Difference Between CNA and STNA


Nurses are great and do an incredibly great job. At some point in our lives, we have required the services of a nurse to help us with some type of condition we had. And at another certain point of our lives, we have probably wished we had a nurse present in a determined situation to help us out with some expert knowledge. But when it comes to nurses, they aren’t all the same, and there is actually a difference between a certified nursing assistant (CAN) and a state tested nurse aide (STNA).

Understanding the Professions

Both professions are very, very similar, so much that in the state of Ohio, a state tested nurse aide is a term used for a nurse aide as well. When it comes to education, both of these professions lack the requirement of a higher education before they can actually pursue work as professionals within the business. Most of the time, a high school diploma is enough when it comes to education.

Training and Qualifications

As far as training goes it is not so simple, as both certified nursing assistants and state tested nurse aides need to undergo a training process that requires a determined amount of hours, mandated by the state they are in. This training needs to be recognized b the Department of Health of whatever state it is being conducted in. During this training, applicants will undergo theoretical classes about topics like CRPR, nutrition, infection control and other subjects of the same nature and practical classes such as how to administer medicine, moving patients and taking vital statistics,

Even after completing the training, both of these professions have to take an exam conducted by the state the person is in. If they pass this exam, they will receive a certificate assuring they are nursing assistants or state tested nursing aides.


Both CNA’s and STNA’s work in the same type of environments and have, basically, the same job responsibilities. Their working conditions aren’t very good, since they have to work a lot of hours and have very inflexible working schedules due to the nature of their profession. They may find work in places such as rehabilitation centers, clinics, day care centers, residential care facilities and, of course, in hospitals.

Biggest Differences

The big difference between these two professions can be found in the same place as their paychecks. While a STNA can make an average of $ 23,000 a year, a CNA usually makes an average of $ 25,000 a year. This is a $ 2,000 difference, and it can probably be justified with STNA being a much cooler name than CNA. All jokes aside, these salaries of these two professions are usually determined by experience, location, qualifications and workplace, with CAN’s earning a little bit more per year.