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A Guide to the States You Can Make the Most as a Travel CNA

October 13, 2022

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Megan Bebout

States-you-can-make-the-most-as-a-CNA-minHey, you! Yes—you. Hi. If you’re reading this, then that means that you’re either a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or you’re interested in learning more about CNAs. Lucky for you, we’re here to help! So, we’ve created this handy dandy guide to help you navigate where to go in your career as a traveling CNA.

 

A Guide to the States You Can Make the Most as a Travel CNA

 

Let’s be real—you became a CNA because you want to make a positive impact on the lives you touch, are we right? But that doesn’t mean that the fame, glory, and money that come with CNA life aren’t equally as awesome.

Before we dive into the deep end of travel nursing and where you can go to make the most money as a travel CNA, let’s explore what a certified nursing assistant is, how to become one, what the job outlook is like, and lastly, which states are handing out the big bucks.

 

What is a certified nursing assistant (CNA)?

You’ve heard of travel nurses. Now get ready for travel certified nursing assistants, sometimes known as nursing aides or patient care assistants! CNAs are a type of nursing professional who provides health care to patients in a variety of medical settings. You may find CNAs in nursing homes, long term care facilities, hospitals, hospice centers, private homes, and more.

But what exactly does a CNA do? As part of the medical team, CNAs work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) to provide patient care and assistance with daily living tasks, such as dressing, eating, toileting, and personal hygiene. CNAs also take vital signs, record intake and output, and help with medical procedures. Let us put it this way—CNAs are an essential part of a health care team who offer personalized and individualized care to each patient to help them live a better life.

 

How to become a certified nursing assistant

Rid your brain of everything you think you know about becoming a CNA. Here’s how it is: To become a certified nursing assistant, all you need to do is enroll in a state-sanctioned training program and pass a state certification exam. Bada bing, bada boom. Okay, fine. That might be easier said than done and vary state by state, but we believe in you.

Unlike other nursing professions like RNs, CNAs don’t require a college degree. They do, however, need a high school diploma or GED, as well as extra nursing training. But where can you find these types of nursing programs? Thankfully, these nursing programs are extremely accessible and can be found in most community colleges, trade schools, and medical facilities, so you have options on where you want to learn. Pro tip: Make sure the CNA program you’re considering is approved by their state’s nursing board and by the National League for Nursing Accredited Commission (NLNAC).

After completing CNA training in an accredited nursing program, it’s time to take the aforementioned certification exam. Here’s the sitch with the exam: There are two parts—a written section and a practical part. First, you’ll have 90 minutes to take the written exam, including a series of multiple-choice questions. Then, you’ll have 30 minutes with a test proctor to demonstrate your clinical skills and competency. Don’t worry—the certification exam may sound intimidating, but it’s got nothing on you.

 

Like what you’re reading? You may also like: The Difference Between an LPN and CNA

 

CNA job outlook

Becoming a professional certified nursing assistant is a great career move for present you and for future you. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for CNAs from 2020 to 2030 is projected to grow by 8%, which is just a smidge faster than the average job growth. Within that time, the BLS predicts about 192,800 CNA job openings to become available. So, props to you—now is the perfect time to jump into the CNA action.

Luckily, there will always be a large need for health care in our community, so CNA jobs aren’t going anywhere. Plus, with the nationwide nursing shortage in full swing, CNAs are even more in demand and that growth shows no signs of stopping.

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CNA pay breakdown by state

Alright, now for the moment you’ve been waiting for, it’s time to look at the states that pay CNAs the most for their skills! And if you’ve ever wanted to live or work in Hawaii or Alaska, we’ve got great news for you! Check out the states where you can make the most as a travel CNA.

Rank

State

Average CNA yearly salary

CNA state requirements

1

Hawaii

$45,187

Become a CNA in Hawaii

2

Alaska

$42,735

Become a CNA in Alaska

3

Vermont

$40,762

Become a CNA in Vermont

4

Maine

$38,575

Become a CNA in Maine

5

New Hampshire

$37,696

Become a CNA in New Hampshire

6

Massachusetts

$36,900

Become a CNA in Massachusetts

7

Washington

$36,232

Become a CNA in Washington

8

Oregon

$35,586

Become a CNA in Oregon

9

New York

$35,585

Become a CNA in New York

10

Rhode Island

$35,490

Become a CNA in Rhode Island

11

New Jersey

$35,230

Become a CNA in New Jersey

12

Connecticut

$34,189

Become a CNA in Connecticut

13

California

$34,156

Become a CNA in California

14

Delaware

$33,587

Become a CNA in Delaware

15

Pennsylvania

$33,411

Become a CNA in Pennsylvania

16

Nevada

$33,337

Become a CNA in Nevada

17

Minnesota

$32,324

Become a CNA in Minnesota

18

Wisconsin

$32,207

Become a CNA in Wisconsin

19

North Dakota

$32,143

Become a CNA in North Dakota

20

Wyoming

$31,858

Become a CNA in Wyoming

21

New Mexico

$31,749

Become a CNA in New Mexico

22

Michigan

$31,632

Become a CNA in Michigan

23

Illinois

$31,442

Become a CNA in Illinois

24

Arizona

$31,418

Become a CNA in Arizona

25

Maryland

$31,174

Become a CNA in Maryland

26

Montana

$31,162

Become a CNA in Montana

27

Virginia

$30,998

Become a CNA in Virginia

28

Indiana

$30,924

Become a CNA in Indiana

29

Idaho

$30,836

Become a CNA in Idaho

30

Ohio

$30,710

Become a CNA in Ohio

31

Colorado

$30,603

Become a CNA in Colorado

32

Utah

$30,522

Become a CNA in Utah

33

South Dakota

$29,933

Become a CNA in South Dakota

34

Nebraska

$29,669

Become a CNA in Nebraska

35

Iowa

$29,614

Become a CNA in Iowa

36

Kansas

$29,224

Become a CNA in Kansas

37

Kentucky

$29,208

Become a CNA in Kentucky

38

Missouri

$29,187

Become a CNA in Missouri

39

West Virginia

$29,142

Become a CNA in West Virginia

40

Oklahoma

$28,851

Become a CNA in Oklahoma

41

Alabama

$27,943

Become a CNA in Alabama

42

North Carolina

$27,842

Become a CNA in North Carolina

43

Tennessee

$27,747

Become a CNA in Tennessee

44

Florida

$27,476

Become a CNA in Florida

45

Texas

$27,265

Become a CNA in Texas

46

Arkansas

$26,863

Become a CNA in Arkansas

47

Georgia

$26,394

Become a CNA in Georgia

48

South Carolina

$25,978

Become a CNA in South Carolina

49

Louisiana

$25,719

Become a CNA in Louisiana

50

Mississippi

$25,164

Become a CNA in Mississippi

 

 

 

 

 

 

A career as a traveling certified nursing assistant will leave you with warm, fuzzy feelings because you know you make a positive difference in the lives of others. As a cherry on top, being a CNA can also help bring money in the bank, especially in Hawaii and Alaska—aka the top two states you can make the most as a CNA. The next time you embark on a travel adventure, use this guide to help decide where to go next for a travel CNA job.

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