This question has been the topic of much debate in the LTC industry. First of all, I want to state that I used to be a CNA [before the 'c' was even needed!]-I state this for any argumentative individuals who would read this post and reply with stuff like 'why don't you try doing a CNA's job for a day...' so, I figured I would let you know right off the bat.. been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Secondly, I want to emphasize the importance of the CNA role. Without all of us in nursing, RN,LPN,CNA, none of us could do our job.
Now that I have used the standard disclaimers, I will answer the question posted with my rationale: Yes, CNA's should have more education. Now, I don't mean sending them off for a 4 year degree, what I mean, is the length of their CNA training program. I used to teach the CNA program at a local nursing home, and here in PA, CNA's are only required to take 75 hours of instruction before they sit for their 'competency exam.' When we stop and consider that nursing homes, today, are like hospitals of the 1980's [in terms of acuity of patients], it stands to reason that the knowledge base of the CNA should be bigger. By the time I left teaching, our curriculum was up to 128 hours, and I was preparing an additional expansion.
Logically, at this point, it should be noted, bigger knowledge base requirements should yield larger salaries. CNA's aren't paid a half of what they are worth, and a truly professional CNA isn't paid a tenth of what they are worth! But, since no nurse is paid what (s)he is worth, this is not surprising.
Until more $$$ is dumped into healthcare [and I don't mean into Administrator's pockets] for training and retention, I doubt people will ever be paid what they are worth. I hope this answers your question.
Tis with our judgements as our watches, none go just alike, yet, each believes his own.