CNA to LPN Programs Online
Becoming certified as a CNA is a great accomplishment. If you are a CNA and are looking to go even further with your nursing career, taking steps towards becoming a licensed practical nurse could be a great option for you. Working as an LPN could help you make more money and give you more job responsibilities as well as a higher level of personal satisfaction. There are online programs which are aimed at helping current CNAs receive training which will help them become LPNs.
Why become an LPN?
There are many advantages to becoming an LPN. One of the most obvious reasons to pursue further training and advance from CNA to LPN is because of the increase in pay. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports an average annual wage of $26,250 for nursing assistants compared with $43,420 for LPN/LVNs. In addition to a pay increase, LPNs also have increased knowledge and therefore more job responsibility as well as an increased feeling of job importance. LPNs supervise CNAs and direct their workload. Working as an LPN is a step up the nursing career ladder and is a higher position within the healthcare field.
Online LPN Training
LPN training is available in the form of CNA to LPN bridge programs, which are designed specifically for CNAs becoming LPNs, and traditional LPN programs which may or may not accept some CNA courses for credit. Many LPN training programs have online learning options. Enrolling in online LPN classes as opposed to traditional LPN classes can significantly reduce the amount of time you will spend on training. In addition, being a CNA prior to beginning LPN training will also help you move along more quickly and save money in the process because you are not starting from scratch.
Applying to a Program
In order to enroll in most CNA to LPN bridge programs, you will need to meet these requirements:
- Be a state-certified nursing assistant (preferably with work experience)
- Complete an entrance exam
- Pass a drug screening and background check
- Be 18 years old
CNA to LPN bridge programs are offered by many vocational or technical schools as well as community colleges. Each program will have specific prerequisites as well as an individual application and enrollment process. To find out if you are eligible to begin a CNA to LPN program, it is important to contact the schools in your area to find out their specific criteria.
Attending a CNA to LPN Program
For those who completed part of their CNA training online, the online portion of training to become an LPN will probably be familiar. Online LPN training will consist of courses with topics such as biology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and nursing fundamentals. Online students will likely be expected to log-in with some regularity to participate in discussions, turn in assignments or papers, and complete exams.
As with CNA training, there are some portions of LPN training that cannot be completed online and must be done in-person. Clinical hours are performed in real world medical facilities and will give students the ability to exercise the skills they have learned in their online classes. LPN students will be supervised during their clinical rotations by LPNs or RNs.
In order to become a CNA, students usually need to complete state-specific exams, but the requirements vary between states. In order to become an LPN, students must complete a national exam known as the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, or NCLEX-PN. This exam is given nationwide and is standard for all students seeking the LPN designation.
According to the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing, before you can take the NCLEX-PN, you will need an authorization to test. This can be obtained by applying to your board of nursing or regulatory body. Once you have received an authorization to test, you can schedule your exam, which is administered by Pearson VUE in many different locations around the country. On exam day, you will have 5 hours to complete the exam, which contains at minimum eighty five questions.
Once you have completed an LPN training program and passed the NCLEX-PN, you can then apply for licensure in the state in which you will practice as an LPN. Contact your state board of nursing to find out how to apply for licensure.
Working as an LPN
Training to become an LPN is a bit more strenuous than training to become a CNA; however, for the increase in professional responsibility, scope of practice, and pay, it is well worth the effort. Online CNA to LPN programs can make the process a bit simpler by allowing you to complete the classroom portion of your LPN training from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Becoming an LPN through an online program is a wonderful way to advance your nursing career.