Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Choosing a career in nursing requires individuals to understand the distinctions between a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Although both roles involve direct patient care in settings like nursing homes, home health care, and assisted living facilities, significant differences exist in terms of education requirements, job responsibilities, and certifications.

CNAs assist the nursing team with basic care duties under the supervision of an LPN or registered nurse (RN). In contrast, LPNs can perform additional tasks to care for patients under RN supervision. Additionally, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training programs are much shorter than LPN programs, allowing CNAs to start their careers sooner, albeit often at a lower wage compared to LPNs.

Online Nursing Writings

Struggling to meet your deadline?

Get your assignment on Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) vs Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) done by certified MDs and PhDs in the USA. ORDER NOW!

Education Differences Between CNA and LPN

The education required to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) differs from that of an LPN. Aspiring CNAs need a high school diploma or GED certificate, followed by enrollment in a CNA training program lasting 4-12 weeks. These programs, available at community colleges and technical schools, cover anatomy, physiology, patient rights, and basic patient care practices. While some Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) programs include online components, most states mandate in-person hands-on training for certification. Upon completing the training, students can take the state’s nursing assistant competency exam to start working as CNAs.

Focused vs. Comprehensive Assessment

On the other hand, aspiring LPNs undergo a more extensive formal training program lasting about 12 months. Like Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) programs, LPN programs are available at community colleges and technical schools, requiring in-person training. LPN coursework delves deeper into subjects such as medication dosage, pathophysiology, specialized care, and legal and ethical issues in nursing. Unlike CNAs, LPNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).

Salary Comparison Between CNA and LPN

The mean annual salary for CNAs in May 2016 was $26,590, while LPNs earned a mean annual salary of $44,840, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salary levels may vary based on factors like location, employer type, experience, and education. Despite generally lower earnings for CNAs, many use this role as a stepping stone for further education and higher-paying nursing positions.

Job Duties of CNAs and LPNs

Both CNAs and LPNs are integral members of a patient’s care team, sharing some daily tasks involving basic patient care under RN supervision. These tasks include checking vital signs and assisting with daily activities. However, LPNs provide more extensive patient care, including:

  • Administers medication and vaccinations
  • Collects samples (e.g., blood, urine, etc.)
  • Assists with wound care
  • Inserts and cares for urinary catheters
  • Cares for patients with ventilators and tracheostomy tubes
  • Provides feedings through nasogastric or gastrostomy tubes
  • Performs emergency CPR
  • Executes a nursing care plan under the direction of an RN
  • Explore additional LPN duties

Alternatively, under the supervision of an LPN or RN, CNAs provide only the most basic patient care. A CNA’s job responsibilities may include:

  • Answering patient call lights
  • Serving and feeding patient meals
  • Transporting patients
  • Making beds and cleaning up patient rooms
  • Reporting changes in condition to nursing staff

Clinical Nurse Specialist: Job Description, Salary, and How to Become One

Licensing and Certification Requirements

LPNs and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)s have distinct licensing and certification requirements. LPN candidates must pass the NCLEX-PN after completing an accredited Practical Nursing program. Once passed, they can work as LPNs. For CNAs, passing a competency exam in their state is necessary before starting work. Eligibility includes a high school diploma, completion of an accredited nursing assistant program, a minimum number of training hours, and submission of immunization records, TB test results, and a background check.

It’s crucial for aspiring nurses to be aware of these differences to make informed decisions about their career paths.

Online Nursing Writings

Dont wait until the last minute.

Provide your requirements and let our native nursing writers deliver your assignments ASAP.

You cannot copy content of this page

WhatsApp Us
Our services are 100% Private & Confidential.
Native US & UK writers will write you a Top-quality Nursing Paper from Scratch.

WhatsApp Us, We are Live!