Inactive Status

Inactive Status

If you are a certified nurse who is due to renew, but you are unable to meet the renewal requirements due to personal or professional reasons, you can apply for inactive status. This gives you a three-year window in which to pursue your certification renewal.

Inactive status applications will be approved if submitted before your certification has expired. If, however, you missed the renewal date, under special consideration you can still apply to change your status to “inactive.” This application must be made within the next calendar year of your renewal deadline.

The (non-refundable) fee to apply for inactive status is $175 + applicable taxes.

Conditions of inactive status:

  • available for one three-year term only
  • becomes active the day after your certification term ends
  • means relinquishing the use of your credential until your certification is reactivated

How to access and complete your inactive status application

  1. Sign in to your CNA account (create an account if you do not have one).
  2. Click My Certification on the left menu.
  3. Scroll down to the list of your current certifications and choose the one you want to make inactive. If you do not see your certification, contact
  4. Choose the inactive status from the menu option.
  5. Complete the application.
  6. Check the status of your application and perform other functions in your CNA account by scrolling down to the My Applications section.

Reactivating your credential

You can reinstate your certification status at any time during the three-year term by meeting the renewal eligibility requirements in effect. (You must meet any requirements that change during your inactive period.)*

CNA no longer offers certification exams in gastroenterology, neuroscience, orthopaedic, perianesthesia and rehabilitation. Nurses in these five specialties can reinstate their credential by renewing through continuous learning only.

To reactivate, submit an online certification renewal application along with the required fees.

Note: When you apply for reinstatement, the renewal eligibility requirements in your application must be from the five-year period before your reactivation date.

*To prevent the lapse of your certification credential, be sure to reactivate before the end of the three-year inactive term. If extenuating circumstances are affecting your reactivation, please contact the CNA certification team at or 1-800-361-8404 ext 462 before your inactive period ends. Should your credential lapse, you’ll have to rewrite the exam and meet all the eligibility criteria in effect at that time.