Do LPN Students Need CNA Certification?
One of the most common questions that many aspiring Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, students ask today is whether or not they need CNA certification. Currently, there is no state that requires students entering LPN programs to possess CNA certification. However, there are some schools that may require the certification for enrollment into their LPN programs.
If you are not sure whether or not your intended school's practical nurse program requires CNA certification, just check the program's requirements by visiting the school's website. You can also find out about it by speaking with one of the facility's program advisers or counselors. Rules regarding this issue vary widely from school to school.
For example, while most LPN schools do not require CNA certification at all, some schools require prospective LPN students to also have worked as a CNA for a certain period of time. On the other hand, some schools require new LPN students to have completed a CNA program, but do not require a certification and/or a work history.
In any case, completing a CNA program, earning CNA certification, and working as a CNA for some time before enrolling into an LPN program come with several advantages, particularly including the ones explained below.
Valuable Work Experience
Even if your school does not require CNA certification for admission into its LPN program, there are many benefits you can enjoy by becoming a CNA first. First of all, since a career as an LPN is quite popular, it can be a bit difficult getting into some nursing schools. Having a solid history working in the medical field will certainly look good on your nursing school application. It will also make future job applications more appealing.
Insight Into Nursing Field
Working as a certified nurse aide before enrolling into an LPN program offers insight into the nursing field. This can be highly beneficial if you are not sure if a career as an LPN is the right choice for you. While you work as a CNA, observe the LPNs and take note of the tasks they commonly perform each day. Can you see yourself doing the same thing? Do you think that you would enjoy working as an LPN?
Another great reason to consider becoming a CNA before enrolling into an LPN school is that you can shorten the length of your LPN program. This is true because much of your prior CNA training can be applied to your LPN training. In fact, in many cases, full-time LPN students can complete a CNA to LPN bridge program in only about two semesters.
Income for College Expenses
Finally, expenses for college programs can be quite overwhelming, and this holds true even for those who have been able to obtain financial aid for their tuition. Financial aid recipients must still pay for such things as notebooks, computers, Internet, meals, and transportation to and from their campuses. Working as a CNA while attending LPN classes can help take care of all of these expenses.