How do I apply to work as a CNA in another state with my Utah certification?

This is called reciprocity. By Federal and State Laws, you must pass a state approved course and test in order to work as a nursing assistant in a nursing home (and any other skilled facility or health care organization that provides direct patient care for any patient whose care is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid and often commercial insurance plans as well). You also cannot work as a Certified Nurse Assistant in any state unless you are approved by that state.

If you already are certified and have taken and passed a state approved in your own state and are in good and active standing in that state, and want to move to another state, you will need to request reciprocity. This means that you are asking the new state to recognize the approval you received from your home state.

How to request reciprocity

1. The first step is to contact the Nurse Aide Registry in your home state and request a “Application for Enrollment By Reciprocity”. Ask them if you should send the completed form to them or to the state to which you are moving.

2. Then contact the other state and ask them the same thing. Some nursing assistants have been able to fax their request directly to the state they are moving into rather than with their home state. Do not take chances, ask. Be sure to get the name of those who talk with you and their phone numbers. Call them by name while you are talking so they remember you.

3. If the agency in your new state says it is acceptable for you to fax or mail info, then do this right away. Be sure to clarify the fax number and the mailing address. Then fax or mail your info to the attention of the person you spoke to. Ask them what items you will need to fax or mail but be prepared to send at least the following:

  • Copy of your Social Security Card
  • Copy of your driver’s license (or other photo ID)
  • Copy of your present state approval – certification or card
  • Copy of a recent pay stub or something to document that you have worked as a CNA in the past two years.
  • Tell them where you are moving from and where to and where they can send the new card.
  • They may ask for other info as well – be prepared to do some running around and jumping through a few hoops but this will save you time and money.
  • Some states offer reciprocity for free – while others charge a small fee to process the request. Make sure you know the fee amount if any, and how you are to pay the fee (personal check, credit card, money order etc.)

For more information about reciprocity, you can call the Utah Nurse Assistant Registry at (801) 547-9947.