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  • Z. Garnett

The Difference between CNAs and LPNs

A career in nursing is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding professions, and given recent staffing shortages incited by the pandemic, it couldn’t be more in demand. While nurses play an essential role in administering excellent patient care in a variety of settings (hospital, nursing home, in-home care), what they do may vary depending on the title. This post will highlight key differences between CNAs and LPN’s.

What is a CNA?

A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant. CNAs are a vital part of the nurse staffing and they have a great amount of direct contact with the patient. Some of their duties may include providing a patient with personal care such as bathing and grooming, feeding, taking vitals, and prepping medical equipment and materials.

What is an LPN?

The next level after the CNA is the LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse. While they tackle the same tasks of the CNA, LPNs are also tasked with some advanced responsibilities. Additional duties may include recording patient histories, inserting catheters, changing bedpans, and assisting with tests and procedures. LPN’s report to RN and can make more independent decisions regarding patient care.


In addition to the job duties, another difference between the two professions is the amount of training that is required. For example, training to become a CNA can take between 4-6 weeks, while the training for LPN can take between 1 to 1.5 years and covers more intense topics. CNAs take a CNA Certification Exam and upon graduation, LPNs take the NCLEX-PM exam.

While there are some key differences between the two professions, each play an important role in the healthcare system. If you are a CNA or LPN contact us today for available opportunities!


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