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Nursing professions - CNA, LPN, RN, ARN

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Nursing is a group of medical professions - they all are about care, help and empthy. There are different levels of nursing professions listed below - from easiest to achieve to most well-paid.

CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant is a first and the easiest to achive profession. You need high school diploma or GED, and you have to complete a six to twelve weeks CNA certificate program (classes). This can be done either offline or online. But in both cases you hav to pass examination.

If you succeed - you receive a certification, which allows you to work as Certified Nursing Assistant. Your job will consists of feeding patients, assisting other medical personal (including other nurses), monitoring vital signs, emotionally support patients and other.

CNAs average salary as on May 2014 is $30,432 a year. Which makes this "starter" profession pretty well paid.

There is a constant demand for CNAs as members of this profession are tend to develop themselfs and moving to next levels in nursing - LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or RN (Registered Nurse).


LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse is next step in your nursing career. Requirements for becoming LPN are same as with CNA (you need GED or high school diploma), but instead of roughly a month you will have to study full 12 months. And even thou you can partly study online - you'll still need to attend some classes in person. And pass examination at the end.

LPN examination is also called NCLEX-PN. There is possibility to try your skills before the exam by passing LPN online practice test.

In few words - LPN is CNA with more skills, more responsibilities and better salary. In no way this is an easier job, but it is definitely a serious step towards good medical profession.

LPN`s average salary is about  $42,927/year as of July 2014. Giving a solid 30% boost after CNA.


RN or Registered Nurse is a degree you get after compliting programm in college or university. This usually takes 3 years of study. And you need to pass NCLEX-RN examination too. It sounds very similar to LPN, but there are quite a difference. RN has much more knowledge and expanded set of duties. RNs are more much more often seen in hospitals, in contrast with LPNs more suited for long-term care. This is not just due to skills difference, but also because in long-term LPN has more opportunities to grow.

Another thing - there is growing demand for both LPN and RN, but still demand for RNs is growing faster as their extended skills are really needed.

In terms of money - average RN`s salary in 2014 august is about $66,000. Which is quite a bit more then LPN`s.