With a limited number of spaces available in some institutions, admission to CNA to LPN programs can be competitive. Admission into a CNA to LPN program requires a GED or high school diploma and certification as a nursing assistant or aide. Some programs require a background check, one year of work experience and CPR certification. Programs typically take one year to complete. To work in this field, LPN candidates must pass a national licensing exam, and they may need to meet additional state requirements. Continuing education is usually required to keep certification current.
CPA to LPN certificate programs
CNA to LPN certificate programs offer education in several nursing and healthcare categories by combining classroom instruction with supervised clinical experience. Typical LPN education programs include courses such as:
- Nursing fundamentals
- Nutrition and physiology
- Special needs nursing
- Wound care and infection control
- Nursing ethics
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
In response to an increasing elderly population and a rising demand for healthcare services, LPNs may find the greatest number of job opportunities within residential care facilities and home healthcare services. Employment opportunities are also available in hospitals, doctors' offices, outpatient care facilities and other health organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all healthcare professions are projected to grow much faster than the average career between 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). LPN and licensed vocational nurse employment should rise by 16% during that time frame, which is significantly faster than most careers.
The BLS notes that in 2015, licensed practical nurses earned median annual incomes of $43,170. The figure equates to $20.76 per hour. LPNs in the lowest ten percent of earnings made $32,040 per year or less, while those in the top ten percent made $59,510 or more per year.
Continuing Education and Licensing Information
All students who complete a CNA to LPN certificate program must pass the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in order to be legally eligible for employment. The NCLEX-PN, which tests applicants on nursing skills and knowledge, is offered by the National Council State Boards of Nursing (www.ncsbn.org). Additional licensing requirements within individual states may need to be met as well.
Most states require LPNs to complete of number of continuing education hours in order to maintain and renew their nursing licenses. The continuing education requirement allows professionals to maintain their skills and stay up-to-date with changes in the field. CNAs who complete an LPN program are eligible for future career advancement by completing RN degree programs. Registered nursing is by far the largest healthcare profession in the U.S. Becoming an RN can increase salaries, job opportunities and responsibilities significantly.
CNAs wanting to advance their careers may apply for admission into a CNA to LPN program. These programs are offered at many 2- and 4-year schools, and will prepare you for the NCLEX-PN through a series of in-class courses and hands-on experience.