Applying for reciprocity is not available to beginning Certified Nursing Assistants, but it can be extremely useful for experienced nurses looking to earn more, work somewhere new, or make the most out of their skills. There are several advantages to skipping the certification exam if you’ve already taken it, but you will have to keep your certificate renewed every two years to reap the rewards of applying for reciprocity in another state. The process allows you to relocate or recertify in a new location with less headache than starting from the beginning again. Consider these five advantages and how they could help you make your work as a CNA more valuable and fulfilling.
1. No Test
If you are currently certified as a nurse aide, you don’t need to take another test to get certified in a new state. This can save a lot of hassle and streamline the process of finding a new place to work as a CNA. You should complete your reciprocity application before you move to a new place so that once you get there, you can immediately start applying for jobs. In this way, you can find better work fast.
2. New Location
There are a lot of differences between working in one state or another as a certified nurse aide. Salaries, employment benefits, and the types of patients you treat could all vary between employers and states. For example, if you live in California, you could make up to $2,000 dollars more per year by relocating to Nevada – not to mention the savings in cost of living. There are many reasons that people decide to move, but considering that the job of a CNA is required wherever you go, you can make a more responsible decision based on the opportunities that will be waiting for you in a new state.
3. No Extra Training
If you’ve completed your certification and followed all the right requirements for your state’s CNAs, you will not have to complete any extra training to apply for reciprocity. If you move from one state with a short training period to another state with a much longer training period, they may require you to pass a skills test again to verify your professionalism. But there are very few states that have training requirements lengthy enough to justify more training.
4. Improved Job Offers
The reason why you move may be personal, but there are ways to make the most out of it professionally. Some states have a much greater demand for qualified healthcare professionals than others, so applying for reciprocity in a new state can significantly improve the quality of your job offers. If you are struggling to find a better paying job or a reliable position, it may be smart to switch states. For example, if you live in Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Louisiana, there may be a lot of job competition and less rewarding salaries. One state over in Texas where demand is much higher than supply, you could find a job much faster and make up to $3,000 more per year. Consider all your options because your job as a healthcare provider is a valuable one, and you should be rewarded for the work that you do.
Check with National Council of State Boards on Nursing to check your options.