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CNA or LPN??

Posted

I'm not sure what to do!!...hope you guys can help. I really want to go for LPN, but I was wondering would it be better for me to do CNA first (since I don't have any experience at all in any kind of nursing)...or just jump straight into the LPN program?

Any advice is appreciated :)

poptart109

Specializes in CNA.

I did the CNA portion first- to see if it's what I really wanted to do, and then later, I could use it to get into the Advanced Placement LPN course at my school. I'm really glad I did because it gave me practice at the basic skills and gave me a less hectic schedule going into my LPN program.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

LVN school assumes that all students are starting from scratch, and that is what they will teach to. I don't think getting a CNA first is necessary at all. We had 1 or 2 CNAs in my class, which gave them an edge at the very beginning taking vital signs, changing beds, etc but you move forward from that point pretty quickly and then you'll all be in the same boat again.

If you are really not sure if the hospital environment in general is for you, or you're worried about how you will react to the body fluid issue, it might be advantageous to do that, but keep in mind your job as an LPN is completely different than the job of a CNA. Best wishes! :)

I have to agree with Poptart109...I was pretty sure I wanted to be a nurse, but decided to go the CNA route first (I had also been laid off from my retail job, which was why I decided to change careers, and I needed to get back to work fairly quickly). CNA only took 3 months at the community college, and I got employment about a month after passing my state certification exam. Now I work on the weekends, and I have a (pretty sure) job already lined up after graduation as a nurse. It's a good way to get your foot in the door and a lot of experience...my nurses at work are always giving me additional practical instruction in addition to what I learn in school and clinicals.

Good luck on whatever route you choose.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

If you need to work during nursing school, being a CNA works for some people. However, the question asked was "do I need to take a CNA course to be more successful in nursing school or can I just jump into LPN school? The answer to that question is no-- in most cases you do not need to be a CNA first. I want to make clear to people who are looking for general answers rather than one person's experience that CNA experience is not considered "experience" for a nursing job, that not all nurses allow CNAs to "practice" things outside their scope of practice without a clinical instructor present, and working at a facility as a CNA is not a guarantee of a job at that facility after you graduate. I've read lots and lots of personal stories. For the vast majority, the above circumstances are less common, not more common.

Sorry if you misunderstood...my nurses at work give me practical "instruction"...not practice. They show and tell a lot...and I learn a lot from them.

IsmeAmanda, LPN

Has 10 years experience.

NursL has the right information, but Poptart makes a good point.

If you have time and some money to spare, i guess taking a CNA class to see if it's right for you is not a bad idea. Since my CNA classes took 5 months and were 100% covered by financial aid (even the scrubs for clinical work) But if you are looking to jump into your education and start a career, NurseL is right when she says they treat everyone as if they are from scratch. LPN programs are longer and more expensive.

I am a CNA about to enroll in a LPN/LVN course and have found this out.

mamayogibear

Specializes in None yet.

Here all the community college LPN or ADN programs require a CNA certification prior to applying and so do the Technical Colleges that offer only LPNs. The only schools that don't require CNA certification are the four year BSN programs that either cost a ton for private schools or require a year of volunteer work (which as a parent would cost me $ for daycare).

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

Sorry if you misunderstood...my nurses at work give me practical "instruction"...not practice. They show and tell a lot...and I learn a lot from them.

That's fine if you aren't doing things that are in the scope of practice of the nurse and not a CNA.

I've heard it both ways.

There are a number of CNA's in my LVN class and while it most definitely helps w/ the initial fear...of touching people, and the transfering pts etc...

most are having to RELEARN how it is "officially" done in our skills lab and our schools LVN clinicals. What they teach and what you can realistically do w/ a real live person is sometimes alittle different. but as my instructor says..."nursing is a gray area".

Good luck!!!

I would go and get CNA first and then go for the LPN. Most of the LPN programs and even some RN programs are requiring students to already be a CNA. I have been a CNA for 5 1/2 yrs now and I must say that the experience I have gained has helped me out a whole lot with my LPN courses. I already have a set foundation and the LPN training is enhancing what I have already obtained throughout my career as a CNA & PCT. The CNA is really hands on and you will find out really quickly if nursing is right for you. As a CNA you spend alot of time with the patient and you work under the RN and will gain alot of experience. Good Luck on whatever you decide!!!