If you have a certified nursing assistant (CNA) license from another state, you can fill out a reciprocity application to get your license to work as a CNA in Massachusetts. The reciprocity process is completed through the American Red Cross, and you must obtain the reciprocity application on the Boston Red Cross website.

Fill out the Massachusetts Nurse Aide Reciprocity form, available from the Boston Red Cross website (see Resources). There is no fee for completing and submitting this form.

Mail this form to the state’s nurse aide registry that issued you your current CNA license. A list of phone numbers for various states’ registries can be found on the instructions for applying for nurse aide reciprocity on the Boston Red Cross website. Call your state’s registry to get its mailing address. The states of California, Colorado, Louisiana, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri do not verify nurse aide certification from written applications. If you are a nurse aide from one of these states, complete the Applicant Information and Current Registry Information sections of the reciprocity form. Send it to the ARC/Massachusetts Nurse Aide Program at 143 Main Street; Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142-1530. Your application will be processed by the American Red Cross.

Forward your completed reciprocity form to the American Red Cross/Massachusetts Nurse Aide Program when you receive it from your state’s nurse aide registry. You will receive a Massachusetts Certificate and Wallet Card within 15 days of the American Red Cross/Massachusetts Nurse Aide Program receiving your reciprocity form. Call the program at 1-800-962-4337 or 781-979-4010 if you do not receive your certificate and wallet card within this time frame.


If you once were certified as a nurse aide in Massachusetts, but you have since obtained a nurse aide certification in another state, you cannot complete the reciprocity process. You will need to renew your certification by taking the state nurse aide test or working as a nurse aide.