What is the Difference Between a Nurse Aide and CNA

You’ve probably come across Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) and Nurse Aides (NA) in various settings within the healthcare field. CNAs and Nurse Aides both carry out many of the same duties and responsibilities, but there are many benefits to becoming a CNA over an NA. If you’re wondering what those differences are, continue reading and find out!

What are the Main Differences Between a CNA and a Nurse Aide?

Differences with becoming a CNA

  • Requires training program
  • Requires passing of a certification exam
  • Most healthcare facilities require/want certification before candidates are hired

Differences with becoming a Nurse Aide

  • May not require formal training
  • Doesn’t require certification exam
  • Can start working immediately, but hiring less desirable than CNA.

Do CNAs get paid more than a NAs?

Since CNAs have taken and passed a certification exam, most employers prefer to hire CNAs over NAs. Another difference between the two is that CNAs could obtain a higher salary because of their certification.

Basically, the difference lies within the certification exam. The certification makes a big difference and helps you stand out!

Duties Both CNAs and NAs Share

CNAs and NAs share many of the same job responsibilities. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Working closely with patients to deliver safe and effective care
  • Take on the role of caregiver for many patients
  • Monitor health and status of patients
  • Report to LPNs, RNs, and Physicians directly about patient conditions
  • Assist patients with daily activities which may include:
    • Bathing
    • Repositioning
    • Assist with eating
    • Getting dressed
    • Helping to assist with movement to and from the bathroom, on walks, etc.
    • And more!

Learn more about CNA duties and what you can expect on the job.

What You Could Learn Through CNA Training

To become a CNA, you don’t have to complete years of training. Most CNA training programs run for just a few weeks. In order to become certified, you must take and pass a certification exam.

You might be asking yourself what you could learn in such a short amount of time? Here are a few of the skills you could learn through your CNA training:

  • How to take and record vital signs (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respirations)
  • How to prevent infection (use of PPE, how to sterilize, etc)
  • How to complete patient care procedures (bathing, toileting, eating/drinking, positioning)
  • How to care for cognitively impaired patients
  • How to evacuate patients and complete safety and emergency procedures
  • HIPAA and patient privacy
  • And more!

Begin Your Nurse Aide Training Program at Training Direct Today!

If you have a passion for helping others and are looking to embark on a fulfilling career, look no further! At Training Direct, the Nurse Aide program is designed to help prepare students to pursue entry level employment opportunities as a CNA or NA. Our program prepares students to begin a career as a CNA after they have passed the certification exam.

During your experience, you will receive hands-on clinical training to ensure you are ready to pursue a career in the healthcare field.

You can train to pursue a career as a  CNA in just a matter of weeks. Click here to learn more about the Nurse Aide program at Training Direct and kickstart your career today!

Training Direct has determined that its Nurse Aide program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for certification in the State of Connecticut only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district or US territory in regards to certification requirements.


  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm