The Difference Between a CNA and a CMA


Many students wonder, “What is the difference between a CNA and a CMA?”

Here’s the answer:

Certified Nursing Assistant Description 

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, helps patients or clients with healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). The individual who carries this title needs a strong work ethic and a passion to care for others. Information about CNA salary estimates can be found here.

Certified Medication Aide Description 

A certified medication aide, or CMA, administers routine oral medications and is responsible for monitoring a patient’s vitals and behavior while on medication. The salary levels of a CMA are usually lower than a CNA.

So What is the Difference?

The first difference comes with time requirements to get your certification. A Certified Nursing Assistant Certification requires 76 hours of curriculum and training, while it only takes 40 hours to get a CMA Certification.

Both of these training programs will prepare the student for work in a health care facility (e.g. Assisted Living, nursing facility, hospital) or in a residential setting (e.g. in-home care), but CNAs also have the opportunity to work within doctor offices and hospitals.

Learn more about the CNA requirements here.

Learn more about the CMA requirements here.