GNA and woman aged 80 years old

What Are The Differences Between CNA and GNA Licenses in Maryland?

CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and GNA (Geriatric Nursing Assistant) are both credentials for individuals working in nursing care. While there are similarities between the two, there are also some key differences between CNAs and GNAs, including the scope of practice, training requirements, and certification. To work in a nursing home in Maryland, you must be a certified GNA. Read on to learn more about CNAs, GNAs, and how to obtain your GNA license in Maryland.

Are you a certified GNA in Maryland? Apply to ESHYFT today.

Certified Nursing Assistants – CNAs

CNAs typically work in a variety of healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. They assist patients with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and mobility, under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). 

Geriatiric Nursing Assistants – GNAs

GNAs are specifically trained to work with elderly patients, typically in long-term care facilities or nursing homes. They provide similar care as CNAs but often have additional training in geriatric care and specialized knowledge to address the unique needs of older adults.

CNA certification is the basic level of certification. GNA certification is specialized and in addition to CNA certification. 

Education and Training

CNA training programs vary by state but generally include a minimum number of classroom hours as well as hands-on clinical training. After completing the training program, individuals must pass a competency exam to become certified.

GNA training programs are more specialized and focused on geriatric care. They often include additional coursework related to the care of elderly patients and may require more clinical hours specifically in geriatric settings. To become a GNA, you must first become a certified CNA.

Acquire GNA Certification

CNAs receive certification after completing an accredited training program and passing a competency exam. GNAs also receive certification, but this title is specific to certain states, particularly Maryland. In Maryland, CNAs who wish to work in geriatric care settings must undergo additional training and testing to become certified as GNAs. This ensures that individuals working in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have specialized training in caring for seniors. 

For more information on how to obtain your GNA license in Maryland, visit,, or

Are you a certified GNA in Maryland? Apply to ESHYFT today.

Adding GNA Certification to Your ESHYFT Profile

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