This question is about becoming a nurse.

Can a medical assistant become a nurse?

By Justin Parker - Mar. 13, 2023

Yes, a medical assistant can become a nurse, but they must first obtain additional education and training. Some courses might even be able to be transferred over from your medical assistant associate's degree, making the educational path to becoming a nurse slightly shorter.

You can also obtain nursing positions by getting an associate's degree from a community college, which normally takes two years. Here is the path to becoming a nurse as a medical assistant:

  • Attend nursing school. The degree you aim for and how long it will take you to earn depends on what nursing field you want to get into. In certain states, registered nurses only need an associate's nursing degree to practice.

    Most BSN programs give you the necessary knowledge and expose you to hands-on experience as a nurse. This is invaluable because the nursing profession can sometimes be stressful and unpredictable. Any real-world preparation is going to benefit you greatly.

  • Complete and pass the NCLEX exam. After you've obtained your degree, this is the required next step. The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, also known as NCLEX or NCLEX-RN.

    This exam is designed to test your knowledge in all the critical areas of the nursing field. You must pass this exam to obtain state licensure and become a registered nurse.

    If you do not pass the exam, you have to wait 45 days before you can take it again. Just about every role in nursing requires you to pass this exam.

    If you haven't, you can still apply for nurse positions. However, the medical employer is almost certain to turn you down. A nursing assistant is one position you may seek without passing the NCLEX.

    However, even with this role, you must get certification to be considered. In other words, you must become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

  • Get state licensure. This is another mandatory step. You must get a nursing license in the state where you want to practice. To become a traveling nurse, you must obtain state licensure in every state you plan to practice in.

    Certain regions have licenses that can be utilized in multiple states but do your research, as this is the exception, not the rule. Each state also has its unique requirements for obtaining a nursing license.

  • Get advanced training. This is optional, but it does open you up to a wider range of nursing positions and higher salaries. There are many different certifications you can seek as a nurse. Some common options include oncology, gerontology, neonatal, pediatrics, and many more.

    Alternatively, you could continue your nursing education and earn a master's degree or a doctorate. Both of these options will give you a substantial increase in terms of salary.

Can a medical assistant become a nurse?

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