A certified nursing assistant is someone who has been specially trained to provide patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). The traveling CNA performs a variety of duties to assist their patients and clients, and works across multiple locations. Common tasks include spending time monitoring and assisting with basic wellness tasks like medication administration or dressing wounds, but can expand into even more roles.
What does a traveling CNA do?
CNAs are often jacks of all trades, and that’s especially true for traveling CNAs. Let’s look at some of the common tasks performed by traveling CNAs:
- Helping patients dress
- Measuring vital signs
- Assisting with food preparation
- Helping patients perform range of motion exercises
- Recording and reporting patient data and changes in medical conditions
- Assisting with dressing and hygiene
- Infection control and cleaning
What are the benefits of being a traveling CNA?
Traveling CNAs enjoy a variety of benefits, including being able to work in different hospitals and gaining different experiences. It is perfect if you want to work only part-time as a traveling nurse because most traveling positions will not require a minimum number of hours worked per week.
You may even find a position where you’ll only need to travel once every few months with some positions requiring more travel than others. Some staffing agencies get requests for someone who can travel, but it may not be required. There are some employers that don’t want someone who constantly travels either because it is too much responsibility on the hiring end, and they also may not want to pay the traveling expenses.
How do you become a traveling CNA?
The qualifications that you need to work as a traveling CNA include postsecondary education (often a community college or as part of a specific CNA training program), certification and patient care skills. CNAs typically complete a short-term health care program (find CNA classes near you) then take an exam afterwards. Once the exam has been passed they can register with the state nurse aide registry and be hired as a CNA or traveling CNA.
- Read our complete guide: How to become a CNA
How much does a traveling CNA make?
The travel CNA salary varies quite a bit depending on their location and experience. This is why it is important to research the position before accepting an offer, and you should negotiate with them what is best for your traveling needs. In general, however, traveling CNAs make more money than the standard CNA salary (which was $14.25 in 2019). It’s not uncommon for a travel CNA to receive 10%-20% more in salary than a standard CNA in the same region.
Traveling CNAs also enjoy some benefits that other CNAs may not.
- Schedule flexibility
- More options for overtime
- Travel allowances (meals, accommodations)
Also note that all traveling CNAs do not get benefits either because some hospitals only give benefits to employees who have worked there for over 6 months while others require 1-2 years of experience .
Things to consider before becoming a travel nurse
Many traveling CNAs work at nursing homes, but they also work in larger hospitals as well. When traveling it is important to do thorough research on the facility you plan on working for so that you know what kind of area it is and how far away from home you’ll be traveling . It would be wise to check online reviews of facilities before accepting an offer.
For many, traveling becomes their new home. They make connections with other traveling nurses from different states and even countries. The traveling community can be a very supportive environment where traveling nurses can share advice and become close friends. This is also great because you will have someone to help you when you run into trouble while traveling or maybe if you need a person to lean on in tough times.
Many people enjoy the independence of the role. Being a traveling CNA allows people more time for themselves, allowing them to learn new things and try out different activities that might not be possible with a more rigid schedule. Similar to being a traveling RN, many traveling CNAs enjoy finding happiness in small things such as exploring oceanside towns or going hiking in the mountains during their free time.
Being a traveling CNA is a great opportunity for people early in their career to find themselves. It also provides time to explore what kind of longer term career they may want because it gives them the chance to see different healthcare facilities and work with people in different roles. This perspective lets you gain a lot of perspective while offering a unique level of flexibility that can be hard to find in the healthcare industry.
Check out our CNA jobs page if you’re interested in finding a position as a traveling CNA.