working as a nurse aid without certification


I just got done with my first semester of fundamentals earlier this month.I've been wanting to work as a nurse aid for a while. In fact,even before starting nursing school,I took a brief CNA course only to leave it midway.I want to know if I have to take the state test (mandatory) to be hired by a hospital/L.T.C or being in nursing schools provides me an exemption? Anyone who's taken this route,can you shed some light?


Emille NY

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

Every state/facility is different. I worked as a NA/PCT for almost 2 years without certification. I would contact the facilities you're interested in and see if they require it. Especially if you are a nursing student, some facilities may be fine with you not having it.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

If you apply for jobs, they will tell you. Most states have an educational equivalency for nursing students that allows them to take the CNA examination. The people in the facilities where you apply for a job should be able to explain how that works. You can also find out about this by contacting your state department of heath which handles the state nurses aide registry: Good luck!


89 Posts

Specializes in CNA, HHA, RNA,. Has 2 years experience.

Yes. :)

statphleb SN

60 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

At my school after your 1st semester you can sit for the CNA exam--might be something to check into.Good Luck!


977 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

I worked the two years in school as an NA, and was never even certified. Could have sat for the exam, as many of my friends did, but also took my firefighter exam the same day and chose to do that instead. Haven't regretted it yet! Still an RN and am a volunteer firefighter, so it paid off.

Some places will require a CNA/STNA certification while other places do not, but of course those places require you to have successfully completed one clinical rotation (they usually require it to be med-surg...again, all places are different!) and a lot of places also ask for a letter (or letters) of recommendation from and instructor (or instructors).

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