CNA in OR or WA? What is better?

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm currently located in Oregon and am thinking about moving up to Washington this summer and becoming a CNA while I apply to nursing schools. I have noticed that in Oregon, to become a CNA you have to take two classes (CNA-1, CNA-2) and in Washington there is only one.

    I was wondering if I took my classes in Oregon, would Washington accept them? If someone could let me know, that'd be great!

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    About AnnieBopannie, BSN, RN

    Joined: Sep '11; Posts: 32; Likes: 1


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Check with the WA state board of nursing to find out if they do CNA by endorsement, or a similar program that would let you work there after you obtain your CNA here in Oregon. Good luck!
  4. by   AnnieBopannie
  5. by   NurseToBe3
    I don't think your CNA will transfer to Washington from Oregon. And you don't have to take two classes to become a CNA in Oregon. The CNA1 allows you to work in a nursing home and a CNA2 allows you to work in acute care (hospitals). Many places offer an intense CNA1 course that you can do in 4 weeks. Cascade even has an online one (you still have to go in a few days for labs and then do your clinicals), but it's flexible. Nursing home jobs are fairly easy to come by, but it's tough to get on at a hospital without a decent amount of experience. Good luck!
  6. by   AnnieBopannie
    Thanks NurseToBe3! That was very helpful, and now I have a followup question. How is it possible to find addition experience to be able to get hired in a hospital?
  7. by   NurseToBe3
    Most hospitals want a year of experience. You could work at a nursing home for a year and then apply to hospitals. You also may be able to get on as a hospital tech for legacy. They want you to have a CNA2, but I don't think they require experience. You can also check craigslist for CNA2 jobs. There may be smaller hospitals that don't require experience. I have just looked around at the major ones. Also, many nursing programs allow you to apply for your CNA2 after the third term because you have enough knowledge and clinical experience. That would save you a ton of money if you wanted to wait. Just something to think about!
  8. by   nursetabitha
    Your CNA1 license WILL endorse into WA state. WA doesn't have both CNA 1 and 2, so it's the equivalent to the CNA1 in OR. All you would do is wait until you get your CNA1 license from Oregon and then apply for endorsement into WA. I live and work as a CNA in WA and am going to nursing school in OR.

    And in answer to your second question: Most CNA's have to start in LTC or home health care for a year before they can apply to hospitals. I found a job at a skilled nursing facility that is MUCH better than LTC and so is the pay. I might even stay there after I get my LPN and RN. I was lucky to get in with no experience. They just liked me I guess. I know some CNA's will volunteer at the hospital and get to know the staff and then they can usually get in the next time they have a CNA opening. Good luck with work and school!
  9. by   ChiChiMungo
    Nursetabitha...I saw one of your postings that you are attending nursing school in Oregon and live in Washington. I was wondering if there is any way that we could exchange emails so I could ask you some questions I plan on doing the same thing. I am heading to Oregon tomorrow to talk with the school. What school are you attending and where do you live in Washington are you commuting? My email is Chichimungo@gmail.comBtw I'm sure you got your answer by now but I do know for LPN license WA and OR have reciprocity. So you don't need to endorse. But am not sure of same for CNA, I have mine from Wa and work here in WA. I do have an older lady I work with who used to work in our hospital and said they used to use CNA II for hospitals, she had hers. I'm assuming she told me because they no longer use it...?
  10. by   boogalina
    If you are an Oregon resident you might be able to get grant funding to cover the cost of your CNA courses. Check with JobGrowers, through the Employment Department. The CNA2 might help you get a hospital job without experience as a CNA1.
  11. by   fastwalkslowtalk
    Worksource Oregon (through the Oregon Employment Department) has opportunities for grants for both CNA1 and CNA under the HOPE Grant which is a partnership between Portland Community College and Worsource Oregon.

    This is a link to the application for CNA2:


    Article detailing what the grant is all about:

    PCC awarded $4.8 million in federal grant money to help train health care workers | PCC News
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Feb 14, '13 : Reason: TOS
  12. by   puauhane
    nursetabitha is correct. While most states including WA will allow you to transfer an Oregon CNA certification, Oregon is quite strict, and will not allow a transfer from other states, but will require you to take their own Oregon CNA certification course. Therefore, it is much better to hold an Oregon license and transfer to a different state, than try to transfer to Oregon from a different state. While guidelines to hold an Oregon CNA are quite strict, their scope of practice is pretty limited, particularly for CNA1, and you will get much more valuable experience and a wider scope of practice in WA through nurse delegated training for particular medical conditions. For example, regarding diabetes, it is NOT within the scope of practice of a CNA1 in Oregon to administer insulin or read blood sugar levels but in WA you may do so upon completion of a diabetes delegation training. Hope this helps!

    fastwalkslowtalk is also correct. The Hope Grant through workforce development is an amazing program and will cover all expenses plus give you vouchers for shoes, scrubs, books, a stethiscope, and other materials. It is a 5000 dollar grant and well worth pursuing before it discontinues! Upon completion however, you must get a CNA job within 6 months or you may have to pay the grant back...
    Last edit by puauhane on Jul 17, '13