Forget about the cool CNA position you just saw posted, because odds are you aren’t ready yet!
Here is what you need to know before talking to recruiters…
1) Get as many State Certifications as you can get. I am sure you have the “Top States” you want to travel to, but hundreds of other CNA’s might want to go there too. Remember to get certified in other states so you can find work in the meantime while you wait on your “Top States” to have openings. The first thing to do is get in touch with your local State Nurse Aide Registry and request an “Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity.” As mentioned, most states have a reciprocity plan in place, which means you do not have to take a new state exam. However, there are a select few states which do not have reciprocity requirements, in which case you will have to take the state licensing practical and theoretical exam in the state to which you are transferring. Your new state’s registry will most likely want verification of your identity, as well as an application fee. You may be required to provide (by mail or fax):
- Driver’s license
- Social security number
- Current CNA or CHHA state license
- Recent employment information
- Educational proofs
- Background Check
- Please note that this process is not identical state-to-state, so it is prudent to contact your local Nurse Aide Registry and confirm details of what materials to send and by what means you should send them! Every state also has different processing times so make sure to take that in consideration when applying. You can start with states that have no fee for certification.
- Here are some free states:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Here is a link where you can get started… https://www.mycnajobs.com/nursing-registry-contact/
2) Have you thought about the additional costs associated with being a 1st time Traveler? We want you to be the most prepared Travel CNA out there so here is what you need to know about saving prior to signing a contract:
- You will need money for travel expenses: (Gas, flight, food on the road, hotel stay if needed). Carestaff offers Housing / Travel stipends, however, this money is allocated to you in your first pay check so you need to be prepared to pay for these things upfront prior to your start date.
- You will need money for daily expenses from day 1 until that first pay check date: (We advise 11 day max of savings for this need)
- You will need money for possible additional work related expenses: (This includes things like scrubs, fit test, CPR, Fingerprints, Dementia Training – if applicable)
- And last but not least we always advise on a “Rainy Day Fund” just in case something unforeseeable occurs.
3) Get a TB test, Physical (make sure it says you can work without restriction) and an updated CPR card (most facilities will not take an online CPR, must be AHA). The TB Test and Physical are good for 1 year and need to be completed before you are submitted to a position. It helps speed up the process if you already have this done.
4) You will need 2 Supervisor references from a healthcare facility within the past 2 years. They also need to be willing to pick up the phone when contacted.
5) Paperwork from Recruiter:
- If a recruiter sends you paperwork or needs documents from you (ie: application, resume, copy of medical information) RETURN IT ASAP!!! Most recruiters will not chase you around for a week to get your completed application and documents. They will move on the the more serious traveler that has all of there stuff together.
- These positions, especially in highly desired areas, go very quickly and you will miss out if you don’t HUSTLE.
- The more “Complete” your file is, the quicker you can get submitted to a position and interviewed.
6) Keep a Folder / Log of your certifications, required medical documents, agencies your working with, recruiters’ contact information, and positions your interested in or currently applying to. This is so important to keep you on track and land you a great position as soon as possible. The more organized you are the more impressed and relieved the recruiter will be.
- This is also a place you can start to log your assignments so you can rate facilities and locations as you go along on your Travel CNA journey. Please do this because you’ll wish you did half way through.. I promise!