Exploring the Differences Between Travel CNAs and LPNs


Chloe’ Sizer | March 4th, 2024

The allure of adventure beckons, and for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) with a thirst for exploration, travel nursing offers a unique blend of professional growth, personal discovery, and the chance to make a difference in diverse settings. But before embarking on this exciting journey, understanding the key differences between travel CNAs and LPNs is crucial.

Education and Training:
CNAs: Hold a certificate in Nurse Assisting, typically earned through a program lasting 4-8 weeks. They are trained in basic patient care skills like assisting with daily living activities, monitoring vital signs, and supporting ambulation.
LPNs: Possess an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), requiring approximately two years of full-time schooling. This program equips them with a broader range of clinical knowledge and skills, including medication administration, sterile procedures, and wound care.

Scope of Practice:
CNAs: Focus on assisting patients with daily living activities like bathing, dressing, and eating. They can also monitor vital signs, take oral temperatures, and help with ambulation, all under the supervision of RNs or LPNs.
LPNs: Can perform many tasks that CNAs do but have a more extensive scope of practice. They can administer medications, perform specific sterile procedures under supervision, assist with diagnostic tests, and lead or delegate tasks to CNAs.

Travel Job Opportunities:
CNAs: May find travel opportunities in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare agencies. However, these opportunities might be more limited compared to LPNs due to their narrower scope of practice.
LPNs: Enjoy broader travel job prospects across diverse healthcare settings. Their additional skills and qualifications make them more versatile and in higher demand for travel assignments in various patient care environments.

Salary and Career Advancement:
CNAs: Generally earn a lower salary compared to LPNs due to their shorter training and narrower scope of practice.
LPNs: Typically command a higher salary due to their additional education and broader responsibilities. They also have greater opportunities for career advancement within travel nursing, including specializing in specific areas or pursuing higher nursing degrees.

Choosing Your Travel Path:
If you’re a CNA eager to explore new places while assisting patients with daily living activities, travel CNA positions can offer valuable experience and personal growth. However, if you’re passionate about expanding your knowledge, performing a wider range of tasks, and enjoying greater earning potential and career advancement opportunities in travel nursing, then pursuing an LPN path might be the ideal choice.

Remember: Both travel CNAs and LPNs play crucial roles in delivering compassionate care across diverse settings. The path you choose depends on your individual goals, educational background, desired level of responsibility, and career aspirations. So, pack your bags, embrace the journey, and make a difference in the lives of patients wherever the road takes you!


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