Nursing: Going From a CNA to an LPN

Because a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant, is considered an entry level position in the nursing field, becoming and LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse is the next rung on the nursing ladder. Both work under doctors and registered nurses. The following will tell you about the advantages of an LPN career as well as how to get there.

Salary and Job Details

LPNs are entrusted with more responsibilities. And since they are more experienced than CNAs, they will prepare rooms and give patients medication. This means that their salaries are higher. The average LPN salary: $40,000; the average CNA salary: $27,000.


When advancing from a CNA position to an LPN, there are more qualifications required. Your state’s nursing board can explain what training and education you will need. For instance, California requires all CNAs aspiring to be LPNs to acquire 51 months of hospital experience, which includes 200 maternity and genitourinary hours, 200 pediatric hours, and 64 pharmacology hours. Contact your state board so you can get started meeting your requirements.

Education Programs

Many community colleges nationwide provide LPN courses, but you are not limited to traditional settings. There are several online nursing colleges where you can receive your LPN training in a distance-learning based environment. All programs lengths are different depending on the state, but most take two years.

However, because you will have to put in clinical hours to be an LPN, you need to ask your learning institution to see where they offer that. If you are studying online, it is likely you will work in your local hospital. So make sure the location is feasible for you to travel to.

If you are a CNA, you could have the option to exercise your employer’s continuing education benefits. Contact human resources to learn more. Once you pass the NCLEX-PN you will be ready to start working as an LPN and secure your nursing career future.

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Jakie S

I have been a CNA in the state of California since 1995. One of my passions in life is to help people and help others who want to expand their careers and become CNAs.

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