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Job Duties of Different Types of Nurses

A certified nursing assistant aka. “CNA” helps patients and clients with health care needs,  under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Did you know there is a projected need for 393,000 CNA in the United States by 2016? Working as a CNA is a good way to gain insight into the healthcare profession; CNA positions are often a professional stepping stone before investing in a lengthy degree and/or doctoral program. After all — you want to ensure that the healthcare industry is right for you, before committing to the rigorous and costly demands of medical school.

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Certified Nursing Assistant

A certified nursing assistant — also referred to as a “Nursing Assistant,” “Patient Care Assistant” and “State-Tested Nurse Aid” — serve an important role in the healthcare industry.

The main difference between CNA and other nursing fields is the extensive, medical experience required of higher-ranking positions.  CNAs are legally-restricted from performing certain procedures that call for additional training and credentials.

CNAs responsibilities include: bed preparations; patient feeding; meal tray arrangements; monitoring vital signs; emptying catheter bags; documenting food/fluid intake; caring for patients’ personal hygiene; serving nutritional supplements; observing patient status/stability; reporting health concerns to supervising nurse; turning patients to prevent bedsores.

The annual, median salary of a certified nursing assistant is estimated at $24,010 per year, or $11.54 an hour.  Additionally, CNAs have a ‘faster than average’ job outlook projection of 20%.

You can take online cna classes and get started on your career today.


Licensed Practical Nurse

According to Wikipedia, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) cares for “people who are sick, injured, convalescent, or disabled under the direction of registered nurses and physicians.” Experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants, aides and other LPNs.

Licensed, practical nurses provide basic, bedside care, including the following duties:

-measure/record: vital signs, weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate.

-prepare/monitor/administer: injections, enemas, catheters, dress wounds and alcohol rubs/massages.

-hygiene assistance: bathing, dressing, personal hygiene and patient mobility.

The annual, median salary of an LPN is estimated at $40,380 per year, or $19.42 an hour. Additionally,  LPNs have a ‘faster than average’ job outlook projection of 22%.


Registered Nurse

A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program at a college or university, and has passed a national licensing exam. An RN’s scope of practice is determined by the regional healthcare’s schooling and government.

RNs oversee a larger scope of health-related specialties, such as: transport nursing; ambulatory care; medical-surgical nursing; home health care; perioperative nursing; telehealth; psychiatric-mental health; critical care; transplant; perianesthesia; hospice and palliative care; infusion; long-term care; holistic nursing; occupational health; radiology; emergency or trauma nursing; rehabilitation.
The annual, median salary of a RN is estimated at $64,690 per year, or $31.10 an hour. Additionally, RNs have a ‘faster than average’ job outlook projection of 26%.