CNA Certification Maryland - Licencing Guide


Want to become a CNA in Maryland? 


Job Growth:

CNA jobs are projected to grow 11% by 2026, and Maryland has a high level of employment with 88,000 registered nurse aids.


Maryland is a top-ranked state for CNA wages, which average at $15/hour, but the top 10% of the nation’s nurse aids earn $50,000.


To become a registered CNA, you must graduate from an accredited course, some as short as 4 weeks, and pass the state exam.

Maryland Certification Requirements

Here’s how to prepare for your CNA state exam and how to become a Certified Nurse Assistant in Maryland.


What is a CNA?

A CNA is a Certified Nurse Assistant, or Certified Nurse Aide. It is one of the most important roles on the healthcare team. CNAs are fully responsible for the general care of patients. This includes taking and recording vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure, assisting them to and from their bed, aiding them during meals, and attending to personal hygiene. The job is rewarding, as your role enhances a patient’s everyday livelihood, giving them an opportunity to be active members of society and offering them a chance to live their lives to the fullest.

Program Requirements  

  1. Be at least 18 years old, or enrolled in high school

  2. Have a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number

  3. Be in good physical health

  4. Up-to-date immunization record, including a negative TB test

  5. Pass a criminal background check

  6. Earn a CPR Health Provider certification (many programs allow the students to earn it during CNA training)

  7. Complete a Certified CNA Training Program in Maryland

  8. To work as a CNA in Maryland at a clinic or hospital it is not required to pass the CNA Certification exam. However, passing the CNA Certification exam is required for those pursuing work in long-term care facilities or nursing homes


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How to Become a CNA

To start a CNA training program, you need to be at least 18 years old, or enrolled in high school. You must have updated medical records for immunization clearance, and be able to pass a criminal background check with finger print analysis. The majority of the CNA training programs in Maryland require a CNA training orientation. Each orientation will administer entry-level reading and math tests, which you must pass with a minimum score of 80% to move on with the CNA training program. After you complete the competency tests and orientation, you will need to find accredited CNA classes in Maryland. The Maryland Board of Nursing offers a list of approved CNA training programs. Each program must have a total number of 100 training hours, including 60 classroom hours and 40 hands-on training hours at a nursing facility. The majority of these programs can be found at local community colleges, trade schools, or even the American Red Cross. You can find local CNA classes near you as well as CNA classes online.

The program can be completed in 6-15 weeks, although there are some accelerated programs that offer 4-week CNA classes as well. Students are under direct supervision during training and their program instructors must be licensed for nursing in Maryland, have a minimum of 1 year of nursing experience, and must have either completed a course on how to teach adults or have verifiable experience teaching adults or supervising nurse aides.

Once the training is complete, you are eligible to apply for CNA certification, which allows you to sign up to take the official CNA examination. In the state of Maryland the CNA training programs must be completed in their entirety before you can begin working as a CNA. The CNA exam is actually optional for those interested in short-term CNA work, however for anyone with the desire to pursue a long-term career as a CNA at nursing facilities or clinics, or to move on to work as a GNA (Geriatric Nurse Aide), you must take and pass the CNA exam. If you plan to take the test, it’s recommended you take a free CNA practice exam to prepare. You must take the exam at a certified testing center such as the American Red Cross or one of the Pearson VUE testing sites for the National Nurse Assistant Training and Assessment Program (NNAAP).

Below you can also find city-specific information within Maryland on how to become a CNA:

Free CNA Classes in Baltimore

A Closer Look at CNA Training

A typical CNA program in Maryland will include 60 hours of introductory training before administering direct care for patients. Introductory hours consist of communication, infection control, patients’ rights, and safety procedures such as the Heimlich maneuver. You can expect to take CNA classes that cover topics such as:

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Anatomy

  • Social Service

  • Mental Health

  • Cognitive Impairment

  • Emergency Procedures

  • Personal Care & Hygiene

  • Infection Control

  • Basic Nursing Care

  • Restorative Services

  • Patients’ Rights

The CNA Training Program tuition can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,000, depending on the program. For example, the American Red Cross program costs $1,300. However, these fees do not include classroom materials, uniforms, or textbooks. Some facilities such as adult education centers and nursing homes offer free CNA classes, while others accept financial aid and payment plans. You can also apply for your employer to reimburse your training or supplement your certification with on-the-job training.


Testing & Examination Procedure

The Maryland Board of Nursing partners with the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) to certify its nurses. The CNA state exam is distributed by Pearson VUE and they provide a multitude of information to help you succeed in the examination process, including a free CNA practice test, applications, and test site locations and times.

The CNA test in Maryland is comprised of 2 portions: a written (or oral) exam, and a clinical skills evaluation. Both are administered on the same day. The written exam has 70 multiple choice questions in English and you will have 2 hours to complete it. If English is your second language, you are able to opt out and take the written exam orally. You can take CNA classes en español as well. The oral exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and 10 reading comprehension questions. The skills examination requires the nurse aide evaluator to supervise you performing 5 skills randomly selected from a list of 34 skills in 30 minutes or less. You must perform 4 of the 5 skills correctly to pass.

You must complete an examination application to apply for the NNAAP CNA Exam. Applications can be picked up from your CNA Training Program instructor or from your nursing facility employer. If you have further need of help, contact a Credentia Customer Service Representative at 1-877-437-9587. Mail your application, with required documents and appropriate application fee (dependent on test site) to:

Credentia, Maryland NNAAP, 3 Bala Plaza West,

Suite 400A, Bala Cynwayd, PA 19004.

If you have a disability, you may request special arrangements for the test that must be approved in advance. If you don’t pass the exam on your first try, it is possible to retake the exam twice. If you fail the test three times, you must re-train at an approved program before attempting the test a fourth time.

Once you pass the exam, Congratulations! Your score report will arrive in the mail 5-7 weeks later. If you have questions please contact Pearson VUE at 1-888-274-7070.

Exam Cost Broken Down:

  • $105 - Written & Skills Evaluation

  • $105 - Oral & Skills Evaluation

  • $35 - Written Exam only

  • $35 - Oral Exam only

  • $70 - Skills Exam only

What to Bring With You:

  1. Two forms of current identification, one with a photo I.D.

  2. Social Security card

  3. Non-skid, closed-toe shoes for the clinical evaluation

  4. Three No. 2 pencils and eraser

  5. A watch with a second hand


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Employment Prospects

Maryland has a high CNA employment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are more than 88,000 CNAs currently employed. Maryland offers a competitive rate, at nearly $15/hour, for starting CNAs. The Baltimore area is ranked as one of the country’s metropolitan areas with the highest employment; there are nearly 14,000 jobs in the city.

The top 10% of CNAs nationwide can make $50,000 annually, and nursing assistant jobs are relatively easy to find. Due to the ability for increased training opportunities and further career advancements, there is a high turn-around rate for CNAs, as many use their work experience to start the accreditation process needed to become Registered Nurses. Working as a CNA is not only rewarding, but also offers job stability and immense growth opportunities.  

Nearly 50% of CNAs in Maryland work in Nursing Care Facilities, and there are 2,500 registered nursing facilities in the state of Maryland that offer employment.


The remainder jobs are at hospitals, medical offices, facilities for elderly, mental health clinics, outpatient care centers, and even film and television housing facilities. CNAs play such a vital role in patient care that the growth of CNA jobs is projected to grow 11% by 2026. An aging population will significantly increase nurse aide jobs. You may also work at a nursing facility for a maximum of 4 months while you are enrolled in your training program.

Job Advancement - Career Opportunities

As an entry-level position in the medical field, CNAs are given many opportunities to promote. CNAs work with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and directly under a Registered Nurse (RN), so they are rewarded by seeing firsthand what it looks like to advance their nursing career. To become a LPN, a CNA can apply for a bridge course that can be found at a community college or a vocational training school that can either be offered online or on-campus. Typically this training includes a 6-24 week class with 75 hours of training, however many current CNAs are able to use their work hours to apply to training, making it very easy to promote. Maryland has such a turnaround in CNA jobs advancement, that thousands of CNA jobs will open annually because of it. You may also join an association for resources and to help advance your career, such as the Maryland Nurse Association.

License Renewal

The state of Maryland requires you to renew a CNA Certification every 2 years; the fee is $40. Out-of-state CNAs must meet the state board’s requirements to become eligible for certification.

All CNAs in need of renewal must complete a Criminal History Records Check (CHRC). A copy of the receipt must be processed before the CNA Certification can be renewed.

Mail a copy of the CHRC form to:

Attention Renewal Department

4140 Patterson Ave, Baltimore, MD 2121502254


You must start the renewal process 3 months before your license expires. If you fail to complete renewal, your CNA certification will expire and you will not be legally employable until it is active again.

For additional information about state licensing, renewal, and certification contact:

Maryland Board of Nursing - Nursing Assistant Certification Program

4140 Patterson Avenue

Baltimore, MD 21215

Phone: (410) 585-1990

Maryland Nurse Aide Registry - CNA/GNA

Phone: (410) 585-1994


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State-Approved Nursing Assistant Programs Near You

Allegany College of Maryland
12401 Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland, MD 21502
(301) 784-5000

Anne Arundel Community College
101 College Pkwy, Arnold, MD 21012
(410) 777-2222

Baltimore City Community College
2901 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 462-8300

Carroll Community College
1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 386-8000

Cecil Community College
1 Seahawk Dr, North East, MD 21901
(410) 287-1000

Chesapeake College Todd Performing Arts Center
1000 College Cir, Wye Mills, MD 21679
(410) 822-5400

College of Southern Maryland
8730 Mitchell Rd, La Plata, MD 20646
(301) 934-2251

Community College of Baltimore County
11101 McCormick Rd # 101, Hunt Valley, MD 21031
(410) 771-6835

Coppin State University
2500 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21216
(410) 951-3000

Frederick Community College
200 Monroe Ave, Frederick, MD 21701
(240) 629-7900

Garrett College
687 Mosser Rd, McHenry, MD 21541
(301) 387-3000

Hagerstown Community College
11400 Robinwood Dr, Hagerstown, MD 21742
(240) 500-2000

Harford Community College
401 Thomas Run Rd, Bel Air, MD 21015
(443) 412-2000

Howard Community College
10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044
(443) 518-1000

Montgomery College
51 Mannakee St, Rockville, MD 20850
(240) 567-5000

Prince George Community College
301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774
(301) 546-7422

Wor-Wic College
32000 Campus Dr, Salisbury, MD 21804
(410) 334-2800

Aspire School of Learning Nursing Assistant
4862, 312 Marshall Ave suite 104, Laurel, MD 20707
(301) 604-3330

Bethel Health Care Institute
5617 Ager Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20782
(301) 559-0200

Cambridge Nsg. Asst. Trng. Academy
431 N Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 990-8311

Care ‘Xpert Academy, LLC
13321 New Hampshire Ave #205, Silver Spring, MD 20904
(301) 384-6011

Caroline Center
900 Somerset St, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 563-1303

Certified Home Nursing Solutions
500 Edgewood Rd #104, Edgewood, MD 21040
(443) 456-6779

Compassionate Nursing Asst. Academy
1835 University Blvd E, Hyattsville, MD 20783
(301) 332-9699

Demas Academy
9101 Cherry Ln #212, Laurel, MD 20707
(240) 838-1483

Dominion Academy, Inc.
8855 Annapolis Rd #305, Lanham, MD 20706
(240) 770-7774

Fomen Nursing Asst Training Academy
7411 Riggs Rd Suite #210, Lewisdale, MD 20782
(301) 328-0423

Gandhi’s Institute of Health Found
1726 Reisterstown Rd Suite # 200, Pikesville, MD 21208
(443) 352-8030

Greenbelt Career Institute  
6201 Greenbelt Rd, College Park, MD 20740
(301) 982-1262

Health Focus Nrsg Asst. Training
4900 Belair Rd, Baltimore, MD 21206
(410) 488-6600

Healthcare Training Solutions
4400 Stamp Rd Ste 206, Temple Hills, MD 20748
(240) 455-6278

It Works Learning Center, Inc.
1217 W Fayette St, Baltimore, MD 21223
(410) 626-0200

Knowledge First Institute
11510 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902
(301) 933-7474

Maryland Center for Adult Training
2901 Druid Park Dr # 303, Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 728-0679

Morning Star Academy
101 Lakeforest Blvd Suite 402, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 977-7393

The Nursing Assistant Academy
5811 Baltimore Ave #101, Riverdale Park, MD 20737
(240) 770-8251

NurseOne, Inc.
9470 Annapolis Rd #220, Lanham, MD 20706
(301) 459-8899

Perpetual School of Nursing Assistant
1734 Elton Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20903
(301) 434-8636

Precise Academy
10806 Reisterstown Rd #3B, Owings Mills, MD 21117
(443) 303-2335

Premier Healthcare Institute
10240 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20903
(301) 755-3234

Quality First Career Center (CNA & GNA)
6475 New Hampshire Ave #501, Chillum, MD 20783
(301) 270-5105

Silver Oak Academy
999 Crouse Mill Rd, Keymar, MD 21757
(410) 775-1745

Stein Academy
3610 Milford Mill Rd, Windsor Mill, MD 21244
(410) 922-4910

Top Knowledge Healthcare Institute CNA
22 Light St Suite 405, Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 528-1600

Trinity Nursing Assistant Training
186 Thomas Johnson Dr, Frederick, MD 21702
(301) 662-6500

Vision Allied Health Institute
1045 Taylor Ave, Towson, MD 21286
(443) 520-0801