CNAs fall into the category of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP). CNAs provide very basic and generalized patient care under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Generally, CNAs tend to be very skilled and experienced. However, they lack the proper licensure, education, or placement they may be unable to perform certain tasks or offer assistance due to liability and legal issues.

However, with the proper licensure and education CNAs can move up the ladder to LPNs, to RNs, to advanced practice nurses (APNs).