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CNA to LPN Courses Online: Requirements and Course Options

Higher Education Articles January 15, 2013

Individuals who seek to transition from a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to a licensed practical nurse (LPN) position have many program options to choose from. These include classes in communication, anatomy and nursing concepts that usually form part of practical nursing programs offered, many of which can be completed online.

CNA to LPN Online Course Options

Conventionally, the nursing field has in-person programs; however, candidates now have the option of receiving training via online programs in order to facilitate a career move from CNA to LPN. Although there are no specific CNA to LPN bridge programs offered online, there are some practical nursing courses offered online whose admission criterion requires applicants to be CNAs before they enroll into such programs. Students enrolling for these courses can work during the day and study online in their spare time or at night. Majority of such online programs require students to do some on-campus programs before enrolling, they cannot strictly be referred to as online courses.

Nursing Theories and Concepts

Coursework in such programs generally focuses on discussions on nursing concepts and theories. Apart from equipping future nurses with the ability of treating patients, these courses also teach them to diagnose ailments and sickness and communicate well with the wards under their care over the entire course of their interaction with such patients. CNAs do not provide private nursing treatment, but operate only as assistants to other care givers such as nurses or doctors.

Different practical nursing programs offer varying numbers of courses; coursework in some programs requires candidates to complete several courses while in some other programs; students are required to take just a handful of courses. Students can pursue some basic nursing programs online while in the case of some others; they will be required to attend a session in person and demonstrate that they have mastered techniques relating to patient care. In both cases, students enrolling into the courses can expect to be prepared sufficiently in order to be able to apply for state-licenses as LPNs.

Anatomy Courses

An in-depth understanding of the different organs, tissues and systems that comprise the human body is a mandatory requirement for individuals who seek to pursue a career in practical nursing. Hence, all LPN programs include training in anatomy. There are several distance classes offered in anatomy, and these are a combination of online lectures and in-person sessions in a laboratory environment where students can get hands-on instruction.

Psychology Courses

LPNs can gain a better understanding of their patients’ thought process and behavior by attending psychology classes. Additionally, students can expect to learn about contemporary social issues, which in turn, will help them in effectively treating and communicating with patients.

Computer Education Programs

With an increasing reliance by people on computers and technology, practical nurses are expected to be able to use computers in the course of their duties. Completing computer education programs can help future LPNs by arming them with the tools to perform research in the internet on treatment methods and diseases, to calculate statistics and to compile reports.

Communication Programs

As previously stated, communication skills play a significant role in the work of an LPN. The ability to communicate effectively will help an LPN increase patient satisfaction, assuaging the misgivings and fears of the patient’s family and generally help working with other nurses in a cohesive and informed manner. LPNs can also use their communication skills in the development of the leadership skills they will need when they seek to transition from CNA to LPN.

CNA to LPN Prerequisites

Prior work experience as CNA is the most obvious prerequisite needed to enroll into a course facilitating the transition from CNA to LPN. However, there are several other requirements too; prospective students are required to take an entrance exam and submit to a background check and a drug test. Some schools may require candidates to take other prerequisite courses before allowing them to enroll in an online LPN program.

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