Many choose to enter the field of nursing as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) so that they have the foundation to s become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) someday. Becoming a CNA before studying to become an LPN is one of the ways that many nursing professionals get a feel for the field of nursing. More and more professionals are choosing to enter the nursing field because of the great deal of promise the industry holds.
How to Become an LPN when Already a CNA
Becoming a CNA only requires that students earn a high school diploma or GED before entering the programs. The programs teach students basic nursing skills that will help them in their CNA careers. They may have to attend school for as little as 4 to 6 weeks, and they can choose between online and on campus courses.
In order to become an LPN, it is necessary to gain some additional schooling. Most programs last between 6 months and 1 year to become an LPN. Students can choose from vocational schools, technical colleges, and junior colleges to receive their training. It may be possible to shorten the amount of time it takes to earn the degree with prior schooling. Some schools may accept credits from the CNA training that may be used toward the LPN degree.
To earn the credential of Licensed Practical Nurse, it is necessary to take the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing developed and administered the exam. Specific eligibility varies by individual states so it is important that Nursing Assistants check with their State’ Board of Nursing for their requirements.
How Long Does it Take to be an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)
Becoming an LPN can take approximately 1 year to complete if students attend school on full-time basis. Most programs require that student complete 40 to 80 credit hours to become Licensed Practical Nurses. For those who choose to attend school part-time, it may take a year and a half or longer, depending on how many classes students take. The program is designed to help students learn about the nursing profession in a short amount of time so that they can begin working quickly. It is advised that students attend school on a full-time basis so that they can expedite their education.
These programs consist of a combination of classroom instruction and clinical experiences. Some programs may have requirements that students must meet to enter the program that may include physical exams, coursework (chemistry or biology), CPR certification, health insurance, drug testing, and a criminal background check.
The courses that students take may consist of adult health, psychology, mental health, and anatomy and physiology. Each state also requires that students complete a minimum number of clinical hours in settings such as clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. It may also be a requirement of certain states to complete a clinical rotation in a community care or family heath setting.
Job Duties of a CNA Vs LPN
CNAs provide direct non-medical and medical care to patients under the supervision of Registered nurses. They may assist Licensed Practical Nurses at times. The job responsibilities of CNAs include the following:
- Feeding patients
- Making beds
- Taking vital signs of patients
- Delivering messages
- Maintaining the upkeep of patients’ rooms
- Assisting with medical procedures
- Providing personal hygiene for patients
- Answer phone calls
- Assisting patients with walking
- Collecting sample for medical testing
- Assisting patients with getting out of bed
- Monitoring patients
- Reporting changes in patients to doctors and nurses
LPNs provide care for patients who are disabled, injured, or sick by providing care under the direct supervision of Registered Nurses and doctors. The job responsibilities of an LPN include the following:
- Dressing patients
- Taking vital signs of patients
- Administering enemas
- Assisting patients with bathing
- Dressing wounds
- Monitoring catheters
- Recording fluid and food output and intake
- Monitoring medical equipment
- Cleaning medical equipment
- Assisting RNs with procedures and tests
- Providing basic bedside care
- Assisting with walking and standing
- Assisting patients with moving in bed
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Certified Nursing Assistant offers students two wonderful opportunities to enter the nursing field. Both individuals provide assistance to patients in need until they regain their health. Becoming CNAs or LPNs provide a high level of skill and experience that students can use toward advancing their careers to become Registered Nurses.
Thinking about going to Nursing School?
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