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CNA Reciprocity Guide – How To Transfer CNA License to Different State

Posted by CNA Certification Scoop in CNA Career | 0 comments

One of the most common misconceptions about working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is the legalities of this entry-level nursing profession. While the job duties and functions of this important nursing role are less than LPNs or RNs, states throughout the country regulate this career via certification. Unlike other certified professions, which allow professionals to work anywhere in the United States, Certified Nursing Assistants are limited to the state in which they earned this coveted designation. So, how does CNA reciprocity work?

If you’re planning a move to another state, you must go through what’s known as reciprocity, which essentially is the official term for transferring an active license, or in your case, certification from the issuing state to another. Transferring your CNA certification to another state may seem like a complex process, but as long as you follow the quick and straightforward tips in this guide, you’ll soon have a crisp new certification in your new home state.

Step One: Researching CNA Reciprocity Regulations

Before moving forward, check with your state board of nursing or your State Nurse Aide Registry to uncover current regulations and requirements when it comes to transferring your CNA certification. While the majority of regions throughout the United States features similar requirements, these statutes are subject to change at any time. Be sure to contact the state you’re transferring to regarding current regulations and acceptable applications/forms. Don’t worry, the State Nurse Aide Registry is prepared to answer these questions without a problem.

Step Two: Complete Correct Application

Generally, if you’re looking to transfer your CNA license to another state, you’ll be required to complete a specific form. While the name of this form may vary, it’s typically known as the “Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity.” Make sure that you fill out this form for your current state, or the state in which your CNA license is active in, and be sure to receive a list of active rules and regulations. If you’re unsure how to go about this process, the State Nurse Aide Registry often has an extensive online help desk/FAQ section.

Step Three: Provide Documentation

After filling out the enrollment application for your new employment state, be prepared to provide a variety of documentation to prove your identity and current certification status. While these required documents can vary based upon state requirements, most states require the following:

  • Current CNA State License/Certification #
  • Proof of CNA Training (Certificate from Training Institution)
  • Driver’s License or Active State Identification Card
  • Social Security Number
  • Previous Employment Records
  • Completed Background Check

Step Four: Pay Applicable Fees

Upon submitting your information, you’ll likely be required to pay fees to the state in which you’re seeking to transfer your certification to. Not all states require a fee, but it’s not uncommon to be charged for the background check and official transfer. This information will be made clear to you as you file your paperwork.

Step Five: Waiting Period

In general, this entire process can take anywhere from four to six weeks from start-to-finish. While you may be a CNA in good standing, you cannot legally work in a state where a CNA is required to hold a license until your CNA reciprocity process is complete or certification/license is officially transferred.


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