Being a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a very rewarding role, giving people the ability to help and serve people in need while gaining first hand experience. In many cases, even people who love being a CNA will tell you they see it as an entry level position and a stepping stone to the next point in their career. In these situations, one of the biggest challenges is deciding what to do next and making a plan to get there.
One of the most popular and logical transitions is to make the move from CNA to licensed practical nurse (LPN). LPNs perform many of the same basic functions as CNAs while taking on expanded responsibilities and tasks. Being an LPN allows many to meet longer-term career goals while offering attainable educational and certification requirements.
Read on to learn more about how to make the move from CNA to LPN and the advantages it offers, particularly for people working in Florida.
What is an LPN?
An LPN is a nurse who handles many of the frontline nursing duties. LPNs can be found in nearly any health care facility, including hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and rehab hospitals. They can also be found in other places that require care, such as schools.
Typical LPN duties include:
Basic patient care and interaction
Taking vital signs
Reporting patient status
LPNs usually report to another medical professional, such as a registered nurse (RN), nurse practitioner, or physician. To become an LPN, students must complete an educational program with clinical training and pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN).
Benefits of Becoming an LPN in Florida
Like many other states, nurses, including LPNs, are in very high demand in Florida. LPNs in Florida can enjoy competitive pay rates and flexible schedules in a state with no income tax. Furthermore, LPN programs can be completed in a much shorter time compared to RN programs, which can take two years or longer.
LPNs in Florida or anywhere else who transition from being a CNA will usually find:
More job opportunities
More job skills and variety
Greater opportunities for advancement
Although it can seem like a big step, the CNA to LPN transition is easier than many people think.
Making the Move from CNA to LPN
With the skills and experience they already have, CNAs are always in a great position to make the move to LPN. Many of the skills and training you have gained in your time as a CNA are highly applicable to the LPN role. Simply working at a hospital and observing nurses day-after-day gives many CNAs a unique advantage in applying to and successfully completing LPN programs.
Furthermore, many nursing schools have specific CNA to LPN bridge programs, which apply experience, and in some cases education, toward an LPN certificate or diploma. This can drastically shorten the time needed for school and allow many CNAs to complete a program at night or during non-work hours. The prevalence of remote learning has made the completion of LPN programs even more convenient.
Requirements for programs vary. Be prepared to line up your transcripts from high school and any CNA program you completed.
While LPN programs require less schooling compared to other professions, financial aid can be a consideration for many. In addition to taking the normal steps to apply for student aid, CNAs should also ask their employer about programs that help with the CNA to LPN transition. There may be some commitment requirements, such as having to work for that employer for a certain period of time.
Becoming a Home Health LPN
Upon completing an LPN program and passing the NCLEX, LPNs have more options than ever for great career paths. Home health is one of the growing options that offers flexibility, one-on-one career opportunities, great pace, and work-life balance compared to hospitals in the home health field. High quality home health agencies can also be highly competitive with pay and benefits, including time off, medical coverage, and 401K retirement.
Home health services can range from adult post-operative care to senior care to pediatric care for children with severe and debilitating medical conditions. LPNs working in home care report high levels of satisfaction with the independence and ability to build relationships with patients this field can bring.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care in Florida
It can be hard to balance time between work, home, and caring for a child or loved one. That’s why the team of professionals at Care Options for Kids is here to help. We have been enforcing precautionary measures and following the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 to ensure the safety and health of our clients and employees.
Our home health care services offer one-on-one support in the comfort of home. We are always looking for loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision.
Applying for a position with Care Options for Kids is quick and simple. Our online application process eliminates the need to come into a local office until you are ready to meet with our Director of Nursing. Your application, resumé, license, and CPR card are all uploaded online. Care Options for Kids provides services in counties across the state of Florida. We make it as easy as possible to join our team. Call today at (888) 592-5855.