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LPN vs CNA??

Pre-Nursing   (591 Views 5 Comments)
by lauren9763 lauren9763 (New Member) New Member

183 Visitors; 5 Posts

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Hello,

I am a psych major and am very interested in both psych and nursing. However, I am debating on getting my certification to be an LPN. What is the difference, job and pay wise, between being a CNA and an LPN? Which would allow me to be in the psych ward or obsterics?? Please help!!

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77 Likes; 9,195 Visitors; 1,371 Posts

CNA - fastest, cheapeast way into the nursing field. It's a certificate program, some skilled nursing homes will pay for training in exhange for a work commitment. I personally when to a vocational school and had CNA training for $650 (including supplies) and about 5 weeks of my time. Because it is the fastest/cheapest way in the pay tends to be commiserate. My first job was $11/hr and no benefits (min wage $10/hr) but my second job was almost $17/hr with benefits, as I was able to transition to a higher paying employer who gave me credit for experience in the pay scale. Job will vary a bit depending on employer and what they allow you to do, but it is largely basic, hands-on care to patients (e.g. toileting, bathing, feeding, ambulating, taking vitals, etc) and assisting the RNs/LPNs in the setting.

LPN - takes a little longer - typically a 9-12 month certification or can be done as 2 year Associate's program. LPNs can do everything a CNA does as well as administer medications, and provide more advanced nursing care (e.g. wound care). I'm less certain of their exact scope as I never worked in the role and my current place of employment does not have LPNS. My understanding is they can't preform all assessments an RN could, and can't take verbal/telephone orders, and are limited in what medications and medical interventions they can administer. Locally pay rates seem to run in the $19-22/hr starting pay range.

I currently work in a psych setting as a RN and your BA/BS in psych would be enough to get you a basic entry level floor position (title: recovery staff, behavioral tech, mental health assistant, depending on employer). Pay at my company for the role starts at about $13-14/hr + benefits and goes up with experience and/or additional training (Some of which employer will pay for). A CNA would be a plus (and bump up starting pay) but is not required. We do not hire LPNs. Our recovery/floor staff have by far the most patient interaction and are responsible for working with patients in recovery plans, running groups, bringing people on field trips, and helping with general daily activities (e.g. snacks, art supplies, etc), etc. They are a huge help with managing the milieu and I couldn't do my job with out them.

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IamAPotato has <1 years experience.

60 Visitors; 6 Posts

Big differences:

LPV/LVN: licensed nurse who can deliver medications and in charge of CNA. The LVN program typically will take 11-16 months. After the program, it is mandatory to pass the National Exam NCLEX in order to practice. Pay will varies on experience and facilities: usually 18 to 30$ per hour

CNA: Nursing Assistant. CNA do not have license but only certificate so they could not attempt to mess with medications. CNA program will greatly varies in length but often beween 6 weeks to 3 months. After the program, the Nurse Aid will require to take the State Board composed of Skills and Written Test in order to obtain certification. Pay will be between 11-20$ ( varies greatly based on experiece)

Cheers and take care.

ps. All of these datas are my personal observation around Sourthern California area. These data do not represent the national statistics.

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NICUmiiki has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN.

112 Likes; 24,734 Visitors; 1,727 Posts

LPNs are nurses. CNAs are not. CNAs tends to have much more physically demanding jobs.

Neither CNAs or LPNs work in L&D in my area. This will depend on the location/hospital. Our L&D only has RNs and surg techs.

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