CNA-to-LPN Programs Online (2023)

Society needs licensed practical nurses (LPNs). These professionals conduct vital tasks for patients like giving medication, bandaging wounds, and monitoring health.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for LPNs to increase 9% in 2020-2030. LPNs earn a median annual income of $48,820. For comparison, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) earn only $30,830. The BLS projects an 8% increase for this career between 2020-2030.

CNAs perform tasks similar to that of LPNs, but take on more of an assistant role. LPNs work as leaders and make a positive difference in the workplace. Keep reading to learn more about earning an online CNA-to-LPN degree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online CNA-to-LPN

How Are Online CNA-to-LPN Classes Different From Their Campus-based Counterparts?

Fortunately, a CNA-to-LPN degree translates well to an online program. Classes occur entirely online, but students must complete clinical rotations in person. A CNA-to-LPN online curriculum covers the same topics as a campus-based curriculum.

Distance learners choose between a synchronous or asynchronous program. Synchronous programs have set virtual class meeting times. Asynchronous programs allow for more flexibility with pre-recorded lectures.

What Are Some of the Required Classes and Subjects?

In an online CNA-to-LPN degree, aspiring LPNs learn how to provide patient care effectively and ethically. Learners hone skills such as changing catheters and recording patient notes. They also practice soft skills like interpersonal communication with patients and their families.

Common classes in an LPN program include anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and emergency care. Students discover how patient needs vary by age.

How Do Online LPN Students Obtain Clinical Training and Experience in a Distance Learning Environment?

Students earning their CNA-to-LPN online get clinical experience locally at nursing homes or hospitals. However, some programs may require temporary relocation for this requirement. Most programs set specific standards for clinical rotation facilities. Learners should research the qualifications for their school.

Since all LPN programs require clinical experience, online programs may advertise themselves as hybrid programs. Certain programs may require a yearly in-person orientation. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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CNA vs. LPN Programs


  • Education Requirements

    Students must complete a 4-12 week certificate at a nursing home, hospital, clinic, or vocational school.

  • Certification/Licensure Requirements

    Graduates must pass a state-specific competency exam and background check.

  • Responsibilities/Scope of Practice

    CNAs work under LPN or RN supervision and provide basic patient care. They may also perform some administrative tasks, such as answering phones, checking vital signs, and changing beds.

  • Continuing Education

    Each state sets continuing education standards, but CNAs do not typically need to take continuing education units.


  • Education Requirements

    After passing a pre-entrance exam, students must complete a certificate/diploma or associate degree in nursing, taking 1-2 years. Students take these programs at community colleges, vocational schools, and some large hospitals.

  • Certification/Licensure Requirements

    Graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

  • Responsibilities/Scope of Practice

    LPNs work under RN supervision and provide care as part of a team. Responsibilities include giving medications, collecting patient data, and helping with minor procedures or patient rehabilitation.

  • Continuing Education

    Each state sets its own continuing education standards. Most require a specific number of annual continuing education units to maintain licensure.
(Video) CNA to LPN (Pt. 1)| Talks with Tele

CNA-to-LPN Timeline

Earning a CNA-to-LPN online includes many moving parts. Here, we break down each step and what to consider. The exact timeline for earning an online CNA-to-LPN degree may vary by person.

  1. When picking a program, learners should first verify its accreditation status. The U.S. Secretary of Education recognizes the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as the official accreditation agency. Aspiring students should read class descriptions to ensure the program aligns with their career goals. They should also consider program price and graduate success rate.

  2. 2

    Review Specific State Education Requirements

    Degree-seekers should research state education requirements. Each state sets its own requirements for LPN licensure. They require a set number of clinical hours and a licensure exam. Many states participate in reciprocity agreements, meaning nurses can sometimes transfer their licenses between states. Most programs tailor the requirements to meet state licensing standards. Therefore, students should consider programs in states where they want to practice.

  3. 3

    Successfully Complete Your Accredited Nursing Program

    An online CNA-to-LPN degree typically takes full-time learners about one year to complete. These students do traditional coursework and clinical rotations during their studies. Degree-seekers practice basic nurse duties, like giving medicine, under professional supervision. They also build on their CNA knowledge. Most schools feature strict GPA requirements.

    (Video) What's Next for CNA's (Go From CNA to Registered Nurse, LPN or Doctor of Physical Therapy)

  4. 4

    Register to Take the NCLEX

    All U.S. nursing boards require nurses to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The exam covers four topics: safe and effective care environments, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Learners may take up to five hours to finish the test.

  5. LPNs must take steps to maintain licensure. State nursing boards require a set number of yearly continuing education hours. Professional organizations offer these educational opportunities. Certain states only accept continuing education credits from specific sources. For example, the Missouri nursing board only accepts credits from NetCE.

Best Online LPN Programs 2022
How to Become an LPN is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.


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LPN Licensure Requirements

All LPNs need at least a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited school. Graduates meeting their state's clinical hour requirement take the NCLEX. The earliest learners can take the exam varies by state. Most people take the exam about 45 days after graduation.

The adaptive exam includes 75-265 questions. It ends once students demonstrate their skill as a nurse with at least 75 correct answers. Or, it ends once the test taker fails too many questions. The exam takes up to five hours to finish. Aspiring nurses can take the test up to eight times in one year to pass. After passing and getting a license, nurses must complete continuing education hours to maintain it.

Benefits of Transitioning from a CNA to a LPN

People who continue their education with an online CNA-to-LPN degree earn an increased income. It also comes with the other benefits discussed below.

  1. 1

    Increased Knowledge

    Graduates leave the program able to make important, informed decisions. They use their knowledge to improve patient care and direct CNAs. LPNs make a positive difference in the workplace with their gained knowledge. Instead of just performing assistive tasks, they experience more autonomy.

  2. An LPN degree opens more doors. Students become LPNs in nursing homes or hospitals. Or, they can pick a concentration and earn specialized roles as pediatric LPNs or obstetrics gynecologist LPNs. The additional education makes learners qualified job candidates.

  3. 3


    Making a Bigger Difference

    LPNs get the chance to enhance a patient's care plan. They collaborate with RNs, doctors, and other specialists to ensure patients get the best aid possible. Instead of just following orders, they evaluate possible decision outcomes to make the best choices.

  4. 4

    Begin a Path toward Further Education

    Earning an LPN brings graduates one step closer to working in even more advanced roles. For example, they can go on to become RNs. RNs experience even more involvement in care plans, rather than just basic comfort care. They also earn more money than LPNs, with a median annual income of $75,330. Some nurses enter academia and become professors.

Beyond the LPN

Thanks to convenient online programs, learners pursue their career goals around work responsibilities.

Students wanting to advance their education beyond an LPN should consider an RN program. Some schools offer LPN-to-RN programs entirely online. The transitional program takes 2-4 years to finish.

Some graduates become nurse practitioners (NPs), requiring a master's degree. An LPN-to-MSN program takes full-time learners 2.5-3 years to finish. NPs diagnose and treat certain ailments. They earn a median annual income of $117,670. The BLS projects the need for NPs to grow 45% in 2020-2030, much faster than average. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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What is the fastest LPN program? ›

Delta's Practical Nurse Advanced Certificate program features a fast-track program that is typically completed in one year not counting prerequisite coursework.

How do I convert my CNA to LVN in Texas? ›

Must have completed an approved CNA program and have current CNA state certification. Must be currently employed for at least 6 months in an acute/chronic care setting. Complete all the academic prerequisites – scan official transcripts and upload with online application. Download, complete, and submit the FERPA form.

What is the highest paying state for CNA? ›

What is the highest-paying state for CNA? Alaska is the highest-paying state for CNAs, earning $43,080 per year. Because the state has one of the highest costs of living in the country, employers need to provide a higher-than-average salary.

How do I become an LPN in Washington state? ›

To become an LPN in Washington, individuals must be complete a state-approved nursing program. Once that is complete, he or she must sit and pass the NCLEX-PN exam—the required state test to show proficiency.

What is the hardest class in LPN school? ›

Hardest Nursing School Classes
  • Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
  • Pharmacology. ...
  • Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
  • Evidence-Based Practice.

Is there a lot of math in the LPN program? ›

It tends to be basic math. If you can do fractions, decimals, and percentages, then you can do the med math that is required of you in an LPN program. This is true, unless your LPN program requires elementary algebra as a prerequisite.

Can a CNA start an IV in Texas? ›

Absolutely not. That can be only be done by an LPN/LVN with IV cert; an RN or higher level of practice nurse; an AEMT or Paramedic; PA; or physician.

Who makes more money CNA or LVN? ›

Generally, LVNs have higher salaries than CNAs. In the United States, the average base salary for LVNs is $67,828 per year , and the average for CNAs is $35,340 per year . However, salaries for both jobs can vary based on location, years of experience, overtime compensation and other factors.

Can a CNA challenge the LVN exam in Texas? ›

Updating your qualifications from a CNA to a LVN, has four prerequisites, including four years of medical and/or surgical nursing, subacute nursing or clinical care nursing. When you have satisfied the requirements you can challenge the LVN Board, or NCLEX-PN for your LVN License.

What is the lowest paying state for CNA? ›

Mississippi has the lowest certified nursing assistant salary of $25,164. The national average salary for certified nursing assistants is $32,597. The national hourly pay for certified nursing assistants is $15.67.

What's the most a CNA can make an hour? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $24.76 and as low as $8.89, the majority of CNA wages currently range between $12.98 (25th percentile) to $18.03 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Why do CNAs make so much money? ›

CRNAs are the highest paid nursing specialty, and for good reason. Though all nurses provide compassionate care to their patients, being a nurse anesthetist and managing patients' anesthesia needs requires a high level of judgment, skill, experience, and knowledge.

Is LPN exam easier than RN? ›

They also must pass a national exam. The NCLEX is offered at both the RN and PN levels. The NCLEX-PN is considered the easier exam, but differences go beyond difficulty level. Both tests assess knowledge and decision making appropriate to a particular job role.

What state pays the highest LPN salary? ›

Highest LPN Salary Paying States:
Rhode Island1,060$55,410
District of Columbia1,720$55,200
1 more row

Is LPN hard to study? ›

LPN schooling can be very challenging at times; however, you can get the hang of it with dedication and good study habits! Furthermore, nursing is a gratifying job, motivating you to work towards it persistently.

Who has the shortest LPN program? ›

6 Month LPN Programs and Certifications | What is the shortest LPN program?
  • Galen College of Nursing, St Petersburg.
  • Academy for Nursing and Health Occupations, West Palm Beach.
  • Sheridan Technical Center, Hollywood.
  • First Coast Technical College, St Augustine.
  • Withlacoochee Technical College, Inverness.

What LPNs Cannot do? ›

LPNs cannot diagnose any medical condition or prescribe any medication. However, they can handle most of the routine tasks of day-to-day medical care. Typically, they dispense medication and perform basic medical tasks such as changing bandages.

What is the easiest nursing specialty? ›

9 Lower-stress nursing jobs
  • Long-term care nurse. ...
  • Nurse administrator. ...
  • Clinical research nurse. ...
  • School or summer camp nurse. ...
  • Clinic nurse. ...
  • Nurse informatics. ...
  • Lactation consultant nurse. ...
  • Telehealth nurse.
2 Dec 2019

What happens if you fail the LPN exam? ›

If you didn't pass the exam, you'll receive a NCLEX Candidate Performance Report (CPR). The CPR is an individualized document that shows how a candidate performed in each of the test plan content areas. Candidates who fail the exam can use the CPR as a guide to prepare them to retake the exam.

Is becoming an LPN worth it? ›

Jobs in the medical field are always in high demand as we will always need healthcare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for LPNs specifically are expected to grow 9% in the next decade. You will have plenty of opportunities for advancement and to pick a place of work.

In what setting do LPNs make the most money? ›

The top paying industries for LPNs are:
  • Government.
  • Nursing and residential care facilities.
  • Home health care services.
  • Hospitals - state, local and private.
  • Doctors' offices.

Can a CNA give a shot? ›

Giving injections: CNAs are not allowed to administer injections, including insulin. Tube feeding: Because the assessment for tube feeding must be performed by a nurse, CNAs cannot do this task.

Can a CNA draw blood in Texas? ›

As a CNA in a hospital setting, you will be responsible for feeding, toileting, walking, assisting the patient in what everway that you are assigned to do, but it will not be using the skills that you mentioned. No injections at all as a CNA. You cannot draw blood in most facilities as a CNA.

Can a CNA insert a catheter? ›

Perform Catheter Care

But, as a CNA, catheter care simply involves cleaning the exposed part of the catheter, the skin around it and making sure the catheter tubing and bag are positioned properly. This is a cleaning skill, not a technical skill. CNAs don't put catheters in or take them out.

What is the next step after being a CNA? ›

As a CNA, you can take the next step to become either an LPN or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Both are excellent choices, as these careers are estimated to grow by 12%, or 88,900 jobs, over the next five to seven years.

What comes first CNA or LPN? ›

Is an LPN higher than a CNA? LPNs hold practical nurse licenses and receive more training and responsibility than CNAs. CNAs must pass a competency exam in most states, but they fill assistant roles and often work under the supervision of LPNs. In addition, LPNs earn higher salaries than CNAs.

Is nursing harder than CNA? ›

In some ways, being an RN is a lot harder than being a CNA. You have more decisions to make and more in the way of judgement calls. In some ways, though, being a CNA can feel harder. The job may be more physical.

Can you work as a nurse without passing NCLEX? ›

Non-NCLEX nurses can still apply for plenty of job opportunities in the USA. While NCLEX certification is required for nursing positions in many hospitals and clinics, there are many other settings where non-NCLEX nurses can find employment.

What disqualifies you from being a nurse in Texas? ›

Under Texas Administrative Code, Rule 213.28, the Nursing Board can refuse to allow you to take the licensing exam, refuse to issue you a license, or refuse to renew your license if you have been convicted or received deferred disposition for either a felony or misdemeanor involving “moral turpitude” or if you did ...

Is being a CNA one of the hardest jobs? ›

When you work as a CNA, you can expect your job to be extremely physically demanding. Every shift, you are required to move, lift, push and pull your patients. While this is excellent exercise, it can be highly uncomfortable and even painful on the body.

Where is the easiest place to work as a CNA? ›

Top 3 Best Places to Work as a CNA
  1. Home Health Aide Agency. This job requires to travel to patient's home and assist them with mobility and performing personal care tasks which they are unable to perform by themselves. ...
  2. Nursing Home. Around 42 percent of CNAs work in nursing homes. ...
  3. Hospitals.

What are the best paying CNA jobs? ›

High Paying CNA Jobs
  • CNA Hospital. ...
  • Cna Per Diem. ...
  • Cna Pct. ...
  • Nursing Attendant. ...
  • Nursing Secretary. Salary range: $25,000-$43,500 per year. ...
  • Nursing Assistant. Salary range: $25,000-$36,000 per year. ...
  • Geriatric Nursing Assistant. Salary range: $28,000-$36,000 per year. ...
  • STNA. Salary range: $25,000-$32,500 per year.

Which one is better CNA or medical Assistant? ›

The BLS adds that MAs may benefit from being detail-oriented and having analytical skills that will assist them in maintaining patient charts and other administrative duties. CNAs, on the other hand, do well with strong communication skills and the physical stamina required to adequately care for their patients.

Is a CNA job worth it? ›

A career as a CNA should provide an enriching experience for those who want to help people, make a difference in patients' daily lives, and enter a profession without committing to earning a degree. It is also ideal for those seeking variety in the workday, job stability, and opportunities for advancement.

Why do CNA quit? ›

Poor wages and benefits were cited as the primary reasons why CNAs have left, or are considering leaving, their jobs. The CNA staffing shortage is the most pressing challenge for CNAs right now, according to more than half of the respondents.

Why are CNAs understaffed? ›

The main reasons for understaffing are: High turnover due to overstressed staff. Stress and emotional pressure for constant overtime and a constant need to keep working. A lack of available registered or certified nursing staff with adequate education and training.

What is a CNA net worth? ›

Now let us see a chart tracking the net worth for CNA since the beginning of 2022 till 2022-10-18.
2 CNA FINANCIAL Net Worth Chart.
Week-YearNet Worth $ (In Billion)Net Worth-change From Previous Week
25-202211.8080.294 (2.557%)
26-202212.1470.339 (2.869%)
18 more rows

Can an LPN call themselves a nurse? ›

Of course they can call themselves a nurse. It is in their credential: Licensed Practical NURSE. LPNs (called LVN or Licensed Vocational Nurse in California and Nevada) provide nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. They are nurses.

How many times can you fail the NCLEX LPN? ›

If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. Candidates have six attempts to pass in total.

Do LPN have to take NCLEX? ›

The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) is the exam required to obtain a license as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

What is the most a LPN can make an hour? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing hourly wages as high as $37.98 and as low as $14.18, the majority of LPN wages currently range between $19.95 (25th percentile) to $27.64 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Why are LPN being phased out? ›

LPNs have been phased out of hospitals because of research that shows a BSN-prepared nurse results in better outcomes.

What is the lowest paying state for LPN? ›

West Virginia was the lowest paying state for LPNs / LVNs, paying an average salary of $38,940 and an average hourly wage of $18.72.
Highest and Lowest Paying States for Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses.
Hourly mean wage$32.51
Annual mean wage$67,620
53 more columns

What is the hardest part of LPN school? ›

Hardest Parts of Nursing School
  • The Stress and Anxiety. ...
  • Staying Motivated. ...
  • Not Seeing Your Friends and Family. ...
  • Going to Nursing School Clinicals. ...
  • Dealing with Assignment and Proficiency Exam Overwhelm. ...
  • Learning How to Manage Your Money. ...
  • Dealing with Imposter Syndrome. ...

What is the shortest nursing program? ›

A CNA program is a fast-paced program that only takes a couple of months to fully complete. After graduation, students can enter the field right away, assisting nurses with patient work in a wide variety of settings.

How long are most LPN programs? ›

Accredited licensed practical nursing programs usually take only 12 months to complete, including internships and coursework. However, depending on the school, or whether you decide to attend full- or part-time, the length can sometimes vary.

What is the fastest nurse to become? ›

If you're itching to enter the field, the fastest way to become a nurse would be taking the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) route. While you wouldn't actually be an RN, you could complete a Practical Nursing program and be well on your way to launching a nursing career in as few as 12 months.

Why is LPN school so hard? ›

One of the reasons why nursing school is so hard is that nursing students need to manage multiple academic responsibilities at the same time. As a nursing student, you'll not only need to do well on exams, but you'll also need to develop hands-on skills, communication skills, and bedside nursing skills.

Which LPN makes the most money? ›

The 5 Best Paying LPN specialties
  • Occupational Health - $50,000.
  • Rehabilitation - $50,000.
  • Palliative care / Hospice - $47,500.
  • Geriatric/Gerontology - $47,000.
  • Nephrology - $46,600.

Is 32 too old for nursing school? ›

The answer is that going back to school to earn your nursing degree is an incredibly rewarding experience; you're never too old to become a nurse!

Is 30 too late for nursing school? ›

Switching careers after the age of 30 is often seen as an unorthodox choice. Yet, it is a surprisingly common one in nursing.

What is the easiest nursing certification to get? ›

Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification is generally seen as the baseline requirement for nurses. This fairly easy certification is valid for two years, and you will need to renew it after that.

Is the LPN exam hard? ›

NCLEX-PN was fairly easy for me. Most test-takers do not realize that you only need to answer about 50 percent of the questions correctly, just as long as you get enough of the "higher level" questions correct.

How long are shifts for LPN? ›

A typical workday for a nurse is a 12-hour shift either from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Because of the long days, nurses usually work only three days a week. At the start of a shift, nurses will check in for a "handoff" from the nurse currently working in their area.

What type of nurse is most in demand? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.

What is the oldest age to become a nurse? ›

There is no “appropriate age for nursing school.” We have had students from age 18 to 55 years old in our NCLEX Exam Prep Course and all of them go on to become great nurses.

What is the hardest nurse? ›

Most Stressful Nursing Positions
  • Intensive Care Unit nurses (ICU) ICU is an extremely high-pressure environment and these nurses work with patients who have significant injuries and disease with added morbidity risks. ...
  • Emergency Department nurses. ...
  • Neonatal ICU. ...
  • OR nursing. ...
  • Oncology Nursing. ...
  • Psychiatric Nursing.
27 Jan 2021


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