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Difference between HHA and CNA


What is the difference between HHA and CNA?
There is a difference HHA and CNA scope of work and certification requirements. A certified nurse assistant (CNA) is licensed and regulated through Florida Board of Nursing. In order to obtain a Florida Certified Nurse Assistant license, you must successfully pass the Florida CNA State Exam administered through Prometric. A CNA completes a healthcare training program and works under the direct supervision of a professional nurse. Home Health Aides (HHA) are not licensed by the State, however they are required to obtain more training initially to receive the Home Health Aide certification. The Home Health Aide works independently and is supervised through the Home Health Agency governed by AHCA. Southern Technical Institute encourages individuals to obtain both certifications to meet the difference between HHA and CNA employment opportunities. However, it is not necessary to have both to successfully work as an HHA or a CNA.

What kind of license do I need for work as a HHA in Florida?
To work as a Home Health Aide in Florida, you will need a 40 hour HHA certificate, 75 hour Home Health Aide certification (certificate), or a diploma in Home Health Aide through an approved post-secondary school. The State of Florida does not offer an annual license for Home Health Aides; however, the Florida Agency of Healthcare Administration (AHCA) governs the guidelines and requirements for Florida HHA’s.

What is the difference between a 40 Hour HHA Certificate and a 75 Hour HHA Certificate?
In Florida, to work for a Medicare or Medicaid home health agency, a home health aide must possess a home health aide certification showing successful completion of at least 75 hours of healthcare training through a qualified home health aide program and successfully complete a competency evaluation approved by AHCA. For HHA’s looking to work in a licensed-only agency, the home health aide can complete at least 40 hours of healthcare training. It’s important to do your research because some home health agencies require additional healthcare training above the minimum Home Health Aid training requirements. In Florida, to work as a home health aide at a nurse registry, the HHA must provide a Home Health Aid certificate of successful completion of at least 40 hours of HHA training by the following:

  • a private career education school licensed by the Florida Department of Education; or
  • a home health agency, if the home health aide was formerly employed by that home health agency; or
  • a public vocational technical school.

Southern Technical Institute is recognized by Home Health Agencies to meet the healthcare training guidelines and AHCA requirements for Home Health Aides. Southern Technical Institute is licensed by Florida Commission for Independent Education and also an approved provider for Florida Department of Elder Affairs offering Alzheimer’s certification and Med Tech training specific for Home Health Aides. A home health agency may have its own additional requirements beyond the minimum for home health aides.

How do I keep my HHA certificate current? What are the yearly requirements?
AHCA guidelines require that all Home Health Aides must complete an HIV/AIDS healthcare training course every 12 months. HHA’s are also required to maintain a current certificate in CPR. Home health aides employed by Medicare and Medicaid home health agencies are required to have a total of 12 hours of in-service training CEUs during a 12-month period. The HIV/AIDS training and CPR training may be counted toward meeting the 12 hour requirement of CEU training. Southern Technical Institute offers online and in-class healthcare training CEUs that are approved through such agencies as CE-Broker, Florida Board of Nursing, and Florida Department of Elder Affairs. We offer a variety of in-service CEU training courses that include topics such as HIV/AIDS, Med Tech, Alzheimer’s, Prevention of Medical Errors, and Domestic Violence, plus many more.