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.


  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.

(Video) Become a LVN without going to nursing school.

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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

    (Video) CNA to LPN to RN | Part 1|My LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSING Journey

    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.

Featured Online Nursing Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.


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.

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.

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.

What comes after CNA in nursing? ›

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.

Are LPNs still in high demand? ›

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.

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 learning to be LPN hard? ›

LPN school is a challenging undertaking for aspiring nurses, but completing your program can be much easier with good study habits and a healthy work ethic. Keep reading for a few tips that can help you finish your program successfully.

Is LPN math hard? ›

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.

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 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.

Who makes more money RN or LPN? ›

According to March 2022 data, registered nurses earn more than licensed practical nurses, making $34 per hour. Meanwhile, LPNs make $22 per hour. This means that the average annual salary of an RN is $70,335, while that of an LPN is $46,282.

What are the requirements to be a LPN? ›

In order to become a practicing LPN, you'll need a high school diploma or GED, and then you'll need to graduate from an accredited LPN program. LPN programs generally include one year of coursework and practical application at a hospital, vocational technical school or community college.

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.

Is it worth it CNA before RN? ›

But there are definitely a number of benefits to being a CNA before becoming a nurse: You'll have an easier time in school. CNAs who already know their way around patients and medical equipment will find nursing school less overwhelming and will have the basics down already.

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 CNA refuse to float? ›

You should not provide any care or perform any procedures for which you have not demonstrated competency. 3. Refusal to float and accept an assignment for which you are competent may be interpreted by the hospital as insubordination and subject you to discipline.

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.

Is the NCLEX for LVN hard? ›

The NCLEX-PN is challenging—it's supposed to be. The purpose is to determine if you're capable of providing safe and effective care for clients who are trusting you with their lives. Just as you expect to receive excellent medical care, passing the NCLEX-PN is proof that you are able to give the same level of care.

Where are CNAs most needed? ›

Hospitals: Hospital jobs are often at the top of the list for CNAs. The pay and benefits are good, and it's fun to work with a variety of health care professionals. A CNA may be paired with a single nurse or assigned to a group of patients for the shift.

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.

Why CNAs should be paid more? ›

CNAs have very little control over their schedules. The low wages mean that almost 20 percent of CNAs who work in nursing homes live below the poverty line, and 40 percent rely on public assistance. These conditions lead to high turnover rates and little time, energy, and money to pursue further education.

What is the most patients a CNA should have? ›

The average CNA to patient ratio in nursing homes is 1 CNA to 9 to 14 residents on weekdays and 1 CNA to 10 to 17 residents on weekends.

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.

What is the lowest level of nursing? ›

As the name suggests, CNAs assist nurses with patient admittance and vitals. It is the lowest-level credential related to the nursing field and the quickest point of entry.

Who makes more CNA or RNA? ›

The salaries for CNAs and RNAs are similar, though RNAs may earn slightly more because of their higher level of experience and additional training.

How can I make more money as a CNA? ›

Work Later Shifts

For instance, CNA Plus Academy notes that the higher pay per hour for night shift CNA jobs can lead to substantial pay increases compared to pay for day shifts. In addition, you could earn more for overtime hours and for working during the weekend or on holidays.

Why did hospitals get rid of LPNs? ›

KEY TAKEAWAYS. LPNs have been phased out of hospitals because of research that shows a BSN-prepared nurse results in better outcomes. Allegheny Health Network turned to LPNs to help fill nurse staffing gaps by creating blended teams. Units with the blended nursing model have reduced patients' length of stay.

Are LPNs real nurses? ›

LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse, is a nurse who provides primary nursing care and works under the supervision of more advanced nurses, like RNs. It's similar to LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) as they have similarities in their work settings.

Are LPNs fading out? ›

However, LPN job opportunities will continue to dwindle over time, as more and more nursing positions shift to require candidates with advanced degrees. In fact, the majority of hospitals in the U.S. already prefer to hire RNs over LPNs (and even BSNs over RNs, but that's a subject for another article).

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.

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

Do LPNs give injections? ›

Yes Based on training and competency an LPN may draw blood and administer vaccines.

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. ...

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 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.

Is studying LPN is easy? ›

LPN school is a challenging undertaking for aspiring nurses, but completing your program can be much easier with good study habits and a healthy work ethic. Keep reading for a few tips that can help you finish your program successfully.

Are LPNs being phased out? ›

LPNs—alternately referred to as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs)—have been phased out over the last decade by health systems seeking higher-educated nurses who can provide a wider scope of duties.

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.

What is the easiest kind of nursing? ›

Easiest Nursing Jobs Availabile
  • Clinic Nurse. ...
  • Traveling Nurse. ...
  • School Nurse. ...
  • Summer Camp Nurse. Average Annual Salary: N/A. ...
  • Nurse Administrator. Average Annual Salary: $68,000. ...
  • Public Health Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $56,000. ...
  • Researcher Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $62,000. ...
  • Home Health Nurse. Average Annual Salary: $64,000.
31 Aug 2022

What is the easiest nursing school to pass? ›

Easiest Schools with Nursing Programs
School# of Nursing StudentsBSN NCLEX 1st Time Pass Rate
Cox College23690%
D'Youville College25985%
Herzing University – Madison24853%
The University of Texas at El Paso44598%
30 more rows
13 Feb 2020

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.

What type of nurse is the happiest? ›

Let's take a look at some nursing specialties where nurses report being happiest.
  • School Nurse. ...
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse. ...
  • Case Management Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Educator. ...
  • Parish Nurse. ...
  • Travel Nurse.
26 Aug 2022

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

Which state is the hardest to become a nurse? ›

Whether you're a first-time travel nurse or a seasoned veteran, the matter of obtaining licensure in a new state you'd like to work in is always a hurdle.
5 States that Take Longest to Get an RN License In
  1. Ohio (4-6 months) ...
  2. 2. California (3-6 months) ...
  3. Maryland (10 weeks) ...
  4. Maine (8-10 weeks) ...
  5. Alaska (8 weeks)
4 Oct 2018


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