Nurses: CNA, LPN, or RN – Which one is right for your assisted living needs?

which nurse type is right for me

Finding the right nurse for your assisted living needs can be difficult. You can choose between a CNA, LPN, or RN.

Like in many other career paths, the nursing world has professions that require various levels of skills and certifications. When your aging loved one requires professional healthcare, your senior care provider will can help set up with the appropriate type of nurse whose skills best suit your loved one’s needs, whether it be a CNA, LPN or RN (or a combination of the three). The level of care can be tricky. CNAs, LPNs and RNs are capable of practicing within a scope of care — with most care is directed by an RN. Even so, most care tasks can be completed by a CNA.

Let’s go over what each of the three positions is and what tasks they can perform.

Certified Nursing Assistant

Certified nursing assistants receive basic training to take care of patients in a variety of settings, from nursing homes to hospitals to the home. To become a CNA, one must complete a certification program approved by the state board. These programs can take a few weeks or months to complete and are offered at community colleges, hospitals and private companies. Once certified, CNAs are supervised by registered nurses.

Common CNA responsibilities include:

  • Bathing, dressing, feeding
  • Catheter care
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Helping with daily tasks
  • Maintaining medical documentation.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Licensed practical nurses have a more advance skill set than a CNA. Working under the supervision of an RNs or doctors, LPNs provide care to people of all ages, newborn to elderly. To become an LPN, one must have a high school diploma and complete a two-year practical nursing program, widely offered at community colleges. Licensing and certification requirements vary state by state.

Common LPN responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Feeding
  • Maintaining medical documentation
  • Applying dressings
  • Treating/preventing bedsores
  • Observing medical reactions
  • Drawing blood
  • Setting up medical equipment
  • Administering medications/IVs

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are highly trained and experienced healthcare professionals who work in hospitals, nursing homes, private care companies, etc. RNs are involved in all aspects a patient’s care, working closely with doctors, LPNs and CNAs. Naturally, RNs receive more schooling and training then LPNs, usually in the form of completing a 2-year program or bachelors degree.

Common responsibilities for RNs include:

  • Supervising CNAs and LPNs
  • Administering injections and medications
  • Interacting directly with doctors regarding patients
  • Developing and executing patient care plans
  • Determining/setting up necessary medical equipment
  • Maintaining medical documentation and nursing notes
  • Various administrative duties
  • Educating staff

Physicians Choice Private Duty currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system.” Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here . Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!


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