The Difference Between CNA and LVN? Exploring Both Roles

Nursing is an interesting and rewarding career path. I’ve been a nurse for 10 years now, and I have loved every minute of it! One question that many people ask me is “What’s the difference between CNA and LPN?” This blog post will explore both roles in detail.

CNAs are certified nurses who provide skilled care under the supervision of an RN or LPN. They also have to be able to work independently with minimum supervision for short periods of time. LPNs are licensed practical nurses who provide basic nursing skills such as providing injections, taking vital signs, and assisting patients with their daily living activities like dressing and bathing–but they can’t do anything more advanced than that without being supervised by an RN!

Educational Difference

You can become a CNA within six to eight weeks. To be an LPN, you have to take state-approved training and pass the NCLEX-PN exam in order to earn your license. The education pattern for the LPN course is similar to that of CNA’s; however, it lasts longer than those 6-8 weeks required for certification as CNAs do not need any formal schooling following high school graduation before they start working with patients! Training is provided in both classroom settings (for theoretical knowledge) and at healthcare facilities or hospitals where practical hands-on skills are learned from experienced LVs.

CNA programs cost on average $1,300 but the tuition fee largely depends on what school or institute you are planning to take it from. If you can’t pay for the program costs, there is financial assistance available so that no one has to go without this opportunity due to finances!

Private colleges have a lot of options for LPN and LPN programs, but not all are going to be financially accessible. Tuition can range anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 or more depending on the length of your program; books also cost about that much! That’s without adding in other living expenses like food and housing which could quickly make it hard to graduate with any kind of a budget.

CNA: All certified nurse assistants must first apply for a state license from the board of nursing and meet all requirements.

The Board’s CNA training mandate stipulates that trainees must complete 120 hours of preparation and three-five clinical rotations observing at least 30 hours each before sitting for the licensure exam.

LPN: The educational requirements to become an LPN are two years of high school plus one year from an accredited college or university.

LPNs must complete a curriculum in high school, as well as anywhere from one to three years in a degree-granting program offered by colleges and universities that are accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation. These programs typically require coursework related to nursing practices such as courses in anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and physiology among others. Programs also typically have clinical components that include supervised nursing rotations through hospital or home care facilities over the course of nine months to two years.

Duties and Responsibilities

CNA: The duties and responsibilities of a certified nursing aide are very limited. Typically they have been trained only for the most basic tasks, so it is rare that you will find one holding any major responsibility in their workplace – but if there was an emergency situation, then chances are good that these employees would be the ones to come running!

LPN: A licensed practical nurse on the other hand has more opportunities available as well as better pay than a CNA does.

Some people are confused between what the job of a nurse’s assistant is and that of an LPN. The former also called CNAs, can only perform tasks assigned to them such as preparing supplies for nursing staff but cannot independently provide health care services like checking blood pressure levels or drawing blood samples since they lack training in these areas while licensed practical nurses (LPNs) have more responsibilities than their counterparts because they receive extensive education on how to do so at school before graduation

Both certified nursing aides work under supervision from registered nurses who hold higher degrees in this field; however, there are many differences when it comes down to which one has greater duties and responsibilities.

It’s always better to be a Licensed Practical Nurse than Certified Nursing Aide. LPN’ers enjoy more benefits and get paid way higher for their work, but it takes an additional two years of college training which means they have the potential for greater responsibilities in the field – like supervising CNAs!

LPN vs CNA Salary

A CNA’s job is to work under the supervision of an RN or LPN. They do not need any specialized education, so they earn a lower salary than other healthcare positions around $29,640 per year on average. That’s not as high as LPNs who earn an average annual median wage of around 47k! If you’re more interested in earning higher salaries with less responsibility then becoming an LPN might be better for you!

It’s good to know that the cost of living in different states can dramatically affect your salary! The state or city you live in has a lot to do with how much money you make. Not only are taxes higher, but so is what we pay providers for their services. That means if all other things were equal between two locations and one was paying $10 per hour while another pays $15 an hour because they have more overhead costs, then it would be worth moving there just for the extra wages alone – not even considering any potential benefits from relocation like job opportunities and retirement investment options.

Top 5 Highest Paying CNA Industries:

Type of Industry
Number of Employment
Wages Per Hour
Average Yearly Pay
Federal Executive Branch
USD 17.20
USD 35,700
Insurance Carriers
USD 15.90
USD 33,000
Colleges and Professional Schools
USD 15.00
USD 31,000
State Government
USD 14.00
USD 30,000
Rooming and Boarding Houses
USD 13.90
USD 29,000

Top 5 Highest Paying LPN Industries:

Type of IndustryEmployment PercentageMedian Yearly Salary
Nursing and residential care facilities38%USD 48,840
Hospitals; state, local, and private15%USD 45,550
Offices of physicians13%USD 43,620
Home healthcare services13%USD 48,310
Government6%USD 48,400

Source: BLS

Top 5 Highest Paying States for CNA:

StatesYearly Salary (Approx)
AlaskaUSD 34,000
New YorkUSD 38,810
ConnecticutUSD 30,000
MassachusettsUSD 28,950
HawaiiUSD 23,000

Top 5 Highest Paying States for LPN:

StatesYearly Salary (Approx)
AlaskaUSD 63,850
MassachusettsUSD 60,340
CaliforniaUSD 60,240
Rhode IslandUSD 59,860
NevadaUSD 58,470

Source: BLS

Career Opportunities

CNA: Nursing specializations are wide-ranging and diverse, but CNAs can typically find a potential career that aligns with their interests. Here’s what the most common careers for CNA’s might be:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Geriatric Care Manager
  • Nurse Educator or Professor

LPN: One of the coolest benefits you can receive as a licensed practical nurse is that there are plenty of different options to choose from. Whether this will be the very first time entering into work or deciding to change your environment after being in one for two long years, LPNs have a supportive community waiting on them and they’re always guaranteed their next job with statistics showing 25% growth through 2022!

  • Nursing Care Facilities (Exclusively for the elderly)
  • Physician Offices
  • Private Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Mental Health or General Nursing Care Facilities
  • Home Healthcare Facilities

The demand for both CNA and LPN is growing since there are acute shortages throughout the country. Training for both these careers is available through community colleges, vocational training schools, or apprenticeships with physicians’ offices or hospitals–wherever you can get your hands on it!

So which one is best? Well, If you want to make progress in your nursing career, starting with an entry-level job as a CNA is the right way. By doing so, you’ll be building a path that will lead you to LPN and RN positions down the line! Becoming an LPN requires more time and money; if it doesn’t bother or concern you too much being an LPN would be more suitable option than becoming a CNA.