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Options in Health Care Careers

There are several options available for those persons considering a health care career. Two of the most popular choices are that of nursing assistant and nurse, but what are the differences between the two roles?

The duration of time required to complete one’s education is one of the major differences. While it only takes a few weeks to complete training to be a nursing assistant, a licensed vocational nurse will train for a year, at least. Those choosing to be a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) may be able to take exams and begin employment in a matter of weeks after training has commenced.

When it comes to the duties required to be performed, a nursing assistant will not be responsible for skilled nursing services. Instead, important work such as assistance with patients’ daily needs and direct care are expected.

In terms of job availability, there is an increase in the need for nursing assistants, meaning that a job as a CNA may be easier to find and obtain than as a health care professional.

Although it’s not the only important aspect, nursing assistants are paid less than nurses, but there are still many reasons why you might prefer to become a CNA – such as job security or professional opportunities to advance.

It might be beneficial to become a CNA at first as you will have firsthand practical experience in the care sector and be able to find out more about it. It can be the ideal way to get a foot into the industry, even if you don’t actually plan on advancing further than being a nursing assistant.

Overall, there is a continual and consistent demand for health care professionals and individuals qualified to work in the care sector. If you choose this career, you can work every day with the satisfaction that you are making a real and tangible difference to the lives of many people.

11 Responses so far.

  1. Jinelle C. says:

    I’m curious if this information is for the US only because I know that in Canada, the criteria for becoming even a long term care aide is at least six months. I don’t know of any nursing assistant options that require only a few weeks of training. If this is the case however, that you can get a Certified Nurses Assistant certificate in even 16-20 weeks, I would like to know the colleges to apply to. Although I disagree that you are more likely to find work with a CNA certificate than if you become a a fully qualified nurse. Nursing shortages are still rampant in parts of Canada whereas lesser skilled employment tends to be filled. I would clarify what part of the world you are talking about.

  2. Craig Hutchins says:

    Another point not mentioned is that becoming a CENA is also a good way to see if it is the field you really want to work in before spending all the money in school to become a nurse. I know that nursing homes in the area I live in pay you to become a CENA because they are always looking for staff because they have a high turn-over ratio.

  3. lailani52 says:

    It has been a sad reality for nurses who have studied and dutifully done their part, it took them years to complete their study. As for being a Certified Nurse Assistant which takes only a few weeks of training, really? Well, that would be fine for those who really has the passion to serve patients, the elderly and those who need health care. I am just happy that today nurses are given a good pay for their job.

  4. Howard Stanley says:

    Just out of curiosity, what is the earnings difference between an RN and CNA in percentage? If there isn’t much of a difference, then being an RN would be the faster way.

  5. Yuen Ling Elaine Au Yeung says:

    “It might be beneficial to become a CNA at first as you will have firsthand practical experience in the care sector and be able to find out more about it. ” What I think that, no matter which career, learning is important, When you work as nursing assistant, it will fun on your learning process.

  6. Marissa says:

    A nursing assistant has more direct contact with patients, and this fact makes the job somewhat personal. It may not be that financially rewarding, but for those who are truly compassionate to other people will find this job as perfect for them. I salute our hardworking CNAs!

  7. Gina says:

    I heard there is a big demand for nursing-related services. Becoming a CNA is a quick path to this industry. Moreover, if one decides to pursue a BS Nursing degree later, a background in CNA will definitely be a big help!

  8. ryka says:

    When i was young, I’ve always wanted to become a nurse. I wasn’t able to because of the expenses of taking a medical course. Maybe when I can when I have the budget. It’s never too late.

  9. caly says:

    My sister is a nurse and I admire her for all she had to go through for reach her dream. To the aspiring nurses out there, just hang on there! You can do it just like my sister did.

  10. Allen Jackson says:

    Becoming a CNA sounds very interesting. For anyone who would want employment in the medical field, this would seem the fastest way to go. It is stated here that there is career growth in it so the initial earnings may be tolerable.

  11. Gian says:

    I know that CNA’s earned just enough for the basic needs of a small family. Nurses, on the other hand, are able to afford some luxuries. And as far as I know, CNA’s have heavier job than nurses.

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