Certified Nursing Assistant vs. Licensed Practical Nurse

A licensed practical nurse or a LPN generally takes care of people who are sick, wounded and disabled. They are supervised by a nurse with a higher rank, usually those are registered nurses. Doctors cannot give orders to licensed practice nurses and LPNs cannot assist doctors in the hospitals. All LPNs can do is to assist a higher ranking nurse in their workplace, however they are more knowledgeable when it comes to nursing compared to a certified nursing assistant.

A certified nursing assistant does the basics of nursing also with the supervision of a higher ranking nurse. However what they can do is very limited. The only advantage I can give when you are a certified nursing assistant is that you only study for a short time, meaning you only pay a little just to get certified. However, the disadvantage is much heavier; you cannot analyze the patient’s condition if he or she is progressing or not, doctors cannot give you orders, you cannot even dress wounds of people who are injured. All a certified nursing assistant can do is to dress the patients, help them walk; help them eat by feeding those who have trouble in getting up, wash them, and other basic aids that one can provide.

Licensed practical nurses on the other hand can do all the things that a certified nursing assistant know, but they are also knowledgeable on other tasks such as recording the patient’s progress; weight; height; blood pressure; pulse and a lot more. They know how to properly give injections and massages to patients. Laboratory tests can also be done by licensed practical nurses. An experienced licensed practical nurse can even supervise certified nursing assistants. Even though education is a bit longer compared to the CNAs, the knowledge you will gain is surely more beneficial when it comes to care giving.

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