Sections 8:38, 8:39 and 8:43 of the New Jersey Administrative Code contain the majority of the rules that govern long-term care facilities in the state. Under these laws, nursing aides who work in facilities that receive funding from Medicare or Medicaid must gain licensing as a certified nursing assistant. The CNA credential requires renewal every two years.
To qualify to renew a CNA license in New Jersey, nursing aides must meet certain qualifications. Primarily, CNAs must show proof of having worked at least seven hours during the 24 months prior to the expiration of their credentials. The seven hours must be on a paid basis; volunteer work does not satisfy the requirements. In addition, candidates must not have had a suspension or revocation of their CNA licenses during their current licensing cycles.
All CNAs in New Jersey must undergo a criminal background check prior to the renewal of their licenses. The state's contracted administrator for the CNA licensing program, PSI, mails all CNAs a packet of information at least 45 days before the expiration of their credentials. Inside is a questionnaire related to the CNA's recent history, including any criminal convictions that occurred during the licensing cycle. In addition, PSI will check its records to ensure that CNAs have fingerprints on file with the company. Those who do not will need to have a set completed prior to renewing their credentials.
Along with the background check form, CNAs in New Jersey receive a recertification application in the mail from PSI. CNAs must complete the form completely and then visit a PSI center with it before the expiration date of their credentials. As of April 2011, PSI had locations in Brick, Cherry Hill, Hamilton Township, New Providence, North Brunswick, Linwood, Paramus and Parsipanny. At the center, CNAs have their pictures taken and pay the renewal fee, which was $30 as of April 2011.
Any CNA whose license lapses for more than five years cannot renew his credentials through the standard method. Instead, she must complete either a state-approved 90-hour training course for nurse assistants or an 85-hour state-approved course in personal care assisting. Upon completion of the program, candidate must take a written examination, which consists of 60 multiple choice questions and lasts up to 90 minutes. If they pass the written portion, CNAs with lapsed licenses then complete a practical examination, during which they demonstrate certain key skills for nurse assisting.