The Difference between a CNA and a LPN

At the present, there are several types of nurses. These include the Registered Nurse (RN), the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), and the Certified Nursing Assistant/Aide (CNA). These designations have been used since licensure and certifications were first enacted. Definitely, responsibilities also differ for these three. To fully understand the difference between a CNA and LPN read on.

On nursing programs:

Cna and LPN

It was just recently that CNA became in demand for a career. To be a CNA, you need to complete a course in Nursing Aide provided generally by two-year community colleges or specialized schools. Classes may take about six weeks to finish, as the course mainly deals on the very basic concepts of nursing. Trainings however, may be rigid, as this is the main goal of the program. At the end of the course, the graduate would need to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) to become a certified nursing assistant or aide.

As for LPN, there are approved practical nursing programs provided by community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, or other independent health agencies. These programs usually last nine or twelve months and provide both classroom and clinical experience. In some areas in the United States, the LPN programs are being expanded to the associate degree level. At the end of the program, the graduate takes the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to obtain a license as a practical nurse. Compared with the CNA programs, the LPN programs are more expensive and take a longer duration to finish.

On responsibilities and duties:

Under the supervision of a registered nurse, the CNA is responsible generally, for the very basic needs of the patient. These include assisting the patient in feeding, bathing and dressing. This is especially true for bedridden patients who need all the assistance as they can’t do it for themselves. Routine procedures, including taking of vital signs, are also part of the CNA’s duty. The CNA must also see to it that aside from the patient, the bed and the room, is always kept neat and clean. For some CNAs, they can also assist in setting up medical equipments and in some medical procedures, if they’re trained to do so. Lastly, as they are the ones working very closely with the patient, it is their responsibility to call for help, when the need arises or when there’s a decline in the patient’s condition.

On the other hand, the LPN is also expected to do broadened bedside care under also the supervision of a registered nurse. The vital signs, height and weight are also taken by the LPN. It is also their responsibility to make sure that the patient maintains good hygiene practices in their stay at the institution. Daily exercises for the patient can also be performed by the LPN. The major difference from the CNAs would be, the LPNs can administer medications, including injections while the CNAs cannot. LPNs are also licensed to perform wound dressing and to monitor the catheters of the patient. As much as they are also hands-on with the patient, they have the duty to asses and report regularly the status of the patient to their registered nurse or attending physician.

Generally, these are the similarities and differences between a CNA and a LPN when it comes to earning the certificate or license, and when it comes to their responsibilities and duties to their patients.

(CNA) Certified Nursing Assistant Salary Information

With the global economic recession, more and more people are getting layoff from their jobs adding to the number of the unemployed. As such, the competition for having a job, much more for a stable one, is getting stiffer everyday. Even the rich and powerful countries are not spared from this dilemma, thereby creating a major impact on their workforce. Thus, jobs that are conventionally done by one person results into two individuals doing it. This explains the rise of assistants to major professions, nursing included. Certified nursing assistants are not only the result of this economic problem, but also more of the demand to take care of the retiring and soon to retire baby boomers. And with the inverted triangle population profile, it’s inevitable that more and more aging people need to be taken cared of. Aside from the typical hospitals, this explains the sprouting of various nursing homes, adult care centers, long term facilities, and home care services. Indeed, CNA as a career is for the long run. Job opportunities for the medical field never run out. It will always need individuals who will render needed care for both the sick and the well as most people are becoming conscious of their health. But with the downplay of the economy, you would also need a job that pays well to sustain you and your family. Is CNA the job?

The training required to become a certified nursing assistant is short enough not to make a huge dent on your wallet. Also, there are institutions that offer free CNA training to those who deserve and need it. You just need to invest time and effort in learning the ropes of the profession. After passing the CNA state exam where you intend to practice your profession, you can savor the financial gains that come with your chosen job. You want specifics on the wages you are about to earn? Here is the certified nursing assistant salary information that will provide you on what you want to know.

Certified Nursing Assistant Salary

Certified Nursing Assistant SalaryThe salary depends on your job experience, type of health facility and the state where you are about to practice. For the job experience, the more experienced you are as a CNA, the higher your salary will be. Definitely, CNAs working on the urbanized areas are paid better than those in the rural areas. If you work in a big hospital, you will receive more than those who work in a small long term care facility.  Metropolitan states like California and Nevada can afford to pay their nursing aides more compared to Alabama and Georgia. If you want figures, the annual salary for a CNA with very little to no experience is at the very least around $19,000. Sounds promising for a newbie, right? Well, here’s more. If you have more experience and you practice in the posh New York City, you can earn as much as $31,200 annually.

Now that you know how you can be paid more as a CNA, choose and review your options well so you can get the best out of being a nursing assistant.

Where You Should Get Your Job as a CNA

People chose to become a Certified Nursing Assistant in order for them to see first what it is like to work in the health care industry. This is their way to see if they fit in this field and if they can keep up with the demands that this job entails.  Also being a Certified Nursing Assistant is considered to be the first entry level in the Nursing profession. Through this, you can gain enough experience that can prepare you to becoming a Registered Nurse. From being a Nursing Aide, there are a lot of opportunities that you can go into. You could elevate yourself on this profession unto the next level which is becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. This also means, you could go into higher income jobs.

However, if you have just gain your Certificate as a CNA and you did not know how to start looking for a job, you could start by looking for Certified Nursing Assistant Agencies which can help you look for a job. You could try looking for it through the web as it is considered as the best source for everything. You could also try looking at your local schools since they could refer you to some agencies. There are also schools or programs for CNA that also provide their own graduates jobs right after they have their own certifications.

There are a lot of possible place that your agency could provide you with work. Some of these are:

  • Hospitals

This is where Nursing Aides work closely with patients and help them with their activity of daily living. They also work closely with nurses as well as the other members of the health team.

  • Nursing Homes

Today, the elder population is on the rise and more people needs someone to help them with their daily needs and Nursing Aides could be the best person to do just that.

  • Doctors’ Clinics

This is where the Nursing Aides work closely with Doctors and assist them as they cater different needs of patients seeking consultation.

  • Homes

There are also people who need someone to assist them right in the comforts of their own homes. This is very beneficial for Nursing Aides because they get to choose their own convenient time.

With Issues of Nursing shortage, the demands for more Certified Nursing Assistants increases. They are called to assist and help nurses with their work as well as to meet the increasing number of people who needs assistance.  Thus, there is also an increase on the number of agencies for Certified Nursing Assistant.

Performance Evaluation – Are they really helping CNA’s?

In every healthcare institution, it is part of their regulations to conduct a performance appraisal. It is a part of every orientation that employees are made aware of an evaluation done every month, quarterly, annually or depending on what the institution had set. Performance Appraisal is a way of employers to evaluate employees of their job performance. This is done to know the status of an employee and see if he is up for a promotion, demotion or salary increase. This is also to know if what the employers should do to improve or further hone the skills and capabilities of their employees such as counseling and training. This is also a way for the employee to know if what areas he should improve or what are his weaknesses and strengths. Performance Appraisal is simply a feedback of the employee’s performance for an allotted time.

However, in the case of Certified Nursing Assistant, do performance evaluation is really helping them? Just like every employees in an institution, health Aide are also required to undergo performance appraisal by their employers, their supervisors, or by their peers. This is the way for them to know their work performance for a period of time. Are this very helpful for them? Yes, it is. Just as what mentioned, performance Appraisal aimed to help employees to do their job much better. This is a chance for them to know which area they are lacking and needs to be improved. This could help them improve their skills and work performance. This is also a way for them to feel appreciated as this could be the chance for their employers to reward them for whatever they are good at. This is also a chance for the health aide to attend trainings and seminars that could further hone their skills as what their management think would be better for them.

However, the effects of performance appraisal would all depend on how the employee perceived it. If he took it as a positive feedback, then he would see it as a chance to improve and to be better for her work. But if he see it as negative, then improvement would be harder for them. They would either take it against their employer or see it as a way to degrade themselves. So positive outlook is very important and see that they are always a work in progress.

It is important then, that Certified Nursing Assistant would see performance evaluation as a way to help them and not the other way around.