If you have found your niche in the medical profession and are currently working as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant then you may be doing some soul searching to find out if you should move a step forward and pursue a L.P.N. license.
The Certified Nurse’s Assistant is a valued member of the nursing staff. The job description of the C.N.A. is to quite literally provide
assistance to the nursing staff by means of direct patient care. The C.N.A. usually spends the most time with a patient and therefore has a certain influence and rapport with the patient and patient’s family members. A good C.N.A. can often influence a difficult patient, provide comfort to a frightened patient and has a broad knowledge base. The C.N.A. is the worker bee
in the hospital hive. As time progresses, almost every C.N.A. will eventually come to the crossroads where he/she will consider remaining a C.N.A. or moving forward and taking the plunge into the first year of nursing.
Many C.N.A.s may worry that they don’t have the time or the financial resources to take time off work to complete the L.P.N. program. There are so many options available today that there is a schedule that will suit the needs of almost everybody. Completion of the Nursing Program will require time and effort on your part, make no mistake about it. You must be able to study and pass. But finding a schedule that is right for you can make the journey a little easier. You must complete some college prerequisites but classes can be taken a few hours a semester or all at once. There are online and satellite and even some night classes available as well. There are financial aid programs available for those who qualify such as Pell grants and scholarships. There are work programs available through hospitals and nursing homes. These facilities will pay for you to go to school if you agree to a binding work contract in which you agree to work for that facility for a set amount of time. The Job Corps maybe another means of financial assistance for those who qualify also. Check into your local community college, university or vocational school to find out which programs and assistance are available in your area.
Another stumbling block that may prevent a C.N.A. from progressing is that he/she may be afraid of the responsibility and liability that comes with working as an L.P.N. It is true that nurses must adhere to high standards of care but as long as you aren’t willfully negligent then this shouldn’t be a problem. We all make mistakes from time to time but when you make a mistake in the hospital it can be life altering. Malpractice insurance should be available through your employer but can also be purchased privately as well. The best way to handle a mistake or medication error is to first admit the mistake, report it via the proper chain of command, and then try to rectify it the best way possible. Mistakes can be avoided altogether by seeking assistance when you are uncertain and by remaining conscientious. You have to look at it this way. You will not be responsible for running the entire hospital or for handling every situation on your own, especially when you are an entry level L.P.N.
In addition to a healthy salary increase you will be able to expand upon your knowledge base as a C.N.A. and you will have a one up on first year nursing students who have had no previous medical experience. So, if you are considering taking the next step and progressing into the field of nursing, I hope that some of your uncertainty is alleviated. All you have to do is take that first step. Good Luck!!!