Although both Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are each required to be supervised by a registered nurse or doctor, is the LPN that is given greater responsibility for patient care and thus commands a higher salary than a CNA counterparts. However, experience spent as a CNA in a clinical setting does go a long way toward helping an individual make the decision to become an LPN as well as giving supporting evidence that such individual should be granted access to an LPN training course. Therefore, the natural second step in a nursing career and where an individual has started as a CNA can be attending the position of an LPN. This particular medical world is often referred to as that of a middle manager. It requires a person to be fairly good self-starter who can act independently to virtue of all their previous experience as a CNA. LPNs take on the degree of greater medical functionality such as getting involved in extensive surgery preparation and in some states across the country are licensed to setup IVs and administer medication to patients. RNs typically assign LPNs a greater degree of responsibility independence that CNAs do not experience. Therefore, professionals in the entry-level position of a CNA may find both personal and financial rewards making the transition to the working life of a licensed practical nurse.
Financial Reward is Greater
The greatest difference that a sharply visible when becoming a paid LPN is that, on an annual average, LPNs typically make $40,000 per year, which is approximately 13,000 more than the annual average CNA salary of $27,000. However, the CNA wishing to become an LPN must commit to a bit of additional education that would be necessary to achieve licensing status.
Education Requirements Vary by State
The requirements for training will vary from state to state but, for example in California, students seeking the LPN designation are required to have 51 months of experience working in an acute hospital. Therefore, anyone presently working as a CNA in such a medical setting has a foot up toward completing this particular requirement. Other educational requirements include clinical specialty training in such areas as pediatrics (200 hours), maternity (200 hours), pharmacology (64 hours) as well as an additional 64 hours in a designated specialty area. This is a requirement mandated by the State of California. Make sure you look for the requirements for becoming an LPN in your own home State Board of Nursing
So, Where Do LPNs Find Employment?
Job applicants will find employment as an LPN exist in a wide variety of medical care settings. Since the trend nowadays is for creating much more affordable RN focused programs that are shorter in time demands, many hospitals are hiring fewer LPNs. This doesn’t mean that there are not incredible opportunities in other settings such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities as well as finding excellent opportunities in private duty settings. The nursing homes and long-term care facilities are growing rapidly and is the nation’s population continues to grow older, therefore creating many excellent opportunities for job employment as an LPN, thus making up for any decline in employment opportunities that may not be available in hospitals in the near future.
Getting Additional Education Is Important
Fortunately, the variety of LPN training programs are available at both vocational schools and community colleges throughout the nation. There will obviously be varying depths of study depending upon individual location requirements. However, the national average for people enrolled in these programs requires about two years of training and study. Once a course of study has been completed, LPN prospects are required to take and pass the national NCLEX-PN test before they can start to work in a clinical setting such as a hospital or nursing home. There are also year-long LPN courses offered by vocational technical schools. However, since LPN’s must be licensed in any state in order to gain employment, this program may not be the best choice of study.
What is the NCLEX-PN?
This is the exam that must be passed after successfully completing a state approved program. This test is being created and developed as well as administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It is a computer-based examination and will vary in length covering the four major areas studied by LPN students that are physiology integrity, psychosocial integrity, health promotion and maintenance as well as a safe and effective care environment.
What Are The Requirements To Be Accepted Into A LPN Course Of Study?
For the most part, the majority of programs offered throughout the nation require individuals to have completed a high school education. There are some programs that may not require completion of high school education, but these are surely in the minority. Many high school students may also find that an LPN course of study can be integrated into the high school curriculum giving the student an extra added advancement toward obtaining LPN licensing. In 2006, there were more than 1500 state approved training programs covering core study and practical nursing. These programs include classroom study as well as supervised clinical practice or patient care in a local medical facility. The classroom course of study typically covers basic nursing concepts and subjects related to patient care that would include anatomy, physiology, pediatrics, obstetrics, medical surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing and the functions for administering drugs, understanding nutrition and delivering first aid. Many people who have completed a CNA course of study and had extensive experience working in this entry-level field will find that some of the course work is repetitive, yet more focused, while already having a nursing/medical background will help suit to successfully complete an LPN course of study. In some situations, an accelerated LP and training program can be the prerequisite for gaining interest to a registered nurse program. This becomes a popular steppingstone in any individual’s medical career path where becoming an LPN allows the individual the opportunity to gain a great deal more responsibility also obtaining much better pay.
The cost for LPN training can vary based on the setting and circumstances. Some expensive college-based programs can cost upwards to $30,000. However, some programs open to high school students may not cost anything. Like any other medical training, often institutions offer sponsorships or scholarships to their present employees for education advancement that will benefit the sponsoring facility. Consult with an employer or school guidance counselor about any financial aid available.
Keep in mind that whatever money invested toward becoming an LPN will be well worth it since the position pays well and is in high demand nationwide.