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What is a CNA and what is a RN? | 2nd Family

Do You Have To Be A CNA Before RN

There is a lot of debate on whether or not you have to be a CNA before becoming an RN. Some people believe that the experience of being a CNA is essential in order to become an RN, while others think that it isn’t necessary at all. In this blog post, we will explore both sides of the argument and give you our opinion on the matter.

First, we will discuss the point of view that a CNA before an RN is necessary

The main reason why people believe this is because they think that just by becoming an RN, you are essentially starting over again at square one. They think that no matter how much experience or education you had as an RN, it just won’t be the same as what you would be starting if you had started out by becoming a CNA.

Another thing that people believe is that the experience of being a CNA will make you better prepared for your new role as an RN. They think that because it’s very similar to nursing, all of your experiences as a CNA can easily be transferred to nursing practice.

For example, if someone was potentially thinking about a career change from the military or something along those lines, they could use their existing skills and training in another area and apply them to nursing just like how someone with previous healthcare experiences could do so.

People also argue that one advantage of getting into nursing via being a CNA first is having less debt than someone who went to the nursing school directly. This is because there are fewer degree requirements for becoming a CNA compared to what you need to become an RN, resulting in lower tuition costs and, therefore, less student loan debt.

The last pro argument was about the time commitment. They believe that it can be easier to work full-time while obtaining your RNs degree if you already have experience working in the healthcare industry, which can also result in having less debt since it’s not all coming out of your pocket at once like it would be if you went straight into nursing school without any previous experience or training.

The point of view that says that prior health care experience isn’t necessary before starting on your journey towards becoming an RN

The main reason why people believe this all comes down to the fact that every single individual has their own strengths and weaknesses. They think that if you really want to be an RN, then it doesn’t matter what route you took in order to get there, as long as you can still do the job (and more importantly, excel at it) all of your previous experience won’t matter.

They say that if you are self-disciplined enough on your own, the only thing holding you back is yourself. The second argument is also about money. Some people argue that nursing degrees are expensive no matter where you look (i.e., community colleges, private universities, etc.), but being an of the military means you have access to tuition assistance programs.

These are available for both CNA training and RN training, so if you are in the military, it would be a great advantage since the cost of your education will be much lower than someone who isn’t in the military or doesn’t take advantage of these programs.

The third argument is about time commitment again. They believe that just because you already have experience working in healthcare doesn’t necessarily mean it makes it easier to go into nursing school full-time right away. This is because depending on what exactly that prior experience was, there could be 2 possible outcomes.

The skills you used in your previous job are irrelevant for what they are asking from you when applying to nursing school, which would make it harder for you to keep up with the coursework or you are forced to take basic or remedial courses in order to catch up on what you missed out on when you first started your job.

The third possible outcome is that since there are 2 possible scenarios, both outcomes could be interlinked by the fact that these basic/remedial classes may not even be offered at all due to lack of funding. This means, if this is the case, then they wouldn’t have an option but to sign up for nursing school without any prior healthcare experience, which would leave them doing nothing but catching up their entire first year.

Do you have to be a CNA before RN?

No, you do not have to be a CNA before becoming an RN because the educational requirements are so different. If you want to become an RN, it is recommended that you gain experience as an assistant first. This will allow you to work under nurses and gain the knowledge needed to succeed in the field. The path to becoming an RN begins with earning your nursing diploma or degree.

You can do so at the undergraduate level by taking courses in biology, chemistry, and other prerequisites. Then you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to be licensed as a registered nurse. Once you are licensed, you can choose where to work. Being a CNA takes less time than being an RN, but it’s not required that you are familiar with the role of nursing in order to become one yourself.

You will begin working with patients immediately after becoming an RN, even if your job doesn’t require any prior experience. The coursework does take some time and dedication, but most states make it relatively easy for new nurses to get their license within six months or so.

If you’re interested in this career path, don’t let something like “not having enough time” hold you back from achieving your goal! After all, once you’re done with your studies, you can begin your career as an RN.


So it’s clear that the answer to this question is NO, you do not need any prior experience working as a CNA first before becoming an RN! But if you have some years of experience, you will be ahead of the game because they both require different training.

About Rachel

Hi my name is Rachel; a registered nurse. I graduated from one of the best nursing programmes and have been working in the medical field for 10 years. As a licensed practical nurse, I understand the plight that comes with the job. While I enjoy taking care of patients, I understand the long working hours that nurses have to deal with. We spend majority of the shifts walking around the medical centre making sure all patients are taken care of and this requires a lot of work and energy on the feet. https://bestnursingshoes.net has been created to help nurses from different parts of the world find the perfect shoes to reduce the strain on your feet and posture and make the job much easier.

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