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CNA to LPN: How Do I Do It?

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Many CNAs don’t stay in the profession for long. In fact, a good number of CNAs go on to pursue higher positions in the health care field such as registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN). However, those looking to become registered nurses or licensed practical nurses will have to attend more schooling to earn the necessary certification. But if you’re a CNA right now, the good news is that you won’t have to quit your job as a CNA while you complete your education to become a LPN, which can help a lot to pay for LPN classes. So are you wondering what it takes to move from a CNA to LPN? We’ll explain how to do it here!

CNA to LPN: How Do I Do It?

As a CNA, you already have a leg up in your transition to a LPN. There are CNA to LPN bridge programs available that take the previous credits you earned as a CNA and counts them towards your LPN classes, so you can finish your education in a shorter amount of time and with lower costs. Normally, LPN programs last approximately 18 to 24 months before you earn your certification, but as a CNA that time will be significantly less. CNA to LPN training can last anywhere from nine months to one year. A CNA to LPN program is the fastest way to become a LPN if you are already a CNA, and you can still work as a CNA while you attend classes. If you are thinking about becoming a LPN, we’d like to point out that the job is a very stable position right now, and you have the potential to make a lot more as a LPN than a CNA. The average CNA salary is right around $27,000-$30,000 while a LPN’s is around $40,000 a year. You can also choose to advance to a RN later on as well.

CNA to LPN Bridge Program Requirements

cna to lpn training - cna classes onlineYou can find LPN programs from various institutions such as community colleges, vocational schools, and trade schools. Most of these programs allow you to transfer previous credits you earned as a CNA towards your education as a LPN. LPN programs usually consist of classroom lecture, laboratory training, and clinical work and costs can vary depending on the program you choose.  Requirements for LPN programs can vary by state but will typically include:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Completion of a state approved CNA class
  • Formal work experience as a CNA
  • High school diploma or equivalent (e.g. GED)
  • Prerequisite courses in biology or chemistry
  • Overall GPA of at least 2.0 or higher
  • CPR certification

What Will I Learn in LPN Classes?

A typical LPN program will cover the following topics:

Knowledge / Theory

  • Composition and psychology
  • Basic LPN duties
  • Family health and community care
  • Safety and health procedures

Clinical / Laboratory Training

  • Administration of IVs and medication
  • Monitoring patient’s insulin and glucose levels
  • Supervision training
  • Communication skills
  • Reporting skills
  • Sterilization of health equipment

After completing a LPN program, you will be awarded a certificate in practical nursing at which point you are qualified to take the state certification and NCLEX-PN exam to become an official LPN.

Ways to Pay for CNA to LPN Training

LPN training can be expensive depending on the program you choose, and you will need some way of paying for classes. Here are some ways you can lower the cost of LPN training:

  • Online LPN training – Typically, online training is much cheaper than on campus classes. You will still have to attend on campus sites for clinical and laboratory training though!
  • Ask your employer – If you are very passionate about nursing and demonstrate remarkable talent, your employer might help to cover some of the costs of LPN training. Just ask!
  • Scholarships – You can search online for any possible scholarships for LPN training.
  • Financial aid – If you are financially bootstrapped you can also apply for financial aid to help cover the cost of training.
  • Continue working as a CNA – You can also choose to take LPN classes part time while working as a CNA part time to help pay for training.