How to Become a Traveling CNA

How to Become a Traveling CNA

In this article...

It’s time you start packing your bags to become a traveling CNA. In addition to the acute patient care you get to provide to patients, you also have the opportunity to see the world as a travel CNA. The most significant advantage of being a traveling CNA is that it can help you gain knowledge of the medical field practices in new places.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? This article will help you learn a bit more about traveling CNAs, how to become one, and its benefits. 

What Is a Traveling CNA?

A CNA means a Certified Nursing Assistant. A CNA nurse works under the supervision of a registered nurse, who guides and assists in delivering high-quality care to patients.

A travel CNA attends to patients in their homes and works for a specialized health care agency. Though the roles and responsibilities of a CNA and a travel CNA are primarily similar, travel CNAs are specialized in providing acute patient care from one healthcare provider to another.

Travel CNAs also have the privilege to request jobs in the locations they prefer. The pay and flexibility of travel CNA jobs are influential factors in taking this job.

The Responsibilities of Traveling CNA

Every job you take has its own roles and responsibilities to fulfill, and so do travel CNA jobs. The following are the responsibilities for traveling CNAs:

8 Responsibilities of Traveling CNA
8 Responsibilities of Traveling CNA
  • Collecting and having patient information handy.
  • Keeping track of patient medication.
  • Assisting the patients with basic everyday tasks and chores.
  • Keeping the patient’s family members and doctors informed about the patient’s details.
  • Helping patients with exercises and mobility practices.
  • Measuring the patient’s blood pressure, blood sugar, and temperature changes every day.
  • Monitoring any changes in the patient’s health.
  • Being available on-call to provide acute patient care in case of emergencies.

Know the skills required by travel CNA jobs, here.

Ways to Become a Traveling CNA

The training process of becoming a traveling CNA is similar to the standard CNA license. In addition to the CNA certification exam, a state-approved theory CNA training course is required.

To complete the state-approved theory CNA training course, you can do it in high schools, virtual sessions, or community colleges. You need a minimum of 75 hours of in-person clinical requirements to complete the training.

When you take a CNA training course, you get to learn about the following topics, such as:

Traveling CNA - Topics covered in the training course.
Traveling CNA – Topics covered in the training course.

Topics covered in the training course.

  • Acute patient care.
  • Anatomy.
  • Physiology.
  • Legal and ethical issues.
  • End-of-life care.
  • Infection control.
  • Documenting vital signs.

You will require the following documentation for your CNA programs:

Traveling CNA - Documentation required for your CNA Programs
Traveling CNA – Documentation required for your CNA Programs

Documentation required for your CNA Programs. 

  • ID card.
  • Proof of education.
  • Social security card.
  • A clean background check.

In addition to the documents mentioned above, you might need a driver’s license with a clean driving record. Having a driver’s license while being a travel CNA will be an added plus.

Checklist for Travel CNA jobs

Before you start the role of a traveling CNA, be sure to check the following details to see if it suits your personal preferences:

  • Have a thorough check of the specialty shift details.
  • If you are not okay with extreme traveling, consider asking for limited travel assignments.
  • Know the end date of your serving periods.
  • Cross verify if the CNA job asks you to start ASAP.
  • If you are looking for full-time opportunities, convey that to your employers.
  • Discuss payment methods and what your salary will be. Mostly, the pay is hourly-based, so ensure that the payment is included or excluded from your additional benefits. You can also ask if your recruiter provides an advance or not.

When you are nearing the end date of your travel nursing assignment, start searching for your next assignment or job. To find new jobs, you can either contact your agency or proactively plan and start looking for jobs matching your expectations.

You can easily find jobs using search terms in Google or via job ads on job portals. If you do not have the opportunity to select the jobs you prefer, take the time to brush up on your CNA skills, do an advanced course, or take a project for a short time until you find a CNA job of your choice. 

Salary Range for a Travel CNA

The above-mentioned dollar amount is an average salary, not the maximum one. So, as a travel CNA, you can earn even more. The most thoughtful way to settle for a high-paying travel CNA job is to prefer locations that pay higher for travel nurses. The following is a list of states that have high-paying travel CNA positions:

  • Washington.
  • California.
  • Alaska.
  • Wyoming.
  • Oregon.
  • Nevada.
  • Maryland.
  • New York.
  • District of Columbia (Washington D.C.). 
  • South Dakota.

The Healthcare industry is vast, and being a travel CNA lets you have the experience of working with different disciplines. In addition to the location playing a significant role in determining your salary, the domain you choose to work in also determines your paycheck. 

The following are the specialties you can prefer as a travel CNA to receive better pay:

  • Administrative.
  • Perioperative.
  • OR circulate.
  • Pediatric CVOR.
  • Nursing home.
  • Acute care case management.

The Perks of Being a Travel CNA

You usually choose a job based on your liking, and any jobs without perks and benefits tend to bore or disinterest you in the long run. Travel CNAs have many perks that urge you to take the course and become one. 

The following are the perks you get for being a travel CNA:

  • You have the privilege of choosing assignments in different cities. You can list cities that have high-paying positions for nurses. 
  • Freedom is your next most significant advantage. You can schedule your work times, contract lengths, types of specialties you want to work with, and salary requirements. Planning your work helps you have enough time for your private life. 
  • You get additional perks (excluding salary) like reimbursements, daily stipends, bonuses, healthcare insurance, and tax breaks.
  • Having the opportunity to travel lets you explore different locations, have new work experiences, and meet new people. This exposure can have a positive impact on your career growth. 


Hopefully, the above information about traveling CNAs interested you in taking up the courses. Even with the enormous benefits, don’t think that means the exams are challenging. Becoming a travel CNA is not difficult to do. CNA hero provides you with an easy and effective way to pass your CNA exams. You can pass your examinations in your first attempt with CNA hero. If you, unfortunately, can’t clear the tests, we will give you a full refund. 

To learn about what happens after your exams, check out our Comprehensive Guide for What Comes After a CNA Exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do travel CNAs get time off?

Since traveling CNAs must be in-person to take care of the specialties, taking uninformed time off may be a bit of trouble. But you can schedule their breaks from assignments before taking up the job.

Is being a travel nurse worth the money?

The answer to this is entirely subjective and depends greatly on the individual. Stationary CNAs or Registered Nurses (RN) might consider family time to outweigh the pay of a traveling CNA. While another would want the opportunity to earn more and explore the world as a travel nurse.

What is crisis pay for traveling nurses?

A traveling CNA can claim crisis when asked to work overtime due to a lack of nurses. As a traveling CNA, you can take advantage of crisis pay by working extra hours. 

Related Reads:

How to Become a Pediatric CNA: A Comprehensive Guide

The 5 Highest-Paying CNA Jobs in 2022 – Part 2

13 Essential CNA Supplies for Work You Shouldn’t Miss

How CNAs Can Stay Healthy at Work: 5 Effective Ways