Home Health Aide Basics: CNA Training vs. Home Health Training

cna trainingCNA Training

When you’re trying to decide what kind of medical career is right for you, the choice between CNA training and home health training can be difficult. Both offer exciting careers in the health industry, but they are slightly different. As a CNA, you can work as a home health aide, but as a health aide, you can’t work as a CNA. Taking CNA training first allows you more options for your future should you decide working as a home health isn’t for you.

If you do decide to become a home health aide, however, training is available for you, whether you’ve been a CNA or have no previous health care experience.

CNA Training or  Home Health Training?

Both home health aides and CNAs have to undergo training before they can begin working in the home health field, but those who have attended CNA training won’t have to undergo as much training, if any, if they decide to work in home health later on.

If you’re going to skip CNA training and go right into home health classes, however, there are a few things you’ll need to know.


In order to become a HHA, you must first:

  • Be able to pass a background check
  • Pass a TB test

In most cases, you won’t need to have a GED or high school diploma before entering the program. However, some courses will require that you earn your CNA training certification first.


The curriculum you will learn during HHA training must meet federal guidelines and comply with the ACHC, or the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. Federal laws require you train for a minimum of 75 hours in the classroom and 15 hours in a clinical setting. The state where you will attend your classes may have specific guidelines on the hours required as well. It’s for this reason that some states will allow you to skip home health aide training if you have passed CNA training and already obtained your certification. In some cases, though, you will still need to undergo training on the home-health-specific area of the program and retake your clinical hours.

Thinking of Taking HHA Training Over CNA Training?

If you’re interested in becoming a HHA, finding a class to take isn’t difficult. In fact, many area available online. You can also speak to your local home health agency to learn how they offer training or talk to your state board of nursing.

While finding training may be easy, it’s important to be careful and always double check to be sure that the training you choose is accredited and follows federal and state guidelines. As with CNA training, if the program you attend is not accredited and approved, you may not be able to take what you’ve learned and use it toward a career as a home health aide.

If you want options for your future, HHA courses may be right for you, but CNA training will allow you to expand your future. Consider carefully before making the decision whether you want to take HHA training or CNA training.

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