So you’ve successfully completed your required CNA coursework and have passed your state’s certification examination. After working as a certified nursing assistant, you’re suddenly faced with the notion of relocating to a different state. Regardless of the reason why you must move, there are several steps you must take to continue working as a CNA. If you’re interested in relocating to a new state while still working as a certified nursing assistant, then you must familiarize yourself with the concept known as reciprocity.
What is CNA Reciprocity?
Reciprocity is a a state regulated process in which the certifications and licenses awarded by one state is acknowledged and transferred to a new state. According to both Federal and State laws, reciprocity is applicable for all licensed and certified professionals, which includes certified nursing assistants. While this process can slightly vary from state-to-state, most follow a similar pathway when granting certification/licensure to newly relocated CNAs.
Steps to Applying for CNA Reciprocity
- Contact Home State Nurse Aide Registry – The first step in starting the reciprocity function is to contact the Nurse Aide Registry for your home state – the state you’re currently certified to work in. Upon doing so, request a copy of the “Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity.” Now, here’s where it can become confusing. Some states require this form to be sent to your current state while others require the form to be sent to the state you’re moving to. To make it more complicated, some states require the form to be sent to both entities before being processed. Inquire about this process with your Nurse Aide Registry.
- Contact the Other State – Once you’ve gathered the aforementioned information from your current state, you must contact the Nurse Aide Registry for the state you’re moving to. Inquire about their specific steps when it comes to applying for reciprocity. Often times, this information is readily available in the states Nursing Aide Registry website.
- Gather Appropriate Documents – While the exact documents you require to submit your application for reciprocity can vary by state, most require copies of: (1) Social Security Card (2) Driver’s License or Government-Issued Photo ID Card (3) Current State Certificate of Approval (4) Recent pay stubs indicating you’re an active CNA within the field.
- Additional Training/Examinations – In some cases, CNAs relocating to a new state may be required to re-take their examination or take part in some form of training before the reciprocity is granted. While this is not the norm for most states, it’s important to be prepared to showcase your skills and knowledge when requesting reciprocity.
If you are unsure about whether or not you are going to move, don’t hesitate to start the process of becoming a CNA. You can get your CNA certification now in your current state and then apply for CNA reciprocity if you choose to move.