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Caregiver vs. CNA — Do you know the difference?

September 22, 2021

You’ve probably heard the terms caregiver and CNA, but do you know the difference between the two? Take our quiz to test your knowledge, then read on to learn even more.

Whether you aced the quiz or still have some questions about the difference between a caregiver and CNA, the info below will make sure you sound like an expert when you talk about your future health care career plans. 

CNA Definition

Looking for a CNA definition? To put it simply: CNAs provide hands-on care to individuals who need assistance—often elderly people or someone who has had an acute healthcare event or injury. 

Caregiver Duties

Caregivers also provide hands-on care to individuals who need assistance for a variety of reasons.

Caregiver vs. CNA 

But wait! It seems like the terms caregiver and CNA mean essentially the same thing! While the two words do describe roles that have very similar duties, caregivers and CNAs are different in important ways. 

CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant. For someone to be a CNA, they must meet all of the certification requirements of the state where they work. These requirements usually include state-approved training and a state exam. Caregiver is an umbrella term that refers to all people who provide care, professionally or to a family member, certified or uncertified.

So, all CNAs are caregivers, but not all caregivers are CNAs! 

Many people who enter the NextStep program to become CNAs are already caregivers. Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant has perks:

  • Open up higher-paying, higher-demand jobs
  • Access opportunities for career advancement
  • Gain the skills you need to provide the best care

Are you a caregiver looking to become a CNA? Click below to learn how to get started tuition free with NextStep’s CNA program.

Become a CNA. Join today!

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