States that Provide Free Reciprocity for CNA License: A Comprehensive Guide

States that Provide Free Reciprocity for CNA License: A Comprehensive Guide

In this article...

Are you a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the U.S. and are planning to move to a different state in the U.S. and continue your CNA career? Are you confused if the respective state offers free reciprocity for CNA license? You are at the right place.

In this article, you will learn more about what reciprocity means for CNAs and the states that offer free reciprocity for CNA licenses.

What Does Reciprocity mean for CNAs?

Before we discuss what reciprocity means for CNAs, let’s discuss the term ‘reciprocity’. Reciprocity is the act of transferring or exchanging things for mutual benefits. In other words, it is a privilege granted by one state, country, or organization to another.

Reciprocity for CNAs is an act of transferring a CNA’s certification or license from one state to another state. However, the CNA is required to meet the requirements set by the new state they consider moving to. Every state has its own requirements and laws for the reciprocity of CNA license.

For example, if a CNA has received their CNA license or certification in one state and is looking for reciprocity for their CNA license to another state, they should first check the eligibility criteria. If both states have the same requirements, reciprocity for CNA license will be easy. But, if both the states have different requirements, the candidate will be expected to fulfill the requirement to meet the eligibility criteria before applying for reciprocity in that respective state.

In a few states, reciprocity for CNA license is accepted even if the candidate does not meet the requirements set by the state, but has gained experience in the industry from past jobs. A few other states require the candidate to complete the requirements to be able to apply for reciprocity for their CNA license.

States that Offer Free Reciprocity for CNA Licenses 

There are some states in the U.S. that accept reciprocity for CNA licenses from other states. There are also a few states that offer free reciprocity for CNA licenses. In these states, you don’t have to pay any fee for reciprocity of your CNA license. However, you will be required to meet the eligibility criteria set by the state to be able to apply to transfer your CNA license.

Here’s a list of some states that offer free reciprocity for CNA licenses. Let’s discuss each state in detail.

States that Offer Free Reciprocity for CNA Licenses 
States that Offer Free Reciprocity for CNA Licenses
  • Idaho.
  • Iowa.
  • Massachusetts.
  • South Dakota.
  • Minnesota.

IDAHO

In the state of Idaho, candidates are required to contact the Idaho Nurse Aide Registry to procure reciprocity for CNA license. You have to fill out the reciprocity form available on the official website. Make sure to provide all the information requested on the application form. Once you have completed the application form, submit it to your current state. Your current state will verify the status of your license on their registry and forward the form to the Idaho Nurse Aide Registry.

If your certification is not active in your current state and if you are unable to renew your certification, you may receive an “approval to test” letter. This letter offers you the opportunity to take both the written and skills exam. Once you pass both exams, you will be placed on the Idaho Nurse Aide Registry.

To learn more regarding Idaho’s reciprocity for CNA license process, visit their official website.

SOUTH DAKOTA

For the state of South Dakota, there are a few requirements set by the state for the reciprocity of CNA license. The requirements are as follows:

  • All the candidates must complete the application by providing all the details requested in the form.
  • Must provide written documentation stating the successful completion of another state’s approved CNA training and competency evaluation program.
  • Check the initial listing in another state’s Nurse Aide Registry.
  • Verify the listing on the registry from the state of recent employment.
  • Must provide documentation of employment as a CNA within the last 24 consecutive months.

Generally, it takes about 5 to 7 business days for the application status to be updated on the official website for verification purposes. To learn more regarding South Dakota’s reciprocity for CNA licenses, visit their official website.

MINNESOTA

In the state of Minnesota, all the candidates are required to download and fill out the application form available on their official website. The application form consists of 2 sections:

  • SECTION A-1: Fill out section A-1 and send it to the state registry from which you are transferring.
  • SECTION B-1: Fill out section B-1 and make sure to attach all the required documents along with the application form. Send it to your current facility where you are currently working, or where you last worked in the state from which you are transferring.

After completing this process, you will receive a Verification of Registration letter once you are placed on the Minnesota Nursing Assistant Registry. This letter will be mailed to the address you have listed on the application form.

To learn more details regarding Minnesota’s reciprocity for CNA license, visit their official website.

IOWA

For the state of Iowa, all the candidates are required to download and fill out the application form. Iowa also offers candidates an online registration option as well. Make sure to provide all the required information to further process your reciprocity for CNA license.

To learn more information regarding Iowa’s reciprocity for CNA license, visit their official website.

MASSACHUSETTS

In the state of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has contracted with Prometric, Inc. to administer and manage its Nurse Aide Competency Exam and the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Registry.

The state requires all the candidates to fill out the application form available on the official website. There are a few steps involved in this reciprocity process in the state of Massachusetts. They are the following:

  • The CNA must complete the application form and current registration.
  • The completed application form is sent to the CNA’s current state.
  • The current state registry completes confirmation of the state registry section and returns the application to the aide.
  • The aide then submits the completed application to the Massachusetts Reciprocity Program’s address mentioned on the official website.
  • The current state’s Nurse Aide Registry sends the application directly to the Massachusetts Reciprocity Program’s address.

To learn more information regarding Massachusetts’ reciprocity for CNA licenses, visit their official website.

Wrapping Up

If you have been planning to move to another state in the U.S. and still continue your career as a CNA, transferring your CNA license from your current state to the new state is the best option to consider. Also, there are states that offer free reciprocity for CNA license as well, which you can also consider another best option to work in your dream career even after moving to a new state.

If you are interested in taking the CNA exam or know someone who is planning to take the CNA exam, make sure to refer to our free CNA practice test to help you efficiently prepare for the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What state pays the most for CNAs?

Some states that pay the most for CNAs are as follows:

  • New York.
  • Hawaii.
  • Alaska.
  • District of Columbia.
  • Maryland.

You can also refer to our article about the best states for CNAs for more information.

Where is the best place to work as a CNA?

Some of the best places a CNA should consider working are:

  • Nursing Homes.
  • Hospitals.
  • Home Health Aide Agencies.
  • Assisted Living Care Centers.

Is it better to work in a hospital or a nursing home?

As a CNA, working in a hospital or a nursing home are very similar. The roles and responsibilities you have as a CNA remain the same in both places, but it is completely the choice of every individual as to where they prefer to work. The choice differs from person to person. However, your duties still remain the same, irrespective of the workplace.