Nurse Aide Registry

Nurse Aide Programs

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) required states to initiate and maintain Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Programs and Nurse Aide Registries. This was designed to improve the quality of care in long term health care facilities and to define training and evaluation standards for nurses who work in such facilities. Under the requirements of this Act, the Tennessee Department of Health is required to review, approve, deny or suspend training programs as outlined in the Federal Code of Regulations (CFR Title 42, volume 3, part 483). The Department is also required to certify and list all individuals who complete a state approved training program and competency evaluation as well as list and maintain a registry of all individuals who are found to have abuse or neglected elderly or vulnerable persons, or misappropriated their property. These listings may be found on the State Nurse Aide Registry, or the Elderly or Vulnerable Abuse Registry.

NOTE: that all laws and regulations that govern the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry are under nursing home requirements.

Verify Status of Nurse Aide

Nurse Aide Challange Application (Updated)

Nurse Aide Training Programs

D&SDT-Headmaster’s new software is TestMaster Universe (TMU©). Nurse Aide Training Programs are given access to TestMaster Universe (TMU©) by verifying the Program Coordinator which includes submitting a copy of TDH approval letter to D&SDT-Headmaster at; and verifying all instructors by submitting a letter by the Program Coordinator on your company’s letterhead to D&SDT-Headmaster at All questions regarding this process can be referred to D&SDT-Headmaster at 877-201-0758.

Go to for a list of all State of Tennessee approved training programs.

NOTE: that training and testing are free for candidates who train in a nursing home based program and are employed by a skilled nursing facility. Any program other than one based in a nursing home is considered a private program. Fees, length of study and other requirements may vary by program. You are encouraged to contact the program directly for additional information.


Requirements for Certification

In order to be certified on the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry, an individual must have completed an approved nurse aide training program and successfully completed the state competency examination within 24 months from completion of the class.

A student enrolled in a LPN or RN program may request to challenge the competency examination by providing original transcripts of their education verifying they have completed the basic nursing fundamentals and skills that are covered in a nurse aide training program.

An individual who is military trained as a medic, may apply to challenge the test by providing a copy of their DD-214. Documentation of classroom and clinical experience will be required.

An individual who is currently listed as active with no derogatory or abuse information on another State’s list of certified individuals can apply for reciprocity. Tennessee accepts reciprocity from all States except Florida. An individual living in Florida must retrain and retest in Tennessee in order to become certified as a CNA in this State.

The certification period is for 24 months, and the individual must renew every 2 years by providing verification that they have worked a minimum of eight hours during the 24-month time frame.

If the certification expires, the individual must then reinstate their certification which requires more documentation than a renewal. Proof of eight hours worked each year is required for each year beginning the year prior to the expiration year and continuing through the current year. If continuous employment providing CNA duties in a certified facility cannot be provided, the individual must retrain and retest in order to be reactivated.

Name and Address Changes

Federal and State Regulations require nurse aides to keep their name and address current on the Tennessee Nurse Aide Registry. To report a name change, the individual must provide a photocopy of the legal document that changed their name (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or court order) along with their social security number and their current name. To report an address change, the individual must include their name, social number, old address and the new address.


Instructions for Renewals

Certified Nurse Aides are required to renew their certification every two years and must provide verification of having worked a minimum of eight hours during the past 24 months in a facility licensed or certified by the Office of Health Care Facilities. (NOTE: Private duty services, sitter, companion services, private physician’s offices, etc. are not accepted for renewal.) Renewals cannot be submitted prior to 45 days in advance of the aide’s certification expiration date. This proof of employment must be in the form of either: a pay stub; payroll printout; or notarized attestation form. The pay stub or payroll printout must contain the name of the facility (not the payroll services company), the individual’s name, a date and the number of hours worked. The individual should also include their social security number and current address on the paperwork. The notarized attestation form must be completed and notarized by the facility where the individual worked and must include: the individual’s name; social security number; the date the individual worked 8 hours; and the name and title of the individual verifying the information. (Click here to download the Employment Verification form).

Instructions for Reciprocity to Tennessee

Individuals who are certified in other states may request to have their certification added to Tennessee. This individual must have an active certification in the state they wish to transfer from with no abuse or other derogatory information listed. Reciprocity applications are currently being processed by Tennessee’s state testing agency. The application is online at Select Tennessee from the list of States; the form is located in the lower left corner. There is a $20 fee to process the application. Upon receipt of all required information, the process typically takes no longer than one week. NOTE: If you have ever been previously certified in Tennessee, you should contact the Registry to determine whether you are eligible to reinstate prior to completing the reciprocity application. Certification can be held in numerous states; however, renewal will be separate for each state.

Verification to Other States

Effective May, 2019, all states agencies have been advised that Tennessee no longer manually completes paper verification forms. Anyone who has ever been certified in Tennessee can be located on the website at In the lower right corner of the information, there is a link to an official letter that can be printed and included with verification forms.

Contact Information Relating to Nurse Aide

Main Number: 615.532.5171
Fax Number: 615.248.3601

For Renewal and General Nurse Aide Certification: Email at

For Nurse Aide Training Program: Email at