Nursing offers many career options; the three most prevalent being Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and Registered Nurse (RN). All provide great opportunities to assist patients during some of the most critical moments in their lives.
Finding the ideal path can be daunting for those interested in becoming nurses, but there are resources that can assist you. Check what degree programs are offered near your location as well as speaking to current nurses about their experiences. Finally, inquire if your employer offers tuition assistance or financial support of some sort.
Dependent upon your current job situation, an online program may allow for an easier transition from CNA to LPN. These shorter nursing degrees often take less than a year to complete and may accept prior coursework completed as CNAs; you can find such programs at online colleges, vocational schools, and community colleges.
Before enrolling in an online CNA to LPN program, a high school diploma or GED certificate is essential. Your state may also impose minimum training hours requirements of 75 hours which vary from state to state. In addition, TB test results must also be submitted and undergo a background check process prior to beginning any CNA to LPN training course online.
Once you meet all the qualifications, it is time to pursue licensure as an LPN. In order to do this, enroll in a program approved and accredited by your state; once finished with this training program, take part in the National Council Licensure Examination-PN before taking and passing its associated exam and starting your LPN career.
Another option for those interested in becoming nurses, but do not have enough time or money for full nursing programs, is enrolling in a CNA-to-LPN bridge program. These programs provide people who want to become nurses but do not have time or funds for full programs an alternative path towards certification. Course offerings typically cover anatomy, nursing fundamentals, first aid, communication skills as well as clinical experience to allow you to put these newfound nursing abilities to the test on actual patients.
As part of your program, you must also pass your state’s licensure exam. As an LPN, the duties may differ depending on where you work; typically providing basic medical care to patients as well as responding to emergencies is common practice. These nurses can be found working across healthcare environments including hospitals, clinics and private practices.
CNA salaries tend to be less than those for LPNs, yet you can still make a respectable living through this career path. Job prospects for both jobs are positive and there are ample opportunities for advancement through additional education; CNAs may wish to pursue becoming registered nurses as the next step up.