Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Reciprocity is the term used when you are asking one state to accept your approval from another state.
If you are currently Licensed, Certified, Registered or State Approved in your own State and do not have findings of abuse on your records, you have the right to work as a NA in that state. If you 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. If you choose to keep your approval in both states, you must work in both states at least 1-2 shifts (see your States requirements) and be able to produce documentation of your work for both states. This can be a pay stub or verification letter from your employer.
By Federal and State Laws, you must pass a State prescribed course and test in order to work as a nursing assistant in a nursing home. You also cannot work as a nursing assistant in a nursing home in any state unless you are approved by that state. The states laws differ and some states have more stringent standards than others. You need to know if the state to which you are moving expects you to attend additional classes.
You must work at least one day every 2 years in order to keep your state approval. If you have not worked as a NA in the past 2 years, you will have to re-take the training.
The first step is to contact the Nurse Aide Registry in your home state and request an “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.
Then contact the other state and ask them the same thing. Ask them if you will need to take additional classes in order to work as a NA in that state. Some nursing assistants have been able to fax their request directly to the state to which they are moving, some are required to send to the existing state, one state asks you to get a job in the new state and the facility will handle your reciprocity.
So states do differ –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. Take good notes.
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 drivers license (or other photo ID)
Copy of your present State approval
Copy of a recent pay stub, verification letter from your previous facility or something to document that you have worked in a nursing home 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
When you send your info, include a brief note to thank the person who took time to talk with you and ask them to call you if they need more information.
When you call, you may get an automated line. Most automated lines are free 800 numbers and can provide some good information. Do listen and be prepared to write down numbers, but also always try to get a connection to a real person.
How to find a NA Training or Testing Program in your area
Every nursing home in the country must be prepared to provide for training and testing for their nursing assistants, and should have information about the training and testing sites that are local to you. Each State is different so you need to contact the NA Office in your State. Click here to go to the list.
The best way to get information about the training and testing programs in your area is to go to a local nursing home and ask to talk with the DON or Trainer about this. They may already have a training program that you can get into. If you decide to work with them, they should not charge you for this training.
You also have Federal Workforce dollars in your area for training of NAs. You may be eligible to receive training at no cost. Call your County Jobs and Family Services for info and an appointment for an interview. This info may also be available through your library or the Area Agency on Aging – you will have to do a little detective work but it will be worth it if you are eligible. If you are accepted in the workforce program, they may help you find a job as well.
You can also contact the State NATP to find out who is doing the training in your area. You can find more info about your States requirements by contacting the State Agency for Nursing Assistants.
The State NATP may also have an 800 number. Use this. You will not talk with a person but they have lots of good info on this line. Since it does not cost I suggest that you call. Be prepared to write down the info they give you. Also go to the State agency’s web site if one is listed.
You may want to bookmark this website so you can continue to find the info you need in your career as a nursing assistant. We are always adding or changing so is sure to keep checks on the message board and other sections.
Please also consider joining the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, a professional organization for NAs for more than 36 years. Members receive regular info about their chosen career and also for other projects such as the NA On-Line Project, NA Authors Project, the National Twenty Year Club and other.
- Note: we are providing this information as a public service. The National Network of Career Nursing Assistants does not endorse any external programs.
How to contact your state NA agency
All 50 states plus the District of Columbia have a Nurse Aide Registry. This list includes addresses and phone numbers for all of them as well as links to online registries if available: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dhsr/hcpr/links.html.
HOW TO SCHEDULE TRAINING AT YOUR SITE
The following programs address specific issues of nursing assistants in long term care. Certificates and Inservice reports are provided. Most classes are eligible for contact hours from professional organizations.
Each workshop provides the opportunity for the NA to develop specific skills and a plan for applying these new skills in the work setting. Trainers, supervisors and nursing assistants are encouraged to attend.
To schedule a course or workshop or request fee schedule, please contact us by filling out the contact form to the left.
Advanced Nursing Assistant Program
The Advanced or Career Path Program is comprised of four courses, each of which includes 12 class-hours and six months of guided implementation and assignments.
The Advanced Course of study for nursing assistants is comprised of four sections which are:
- Leadership skills for NAs in groups, committees and clinical settings.
- Clinical Teaching Skills: working with the new nursing assistant to develop competency and confidence in the performance of tasks of care.
- Advanced Clinical Practice: critical thinking in the performance of care – select 3 practice areas from a list including: Bathing Without a Battle, Assuring Adequate Fluid Intake, Preventing Pressure Sores, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bowel and Bladder Program, TEAMWORKS, Issues and Concerns of Night NAs, Care of Residents with Dementia, and behavior related care needs, and others.
- Anchoring the New NA: Increasing retention rates for both new and experienced NAs. Specialized skill development based on 27 Principals of Anchoring.
Clinical Teaching Skills for Instructors, Supervisor and Nursing Assistants Mentors (Anchoring Program)
This 12 hour course focuses on the transfer of learning from classroom to clinical setting and prepares teaching teams (instructor, supervisor and mentor nursing assistants) to work effectively with the new nursing assistant. The goal of the course is to increase retention rates for new nursing assistants and to formalizing the role of the mentor within the facility. In this course, students will explore and practice a repertory of clinical teaching skills. Attention is directed to building the teaching team as an effective unit.
Workshops and Conference Sessions
The WH2O Patrol © (3 hr) Dehydration is a major issue that contributes to skin breakdown, confusion, bowel and bladder problems, and other problems for the resident.. Studies have shown that as many as 90% of the residents and clients receive less than adequate fluid intake on a daily basis. This workshop provides both individual and unit specific skills and plans for assuring adequate fluid intake by residents.
Encouragement: The Language of Caring © (3-5 hours) Encouragement requires that a person develop a special language that communicates confidence and respect for differing perceptions and beliefs of others. Encouragement provides a framework in which difficult issues of diversity, abuse, neglect, low esteem, and job dysfunction can be addressed with an aim to create positive outcome. In this session, students will discuss and practice a variety of skills for encouragement in a variety of situations.
Telling My Story: Portfolio Development for Nursing Assistants © (3-5 hours) Today’s health care system is changing rapidly and the NA who provides 80-90% of all direct care in nursing homes also must be prepared to face this kaleidoscope of changing roles and expectations. Often, NAs do not give words to their own experiences, knowledge and strengths. This session provides a framework in which the NA can begin to define her/his role and responsibility within the health care system and develop a plan for future growth.
Working with Groups and Committees (Part 1 and Part II – 5-6 hours each) This session provides skill training to help the nursing assistant and others to be effective member of the facility’s care planning, safety, purchasing, or other committees. Working with Groups Part 1 is directed to nursing assistants or others desiring to work more effectively in a group or committee. Part II focuses on the facilitator role in the group process and provides skill training for group leaders.
Especially for Administrators and DONs
The Seven Critical Decision Points in the Career of a Nursing Assistant (1- 1.5 hour or 4 hours) The largest investment any facility makes is in its direct care staff. Being able to find and keep good workers is important to the stability of care. Findings of empirical studies indicate that “leaving” tends to cluster around specific trigger points. The question that emerges is “Do I stay or do I leave?’ The prudent administrator watches for signs of impending triggers, establishes programs and processes to eliminate or diffuse these triggers, and develops strategies for dealing with fallout when an experienced NA chooses to leave.