Rise through the Ranks: STNA to LPN to RN

Rise through the Ranks: STNA to LPN to RN

Many people find themselves drawn to nursing because of their fascination with healthcare and medicine. Others appreciate the chance to make a difference in a patient’s—or their family’s—day by sharing comfort and compassion. But what about the career path itself: training, employment options, and the opportunity to start at the bottom and work up to the top at a flexible pace? 

Depending on where you are in life and what you hope for in a career, there is a nursing job to serve you, from STNA to LPN to RN. And the best news is you don’t have to wait around for a lucky break to get your foot in the door. Starting your journey is as easy as enrolling in a short STNA program at your local community college or other training center. 


Average Salary: $11.73 per hour/$24,400 a year

Length of Training: 2-4 weeks

An STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant), also known as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), assists with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, toileting, and eating. They also check vital signs, monitor intake and output, and help nurses with physical tasks, such as repositioning or transferring.  

You can complete STNA training, sometimes paid by your employer, in as little as two weeks.That’s a minimal amount of time and money to invest to find out if healthcare and nursing are right for you. STNAs who enjoy the job often go on to become LPNs and RNs––positions that offer more responsibility and higher pay––while gaining valuable experience in the field. 


Average Salary: $19.97 per hour/$41,540 a year

Length of Training: 1 year

An LPN fits between an STNA and RN in terms of training, compensation, and responsibilities. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, an LPN can administer medications, insert catheters and IV’s, and change dressings. Compared to an STNA, an LPN will find themselves reporting more detailed information to an RN or physician. Just as many STNA’s work while earning their LPN degrees, it is common for LPN’s to enroll in RN programs as they continue to advance in their careers.  


Salary: $31.48 per hour/$65,470 a year

Training: 2-4 years (bachelor’s degree required in some hospital settings)

As expected, an RN can perform a number of more advanced responsibilities, including assessments, patient teaching, and working with technical equipment. While an RN cannot diagnose a patient, they can collaborate with physicians to plan a patient’s care according to their diagnosis. RN’s are given the greatest opportunities for decision making and leadership, often overseeing STNA’s and LPN’s.

At Danbury, we believe that investing in our employees makes for a stronger workplace, satisfied staff, and happier residents.That’s why we’re committed to helping our nursing professionals move up the ladder by supporting their continued education. Explore the current nursing opportunities at Danbury’s resort-style locations across Northeast and Central Ohio and then apply today!

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