Can You Work as a CNA After Passing NCLEX? – Know Your Options

If you've passed the NCLEX, can you work as a CNA? Yes, you can and congratulations on passing the NCLEX! This achievement opens many doors in the nursing field, including the option to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Passed the NCLEX? Congrats! Now, let’s talk about what’s next. We’re here to share the scoop on how this big test changes your nursing career. If you’re thinking about becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you the steps and how it’s different from being a full nurse. Plus, we’ll look at the jobs you can land after the NCLEX. So, grab a seat, and let’s dive into your future in nursing!

Legal Stuff and Rules from State Boards

After you pass the NCLEX, you can get your nursing license. This lets you work as a nurse. But, each state has its own rules for what nurses can do. So, you should check with your state’s nursing board to see what you need to do next.

What You Can Do as a Nurse

If you pass the NCLEX, you can do more things than a CNA. Nurses can check patients, plan their care, give medicine, and work with other doctors and nurses. CNAs help with simple things like dressing, eating, and walking, usually under a nurse’s watch. Nurses and CNAs both need to make sure they’re doing their jobs right to keep patients safe.

Jobs You Can Get & Rules to Follow

With the NCLEX done, you can work in many places like hospitals, nursing homes, or clinics. But, even if you pass, some states might ask you to work with a more experienced nurse for a while, or you might have to wait a bit to get your full license. It’s a good idea to look at jobs in your area and know any rules you might need to follow at first.

Can I Work as a Nurse Before Taking the NCLEX?

So, you’ve graduated from nursing school and you’re eager to start working, but you haven’t taken the NCLEX yet. You can get a temporary permit or work as a new nurse, also known as a Graduate Nurse (GN).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Finish your nursing program
  2. Ask your state’s nursing board for a temporary permit.

This lets you work with patients while an experienced nurse watches over you. You’ll have this permit for a short time, usually up to a year, and during this time, you need to pass the NCLEX to keep on working as a nurse.

Every hospital or clinic has its own set of rules for GNs, and these might be stricter than the state’s rules. So, it’s super important to know what these are and follow them to a T. This means listening carefully to what your boss says you can and can’t do. It’s all about keeping your patients safe and making sure you’re on track to become a fully licensed nurse.

Can You Work as a CNA after passing the NCLEX

If you’ve passed the NCLEX, can you work as a CNA? Yes, you can and congratulations on passing the NCLEX! This achievement opens many doors in the nursing field, including the option to work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).


Stay in Practice: Keep your clinical skills sharp by working directly with patients.

Gain Experience: Accumulate valuable healthcare experience that can enrich your resume and professional growth.

Flexible Scheduling: CNAs often have more flexible schedules, which can be beneficial if you’re balancing work with further education or family responsibilities.

Networking Opportunities: Working as a CNA allows you to build relationships within the healthcare community, which can be beneficial when looking for RN positions.


Underutilization of Skills: You might not use all the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired, which can feel limiting.

Lower Pay: CNAs typically earn less than RNs, which could be a significant factor depending on your financial situation.

Potential for Role Confusion: There might be times when it’s challenging to navigate between what you know as an RN and what you can do as a CNA.

Transitioning to an RN Role

When you’re ready to move from CNA to RN, the experience you’ve gained will serve as a solid foundation. You’ll have a practical understanding of healthcare that can only come from direct patient care. Make sure to complete any additional state requirements to activate your RN license.

Transitioning from CNA to Registered Nurse (RN)

Transitioning from CNA to Registered Nurse (RN)

Going From CNA To RN

Passed the NCLEX? Great! Now, let’s get you set up as a Registered Nurse. First, apply for your RN license with your state’s nursing board. Make sure you also check for any extra steps your state might want you to take. We’re talking about things like background checks or more classes. It’s important to follow these rules so you can work as an RN where you live.

Tell the State Board and Get Your License

After you pass the test, tell your state board right away. They need to know so they can start making your RN license. Getting your license can take a few weeks. When you have it, you can start nursing on your own. It’s a big deal because it means you’re officially an RN.

Keep Learning and Moving Up

Being an RN is just the start. There’s a lot more you can learn and do. Think about going back to school for more nursing degrees, like a bachelor’s or master’s. Or get special training in parts of nursing you like the most. Keeping up with your learning helps you do better at your job and take care of your patients the best you can.


We’ve talked a lot about what you can do after you pass the NCLEX. You can start your career as a nurse, but there are rules you have to follow. We showed you the kinds of jobs you can get and the things you can’t do yet. Remember, passing the NCLEX is a big step, but it’s just the start of your journey.

Being a nurse means you have a big responsibility to keep patients safe. If you work as a CNA after passing the NCLEX, always make sure you’re doing things the right way. It’s not just about following the law; it’s about caring for others.