Whether you are interested in pursuing a career in nursing, or you are interested in making the transition from a CNA to a LPN, we have the information you need to make an informed decision.
What is a CNA?
A CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) is a medical professional who provides basic nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). CNAs typically work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or home health agencies.
What is an LPN?
An LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) is a medical professional who provides basic nursing care under the supervision of an RN or a physician. LPNs typically work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, or home health agencies.
What’s the difference between a CNA and an LPN?
The most significant difference between a CNA and an LPN is the level of education and training. CNAs must complete a state-approved training program, which typically takes about six weeks to complete. LPNs must have a high school diploma or GED and must complete an accredited practical nursing program, which typically takes about one year to complete.
In terms of job duties, CNAs provide basic patient care, while LPNs provide more comprehensive care. Both provide basic nursing care, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding patients. However, LPNs are certified to provide more extensive levels of care such as administering medication, taking vital signs, and providing wound care.
What’s the difference in salary?
The salary for CNAs and LPNs can vary depending on the state in which they work, but the average annual salary for a CNA is $32,050, while the average annual salary for an LPN is $48,820 according to the BLS.
Where do CNAs and LPNs work?
CNAs and LPNs can both work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies. LPNs can work in additional workplace settings that do not typically employ CNAs, particularly physician’s offices in many different medical fields. This makes it easier for LPNs to focus on specific medical fields that they enjoy working in.
What are the requirements for becoming a CNA?
To become a CNA, you must complete a state-approved certification program, pass the CNA exam, and register with your state’s nurse aide registry. The CNA program lasts about 4 – 12 weeks and includes classroom hours and supervised clinical hours. Some states allow you to complete the classroom portion of the program online. You must then pass your state’s certification exam for CNAs. Once you haver registered with your state’s nurse aide registry, you are eligible to practice as a CNA in your state.
What are the requirements for becoming an LPN?
The education requirements for LPNs are more time intensive when compared to the requirements of becoming a CNA.
In order to enroll in an accredited LPN program, you will need to have a high school diploma or a GED. LPN programs typically takes about one year to complete, which include both classroom hours and clinical rotation hours. Classes will cover a wide range of subjects including but not limited to:
- First aid
- Emergency medical technology
- Physical education
- Adolescent growth and development
- Food and nutrition
After completing an accredited LPN/LVN program, you will then need to pass the NCLEX-PN national licensing exam in order to earn your LPN license.
LPNs are also required to complete continuing education credits throughout their careers in order to maintain their licenses.
What are the career outlooks for CNAs and LPNs?
The demand for both CNAs and LPNs is expected to grow in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of CNAs will grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for LPNs is also expected to grow in the coming years, with a projected growth rate of 9% from 2019 to 2029.
This demand is largely driven by the aging baby boomer population and the growing need for long-term care services. As the population ages, there will be an increasing need for CNAs and LPNs to provide basic patient care and nursing services.
The job outlook for both CNAs and LPNs is positive, and both provide a way to enter the medical field and begin a career in healthcare. If you are interested in working in the medical field, research both positions to see which one is a better fit for you.