CNAs are currently in huge demand, in the California area According to the Higher Education for a Strong Economy, around 13,000 nursing assistant vacancies go unfilled every year. Per the California Board of Registered Nursing, it currently accounts for 458,717 registered nursing jobs. Between ageing populations and surging healthcare demand in general, CNAs are expected to soar in demand in the coming years. Whether you are a fresh nursing assistant looking for your first job or someone who wants to get into the healthcare industry, this article will go over how to find CNA travel jobs in California.
Acquire your California License
Before anything else, you obviously want to get your California CNA license. Part of the appeal of nursing assistant roles is their low barrier to entry, compared to other professions in the market. At the bare minimum, you have to fulfil a number of requirements before you can apply. California requires that all CNAs:
- Are physically fit to work and can present up-to-date immunization records
- Can pass a criminal background check
- Graduated from an accredited California-based CNA program
- Graduated from high school or have a general education diploma (GED.)
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Take and pass the state exam to achieve certified status
Luckily, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has a list of approved CNA schools, for your convenience. These programs are typically hosted by the Red Cross, trade schools or community colleges. There are also a host of high-quality CNA classes available online. The state of California requires CNAs to complete at least 150 hours of training, which is split between 50 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of clinical rotations. This usually takes 6 to 15 weeks to complete, although certain accelerated programs allow you to finish your training in just 4 months.
Once you have finished your training, you have to apply for certification and take the state exam at a verified testing centre. The CDPH list of approved testing locations can be found here Once you pass, you can claim your CNA certificate. Congratulations! You are now certified and you can start hunting for CNA jobs in CA.
Refer to School Resources
Finding new travel CNA jobs in California can be a tricky proposition. Luckily, there are things you can do early to start hunting for job opportunities. Schools offer a host of career resources to their students, to aid them in their job search.
- Career presentations from representatives of various healthcare facilities
- Faculty who will help you find entry-level opportunities.
- Career fairs where you can ask questions to potential employers, inquire about feeder internships or present your CV.
- Alumni networks are made up of graduate nurses where you can build connections that may lead to entry-level opportunities.
If you study in California, you should be able to search for an RN position in-state without much issue. If you are from a different state, consult with clinical instructors or career counsellors to find entry-level jobs in CA.
Account for Location
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, California has the third-highest mean wage, at around $ 39,760. Of course, location matters. How much a CNA makes in Los Angeles will not be the same as the rates in Anaheim or Chino. Luckily, CA accounts for a number of the highest-paying metropolitan areas in the entire country, including:
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $47,690
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward: $47,500
- Salinas: $44,210
- Napa: $42,310
- Santa Cruz-Watsonville: $41,070
- Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade: $135,490
- Santa Rosa: $40,770
Keep in mind that your salary does not exist in a vacuum. When you choose a place to settle down, you also want to consider living expenses such as cost of living and travel expenses. In addition, the application process is naturally competitive in these active areas. While you are job searching, however, the places listed above are as good a place to start as any.
Consider the Highest Paying Specializations
Specialized CNAs in certain fields have the opportunity to earn more than their other counterparts. If this is a serious consideration for you, then consider this list of CNA specialities with the highest demand:
- Operating Room
- Emergency Room
Find Jobs Online
Nowadays, hospitals are regularly posting their job listings online. On sites like Indeed or Nursing Network, you can find CNA job openings in your area and send your applications in the comfort of your own home. Hospitals also post job openings on their site, which can help you cast a wider net. You can also link up with staffing agencies online who will sign you to travel CNA jobs in California. Just be sure to scan through reviews to get a sense of an agency’s reputation or how they treat the nurses under their watch. Onboarding and submitting your documents is also a lengthy process that can take two weeks or more, which is cumbersome compared to alternatives like VitaWerks.
Book Per Diem Nursing Shifts
While it is not a speciality, Per Diem RN jobs have grown in recent years as a valuable alternative. Per Diem, nursing serves as a valuable stop-gap solution to the nurse shortages that have affected healthcare facilities. Since demand is at an all-time high, their salaries are highly competitive with many full-time rates. Platforms like VitaWerks will link you with the highest-paying CNA jobs in CA, with the help of advanced AI-matching technology. With the flexibility to set your own schedules and work in different facilities, all while earning more than some traditionally employed nurses, CNAs can enjoy unparalleled personal and professional freedom.