Central California pay for cna? - page 2

After I spend a year here as a CNA, my family and I are moving to central California, around Bakersfield. Is there anyone who has worked as a CNA in Bakersfield? Or knows how much they start out at... Read More

  1. by   CaliGuy
    I have to make this post short, I have to work tonight. Yes, LVN and LPN are basicly the same. There are a few challenges to your plans...

    1) Going to school full-time (for any serious program, LVN/LPN or RN) while being a CNA is not practical. Working as a CNA is an exhausting job.

    2) Once a LVN/LPN in one state does not make you a LVN/LPN in another, if you get LPN in Arizona, you will need to get reciprocity in California. The same is true for CNA and RN. California has different requirements than many states and they exceed many, you may have to get more courses for California reciprocity. After course work is done, plan 6 months for reciprocity to go through. Though it may take less time, be safe.

    A more realistic plan would be...

    1) Get your CNA in Arizona.
    2) Find out if you need additional requirements for CNA in California (I don't have time right now to look this up, but there are other forums that concern this).
    3) Start your paper work for CNA reciprocity.
    4) Find a school that is transferable with a California College in the Bakersfield area and start attending classes (remember you will not be able to take more than a couple of classes at a time - try to keep your GPA up, it is important for LVN as well).
    5) Make the move to CA.
    6) Get CNA job in CA.
    7) Enroll for in LVN program in CA (unfortunately this will be out-of-state tuition rate until you have CA residency requirement). Continue taking courses in CA.
    8) Pass your exam in CA for LVN/LPN.

    Unfortunately, it is very dificult if not impossible to work full-time and attend nursing school full-time at the same time. It is difficult while working as a cashier at a convienience store and nearly impossible while working as a CNA. CNA work is exhausting, you will need good rest between shifts. LVN/LPN course work is difficult, for every class hour spent you should plan for at least 1 hour of homework/study time minimum in the beginning classes and probably at least 2 for the more advanced classes. You are not likely to have much down time while working as a CNA to get studying done, even on a night shift so don't count on it.

    Remember you have a child on the way as well. You need to reserve time for him/her as well. A LOT OF TIME. Do not let work and school tear apart your family life. You are young. Time is one thing you have plenty of. Spread it around and don't try to do to much to fast or your life happiness and health will suffer. I know you have significant anxiety about your situation right now, but hurrying will not help. Have confidence that things will work out and though you will have obsticals, you will succeed.
  2. by   CaliGuy
    BTW, concerning the stability of per diem positions. It depends on where you work. I have been per diem for over 3 1/2 years now and always work at least full time hours. Talk with the LTC Director before making this decision. I maintain flexibility and they give me the hours I need. I have had people warn me many times that the unit is getting a batch of new CNAs in and that I should take a full-time permanent position, but CNAs come and CNAs go. At my unit there is always an abundance of shifts to take. This may not be true of all facilities. Ours is only a 35 bed unit and there is always work.
  3. by   Gloin
    (thank you for all your help and your continued patients with me)

    Here are some questions I have (I tried researching each of these questions on my own and just haven't found 100% what I'm looking for)

    1. What exactly do you have to do to "reciprocate" to CA? I take the exam here, get certified here, then... Is it paper work just to fill out? Is it more exams? Is it fees? Is it more schooling?

    2. You said once I get my CNA reciprocation done and go to CA I should start my LPN classes there. So your suggesting I do part time LPN classes? If so how long is an CNA to LPN part time thing?

    3. How does one get into specifics in the hosptials.. I mean, I've heard people talking about like, they trained or took a course to be a radiology LPN etc etc. I'm sure they'd get a payraise for being a specialist in 1 thing right? can you further my knowledge on this..?

    Thank you so much, you don't understand my level of gratitude. Without your assistance I'd be so lost.
  4. by   CaliGuy
    i will try to answer the questions that i can and refer you to as many locations as i can for information that either i do not know, can not legally give you or that you would be better off getting information from someone that is more qualified to answer. here we go...

    1) i have heard many times that "california has more stringent standards for cnas than some other states. you may have to take additional courses to get reciprocation", but after doing some research i have found the real answer...

    "reciprocity applicants
    with implementation of the omnibus budget reconciliation act (obra) for nurse assistant training requirements in april 1992, california was instructed by the health care financing administration to offer nurse assistant certification to anyone who is listed on any state's nurse assistant registry as:
    * in "good standing" (having no findings of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of residents' property) and
    * "active" (maintained on the state nurse assistant registry as having met the obra training requirements and having provided nursing services at least one day, for pay, in the previous 24 months)."

    this is taken directly from the cdph document titled nurse assistants - home health aides - hemodialysis technicians certification facts, you will find this at the following link...

    - the best and final authority on this subject and any topic concerning cnas in ca can be contacted at cna@cdph.ca.gov. i would contact them before filing for reciprocity to assure the information is still accurate (laws & administrative rulings change frequently). i have sent questions before and they responded the following day. here is what you currently need to file...

    "cna reciprocity applicants from other states
    if the cna certification is active and in good standing on another state's registry, she / he will qualify for certification in california without taking the cna training or competency exam. submit the following to atcs:
    * a copy of your state-issued certificate; and
    * a completed verification form cdph 931 (to be completed by applicant and the endorsing state agency); and
    * proof of work providing nursing services in the last two years (not required for those who received their initial certificates from another state in the last two years; and
    * this completed application form (hs 283b); and
    * a copy of the completed request for live scan form (bcii 8016). you must wait until you move to california to obtain fingerprints through this method."

    the forms:

    2) as i stated before i doubt that you can complete a lvn/lpn program with full time status at both your job and your school. i know i would not be able to. you may either need to work part time or go to school part time. you already said you are not book smart, i have a 3.8 average from my last degree program and would not attempt a full time lpn program while working full time as a cna. provided you can find a good lvn/lpn program that allows you to go part time, the length of time it will take will depend on how many hours you can realistically take while working as much as you need and the requirements of the program. i would suggest talking to a guidance councilor at the school that you choose. keep in mind that the school you choose should be transferable to california schools if you are going to contionue your education in ca. also remember if you get your lvn/lpn in arizona you will still have to get reciprocity in california and i do not know the details of the requirement for this (you will need to do your own research or get someone else to help you with this :typing - there are others that know much more about it :icon_roll).

    3) i don't think i can really answer questions about specialization accurately. i would recommend asking nurses that you come in contact with that have such specializations and again councilors at a nursing school could help you with this. seek several sources of information, you may find alternative means of training. for instance radiology can be taught at a school or a teaching hospital. you will have to pass tests for each specialization and again the test and requirements may differ from state to state.

    i hope this information helps you get started.
  5. by   Gloin
    Caliguy, the level of commitment you have shown to my problem, and helping me understand all there is to know, brings tears to my eyes, you really went beyond what any normal person would do for another, and I thank you beyond words. I appreciate what you have done for me so much, thank you. From now on, I'll be doing as much as I can to do what needs to be done here in phoenix to actually get my certification, and actually get a job. That is a couple months down the road. I'll keep the forums updated, just for fun lol. I hope to see you around caliguy, thank you again.