CNA or LPN? What is the difference in Iowa? - page 2

by ckhamill

9,206 Views | 18 Comments

Can someone please tell me the difference between CNA and LPN? I know what they stand for, but what is really the big difference between the two? I live in Iowa -- does that make a difference? Let me know.... Thanks!... Read More


  1. 2
    I totally agree with you!!!! CNA'S does much more than just scrubbing dentures........LOL
    alyssap and blue cna like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from kirkwoodLPN2009
    LPN's go through 2+ years of school to get their degree and then have to take Nursing Boards to get LICENSED. CNA's go through like a 3 week course of how to scrub dentures and then take a test. WAY different in terms of abilities/scope of practice/knowledge base/liability.
    When did LPN's start going through 2+ years of school?
    Maybe if you are going part time or failed some classes.
    I completed my RN in 20 months.
  3. 0
    Quote from aaronw
    When did LPN's start going through 2+ years of school?
    Maybe if you are going part time or failed some classes.
    I completed my RN in 20 months.
    Not quite 2 years for me but I went to school for LPN full time (7:30p-3p) every week Monday-Friday, no vacations for 15 months. We didn't follow the traditional college semesters with spring, winter, Christmas etc breaks. We did get the Federal holidays off but that was it. That was a private school. The State run programs went full time, but got breaks like the colleges did, they ended up going for 18 or 19 months, can't recall exactly.
  4. 5
    Here is a list of activities an LPN can do.
    Iowa Board of Nursing


    Here is a generic cna job description..
    CNA Job Description

    A Certified Nursing Assistant fulfills the need of patient care in hospitals or clinics where nurses may be assigned to 12 or more patients. A CNA can assist patients with ADLs so nurses can focus on what they must do with patients. A CNA observes patients conditions and reports back to the nurse. Work duties may include, but are not limited to, taking vital signs, moving patients, assisting with some medical procedures, feeding patients, and monitoring food and liquid input and output. A CNA is the eyes and ears of the nurse, and should always have a strong knowledge of emergency procedures and be able to stay calm in stressful situations.

    with additional education cna's can become med aides and give some medications in nursing homes.

    As a Nurse I must say I couldn't do my job without good cna's. They spend more time with each patient than I can and sometimes they are the first to notice changes.

    Debblynn
    alyssap, Spika RN, LovebugLPN, and 2 others like this.
  5. 0
    Sorry I am now just getting back to the post thanks for all who supported me I am now a nurse and now appreciate my cnas even more now because I know what it is like to be them and the job description that was posted is very accuret to what I had to do as a cna so to all cnas I salute you
  6. 0
    I believe LPNs also have the option of taking extra courses to be able to work with IVs. Passing medications may also need some extra training.
  7. 1
    Quote from alyssap
    I believe LPNs also have the option of taking extra courses to be able to work with IVs. Passing medications may also need some extra training.
    You are correct in saying with extra training we can do IV meds, etc. However, when you get your license as an LPN you are cleared to pass meds, no extra courses are needed in order to do that. Believe me, I was working the floor as an LPN the DAY I found out I passed my NCLEX. And I was passing meds to all my residents. Unlicensed health care workers (group home employees, some CNA's etc) can take courses in order to become Medication Aids..perhaps that is what you were thinking of.
    lindarn likes this.
  8. 0
    it's obvious that some of these lpn were never cna's before, or if they were it wasn't for long (3 wks) because yes cna's do help with oral care, they help with adl's and we help with pt, ot, and speech therapy. we are the back-bone of nursing and who do the nurse's get to do their "dirty" work?; the cna. whom is it that collects the specimen from the residents/patients the cna. so don't make it seem like the cna's aren't nothing compared to a lpn. as far as i can see i say we're equal . the bad thing is that the cna only makes half the pay as a lpn .
    so to kirkwoodlpn2009, cna do more that scrub dentures
  9. 0
    Quote from missnurse2011
    so don't make it seem like the cna's aren't nothing compared to a lpn. as far as i can see i say we're equal . the bad thing is that the cna only makes half the pay as a lpn .
    so to kirkwoodlpn2009, cna do more that scrub dentures
    really? equal?? until you have worked in both capacities (cna & lpn) you have no idea what it entails. i worked as a cna from the age of 16 until about a year before i got my lpn (i was 39 when i got my lpn)..and i can for sure tell you that a cna and lpn are not equal. when i was a cna many of my coworkers (cna's) thought along the lines that you do..some went back to school and got their lpn..and let me tell you their view changed about being equal real quick. to be honest, for a while i did think..well how hard can an lpn be..for example:they only give meds..a monkey can do that. it wasn't until i was an lpn myself that i realized its not just about giving meds. its about knowing the why, how, when, side effects, results etc of those meds. there is so much more to it than you realize unless you have done both.

    i don't think i am "above" or "better" than the cna's i work with but there is a reason that the lpn can do the cna's job and the lpn job and a reason why the cna can only do the cna job. i am the first to jump in and help them. i toilet, bath, change, ambulate and feed..i'll do anything i can as long as i can still do my work... but i can tell you we are not on equal footing in terms of job description and responsiblities.


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