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Do I Need to Be A CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) to Become an RN (Registered Nurse)?

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This was a question sent in through email. The answer is written below -

This is a very common question asked, and it’s important you have a clear answer if you’re planning on becoming a registered nurse. Many “Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)” and “Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)” do transition into a Registered Nurse (RN).

However, do you need to be an LPN or CNA before applying to nursing school or can you go straight into the program?

Answer – No

Many registered nurses haven’t completed their CNA exam, nor are they LPN’s. However, it’s funny how many RN’s stated that becoming a CNA (certified nursing assistant) before applying to nursing school would have helped. There is a lot of value to be gained by starting out as a nursing assistant. You become familiar with the environment, working with doctors, and other nurses.

Depending on the nursing school you’re applying to, it might require you to have your CNA certification before applying. This shows the school your commitment to the program, and your experience will prepare you for the demanding career. Visit several different nursing school websites to check if you need previous experience as a CNA or LPN. However, from the 3-4 nursing programs I’ve checked, they’ve all said having experience will help but is NOT a requirement.

Here are a few comment’s from, you should read on the value of becoming a CNA before an RN.

Related Questions -

Is A CNA Required before RN?
Can I Obtain CNA Certification If I Have a Criminal Record?
Do I Have To Complete An Accredited CNA Program To Become CNA?
What Is The Difference Between a CNA and RN?

This topic was modified 3 years ago 2 times by careercrawlers
Topic starter Posted : 25/04/2019 8:09 pm
New Member


I actually went into two universities to find out about this. I eventually would like to become a RN (registered nurse). You do not have to be an CNA to become RN because they are two different levels of job skills and education. Even though being a CNA does look good on the application because it shows your drive to be in the nursing field and the experience does help, it's not a prerequisite. When becoming an RN, you have to complete an accredited nursing program from college and successfully pass the NCLEX-RN. I know that's more information here then asked but the answer to your question is NO, you can become an RN from applying to a nursing college and completing the program. CNA is NOT a prerequisite..

Posted : 24/05/2019 11:30 pm

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