Step 3: Get licensed
Once you complete your education, you’ll need to take an exam to demonstrate your knowledge and nursing skills. Nurses need to be licensed in order to practice, and exams are the prerequisite to licensing. The NCLEX exams, other certification exams, and the topics covered, differ based on your chosen career path.
- To become a licensed certified nursing assistant (CNA), you’ll need to pass a state competency exam.
- Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN).
- RNs and all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to earn licensure.