Unlocking Your Career: How to Begin Your Journey as a CNA in a Nursing Home

3 minute read

You can’t begin your journey without first unlocking the door, and the same is true of starting your right career. Today, we’ll look at how to begin your journey as a CNA in a nursing home by unlocking your career.

Unlocking Your Career: CNAs and The “50-Mile Rule”

One of the first things for CNAs to do to unlock their career is to clear up misinformation. Working on a false assumption is an easy way to end up far from your intended destination. With this in mind, we must discuss the so-called “50-Mile Rule.”

This is a common rule brought up in casual discussions among providers, but how does the 50-Mile Rule measure up?

The Myth of the “50-Mile Rule”

According to this myth, providers staying more than 50 miles from an assignment are entitled to a special government subsidy for lodging.

In truth, tax-free reimbursements for lodging are only allowed when the provider travels away from their tax home. The actual distance traveled must require an overnight stay, but there is no mileage minimum for this. The employee merely needs to require rest and sleep at the assignment location to fulfill their duties.

Due to misinformation, some agencies build this 50-mile minimum into their own contracts or marketing. However, if you’re looking for this subsidy, the real litmus test isn’t duration but the location.

In short, in most cases, the 50-mile rule is more like a 50-mile guideline. While important to certain individual agencies and providers, it matters more where you sleep than how far you commute.

How Nursing Home CNA Jobs Can Fit Into Your Career Journey

With so many options for locations for CNA jobs, like in hospitals, why choose to start in a nursing home?


The typical shift length for a CNA in a nursing home is about eight hours. Compare that to the typical 12-hour shifts in hospitals, often at night. Both can include working weekends and holidays, but most nurses should expect to work at least some weekends and holidays.

Work Environment

Nursing homes are typically a slower-paced work environment than a hospital setting. This is because nursing homes are focused on helping patients perform daily tasks. If you’re still starting out as a CNA, this will be a significantly lower-pressure working environment to learn in.

Time with Patients

While there are a lot of overlapping duties and functions, CNAs in a nursing home setting spend more time directly with patients. This is because their patients live at the facility and aren’t being temporarily cared for like in a hospital. For CNAs looking to build closer relationships with individual patients, a nursing home is a better opportunity.


Speaking of patients, let’s talk about patient populations. Hospitals typically have patients from a diverse range of ages and backgrounds. In nursing homes, on the other hand, a CNA will primarily be dealing with seniors. While it may seem obvious, it’s still a factor worth considering.

Many nurses will start practicing in a nursing home setting, acquiring the skills and connections to help them best elsewhere. Wherever you may choose to go on your CNA journey, starting in a nursing home is an excellent way to get started.

Begin Your Nursing Home CNA Journey Today with CynaMed

Now that you know how to begin your journey, you’re ready to unlock your career. Luckily, CynaMed has the keys for nursing professionals to unlock the most out of their careers. Read all about it in this Nurse’s Guide Book from CynaMed. It provides practical tips and resources for RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and certified med techs to help unlock their careers.

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