Can a Nursing Student Take the CNA Exam?

a cna taking care of a patient

This is a common question many nursing students have especially as they look for jobs.

Below I’ll give you my answer and some tips on the best jobs for nursing students.

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Can a Nursing Student Take the CNA Exam?

A nursing student who’s completed their first semester of nursing school may be eligible to take the CNA exam. Please note that students who’ve completed their first semester of nursing school can start working as CNAs without taking an exam in some places.

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I Never Had to Take the CNA Exam

nurse aide helping elderly patient transport

When I started working as a CNA during nursing school, I never had to take the CNA exam.

At that point, I had completed a couple of semesters, and I had reached out to one of my nursing instructors if they knew anyone who was hiring.

They connected me with a nurse manager at one of the smaller hospitals. I went and talked to her. I applied, and I started working as a CNA.

Minus some extra details, that was pretty much what happened for me.

Every State is Different

I know every state is different and have different requirements.

Because of that, before doing anything, I would encourage you to reach out to the hospital system you would like to get a job at and talk to one of their recruiters.

You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you won’t need to take a CNA exam.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You should only become a CNA first if you’re not sure you want to commit to nursing. Otherwise, it would be faster and probably cheaper to go straight to nursing school first without becoming a CNA.

Yes, a nursing student can become a CNA. Most students can work as CNAs in a hospital after completing their first semester of nursing school.