After how many semester of school can I start working as a CNA and LPN?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I was going to take CNA so that I could work while going to school for the nursing. However, I heard that after a certain amount of semester I'll be able to work as a CNA and LPN. Is it true? Let me know if you have any input about this. Thank you
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    About hanginginthere

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 51; Likes: 1
    Nursing Student


  3. by   moni rn
    i wish i could help you, but i am in the same situation.

    hope we find an answer soon! good luck! :d
  4. by   kewlnurse
    it may vary state to state or program to program but i took the lpn exam after my 3rd semester in an adn program. Don't know about the CNA stuff
  5. by   larae09
    At my school becoming a CNA is required to get into the RN program and it is a 6 week long course with clinicals and then you take the state exam.

    I am not sure about LPN but what I do know is my school doesn't really do LPN (or you can take the test if you want after your 3rd semester of a 4 semester program), however the school an hour away you become an LPN after 1 year (2 semesters).

  6. by   Mkue

    HI, someone just told me the other day that after the 1st clinical you can work as a nursing assistant, just like that!

    I'm in the Buckeye State ! I'm going to check into it as I don't think you have to go thru the certification, not sure.

  7. by   KristaB
    It totally depends on your program. For ours, after the first quarter, you can work as a CNA; after the fourth, you can sit for the LPN exam. Some programs offer the "ladder" program, some don't. You should talk to the person that does the advising for your program to find out for sure.

  8. by   Mkue

    Thanks Krista, I will check into that. I didn't know that you could sit for the LPN after 4 semesters.

    Thanks again,

    Happy Holidays !

  9. by   KristaB
    Well, that is just for the program I am in (and it is the equivalent of two semesters plus a summer session -- one year total). Most BSN programs *don't* offer a ladder-type program, but you still could work as a nurse tech while you're in school.

  10. by   craff1
    I'm taking a phlebotomy class next semester so I can try to get my foot in the door at a major area hospital (and hopefully get tuition reimbursement for the RN program!). I'd also like to sit for the LPN exam, I think it's 3 semesters here, but our nursing instructor seems to be pretty unclear on this stuff. Should we ask our state nursing board? I think the requirement is actually in hours not in semesters, that's why schools in the same state are different, it depends on how many actual clinical hours you get in a semester (just conjecture - sp- I don't know for sure).
    Let me know what you guys find out in your states.
  11. by   Metron
    In my state, after your first semester (which for me was Fundamentals, it was an LPN program) you can "challenge" the CNA test...take the test w/o having to do the classes...It's not a hard test..short written quiz and then making a bed, giving a bath, and taking vitals.
  12. by   Mkue

    Cool Metron , I'm going to check into that in my state and see if that applies. It doesn't sound like it would be very hard. My first clinical will be fundamentals also.
  13. by   Ortho_RN
    We had orientation today and they told us that after you complete the first semester the hospitals will allow you to work as a PCA or CNA with out the classes or the test..

    I know what I will be doing this summer...