Becoming a CNA offers relatively quick and affordable way to enter the nursing profession. However, if you want to take on more responsibility in the nursing field, a CNA to LPN bridge program online can be your best bet.
CNAs already have a great deal of basic nursing and patient-care expertise, and that means they are ready to move into an LPN program that will build on their skills and knowledge. Even better news is that the CNA to LPN programs can be taken as an online/hybrid option, which frees precious time for those who are actively working in the field and have other responsibilities to juggle in addition to their work and education.
If you’re ready to advance your career and become a nurse, this guide will help you understand the basics of online CNA to LPN nursing programs Let’s take a look at what to expect, as well as review some of the top schools out there.
Best Online Nursing Programs to Go from CNA to LPN in 2023
Choosing the best CNA to LPN online nursing program can be tough, especially given the sheer number of programs out there. We aim to make that process easier for you by narrowing down the options to a few of the best. To that end, we looked at online CNA to LPN bridge programs for accreditation, flexibility, affordability, and many other factors. Even if these programs aren’t ideal for you, they’ll still help you figure out what to look for during your LPN program search. Let’s see who stands out in the group of CNA to LPN online nursing programs in 2023.
Salary and Job Benefits of Going from CNA to LPN
Let’s face it, one of the biggest reasons for becoming an LPN is to enjoy a pay boost. Luckily, LPNs are needed in every town across the nation, which means job prospects are good after earning your licensed practical nurse credentials. The jump in job demand is just one percent from CNA to LPN, but the increased responsibility reflects an average bump in pay of almost $18,000 per year. Given the higher training of LPNs, more opportunities are open to them, such as jobs in particular hospital areas like the emergency department and even the ability to work as a travel nurse.
CNA Median Annual Pay (2019)
LPN Median Annual Pay (2019)
Annual Pay Increase
CNA Job Growth Rate (2019-2029)
LPN Job Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Job Growth Increase
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Is Attending a CNA to LPN Bridge Program Online Like?
A CNA already has a strong foundation of real-world medical knowledge and skills and the LPN curriculum builds off that. Online CNA to LPN bridge programs can be found at community colleges, trade schools, and even hospitals and high schools. Those offered as an online/hybrid option include virtual instruction on topics that don’t need hands-on work, such as ethics or basic anatomy. If students are near a campus, they might be expected to complete in-person simulated courses. For students further away from campus, they may complete those hands-on requirements while undertaking their clinical requirements, which can be completed at an approved facility close to the student’s location. For some CNAs, they may be able to complete their clinicals where they are currently working. Regardless of the online CNA to LPN bridge program they attend, students can expect online courses to have the same rigor and to demand the same commitment as in-person courses. To learn more about going from a CNA to an LPN, check out our LPN page.
What nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in a CNA to LPN online program?
Though each program offers its own structure and will have varying electives, the core courses and topics in CNA to LPN online nursing programs remain the same no matter which school you attend. Expect to take courses in basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, emergency care, and more. Key skills and information you will learn during your LPN training include:
- How to fully participate with a nursing team in a variety of tasks, including conducting assessments and planning, implementing, and evaluating nursing care for patients.
- How to use effective communication skills to provide assistance to patients and families within the scope of your LPN practice.
- How to apply basic principles of nursing to determine the appropriate care and actions for patients and their families.
- The best ways to safely implement evidence-based practices in the nursing setting and to keep abreast of trends and emerging technology.
- The expectations for displaying responsibility and accountability as a nurse by meeting ethical and legal standards.
FAQs About Going from CNA to LPN in an Online Program
The Importance of Accreditation for CNA to LPN Online Programs
When choosing the best school, either online or on campus, one of the most important points to consider is accreditation. Accreditation means a school or program has gone through a rigorous evaluation by an independent accrediting body and was found to meet certain standards of education quality. These standards ensure that your degree, diploma, or certificate will be accepted by employers or other institutions of higher learning as a valid credential. Accreditation is also required to receive many forms of financial aid.
Regional or national accreditation is awarded to the school itself and focuses on the institution as a whole. Programmatic accreditation focuses only on programs in a certain field. LPN programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). To determine if a school has regional accreditation, visit the Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
Financial Aid for Your Online CNA to LPN Program
Becoming an LPN might garner more responsibility and a higher paycheck, but both of those benefits mean little if you can’t afford the cost of an LPN program. Thankfully, financial aid can help cut down on tuition costs to make your CNA to LPN bridge program more affordable. Here are some ways to get financial assistance for your CNA to LPN program:
Scholarships & Grants
These are financial aid awards that don’t have to be paid back. Therefore, this is as close to “free money” as you can get for your education and these financial aid awards are among the most sought after by students. Scholarships can be found on a variety of websites or directly from organizations related to nursing. Use our scholarships guide for LPN students to help you find the scholarships and grants best for you, and don’t forget to apply early to improve your chances.
Student loans that come from the federal government usually enjoy low interest rates and deferred interest. This making it easier to borrow the money you need for costs that other financial aid doesn’t cover. Apply for loans when you get your tuition bill after scholarships and grants are applied. To learn more, check out our student loan guide.
Other Financial Aid Options
There might be other options for financial aid as well, such as work-study or internships. Sometimes employers will help pay for a student’s education. Check with your employer to see if this is included in your benefits package and what the terms and conditions are for using these benefits. For example, if your employer pays for part of your schooling, you may be required to continue working for them for a certain amount of time after graduation. Also, keep in mind that some options, such as work-study, might not translate to online learning if you live too far away from campus for regular trips. Check with your school for options that might work for you.
Looking Ahead: Advanced Nursing Degrees After Going from CNA to LPN
Once you’ve moved from CNA to LPN, that doesn’t have to be a final stop for your nursing career. There are more steps you can take to advance your career in the nursing field. These programs are offered in an online or hybrid format to help you get there as conveniently as possible.
- Online LPN to BSN Programs
Once you have the LPN, you can move forward into a bachelor’s in nursing program. By building on the credits earned during your LPN and the experience you’ve gained as a practicing LPN, this program boosts your options for advancing into positions in the healthcare system with added responsibility. To learn more, visit our online LPN to BSN programs page.
- Online LPN to RN Programs
LPNs work under the supervision of registered nurses. RNs have more autonomy in handling patients, including the ability to order tests, administer medications, and work closely with physicians to create a treatment plan. Earning a registered nursing degree can open doors to higher pay and challenging positions. Look at our online LPN to RN programs page for more.
- Online RN to MSN Programs
Registered nurses who want to move into advanced practice, management, research, or education can earn their master’s degree and make those dreams a reality. The master’s program is often entirely online and is designed for working registered nurses. Visit our online RN to MSN page to learn more.