Who Makes More Money: a CNA or an RN?



It’s important to start off by saying that how much money you earn in a job doesn’t define you or make you better or worse than anyone else. You wage or pay rate does not define your worth as a person, nor does it mean that your job is somehow more important than someone else’s job. With that said, there are a lot of people who are considering going to school for a medical career that wonder about the difference in pay between a CNA and an RN. There are a lot of similarities and differences between the two, and because of that people often get confused.

When it comes to pay there is a substantial difference, but it should be noted that disparity also comes at a price for an RN, which is extra time in school. According to Think CNA Online, RNs can make about twice as much money (either per hour or in a salary), as CNAs in most states. But the time that it takes to become an RN is typically much longer than the time it takes to become a CNA. This means that a CNA could be out earning money while an RN is still in school. One of the most common things that some people may do is get their CNA license first, and then see how they like the job. If they do like it, then they can work as a CNA while attending school to be an RN. This is essentially a best of both worlds approach, and it works well for a lot of people.

CNAs typically spend a matter of months in school (although this can vary depending upon where a person attends school as well as local regulations), where RNs can spend two to four years in order to get an associate’s degree (two years) or a bachelor’s degree (four years). Some RNs may even opt to pursue their education further and get a master’s degree in nursing. This extra education, combined with the fact that RNs can work in private practice and other settings that pay more, lead to higher wages overall. Again, this doesn’t mean that it’s not worth your time to be a CNA, as many RNs get their start as a nursing assistant. Both careers are also very similar in the fact that they are very rewarding, and do a lot to help other people. Regardless of which career you choose to start or end up in (even if it’s neither one), as long as you are happy with your work, happy with your pay, and doing things that help other people, you are setting yourself up to be prosperous and feel good about your choice.