Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential

Can LPNs Take the CMA (AAMA) Exam?

I field many questions from health professionals with a variety of educational and professional backgrounds about the eligibility requirements for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. Many wonder, If I have this knowledge and experience, am I eligible to take the CMA (AAMA) Exam? If you are one such person, consider this question and response:

I am a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Would it be possible for me to take the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination? Some employers in my area prefer to hire CMAs (AAMA) rather than LPNs.

This is my response:

Only graduates of CAAHEP- or ABHES-accredited medical assisting programs are eligible for the CMA (AAMA) Certification Examination. I suggest that you contact CAAHEP- and ABHES-accredited medical assisting programs in your areas and see whether they would accept some of the courses you took in your LPN program in lieu of similar courses in the medical assisting program.

11 thoughts on “Can LPNs Take the CMA (AAMA) Exam?”

  1. another option to consider is the RMA(AMT) exam while they still offer the experiential learning
    option for taking the test. I do not know the criteria, but it can’t hurt to inquire.

    1. Thank you for your question, Danielle. It is good to hear from you!

      Under the laws of all states, medical assistants (including those who have graduated from an accredited medical assisting program and who have a current CMA (AAMA)) are not permitted to sit for the LPN/LVN or RN licensure examinations. They must return to school and complete a state-approved LPN or RN program in order to be eligible for the nursing licensure examinations.

      There is a medical-assistant-to-LPN bridge program at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

      I hope this is helpful, Danielle.

      Don

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

      1. In the state of Florida all medical assistants are allowed to do everything an RN does except push medication through an IV. I’m still trying to figure out why I cannot sit for the state license exam to become an RN when I can clearly do every single thing a nurse does? Florida has it where a medical assistant can sit for a limited XRay operator if they pass the test without having any knowledge of how to position a patient for an X-ray let alone try to figure out what they’re looking at on the film. Someone needs to revisit these rules and regulations when it comes to these professions.

      2. To my knowledge, there are no CMA (AAMA) to LPN bridge programs in your area. I would suggest that you go to the website of each state board of nursing, find the contact information for the approved nursing programs, and study the website of each program.

        Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
        Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
        American Association of Medical Assistants
        Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
        The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

      3. Good to know! I live in WI & I am a CMA that was considering doing the LPN program. Thank you for the info Donald.

    1. On average, and generally, an LPN’s remuneration is higher than that of a CMA (AAMA). However, I suspect that that is not always the case.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Chief Executive Officer, Legal Counsel
      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 | http://www.aama-ntl.org
      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional®

  2. I think not. I have requested to challenge the LPN license and exam and was denied by the board of nursing. I am a CMA with thirty years tenur. Back ground in surgery, interventional cardiology, gastroenterology, internal medicine, pain management, pediatrics and laboratory. I could easily pass this exam.

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