CNA to LVN Degree and Training Program Options

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) can enroll in a CNA-to-LVN associate's degree program to become licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). Get details on admission requirements, topics of study and potential earnings for graduates.

Essential Information

A CNA-to-LVN associate's program provides nursing assistants with advanced lessons in nursing and patient care theory, as well as clinical training. They also learn how to perform basic laboratory tests, check vital signs and monitor patient reactions to treatments. Many of these programs are offered online or on nights and weekends to fit into the working schedules of professional CNAs. In addition to coursework, a major component of the program involves preparing for the NCLEX-PN board examinations.

Not all CNA-to-LVN programs result in a degree. However, participants may be able to earn an associate's degree by pairing nursing training with required general education units.

CNA to LVN Degree Programs

Curriculum is often divided between theory and training, with theory requirements totaling an average of nearly 600 hours and clinical requirements totaling an average of 900-1,000 hours. Some courses included in both components include:

  • Medical-surgical nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Mental health nursing
  • Oncological nursing
  • Circulatory and respiratory disorders
  • Nursing leadership and supervision

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, licensed vocational nurses, also sometimes referred to as licensed practical nurses, held 697,250 jobs across the United States as of May 2015. In that year, they earned a median annual salary of $43,170, which is substantially more than the median annual salary earned by nursing assistants of $25,710 during that year.

Certification and Continuing Education

All LVNs must earn licensure by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLX-PN). Many LVNs who choose to advance in the nursing field enroll in LVN-to-RN programs in order to gain the credential necessary to become a registered nurse. At the this stage, individuals must sit for another examination, the NCLX-RN.

Training programs for CNA to LVN are available in the form of an associate's degree program. These programs prepare students for LVN licensing exams through didactic coursework and clinical training in nursing settings.

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