able to spend long hours on standing. Finally, all DC students will need to submit to a criminal background check, which must come back clean before they can apply to take the competency examination.

The DC Department of Long Term Care uses the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program through Pearson VUE with the help of the American Red Cross for its competency evaluation standards. It consists of two parts, which test classroom knowledge as well as practical skills. The fee to take both sections is $117 or $127 for the oral version. There is an additional $10 fee to be put on the registry.

The knowledge section can be taken in a written format, or those who have a documented disability can choose the oral version on their applications. The written knowledge test has 70 multiple-choice questions provided in English. The oral version can be taken in English or Spanish. It has 60 multiple-choice CNA theory questions plus an additional 10 multiple-choice reading comprehension questions. Students have two hours to complete this test.

The skills section is performed in front of a Nursing Assistant Evaluator. Applicants will be asked to perform hand washing and four other randomly selected skills, one of which will be taking a measurement, such as a radial pulse. Individuals have 25 minutes to complete the tasks; each task must be performed correctly to pass this section.

Students should receive their scores while they are still at the testing facility. Those who fail one or both sections will receive instructions on how to retest. They will only need to retake the section they failed. Individuals can take each section a total of three times before they will need to retrain.

CNAs moving to Washington DC from out-of-state can often transfer their certifications to DC by reciprocity. To be eligible for this, CNAs must currently have a certification that is active and in good standing with the prior state with no accusations of patient neglect, abuse or maltreatment. In addition, they must have taken a certain type of competency test in their previous state. DC accepts the Pearson VUE test as well as the NACEPS and the ETS examinations. Those who have not taken one of these examinations will need to retake the competency examination in DC. In this case, the normal testing fees will apply in addition to the $10 fee to be placed on the DC registry. Otherwise, reciprocity costs $15.

CNAs must renew their certifications every two years to maintain active licenses. Approximately 60 days before the expiration date, the DC Registry will send out a renewal notice. In order to renew, CNAs must have worked at least eight hours in the past 24 months as a CNA for pay and must have completed 24 hours of in-services or continuing education in the past 24 months. Those who let their certifications expire will need to provide proof of CNA work as well as continuing education hours to have their licenses reinstated. Those who let their licenses expire for more than 24 months will need to retake a CNA training course as well as the competency examination. The cost to renew is $12.

The District of Columbia Department of Health
DC Board of Nursing
DC Nurses Aide Registry

Washington DC Board of Nursing
899 North Capitol Street
NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 442-5955
Fax: (202) 442-4795
TTY: 711
Email: [email protected]

Employment Information for DC

Average Salary for CNAs in DC

Washington DC has a very high income per capita due to its high number of white-collar workers and politicians. At an average of $30,940 per year, CNAs make much less than the income per capita of $45,290; however, they make more here on average than they would in many other states. Although starting wage is typically lower, CNAs make an average of $14.87 per hour in DC.

Job Outlook in DC

There are a surprising number of job opportunities for CNAs in a district that is so small. The U.S. lists 3,420 current job opportunities for CNAs, and many more are expected to appear in the next decade as the population ages. Currently, 11 percent of the population is over the age of 65 and another 146,000 are between the ages of 45 and 65.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in DC
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Medstar Washington Hospital Center110 Irving Street NWWashingtonDC20010202-877-7000Website
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital3800 Reservoir Road NWWashingtonDC20007202-444-2000Website
Sibley Memorial Hospital5255 Loughboro Road NWWashingtonDC20016202-537-4000Website
George Washington University Hospital900 23rd Street NWWashingtonDC20037202-715-4000Website

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