Do i need a CNA license to be a vocational nurse or can i go straight to be a LVN?

  1. 0
    I'm trying to start my nurse career but i don't know where to start. Would a vocational school be ok to start with?
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Yes. You don't need to start at the bottom and work your way up, each require a different amount of education, but don't forget, when you do obtain your LVN/LPN the CNA's are and will be the ones you depend on for most of your job.
  5. 0
    It depends on the nursing program and if it requires you to be a CNA first. My experience is that nurses who were first CNAs are better prepared for clinical - they're not afraid to touch someone or clean up stuff AND they treat the CNAs so much better than the nurses who never worked as a CNA.

    BTW - Unlike nurses, CNAs are not usually licensed.
  6. 0
    Thank you for all the info.
    I was looking at a community college near and they ask for so many perequisites before getting into the nursing program and that's only for CNA. And since i work, it will take me more than a year just to finish the perequisites to get into the program.
    Would a Vocational school be a good choice?
  7. 0
    Quote from Stacy_Cabrera
    Thank you for all the info.
    I was looking at a community college near and they ask for so many perequisites before getting into the nursing program and that's only for CNA. And since i work, it will take me more than a year just to finish the perequisites to get into the program.
    Would a Vocational school be a good choice?
    I was not a CNA prior to attending LVN school. I studied hard and was determined to become a nurse. I attended a vocational-technical college for my LVN and I had the best program-hard but thorough!!! And less expensive than most programs!! Go for it!!
    Last edit by PurpleLVN on May 6, '10
  8. 0
    "but don't forget, when you do obtain your LVN/LPN the CNA's are and will be the ones you depend on for most of your job. "

    What does that mean? A licensed nurse does depend upon assistive personnel (that actually is the job description of CNA's), but I'm not sure what you mean by "most of your job."
  9. 0
    CNA programs are generally considered short term entry programs. You may find such a program for non-credit in your community college's adult education department, and/or it may be offered for credit. We have 2 nursing programs here, and one requires you to be a CNA first- the other does not. In the program that does not require CNA first, they do allow you to take the CNA test at the completion of your first semester of Nursing 1.

    The CNA pre-req is a high school diploma, but not always. Here, you can even take the CNA class if you are in 11th or 12th grade with your school's approval.

    The nursing (LPN/RN) programs will have a lot of pre-reqs, that's for sure. In my CNA class, half were planning on being nurses. We all were taking the CNA in anticipation of getting some experience while we were in school/doing pre-reqs/etc.

    If you ask around, you might find a CNA class that meets 1 or 2 nights per week for a month or two. Our state requires 75 hours. If you can do your CNA in your free time, and take some of your classes online, you should be able to start determining if you want to give nursing your full attention. If you do, you can cut your hours at work to make room for more nursing pre-reqs and maybe a day or two as a CNA.
  10. 0
    We have the CNA course as part of our curriculum, RN and LPN alike. I think it helps with the liability.
  11. 0
    I completed an LVN program in 2005, and I didn't need to become a CNA beforehand.
  12. 0
    The only down side of getting your CNA as part of the nursing program is that you have to do the pre-reqs for the degree program vs just signing up. If you do the CNA first, you can work while you work on your pre-reqs.
    Unless your school's program requires it, it isn't a requirement to becoming a nurse- but I highly suggest it!!


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