Difference Between CNA and LPN

Diseases are increasing than the population. Taking care of those patients is vital while they go through tortuous conditions. The Certified Nursing Assistant( CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse( LPN) are two professions of taking care of the patients.


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Before choosing nursing as a profession, it is vital to know the difference between CNA and LPN.

Key Takeaways

  1. CNAs provide basic patient care, such as bathing, feeding, and assisting with mobility, while LPNs provide more advanced care, such as administering medication and monitoring patients’ vital signs.
  2. CNAs require less education and training than LPNs, as they typically complete a short-term certification program, while LPNs require completion of a state-approved nursing program.
  3. CNAs work under the supervision of nurses and physicians, while LPNs work under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians.


A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a health care professional responsible for providing basic care and daily assistance to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). A CNA will serve as a patient’s primary caregiver in a long-term facility.


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A Certified Nursing Assistant can guide a Nurse team with basic qualifications on supervision of a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse( RN). One who completes a high school diploma or received a GED certificate can join in the CNA training.

Places like community colleges, technical schools are offering the CNA course. Even online components are available in some states, need to attain in-person training to get the certificate. T

he Certified Nursing Assistant can do responding patient call lights, Serving and feeding patients with meals.

A Licensed Practical Nurse can do some additional tasks along with the CNA on the guidance of the Registered Nurse(RN). It is an in-depth formal training program.

Like CNA, The LPN offers in the community colleges and technical schools but, they need to complete the course in person. You need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to get the certificate.

The LPN act as a stepping stone in your nursing career to lead to higher positions.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonCNALPN
Course durationThe CNA completed in 4-12 weeksThe LPN completed in 12 months
SalaryCNA has less wage compared to LPNLPN has a high salary compared to CNA
Course detailThe CNA has basic knowledge.The LPN has in-depth medicine dosage, pathology.
CertificationThe CNA completes the state competency.The LPN needs to crack the National Council Licensure Examination.
DutiesThe CNA can do answering patient call lights and Serving and feeding patients meals.The LPN can do medication and collects samples (e.g., blood, urine, etc.)

What is CNA?

The Certified Nursing Assistant(CNA) is a caretaker of patients. They do their needs like offering meals, help with bathroom, etc. They may be called essential care providers. They are not nurses but a frontline between medical staff and patients.

If you’re looking for a career in the nursing profession, CNA will enrich your experience. It provides you to work for others. In this job, you can meet a variety of people every day and advancement in your career.

The Certified Nursing Assistant can not draw blood from the patients for testing. The cities in California paid the highest salary for CNAs. The physical work demands in CNA. You need to take care of immobile patients also.

The person must be able to tolerate the conditions. It is dedicated work for others. Somewhat it is a stressful job if you won’t work dedicatedly. The CNA is allowed to administer drugs like oral, topical, eye drops.

Depends on the hospitals and procedures, they clean the dead bodies. It is a demanded an easy career for one who finds a career in the nursing profession.

The Certified Nursing Assistant allows assisting the newborn babies if they are working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). CNA-2 are the ones who study additional courses or specializations. They can assist the nursing personnel.


What is LPN?

The Licensed Practical Nurse can do some additional works with CNA. The LPNs get paid more compared to CNAs. They do several jobs like checking blood pressure, administer drugs, etc.

Their vital duty is to caring the patients by dressing the wounds and injecting the medicines. The LPN take care of patients who can do their work by going to their home. The LPN is the one who checks and tests your body before the doctor.

The Licensed Practical Nurse use authority to declare death if the Registered Nurse (RN) is unavailable. The Licensed Practical Nurse can have the option to specialize in the area and become a charge nurse.

Further education will help them to become Registered nurses. The Licensed Practical Nurse(LPN) is the next level of Certified Nursing Assistant(CNA). The Licensed Practical Nurse work in nursing homes and some long-term medical facilities often.

You need to clear the state exam and then apply for a national license to become the LPN. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) offers the LPN programs.

With a specialization in certain areas as an LPN, your income will increases.

Pharmacology, long-term care, IV therapy are the additional courses in LPN. According to a census, 38% of LPNs working in nursing homes.


Main Differences Between CNA and LPN

  1. The CNA course gets completed in 4-12 weeks, and the LPN course gets completed in 12 months.
  2. CNA has less wage compared to LPN, and LPN has high salary compared to CNA.
  3. The CNA has basic knowledge, and the LPN has in-depth medicine dosage, pathology.
  4. The CNA completes the state competency, and the LPN needs to crack the National Council Licensure Examination.
  5. The CNA can do responding patient call lights, and the LPN can do medication and collects samples (e.g., blood, urine, etc.).
Difference Between CNA and LPN
  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/dcc5cdfc0aa40502362041ffa501ed50/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=32799
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2648.1999.00863.x
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