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 allnurses.com, you should read on the value of becoming a CNA before an RN.

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