A travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides assistance to patients in various medical settings. These CNAs can accept temporary positions to work in different healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics, all across the country.
Becoming a travel CNA is a great career choice for those who love to travel, meet new people, and gain experience in different medical settings. As a travel CNA, you will have the opportunity to explore different parts of the country while helping patients in need.
In this article, we will discuss how to become a travel CNA, including the qualifications, skills, and training required, as well as the benefits and challenges of this career path.
How to Become a Travel Certified Nursing Assistant
We will delve into the qualifications required, the training and certification process, and the skills necessary to become a successful travel CNA. We’ll also discuss the advantages and challenges of this career path and share tips on how to find the best travel CNA assignments. Read on to learn how to become a travel CNA and embark on an exciting new career adventure.
1. Research the Career
- What does a travel CNA do?
Before embarking on any career path, it’s important to research the job responsibilities and requirements. As a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), it’s important to understand the role of a CNA and how it differs from a traditional CNA position.
A travel CNA provides direct patient care, assists healthcare professionals with medical procedures, and monitors patients’ vital signs. Travel CNAs have the opportunity to work in different healthcare settings across the country and gain valuable experience in various medical environments.
In addition to gaining experience and developing important skills, being a travel CNA also offers the chance to experience new places and meet new people. Individuals who enjoy adventure and want to see more of the country may find working as a travel CNA to be an excellent career choice.
To be successful as a travel CNA, one must possess a caring and empathetic personality, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work well in a team. It is also important to have strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to different work environments and patients’ needs.
- Skills and characteristics needed
To become a successful travel CNA, it’s important to possess certain key skills and characteristics. These include strong communication skills, a caring and empathetic personality, attention to detail, and the ability to work well in a team environment. In addition, travel CNAs should be adaptable and able to quickly adjust to different work environments and patient needs.
To develop these skills, individuals interested in becoming a travel CNA can pursue various training programs and certifications. Communication skills can be improved through coursework in public speaking and interpersonal communication, while empathy and caring can be honed through volunteer work or shadowing a CNA in a traditional healthcare environment.
Additionally, travel CNAs should have a sense of adventure and a love for exploring new places. Those who enjoy traveling and experiencing new cultures will be most successful in this career path. Developing a sense of adventure can be as simple as trying new foods or exploring a new neighborhood in one’s hometown.
- Job outlook for CNAs
The healthcare industry is seeing tremendous growth and projected to continue growing in the coming years. With this growth comes a demand for healthcare professionals, including Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). As the baby boomer generation ages, there is an increasing need for CNAs to care for elderly patients.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing assistants, including travel CNAs, is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to an increase in long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and home healthcare services.
For travel CNAs, this job outlook is particularly promising as more healthcare facilities are experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. With the ability to work in different parts of the country, travel CNAs may find more job opportunities and the potential for career advancement.
2. Meet the Prerequisites
- Educational and training requirements
To become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and ultimately a travel CNA, one must meet certain educational and training requirements. The exact prerequisites may vary by state, but typically include completing a state-approved CNA training program and passing a competency exam.
One can usually complete a CNA training program in 4-12 weeks and many community colleges and vocational schools offer these programs. Some individuals may choose to obtain an associate’s degree in nursing, which typically takes 2 years to complete and is a pathway to becoming a registered nurse (RN).
During the CNA training program, students learn the basic skills necessary to care for patients, including bathing, feeding, and checking vital signs. They also receive training on infection prevention, emergency procedures, and communication skills.
After completing the training program, individuals must pass a state competency exam to become a certified CNA. CNAs must also complete a certain number of continuing education hours each year to maintain their certification. By meeting these prerequisites, individuals can start their journey towards becoming a travel CNA and embarking on an exciting and rewarding career path.
- State-specific requirements for CNAs
While most states require a state-approved CNA training program and a competency exam for certification, each state may have specific requirements. For example, some states require a criminal background check, while others require fingerprints. Some states also have minimum age requirements or specific documentation that must be submitted with the certification application.
It’s important for individuals interested in becoming a CNA to research the specific requirements for their state. The state nursing board or department of health is a good place to start. These organizations may have information on training programs, certification requirements, and continuing education opportunities.
Additionally, individuals may want to consider joining a professional association, such as the National Association of Health Care Assistants. These organizations can provide information on state-specific requirements, career opportunities, and networking opportunities.
- Additional requirements
In addition to meeting state-specific requirements for becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), there are additional requirements for becoming a travel CNA. These include having a valid driver’s license and a clean background check.
Having a driver’s license is important for travel CNAs as they may need to drive to different healthcare facilities to provide patient care. It’s important for travel CNAs to have reliable transportation and a good driving record.
A clean background check is also a requirement for travel CNAs. Most healthcare facilities require background checks to ensure the safety of patients. Individuals interested in becoming a travel CNA should be prepared to provide documentation for any previous legal issues, such as arrests or convictions.
To prepare for a travel CNA career, individuals can start by obtaining a driver’s license if they do not already have one. They can also work on developing a clean record by avoiding legal issues and addressing any existing issues through the appropriate channels. Additionally, individuals may want to consider gaining experience in different healthcare settings or participating in volunteer opportunities in their community.
3. Obtain CNA Certification
- CNA Certification
Obtaining CNA certification is a crucial step towards becoming a successful travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The first step towards becoming a CNA is to complete a state-approved CNA training program, which typically consists of 75-150 hours of classroom and clinical training.
After completing the training program, individuals must pass a state competency exam to obtain certification. The exam consists of a written portion and a clinical skills portion. The written portion tests the individual’s knowledge of CNA procedures and terminology, while the clinical skills portion tests the individual’s ability to perform basic patient care skills.
Obtaining CNA certification is important for career advancement and job opportunities as it shows that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe and effective patient care. Certified individuals can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
- CNA Training
To obtain Certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), one must complete state-approved CNA training. There are various options for completing CNA training, including traditional classroom courses and online courses.
Traditional classroom CNA courses typically meet in-person and offer hands-on clinical training. These courses can be beneficial for individuals who prefer in-person instruction and need practical experience to learn and develop their skills. However, the downside of in-person courses is that they may be less flexible than online courses and can require more time and money to attend.
Online CNA courses offer flexible learning options while still providing the necessary training and preparation for the certification exam. Online courses include both online lectures and in-person clinical training. The benefits of online courses include flexibility in scheduling and the ability to learn at your own pace. However, these courses may be less interactive than traditional courses, and students may miss out on the social and collaborative aspects of in-person learning.
Ultimately, the choice between traditional classroom courses and online courses depends on the individual’s learning style, location, and schedule.
- CNA Certification Exam
The CNA certification exam is an important step in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. The exam typically consists of a written portion and a clinical skills portion.
The written portion of the exam covers CNA procedures and terminology. It may include multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, and matching questions. The clinical skills portion of the exam tests an individual’s ability to perform basic patient care skills, such as hand-washing, taking vital signs, and assisting with daily activities.
To prepare for the exam, individuals can start by reviewing the CNA training materials and practice exams. It is important to focus on areas where one may need more practice and to get enough rest and eat well the day before the exam.
During the exam, it’s important to stay focused and take time to read each question carefully. Don’t rush and make sure to answer every question. Be confident in your skills and remember everything you learned during the CNA training program.
4. Gain Work Experience
- Work experience as a CNA
Gaining work experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is an important step towards becoming a successful travel CNA. Work experience provides individuals with the opportunity to develop practical skills, build a professional network of healthcare professionals, and gain valuable knowledge in a variety of healthcare settings.
Working in different healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies, can give CNAs exposure to different types of patients and medical conditions. This exposure can help them develop a more diverse set of skills and knowledge, which is valuable for those working as a travel CNA.
In addition, work experience can help CNAs build relationships with healthcare professionals and potential employers. These connections can be valuable in finding new job opportunities and advancing one’s career.
To gain work experience as a CNA, individuals can start by looking for job openings at local healthcare facilities or agencies. It may also be helpful to join professional organizations or attend networking events to build connections within the healthcare industry.
- Different Work Settings for CNAs
There are various work settings for CNAs, and each setting has its own unique pros and cons. Some of the most common settings for CNAs include nursing homes, hospitals, and home health care agencies.
Nursing Homes: Nursing homes are a common work setting for CNAs. Working in a nursing home can provide CNAs with the opportunity to care for elderly patients with chronic illnesses, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The downside of working in a nursing home is that it can be emotionally challenging to see patients who are mentally and physically deteriorating.
Hospitals: Hospitals are another common work setting for CNAs. Working in a hospital can provide CNAs with exposure to a variety of medical conditions and acute illnesses. Hospital work can be fast-paced and high-stress, which can be a challenge for some CNAs.
Home Health Care Agencies: Home health care agencies are another work setting for CNAs. Working in home health care can provide CNAs with the opportunity to care for patients in their own homes. The downside of working in home health care is that it can be isolating and lack the support of a team environment.
Working in different settings can prepare CNAs for a career as a travel CNA. As a travel CNA, one must be able to quickly adapt to different environments and patient populations. By gaining experience in different settings, CNAs can develop the necessary skills to adapt to new situations.
Gaining experience in multiple work settings is also beneficial for travel CNAs. Travel CNAs may work in a variety of healthcare facilities and care for different patient populations. Having experience in multiple settings can help travel CNAs handle the challenges of working in new environments and provide a higher level of care to patients.
5. Decide on Your Travel Preferences
- Types of Travel CNA Assignments
Before becoming a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), it’s important for individuals to consider their travel preferences. Travel CNA assignments vary in length and location, and it’s essential to understand the different types of assignments available.
The two most common types of travel CNA assignments are short-term and long-term contracts. Short-term contracts typically last between 4-13 weeks and may involve travel within a specific geographic area or to a specific facility. Long-term contracts, on the other hand, can last up to a year or more and involve travel to different states or regions.
Short-term contracts offer flexibility and the ability to travel to different areas without being tied down to one location for an extended period of time. These contracts can also provide the opportunity to work in different healthcare settings and gain experience in different areas. However, frequent travel and moving can be physically and emotionally challenging, and there may be periods between contracts where individuals are without work.
Long-term contracts can provide stability, job security, and the opportunity to live and work in different areas of the country. These contracts may also offer benefits such as 401(k) plans and health insurance. However, long-term contracts may require a longer commitment and be less flexible in terms of travel and location.
By understanding the different types of travel CNA assignments and considering personal preferences, individuals can make informed decisions about their career path as a travel CNA.
- Types of travel CNA jobs
In addition to considering travel preferences, individuals interested in becoming a travel CNA must also decide on the type of travel CNA job they want. Two common types of travel CNA jobs are working for a staffing agency or directly for a healthcare facility.
Working for a staffing agency can provide CNAs with more flexibility and variety in their work assignments. Staffing agencies typically work with multiple healthcare facilities and can offer short-term and long-term assignments in different locations. However, working for a staffing agency may result in less job security and fewer benefits.
Working directly for a healthcare facility can provide CNAs with job security, benefits, and the opportunity to develop relationships with co-workers and patients. However, these positions may be less flexible in terms of travel and location.
It’s important for individuals to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each type of travel CNA job before making a decision.
- Benefits of Being a Travel CNA
Being a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) offers numerous benefits, including the opportunity to experience new places and meet new people. Travel CNAs can work in different healthcare facilities, from hospitals to nursing homes, in various locations throughout the country. This type of career allows individuals to explore new cities, try new foods, and learn about different cultures.
Moreover, working as a travel CNA develops a wide range of professional and personal skills and characteristics. Travel CNAs must have strong communication skills, the ability to adapt to different environments and patient populations, and demonstrate flexibility and patience. They must also be able to work well independently and be self-motivated.
Working as a travel CNA can also be financially rewarding. Travel CNAs can earn higher pay rates than they would if working as a traditional CNA. In addition to higher pay rates, travel CNAs can receive benefits such as housing stipends, travel reimbursements, and healthcare coverage.
Research Potential Employers
Researching potential employers is an important step in finding a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) job. It helps individuals identify the right employers that can offer them the best compensation packages, benefits, and job satisfaction.
Why Employer Matters?
It’s important to research potential employers because it helps individuals avoid scams, identify job openings that match their skills and experience, and gain a better understanding of what it’s like to work for a particular employer. It also helps individuals determine whether an employer is reputable, provides a safe work environment, and values its employees.
To find travel CNA job openings and research potential employers, individuals can use online job boards, staffing agencies, professional networking websites, and healthcare associations. They can also attend job fairs or talk to colleagues and friends in the healthcare field to learn about potential job opportunities.
Factors to consider when evaluating potential employers include pay rates, benefits packages, career advancement opportunities, and job stability. Travel CNAs must have clarity on these factors to help them make informed decisions about their career advancement and growth.
Researching potential employers is an essential step that is necessary in finding the best travel CNA job. This helps individuals better understand the job market, employers, and what the work environment is like and helps them make informed decisions that benefit their career path.
7. Apply for Travel CNA Assignments
- Application process:
The application process for travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) assignments typically involves several steps designed to assess an individual’s qualifications, experience, and fit for the job. While the exact details of the application process may vary depending on the employer, below is a general overview of what to expect.
Submitting a Resume: The first step in the application process is typically submitting a resume that highlights an individual’s education, work experience, skills, and any certifications they may have. It’s crucial to ensure that the resume is tailored to the job opening and highlights specific qualifications that meet the requirements of the position.
Completing an Interview: After the employer reviews the submitted resumes, qualified candidates may be contacted for an interview. The interview process can take place either in-person or virtually and can be conducted by an individual or a panel of company representatives. The interview is an opportunity for the employer to ask more in-depth questions about an individual’s qualifications, experience, and personality.
Skills Assessment and Background Check: Depending on the employer, there may be additional steps in the application process, such as a skills assessment or background check. A skills assessment may involve simulations of common CNA activities to assess an individual’s hands-on skills. A background check may involve criminal history, drug screenings, and a check of an individual’s professional credentials.
Overall, individuals should expect a thorough and comprehensive application process when applying for travel CNA assignments. It’s essential to be prepared, professional, and personable throughout the application process to demonstrate strong qualifications and the ability to adapt to new environments and patient populations.
- Creating a strong travel CNA resume:
Creating a strong resume is crucial when applying for travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) assignments. An effective resume should highlight an individual’s education, skills, and relevant work experience in a clear and concise manner.
When creating a resume, individuals should emphasize transferable skills and relevant work experience in the healthcare field. Relevant work experience can include volunteering, internships, or previous full-time positions as a CNA. Transferable skills, such as strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities, should also be highlighted.
Tailoring the resume for different travel CNA assignments is also essential. This may involve customizing the resume to highlight specific skills or expertise that align with the requirements of a particular job opening. For example, if a job posting emphasizes experience working with seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the individual’s resume should highlight previous work or training related to this specific patient population.
- Preparing for a travel CNA interview:
Preparing for a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) interview is essential in landing a travel CNA job. During the interview, individuals should be prepared to answer common interview questions and make a good impression.
Common interview questions for travel CNAs may include questions about an individual’s experience working in different healthcare settings, how they manage stress, and how they handle difficult patients or situations. It’s essential to prepare thoughtful answers in advance and provide specific examples when sharing experiences.
In addition to preparing answers to common interview questions, individuals should also prepare questions to ask the interviewer. These questions may include asking about the job responsibilities, training opportunities, or potential challenges that may be encountered while on assignment.
To make a good impression during the interview, individuals should dress professionally and arrive early. They should also demonstrate strong communication skills, enthusiasm for the position, and a willingness to learn and adapt to new environments.
Overall, preparing for a travel CNA interview involves researching the employer, practicing responses to common interview questions, and demonstrating a strong desire to learn and adapt. By preparing in advance and making a positive impression during the interview, individuals can increase their chances of being selected for travel CNA assignments and kickstart an exciting career.
8. Obtain Necessary Documents
Obtaining necessary documents is an important step in preparing for a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) assignment. The documents needed may vary depending on the employer, but commonly required documents include a nursing license, proof of immunization, and a background check.
- Nursing licenses and the requirements:
To work as a travel CNA, individuals must hold an active nursing license. Different types of nursing licenses include Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Registered Nurse (RN). Each type has different requirements, including education and training, clinical experience, and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
To obtain a nursing license, individuals must complete an approved nursing program and pass the required exams. The requirements for nursing licensure vary depending on the state, so it’s important to research the specific requirements for the desired state of practice.
Employers typically require proof of immunization and a background check to ensure that individuals can provide safe care to patients. Proof of immunization ensures that individuals are not at risk of transmitting infectious diseases to patients. A background check verifies that individuals have no criminal history that could put patients or the facility at risk.
To obtain these documents, individuals can contact their healthcare provider, state health department, or an occupational health service provider. It’s important to keep these documents up to date, as it’s a requirement by law.
Obtaining the necessary documents is a crucial step in preparing for a travel CNA assignment. By understanding the requirements and obtaining these documents, individuals can increase their chances of being selected for travel CNA assignments and work in different healthcare environments.
9. Start Your Travel CNA Career
Starting a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) career can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. As a travel CNA, individuals can expect to work in different healthcare environments, interacting with different patient populations and healthcare teams.
During the first travel CNA assignment, individuals can expect to undergo orientation and training to familiarize themselves with the facility’s policies, procedures, and patient populations. The orientation process can vary depending on the healthcare facility but generally lasts two to five days.
While there are many benefits to becoming a travel CNA, such as higher pay rates, career advancement opportunities, and the ability to travel, there are also several challenges. Being a travel CNA may require individuals to work long hours and may require relocation to different areas multiple times per year. Additionally, adjusting to a new healthcare facility and patient population can be challenging and require adaptability and flexibility.
However, despite the challenges, travel CNAs can develop valuable skills in communication, adaptation, and leadership. They can also gain experience working in different healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice facilities.
Starting a travel CNA career involves being adaptable, flexible, and willing to learn. By embracing the challenges and opportunities, travel CNAs can kickstart an exciting career and make a positive impact on the lives of patients across the country.
10. Advance Your Travel CNA Career
- Networking with Other Healthcare Professionals
As a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), there are opportunities to advance in the healthcare field, including taking on leadership roles, pursuing higher education, or becoming a travel nurse. Additionally, networking with other healthcare professionals can provide valuable mentorship, support, and job opportunities.
Networking is essential in the healthcare industry to establish relationships with peers, following industry trends, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. There are several ways travel CNAs can network with other healthcare professionals, including attending conferences, joining professional associations, and connecting with colleagues on professional networking sites.
Networking can also be a great way to learn about job opportunities and career growth prospects, gain mentorship, and support. By building relationships with other healthcare professionals, travel CNAs can create a network of colleagues that can be invaluable throughout their career.
It’s important to follow up with professional connections regularly, building trust and credibility with potential mentors, colleagues, or professional organizations. When attending a conference or meeting, take a keen interest in listening, and ask thoughtful questions. Go well beyond exchanging business cards, and actively engage when the opportunity presents itself.
- Networking with travel CNAs
In addition to networking with other healthcare professionals, travel Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) can benefit from networking with other travel CNAs. Networking with other travel CNAs can provide the opportunity to share experiences, gain valuable insight into different facilities and patient populations, and discover potential job opportunities.
There are several ways to network with other travel CNAs, including attending travel CNA conferences, joining travel CNA groups on social media, and connecting with travel CNAs on professional networking sites. These networking opportunities allow travel CNAs to share experiences, offer support and advice, and connect with others with similar career paths.
To make the most of networking opportunities, travel CNAs should come prepared with questions, engage actively in conversations, and be open to new experiences and career opportunities. They should also consider sharing their own experiences with other travel CNAs, as this can offer valuable insight and perspective for others on similar career paths.
- How to maintain professional relationships
Building and maintaining professional relationships is essential to advancing a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) career. Professional relationships provide valuable connections, insight, and opportunities for growth.
There are several key elements to building and maintaining professional relationships, including being reliable, responsive, and respectful. Individuals should be timely with responses and maintain open and clear communication while being honest with their colleagues and peers. Additionally, following through on commitments and demonstrating a willingness to learn and improve can establish trust and credibility in professional relationships.
As a travel CNA, it’s important to prioritize building and maintaining professional relationships, perhaps even more so than in a traditional workspace, since one may be flitting to different places frequently. This involves being proactive in meeting new colleagues, building rapport and maintaining strong connections regularly. One could consider initiating conversations with colleagues and peers, learning about their experiences and offering support whenever possible. It is also crucial to communicate openly and honestly when resolving conflicts, to protect one’s interests.
Utilizing tools such as social media to stay in touch with colleagues and attend professional events and conferences can also help build strong connections in the healthcare industry. Finally, making an effort to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices can demonstrate a commitment to ongoing growth and development, which can help build and maintain professional relationships.
Becoming a travel Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) can be a rewarding career path for those interested in working in different healthcare environments and interacting with diverse patient populations. To become a travel CNA, individuals should obtain necessary documents, create a strong resume, prepare for the interview, and be adaptable and flexible.
Once individuals are working as travel CNAs, they can continue to advance their careers by networking with other healthcare professionals and travel CNAs, maintaining strong professional relationships, and embracing opportunities for growth and development.
The benefits of becoming a travel CNA include higher pay rates, career advancement opportunities, valuable experience working in different healthcare settings, and the chance to travel. However, it’s important to consider the challenges, such as potential relocation and adjusting to new environments frequently.
If becoming a travel CNA aligns with your interests and goals, it’s an excellent career path to pursue. By following the steps outlined in this article and remaining committed to ongoing growth and development, individuals can build a rewarding and fulfilling career as travel CNA.