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How Does a CNA Become an LPN?

How Does a CNA Become an LPN?

While both Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are both required to work under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse, LPNs are given greater responsibility and thereby receive higher salaries than their CNA counterparts. LPNs, referred to as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) in California and Texas, make the natural “second step” between CNAs and RNs.

The LPN’s role is often that of a middle-manager. A self-starter who, by virtue of added experience, is able to prepare procedural rooms, and in some states set-up IVs and administer medication to patients. RNs often give LPNs added independence that CNAs do not have.

Salary Difference


On average, LPNs earn $40,000 per year. This is $13,000 more than the average CNA salary of $27,000.


What Additional Education is Necessary?


The training/education requirements vary from state to state. According to one NursingLink member who is making the switch, the state of California requires 51 months of experience in an acute hospital. Clinical specialty requirements include: 200 hours in pediatrics; 200 hours in genitourinary or maternity; 64 hours in Pharmacology; and 64 additional hours in one of these specialty areas.

Keep in mind that the method described above only refers to the requirements of one state. Please refer to your home state’s board of nursing for more specific information.


Where do LPNs Work?


Traditionally LPNs have worked in a wide variety of patient care settings. With the trend towards shorter and more affordable RN-focused programs, hospitals are now hiring less and less LPNs. Most new LPNs are working in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. These types of facilities are expected to witness strong job growth due to large increases in the over-65 population. This trend should compensate for the decline of LPN positions available in hospitals.


What Education Programs Are Available?


Most LPN/LVN programs are available at vocational and community colleges throughout the country. They vary in length depending on each state’s requirements, but on average these programs require two years of study. Prospective LPN/LVNs must also pass the national NCLEX-PN before they can begin working in a hospital setting. For additional information on specific LPN/LVN programs, please check out this page.


Sources


About.com, LPN/VN Career and Education Options


Nursing Degree Guide, Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)



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    mssensual80

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    "To answer some of the questions below...In order to become a nurse, you must first find the college that is right for you & do extensive research & meet the requirements set by their admissions process. The next step is to apply. There are many bridge programs offered for all ranks of nursing but generally, you must start from the bottom just as someone with no prior clinical experience with the exception of licensed nurses who may only be given "credit" in certain fields & may be exempt from certain courses in a bridge program or continuing education programs. The only advantage is usually a CNA has general nursing knowledge & most colleges take that in consideration. However, my college requires that prospective nursing students complete a nurse aid course as well as obtain certification before acceptance to the program. Some facilities do not require certification of nurse aids in order to work for them, but you must show some sort of proof of successful completion of a nurse aid course & with the high demands of healthcare, it is now a requirement for "most" to obtain certification. No, you can NOT take an LPN course online. Some colleges offer general studies or general education courses needed in the program online but you can't do clinicals online, if anyone out there has, please let me know, I have yet to see a nurse administer medication or treatments "online"...LOL. You cannot just go right into nursing, I have done the research & am a current nursing student myself, ask any nurse they'll tell you. MOST technical/vocatiional programs are independant, meaning all the required education & training is included in the program. BUT, some colleges require you to take general education courses before being accepted to the program. I was a CNA for 5yrs & started off going to college to become an RN, but other than caring for family members & the stuff I saw on Grey's Anatomy or ER, I had no clue as to all the preparation, planning, & dedicated time needed in order to become a nurse. You can't just jump right into ANY nursing program. Requirements are different for every college but it is mandatory by the NLN(National League for Nursing) to take pre entrance exams in any nursing program. These pre exams vary from college to college & they usually consist of basic math/prealgebra, reading comprehension, socialization skills, & tolerance to stress. These exams along with some other requirements are what colleges use in carefully seIecting their nursing students. In conjunction it's also mandatory by the NLN to complete a background check sometime throughout the course of a nursing program. These advertisements most people see for "online" nursing programs are usually post graduate degrees or continuing education programs for current licensed professionals. For instance, there is no possible way to obtain ANY nursing degree online without prior clinical experience. A nurse must meet designated clinical experiment (hands on) training & successfully complete an accredited nursing program before even being eligible to sit & write to the national state board for testing referred to as either the NCLEX-PN for LPNS or the NCLEX-RN for RNS. I have learned over the yrs that there are many misconceptions about becoming a nurse or working in the field, it is a very rewarding career as well as a lifetime commitment. People are entrusting their lives with you as well their loved ones. KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO BEFORE EVEN THINKING ABOUT ATTEMPTING TO APPLY TO A PROGRAM & PROPER PLANNING SKILLS ARE ESSENTIAL IN ORDER TO SUCCEED. I hope this information has helped answer some the questions listed below, goodluck in your career decision! "

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    CoraAdams

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am a CNA ,can I TAKE the LPN course on line?

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    RuBena

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    I am currently about to take a fast track CNA course, fast track Med Aid class, and three more fast track courses for CNA II, Phlebotomy, and Pharmacy Tech. When I pass all of these courses and state boards, shouldn't I be equivalent to a LPN? Is it possible that I can take the NC State Exam and pass? I understand and respect that LPN do much more, however I think all of that certification should amount to being a LPN.

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    Pallay

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    One can use the California Board of Nursing to transition from CNA to LVN (which is equivalent to LPN), however you have to have been a CNA for 5 years and the program I used is totally online at Minnay Institute of Health Sciences, visit them at www.minnay.com

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    terrah

    about 6 years ago

    14128 comments

    I agree. I waorked as a CNA for a long time and in my opinion,ALL nurses are overworked and UNDERPAID!!!! And they wonder why theres a Nursing shortage. But as a CNA....definitely underpaid!!! As far as as getting the CNA renewed...being a CNA and former Texan myself, you can go to a nursing home and tell them you want to retest. They will tell you where you can take the test. Don't let them tell you that you HAVE to Take the class AGIAN...you DON'T!!! Better yet call the Nurse Aide Registry in Austin...they will verify what I just advised you, as well a maybe even having some lists of when and where you can retest!! Good luck...being a CNA opens lots of doors...Medication Aide in Texas only takes 4-6 weeks, Activity Director or assistant activity director, and of course it is an open door for HOME HEALTH and the road to LVN school is alot easier.

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    MichelleVW

    about 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I'm in Texas, and used to be a CNA ten years ago. I didn't keep up with my CEU's after I stopped working to raise my first child so I'm not certified anymore. I have one year of nursing home experience and three years of hospice home health experience. I'd like to go back to being a CNA. Do you think I would stand a good chance of getting hired if I get recertified or if I get hired to a facility where they certify you after you've worked there for a few months?( I'm a certified medical assistant with only three months of experience from three years ago and I don't expect anyone will hire me.) I've been taking care of my grandfather in law at my inlaw's home for two years now and would like to move on.

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    beebeenurse

    about 6 years ago

    8 comments

    cdnurse comments:
    Where in the world do you live that LPNs make 40,000.00 ayear? And CNAs make 27,000.00????
    beebeenurse comments:
    * Thats what they make here too? (even more $ with overtime). Times have changed my friend!
    LPN $47,000 yr http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=LPN&l1=MA&tm=1
    CNA $32,000 yr http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=cna&l1=MA&tm=1

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    krinkerbelle

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    LPN certification involves a one year course and passage of a state exam. There are numerous online LPN-to-RN programs, as well as multiple community colleges around the country that maintain LPN-to-RN programs. If you are a CNA and are looking for a way into nursing, but can not seem to get into the competitive nursing programs, try LPN first. LPN programs usually have less competition for admission, but LPNs usually make excellent money considering how little school is required to sit for the certification exams! Here are more recent stats on average LPN pay.
    Licensed Practical Nurse 25th%ile Median 75th%ile
    the United States $35,142 $38,580 $42,145
    http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_compresult_nati...

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    brookefleming

    over 6 years ago

    4 comments

    I am a CNA and i work in a nursing home. I work twelve hour shifts and I only make 9.25/hr at nights. So to me, for what a CNA does, I don't get paid good!!!

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    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    I am part of an AS cooperative nursing program. I would like to take the LPN exam after the first year of clinical in order to switch career. Is this something conceivable?

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    twinthang

    over 6 years ago

    30 comments

    I am currently in school right now doing my pre-req's for nursing (RN) and I am a CNA. I recently decided to go back to school for my LPN because in CT there is such a long waiting list for the program that I need to start making some money right away. I will go back to finish the little I have left to do after I start making a little more money.

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    Mckean

    over 6 years ago

    36 comments

    I would love to move on to LVN but i am afraid that after a spinal fusion in Sept. 07 I will not. So i am looking for another field in nursing that isn't going to be so demanding. Any ideas I would love them. Still on worker comp and not working yet. HELP!!!

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    lena3

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Where can i get online classes to get stated.

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    PrincessQ

    almost 7 years ago

    12 comments

    Another big thing that makes the difference between an LPN and a CNA is assessment skills. A CNA does not have nursing assessment skills and can not go into a room and conduct a head to toes in depth assessment which is what you will base alot of your treatment off of. Also in most skilled centers and nursing homes the LPN runs the show often there is no RN maybe one or two in supervisor type rolls because it's required by law but, the LPN does everything including in most places the role of LPN charge nurse and med nurse.

  • Demetrice_029

    cuttie

    almost 7 years ago

    1044 comments

    I also wanted to add, that some hospitals, have regular CNA's and they have Techns. I use to work ta hospita through a registry, that payed their techs $20 hryl working at nights. The Techs did everything I did at my job, and got payed more. Most hospitals pay you more, if you draw blood, do EKG's and do monitor techs. Where I worked, they didn't. So that's why I am moving on!!!

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