Can you advance your career as a nurse? Of course you can, even if you’re focused on travel nursing. If you want to advance to roles as a CNA, LPN or RN, what do you need to do to achieve that next step in your career? To prepare, here are a few things to get you started, including the education you’ll need to have and the certifications that employers are looking for when hiring.
Becoming a certified nursing assistant or CNA is often considered the first level in a career in nursing. CNA’s help patients with daily tasks, assist with interpersonal care, monitor patients, check vitals, and help nurses with other duties.
To become a CNA, you need to have a high school diploma or GED, pass a certification exam, and get licensed. The CNA course to become licensed varies from state to state, but you can check local schools to find out more about these programs in your area.
But there are lots of things that CNAs can’t do, including patient assessments or handing out medications. To do that, you will need additional training and licensing.
A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, is another step on the ladder in nursing professionals. As you might expect, they can do more than a CNA but less than an RN. Along with the same general duties as a CNA, LPNs can also give medication, change dressings, insert catheters and IVs, and communicate with RNs about the patient’s care.
To become an LPN you need to take an LPN program, generally lasting about a year, and get licensed. It’s not unusual for a CNA to become an LPN while still wanting to advance to an RN. This allows them to continue working in clinical environments as they train.
LPNs work in hospitals, nursing homes, home health, clinics, and schools. RNs can also work in these environments, but an LPN cannot hold a management position. LPNs only work at the bedside, so there may not be as much room for growth unless you become an RN.
A registered nurse, or RN, has a lot more control over their career. They can specialize in any medical area such as oncology, cardiac care, pediatrics, or more. They can also go into private practice. They take full responsibility for patient care including collaboration with the doctor. They also often have management roles within nursing departments.
An RN program is typically about two years but many opt for earning a bachelor’s degree in a four-year program or more. Many hospitals are now requiring BS degrees for the RNs they hire, so it’s worth looking into the variety of options available.
Understandably, RNs will have a higher earning potential and be much more sought after than their LPN and CNA counterparts.
How to Find Your Next Travel Nurse Job
If you are at any place on this ladder, and you want to continue to add to your experience, working as a travel nurse can give you an amazing opportunity. Not only will you use your skills in specific settings, but you’ll also be able to work in a variety of environments and cities around the country. Fortus Healthcare Resources can help you get started, apply online today.