While both Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) work in the same industry, they each have their unique set of duties and responsibilities. Understanding the key differences can help both students and professionals.
Being a CNA does not require any degree. Anyone who wants to work in this field simply needs a high school diploma or GED. There is a nurse aid training program which has mandated hours and results in a certificate after passing the certification exam.
However, candidates cannot work as RNs until they have received either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing. After a person has passed a national exam, she may receive an RN license and work in this field.
Job position and scope or practice are also widely different for these two fields. CNAs are considered entry level jobs. They carry out their work under the direction of an RN and hold a fairly low position in the hierarchy.
This medical staff cannot perform the responsibilities of the RN and do not have the authority to make decisions on their own. Registered Nurses are ranked significantly higher in the medical industry and are in charge of both CNAs and LPNs. They work closely and directly with patients and may accomplish duties or tasks of a nursing assistant.
Finally, the duties and responsibilities are different in both professions. CNAs provide basic care and may measure temperature, pulse rate, and blood pressure. They will also provide personal care and assist patients in their daily activities.
For RNs, they assign tasks, provide assistance with medical procedures, dress wounds, and administer medications and injections.
These are some of the primary differences between CNAs and RNs. While both fields will have some areas of overlapping, they have specific roles and responsibilities.