If you are a nurse’s aide who is considering moving to a different state, you may be worried about how to transfer your license to the new state so you can get back to work quickly. Luckily, all 50 states now practice what is called reciprocity based on the standardized N-CLEX. If you already have a valid license, certificate, or are state approved to work in your current state, you will need to request reciprocity in the state you are moving to.
The first step is to contact the Nurse Aide Registry in the state you live in and request a document called “Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity.” They will be able to tell you whether to send the application back to them or to the registry in the state you are moving to. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the Nurse Practice Act in your new state to make sure you are following all laws and regulations in your new state. Then, contact the state you will be moving to and ask if they need you to fax the completed Application for Enrollment by Reciprocity. If you call and get an automated line, be ready to take notes about the information you hear, but try your best to get a real person on the line. Be sure to make copies of all paperwork for your own records, and keep notes on who you talked to and their phone numbers. Remember, just because you have applied does not mean you are licensed. Most states will send you a temporary permit so that you can practice while they complete the application processes.
Once the new state tells you how they want the information sent (via fax, mail, or by internet), be sure to do this right away. Make sure you have correct information such as fax numbers, mailing addresses, etc. To help speed up the process, make a packet in advance that contains the following:
- A copy of your Social Security Card
- A copy of y our drivers license and other photo identification
- A copy of your current state approval, license, or certificate
- A copy of a pay stub or other document that shows that you have worked in a nursing facility (nursing home, hospital, clinic, office, etc) within the past two years.
- A letter that provides your new address, where you will be working (if known), and where they should send your new card.
- A copy of any degrees or certificates you have earned.
The registry may ask for other information, but this will usually be the minimum information required. When you send the info, a note to thank the person who helped you can go a long way to speeding the process.
Many new employers will require that you complete a training and testing program for nursing assistants. Your employer will be able to provide you with information about local training and testing sites. Many states use local community colleges, others use independent agencies. If you want to find a training and testing site on your own, call a trainer or Director of Nursing in you area. If they can’t help you, contact the Area Agency on Aging or NATP agency in the new state.
The process for transferring your license is no longer difficult and time consuming. By following these steps, you should be able to begin practicing in no time!