Certified Nursing Assistant Career Path and Related Career Options

After working as a CNA for a few years, some individuals may decide that they want to advance their careers. There are a number of paths for increasing career mobility and earning potential, and three are discussed below:

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Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs often supervise CNAs and work directly under registered nurses and physicians. LPNs primary job duty is to provide routine care, observe patients’ health, assist doctors and registered nurses, and communicate instructions to patients regarding medication, home-based care, and preventative lifestyle changes. While some of their tasks overlap with CNAs, they are able to provide higher, more specialized levels of care. The process of becoming an LPN involves undertaking further education in the form of a certificate, diploma, or associate degree, all of which can be completed within nine to 24 months. Graduates must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses to be licensed. Professionals in this career may choose to specialize by undertaking further qualifications.

Registered Nurse (RN): Professionals in this field have a wealth of opportunities for taking on meaningful work and advancing their careers. Registered nurses must have one of the following: a bachelor’s of science in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or have graduated from an accredited and approved nursing program. In addition, licensure is required, and may be obtained from graduating an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination. RN’s work as part of a team with physicians, other nurses and healthcare professionals to provide care, monitor health conditions, plan long-term care needs, administer medicine, use medical equipment, perform minor medical operations, and advise patients and their families on illness, care and continued care after a hospital stay.

Citation: “How To Become a CNA: CNA Classses & Careers.” LearnHowtoBecome.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2016.

Certified Nursing Assistant Salaries and Career Outlook

After learning about the various opportunities available for a certified nursing assistant, individuals are most likely interested in learning more about compensation. As of 2014, the median annual salary for CNAs was $25,100, although this number fluctuates based on level of experience and geographic location. The map below provides details of the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile earners for each state.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities for CNAs will grow by 21 percent between 2012 and 2022, faster than the national average job growth. This growth equates to an additional 321,200 jobs throughout the United States, though percentages of growth experienced by some states will be higher than others. The majority of this expansion can be attributed to a growing population of elderly citizens resulting in an increased number of professional caregivers needed in long-term care facilities.

“How To Become a CNA: CNA Classses & Careers.” LearnHowtoBecome.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Aug. 2016. Website Link