Ongoing CNA Training: The Difference Between Restorative and Rehabilitation Nursing

cna trainingCNA Training

During the course of your CNA training, you will learn about various types of subjects. One such subject will be the difference between restorative and rehabilitation nursing. While often confused as the same, they are not. Learning the unique differences between the two is essential when working in the medical field after CNA training.

What CNA Training Teaches About Restorative Nursing

If you enter the field of restorative nursing after CNA training, you’ll be directly involved with patients after rehabilitation is complete. It is a long-term plan that helps to ensure that patients maintain a certain level of independence and do not decline to the point they cannot care for themselves.

The majority of restorative nursing services occur somewhere other than a patient’s home. A nursing home setting is the most common alternative.

After CNA training, common duties will include:

  • bathing and grooming the patient
  • dressing the patient
  • teaching the patient how to transfer from one location to another (ex. wheelchair to bed)


As you will learn, while enrolled in CNA training, additional instruction to enter the restorative nursing field is less demanding than that of the training required for rehabilitation nursing.  It is a more generalized program that does not necessarily require you to be licensed, dependent on the laws in your state.

Similar to CNA training programs, restorative nursing course options are typically available through state or local health care providers and take only a short time to complete. This is a perfect choice if you want to get it into the healthcare field without spending a great deal of time in class.

It is also something to consider if you are in search of a second job, to supplement your income. You have the option of working part-time and most agencies will be happy to accommodate your current schedule.

What CNA Training Teaches About Rehabilitation Nursing

Think of rehabilitation nursing as rehabilitation therapy. It is essentially the same thing. This type of care is administered by certified therapists, who are required to have a bachelor’s degree of some sort.

Individuals who require rehabilitation nursing services include but are not limited to:

  • accident victims
  • people with sports injuries
  • individuals with a disability
  • chronically ill patients

The job description of a rehabilitation nurse is quite complex. Since every situation is different, a great deal of thought must go into initiating each patient’s customized plan of recovery. This includes:

  • managing medical issues
  • keeping the patient (and caregiver when applicable) up to date on his or her progress
  • setting goals that help to ensure complete recovery or the highest level of independence possible

Look at your CNA training as the beginning of an extremely rewarding vocation, the doorway to additional possibilities like the ones mentioned here. Whether you choose to remain a CNA or continue your education, there will always be a place for you in the industry.

Remember, restorative and rehabilitation nursing is not the same thing. However, they are both equally important and go hand-in-hand. During the course of your CNA training program, you’ll have the opportunity to begin to decide on which path, if any, is right for you.

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