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

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!

Can You Work After Passing NCLEX?

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.

Read more: Nursing School: Community College or University?

Jobs You Can Get and 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.

We’re here to help you understand what comes after your NCLEX test. We want to make it easy for you to start your nursing job and do your best.

Can I Work as a Nurse Before Taking the NCLEX?

Getting Your Temporary Permit or Working as a New Nurse

So, you’ve graduated from nursing school and you’re eager to start working, but you haven’t taken the NCLEX yet. Good news! 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: finish your nursing program, then 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.

Rules for Working Before Your Big Test

When you’re a GN, you won’t be flying solo. A seasoned nurse will be there to guide you every step of the way. Think of it like having a nursing buddy who’s got your back. But remember, there are some nursing tasks you can’t do yet because you haven’t passed the NCLEX. These are usually the trickier jobs that only fully licensed nurses can handle.

Following the Rules at Your Job

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.

Here at our team, we’re all about giving you the scoop to help you start your nursing career on the right foot. Just keep in mind that working as a GN is like the warm-up before the big game – the NCLEX. Stick to the rules, learn as much as you can, and you’ll be ready to hit a home run when test day comes!

Read more: 8 Signs of a Good (or Bad) Nursing School

Work as a CNA after passing the NCLEX

If you’ve passed the NCLEX, can you work as a CNA? Yes, you can. Here’s why you might and what it means for your future.

Choosing to Work as a CNA after passing the NCLEX

After passing the big test, some nurses pick a CNA job. Maybe they have family stuff that needs more time or there aren’t many RN jobs around. Others might be going back to school and use the CNA work to keep money coming in while they learn more.

Pros and Cons of Working as a CNA with a Passed NCLEX

Being a CNA with NCLEX under your belt has ups and downs. The good? You’re still in the game, taking care of patients and keeping your skills sharp. The not-so-good? You might not use everything you know, and CNAs usually make less money than RNs. It’s something to think about when you’re planning your next career step.

Working as a CNA can really help when you’re ready to be an RN. You get to practice what you learned and understand the ins and outs of taking care of folks. This can make moving up to an RN smoother since you’ll have a good grip on how things work at the ground level.

Transitioning from CNA to Registered Nurse (RN)

Transitioning from CNA to Registered Nurse (RN)

What to Do After the NCLEX to Be an 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.

Read more: Computer Charting for Nurses: 5 Ways to Get Great at It


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.