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Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

Community Health Worker (CHW)

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

Position Summary

A CHW is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. [1]
A CNA is a certified individual working under the direction of a nurse to provide basic patient care and services (such as bathing, feeding, or measuring vital signs of a patient). [6],[7]

Training and Prerequisites

  • Completion of an approved CHW Training Program by the SD Department of Social Services. [2]
  • The CHW Agency process will include the process utilized to hire individuals qualified to act as a CHW following certification that the individual has completed the Indian Health Service Community Health Representative basic training, a CHW program approved by the South Dakota Board of Technical Education or the South Dakota Board of Regents, or a CHW training program approved by the State. [3]
  • At a minimum, CNAs need a high school or GRE diploma, and must complete training programs offered through vocational schools, community colleges, hospitals, high schools, or organizations like the Red Cross. [6]
  • Completion of required 75 hours of clinical and didactic trainings and subsequent testing as required by the SD Board of Nursing [8],[9]
  • The student will need to complete at least 16 hours of clinical practice. [10]


  • No certificate or license is required in SD.
  • CNAs are certified through the SD Board of Nursing. No license is required in SD.
  • Nurse Aide registration is a collaborative process between the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), South Dakota Board of Nursing (BON), and the South Dakota Health Care Association (SDHCA). [12]

Typical Supervisors

  • CHWs are primarily supervised by a clinic manager, nursing manager, or other organizational manager. [5]
  • SD Board of Nursing certification requires CNAs to be supervised by an RN or LPN. [9]

Median Hourly Wage (National)


  • Community Health Worker (CHW) – $20.19
  • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) – $14.82

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