Depending on what state you live in, you may hear the term NAI more than CNA. Here’s the definition of the two terms and an explanation of which you need and why.
Do I Need CNA Training or NAI Training?
NAI stands for Nursing Assistant I while CNA is the abbreviation for Certified Nursing Assistant. In some states, particularly North Carolina, the term CNA is rarely used. Certified Nursing Assistant implies certification or licensure, which is not required in the state of North Carolina. Instead, nursing assistants perform their duties under the direct supervision and responsibility of an RN (Registered Nurse) and are not required to hold any type of license. Once a prospective nursing assistant completes the state competency exam, he or she is listed on the Nursing Assistant I registry. In North Carolina, the training required to become a NAI is very different than CNA training. Let’s take a look.
CNA Training and NAI Training Compared
Do You Need a High School Diploma? Often, a high school diploma or its equivalent (a G.E.D.) is required to be eligible for CNA training. For NAI training, a high school diploma is not required.
Proof of Immunizations Required? – Complete immunization records are required for anyone wanting to take NAI training classes (this includes, tetanus, 2 step ppd, TB, 2 MMRs, Chicken Pox immunization, Hepatitis B and even a current seasonal flu vaccination. Depending on the state, this is not always a requirement for CNA training.
Mandatory Background Check and Drug Screening? – A 12 panel urine drug screening and a criminal background check are required prior to enrollment acceptance for both CNA training and NAI training classes.
More CNA Training and NAI Training Differences
Strangely, although the NAI title seems easier to obtain than becoming a CNA training graduate, that’s not necessarily true. The length of each course may surprise you.
Length of the Classes – The Nursing Assistant I training course consists of 116 hours of classroom study with 42 additional hours of clinical training, for a total of 158 hours of total training before becoming eligible for employment as a NAI. The course generally lasts about 16 weeks.
CNA training classes, on the other hand, generally last about 75 hours, also consisting of lab or clinical time and classroom time. CNA training can be completed in about four weeks (sometimes six).
Cost Comparison for CNA Training & NAI Training
The cost comparison between the two shows NAI Training to be on the low side when compared to CNA training. The North Carolina NAI Training is about $225 to complete, while CNA training (depending on the state and training location) can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
Before taking either the CNA training or the NAI training, check the requirements and compare costs for each in your particular state. Although the tasks and job requirements are basically the same between the two, the education can be different.
We hope this has helped as you begin your new career with NAI or CNA training.