If you’re curious about pursuing a career in homecare services, you might find yourself asking: “What type of caregiver should I be?” You may already know that PCA stands for personal care assistant, but what about CNA? And what really is the difference between the two positions?

Best Home Care is here to help you find out more, so you can decide which career path is best for you and your loved one in need of support:


  • Stands for Personal Care Assistant
  • Requires a high school diploma or GED
  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services website states that the requirements for becoming a PCA include passing a background check, a training course, and passing a test. (Both the training and test are available on the Best Home Care website!)
  • According to com and CNARealm, PCA responsibilities are that of a typical caregiver and include:
    • Basic first aid
    • Light cleaning
    • Running errands
    • Cooking meals
    • Providing transportation
    • Assistance with daily tasks
    • Assistance with grooming and bathing
    • Engaging with clients and providing companionship
    • In some cases, assisting other healthcare professionals, such as doctors or nurses


  • Stands for Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Requires a high school diploma or GED
  • A CNA in Minnesota must complete a state-approved nursing assistant course and pass an exam organized by the state to obtain a CNA certificate.
  • The CNA must then complete “at least 75 hours of training, with 16 hours of clinical training” according to ChooseCNA.org.
  • According to the Red Cross, CNA training in the state of Minnesota includes “CPR, first aid, AED usage, infection control, taking vital signs, range-of-motion exercises, delivering care, and other important skills.”
  • All Allied Health Schools states that responsibilities typically include:
    • Helping to turn or reposition patients
    • Setting up medical equipment
    • Observing changes in behavior
    • Administering medications
    • Helping patients exercise
    • Dressing wounds
    • Recording temperatures and vitals

Is Becoming a PCA or CNA Right for You?

Both jobs certainly have their benefits, although PCAs are able to provide basic care for patients with far less training and testing, meaning if your loved ones are in need of support immediately, you don’t need to wait too long to get certified and start getting paid to provide them the care and support they need to live well. If you’re considering becoming a PCA, don’t hesitate to contact Best Home Care. We can help you along on your way to providing quality home care to your patients or loved ones!