How to Transfer Your CNA License to Another State

Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Nurse sitting at desk in blue uniform signing paperwork to transfer her CNA license to another state.

Competitive pay, high demand, low cost of living, more freedom, and exciting travel — that’s the life of a travel CNA. As the workforce shifts, it’s easy to feel left out when you watch your friends take on more flexible, nontraditional jobs that allow them to travel and enjoy new experiences.

Yet, healthcare is one of the most rewarding career paths out there. You can walk out the door each day knowing you’ve made a difference. But when you become a travel CNA, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: You can explore the country, boost your pay, add valuable skills for your CNA resume, and take back more control over your hours — all while continuing to make a difference in the lives of others.

But what are the logistics? How can you become a travel CNA? One of the first steps you’ll need to take is to transfer your CNA license.

Why Transfer Your CNA License?

The process to transfer a LPN, LVN, or RN nursing license is a bit different for CNAs. Additionally, each state has its own standards, processes, and requirements for job certifications. Because of this, your CNA license is only valid in the state you received it.

When traveling or moving states, you’ll need to transfer your CNA license to another state to make sure you’ve got the “OK” to practice. The transfer process can vary from state to state, depending on what we call reciprocity.

What is Reciprocity?

Don’t worry — you don’t necessarily have to retake exams and courses when traveling, or moving states. Because of reciprocity, you can transfer your CNA license to another state, often bypassing certification standards. States with flexible reciprocity agreements may allow you to:

  • Get started immediately with a temporary certificate.
  • Avoid retaking a state’s exam and/or course.

Reciprocity Guide: Transfer Your CNA License by State

However, not all states have flexible reciprocity agreements. Every state has unique requirements, fees, and applications for transferring your license. This means you’ll need to understand the state’s reciprocity process before packing your bags and embarking on your new career path.

To help you get started, here are the basic standards for reciprocity to transfer your CNA license in each state. Some states offer online portals or zero-fee applications, while others require mail-only applications or additional exam/course prerequisites:

Alabama

Work with your employer and have your current facility get you on the Alabama state registry.

Alaska

Applicants must meet Alaska’s minimum CNA requirements to transfer.

Arizona

Create an online account, apply, and meet the federal Registry CNA requirements.

Arkansas

Free application process. Must have an Arkansas address to transfer.

California

Submit an application, fingerprints, CNA certification copy, proof of work, and license verification.

Colorado

Create an online account and complete a CNA Certification by Endorsement application.

Connecticut

Ensure your license is active and in good standing. Create an online account, and fill out the “Certified in Another State Route 7” application.

Delaware

CNAs must have a Delaware CNA certification. You can earn your certification through reciprocity with a current CNA license, good standing, and minimum experience or training hours.

Florida

Create an online account, fill out a ​​Certified Nursing Assistant by Endorsement application, and complete the required background screening.

Georgia

Free application process. Active CNAs in good standing can apply for reciprocity without additional exams or courses.

Hawaii

Follow the Route 2 application process under Prometric.

Idaho

Free application process. Complete the Out-of-State Credential Verification Form yourself and through your State Nurse Aide Registry.

Illinois

Download, print, and mail the Out-of-State Application with application fee.

Indiana

Testing required. Complete an application, submit proof of certification and take the written portion of the state’s CNA test.

Iowa

Complete the Iowa Direct Care Worker Registry Application, fill out the “State Certified (if other than IA)” field, and include the required certification and identification documents.

Kansas

Testing required. CNAs with an active status must submit identification, pay testing fees, and complete the Kansas Nurse Aide Test.

Kentucky

Free application process. Send identification and certification information to the Kentucky Nurse Aide Registry.

Louisiana

Follow the Route 8 application process under Prometric. Include application fees and identification information.

Maine

Free application process. Complete the Application for Listing on the CNA Registry and follow the “CNA trained in another State/Jurisdiction” instructions.

Maryland

Request an application through the Maryland CNA program office.

Massachusetts

Free application process. Active CNAs should fill out the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Reciprocity Application form and send it to the state Nurse Aide Reciprocity Program office.

Michigan

You must have your license in one of the approved states found at the link above.

Minnesota

Free application process. Complete and mail Sections A-1 and B-1 of the Interstate Endorsement Forms.

Mississippi

Testing required. The transfer process is organized under Credentia.

Missouri

You must meet specific experience and education requirements to bypass retaking the CNA course. All transferring CNAs must take a written and practical exam and apply.

Montana

Free application process. Create an online account, fill out an application, and register.

Nebraska

CNAs must complete Nebraska’s one-hour training on Abuse and Neglect and the application.

Nevada

Follow the Certified Nursing Assistant by Endorsement Certification Requirements and submit the required certification, proof of employment, background check, and endorsement forms.

New Hampshire

Create an account, print out the online forms, and mail them to the New Hampshire Board of Nursing.

New Jersey

CNAs must meet Reciprocity Routes 1 or 2, have licenses in good standing, and have a clean background check. Call their office at 1-877-774-4243 to apply.

New Mexico

Free application process. Fill out the Reciprocity PDF form, attach the required documentation, and email or mail them.

New York

Follow the nurse aide guidelines through Prometric. Apply, include proof of certification, request a letter from your employer, and submit the application fee.

North Carolina

Completing a Training Waiver or Reciprocity Application. Each application route requires different education and experience standards.

North Dakota

Free application process. *As of June 2022, no new Temporary Nurse Aide Applications are being accepted.

Ohio

Free application process. Complete the state’s application and include the necessary documentation.

Oklahoma

Free online application process. Create an account and fill out the online forms.

Oregon

Create an online account, complete an application, and meet the state’s experience and education standards.

Pennsylvania

Free online application process. Create an account, log in through the PA Department of Health, and apply for Nurse Aide Reciprocity.

Rhode Island

Fill out the state’s License As A Nursing Assistant form, complete Out-of-State License Verification and Out-of-State Training Program OR three months of full-time employment.

South Carolina

Free online application process. Create an account, and fill out the South Carolina Reciprocity Application. You must have proof of 100+ hours of training and a current license.

South Dakota

Free online application process. Apply online, print out the Employment Verification form, and have your current employer complete it.

Tennessee

Complete the state’s online form and attach the required documents.

Texas

Download and complete Form 5505-NAR, Request for Entry on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry Through Reciprocity.

Utah

Email or mail the completed application, attach copies of documentation, and submit fees.

Vermont

You must meet experience requirements (>400 hours within the past two years) to apply without testing. Create an online account, verify your license, and apply.

Virginia

Free online application process. Follow the online portal to create an account and fill out the application.

Washington

Mail your application, documentation, and fees to the Washington State Department of Health. You must have specific training, including AIDS and CPR education.

Washington DC

Print and mail the application form, documentation, and fees to the Pearson VUE office.

West Virginia

Free online application process. Fill out the online form, and submit it.

Wisconsin

Complete Section A, attach the documentation and mail the application to the Wisconsin Registry.

Wyoming

Create an online account, start the registration process, and pay the application fee.

Explore Nationwide CNA Career Opportunities!

Now that you know how to transfer your CNA license, take back control over your schedule, maximize your paycheck, and find a support team ready to help you grow your career!

At CareerStaff, we believe CNAs and nurses should enjoy more flexibility and freedom. That’s why we offer assistance to help plan your work schedule, find work-life balance, and secure new assignments – both local and travel. Quick apply to become a CNA with CareerStaff, and we’ll open your career to new possibilities!

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