District of Columbia Nursing Assistant / Nurse Aide Guide
Is a License or Certification needed: To get licensed and work as a nursing assistant or nurse aide in the District of Columbia, you need to complete a certified nursing assistant program and pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam. This must have occurred within 4 months of being hired to work as a nurse aide in the Washington D.C. area.
Who Grants Certification: The District of Columbia Department of Health grants certification to nursing assistants and nurse aides working in the District of Columbia.
The Qualifications to become Certified: In order to receive a new nurse aide certification in the District of Columbia, you must have completed a state-approved nurse aide program within the past 24 months. This program must have a minimum of 120 hours of instruction, including 45 classroom hours, 30 lab clinical training hours and 45 hours of nursing home clinical practicum. The nurse aide trainee must also be certified by a physician as free of communicable disease before obtaining his or her CNA license. See more information here.
How to Apply for Certification: Applying to be a certified nurse aide takes completing a nursing assistant program in the District of Columbia. You can find a list of these programs here.
How to Apply to Take the Exam: You may use this form to apply to the NNAAP test. Fill out the form completely and mail it to:
American Red Cross
PO Box 5875
Harrisburg, PA 17110
The NNAAP exam can be taken in the District of Columbia at one of these locations.
Test Content: The NNAAP test has two parts, a Skills Evaluation and a Written (or oral) part. Both parts must be passed to be listed on the District of Columbia Nurse Aide Registry. The written section is 70 questions in length, 60 are multiple choice and 10 are reading comprehension questions. Take two pencils with you. You will have two full hours to complete the exam. (The oral exam if given in place of the written exam is 160 questions in length.) The Skills Evaluation will be a 25 minute time period given to complete 5 randomly selected nurse aide skills.
Content topics include:
- Activities of Daily Living – Hygiene, Dressing and Grooming, Nutrition and Hydration, Elimination, Rest/Comfort/Sleep
- Basic Nursing Skills - Infection Control, Safety/Emergency, Therapeutic/Technical Procedures, Data Collection and Reporting
- Restorative Skills – Prevention, Self-care/Independence
- Psychosocial Care Skills – Emotional and Mental Health Needs
- Spiritual and Cultural Needs
- Client Rights
- Legal and Ethical Behavior
- Member of the Health Care Team
See the Candidate Handbook for more details.
Certification Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements: In order to keep your certification up to date, you need to have worked at least eight hours in the past 24 months. These must be paid, not volunteer, hours in a home health agency, hospital, hospice agency, nursing home or mental health facility within a two year period. In order to keep up with the continuing education, your employer can send in a verification of CEU’s completed. To renew your nurse aide license, send this application to:
Pearson VUE/DCNA Registry
P.O. Box 13785