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Certified Nursing Assistant ( CNA) / Geriatric Nursing Assistant Program (GNA)

CNA / GNA classroom

What is the difference between a CNA and GNA?

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

A CNA is a person who has completed an approved nursing assistant program and has been certified as nursing assistant by the board of nursing. The CNA doesn't have to take the state exam. 

Geriatric Nursing Assistant (GNA)

The GNA is a person who has completed an approved nursing assistant program and has been certified as nursing assistant by the board of nursing. The CNA has to take the state exam to obtain another certification to become a GNA. 

Where can CNAs and GNAs work?

Becoming a certified nursing assistant offers endless possibilities. As a certified nursing assistant (CNA) you can work in hospitals, physician's offices, assisted living facilities, adult daycare centers, home care agencies and in the school system. 

GNAs can also work in the above and work in long term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living. 

Need help paying for your CNA class?

You can get your CNA tuition paid for!  We have needs-based scholarships for those interested in becoming a CNA. Please contact for an application

CNA/GNA Orientation

Students will need to attend both a mandatory orientation/information session either in person-or via Zoom, and take an in-person Math/Reading test.  Start by filling  out the CNA/GNA Interest Indicator Form . Upon submission of the form, you will be sent information about the dates and times of the orientation session, and the in-person testing sessions. 

Questions? -email

The Certified Nursing Assistant / Geriatric Nursing Assistant Programs consist of three parts. First is the  mandatory orientation session (free)  where you will learn about the programs, take a math and reading test, and learn about the prerequisites for the program. The second part of the program is the Classroom session where you will take classes, participate in discussions, and have the opportunity for hands-on practice. The third part of the program is the clinical where students will have an opportunity to work with real patients under the supervision of an RN. This program is offered three times a year in the Fall, Spring, and the Summer. 

I. Certified Nursing Assistant Orientation Session

Prior to registering for the CNA Program, you MUST ATTEND the FREE orientation session. Students will take a math and reading test, which takes about 1.5 hours. They must pass the first exam with an 80% or better. Those who do not pass the first exam will have an opportunity to take the exams two more times. Students passing both exams will be issued a signed registration form, which they must take in person to Customer Service in order to register for the program. The corresponding CNA Classroom and CNA Clinical MUST be taken together, no substitutions. All payments for CNA Classroom and CNA Clinical and additional fees are due at time of registration. This program is eligible for the Tuition Installment Plan. Seats for the Classroom and Clinical are limited.

Prerequisites: You must be at least 18 years old and have a Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number for the Maryland Board of Nursing licensing process upon successful completion of the program. All nursing facilities require criminal background checks prior to being on their premises for educational purposes. You must obtain a Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider certification (BLS) before the midterm exam; Proof of Immunity through immunizations and blood work, a negative TB skin test (PPD) or chest x-ray is REQUIRED by the end of the first week of class. 

Additional Fees: There will be additional fees for Proof of Immunity, TB tests, BLS training, CNA application, GNA application, fingerprinting, and uniforms. Costs will be discussed at orientation.

II. Certified Nursing Assistant Classroom

CNA Classroom provides lectures, discussion, and hands-on practice with basic nursing skills and more. Visit CNA Classroom,   for a complete description of the class, and class options. If you are interested in working in a hospital setting, visit Hospital-Based Certified Nursing Assistant Classroom and Laboratory. 

Additional Option: Nursing Assistant Classroom- General Public, Hybrid Course AHT243 and NUR076. This course is for the general public who are interested in becoming a Certified and Geriatric Nursing Assistant. Visit Nursing Assistant Classroom- General Public, for more information.

III. Certified Nursing Assistant Clinical

CNA Clinical provides an opportunity for students to work under the guidance of an RN to care for patients using the knowledge they have  learned in the classroom. Visit CNA Clinical for a complete description of the class and the prerequisites for the course. If you are interested in working in a hospital setting, visit Hospital-Based Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Clinical

IV. CNA / GNA Instructional Videos

To assist you in this program we have provided a series of CNA/GNA Instruction videos. CNA / GNA Instructional VideosThese are password protectedYou may only access them using your MYMC username and password.

Career Outlook

Use the Career and Program Explorer to see a full report for this career field. For some positions listed, a bachelor's degree or higher may be required.

You can also explore Career Coachnew window to learn more about this career and/or discover related majors and in-demand careers based on your current interests. Take a Career Assessment and then browse careers and job opportunities in the area. The job listings and information provided are specific to Montgomery County and the surrounding localities. 

Not sure what path to take? ITI Classes to Careers Roadmap (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) may help.