The Board of Nursing Licensure Requirements are fairly stringent. But, do not let it intimidate you. Each state has its own licensure requirements, but they vary only slightly from state to state. Once you understand the general premise of requirements, and how long it takes to become a registered nurse, you could be on your way towards having your RN degree in less time than you think.
Expectations of a Registered Nurse
In order to be a successful registered nurse, there are several job duties that an individual must uphold. A registered nurse interacts with patients on a daily basis and has to have a great bedside manner. The registered nurse must have compassion, empathy, and the ability to educate patients on health issues. In addition, a registered nurse must have good oral and written communication skills in order to relay information regarding patient care from one department or doctor to another. Most importantly, the RN must stand firm when it comes to self-confidence and efficiency and must maintain good decision-making abilities at all times.
The following are some of the typical duties performed by nurses:
- Administering medication
- Taking blood pressure readings
- Observing patient reactions to medication or treatments
- Providing advice and information about illness, disease or injury
- Dressing wounds and administering first aid
The Board of Nursing requires that you be a graduate of a nursing program accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA).
The National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA), the NLN’s autonomous accreditation division, promotes excellence and integrity in nursing education globally through a values-driven accreditation process. The NLN CNEA accredits programs across the academic spectrum, including practical/vocational, diploma (RN), associate, bachelor, master’s, clinical doctorate, post-graduate certificate, and distance learning programs.
In addition to being a graduate of an accredited program, you will need to have received at least 75 hours of supervised clinical experience prior to sitting for the NCLEX-RN exam. You must also have graduated from high school or earned a GED equivalent before enrolling in an accredited program.
The Board of Nursing Professional Prelicensure Requirements are designed to ensure that candidates for the RN license possess the knowledge and skills necessary to enter into practice as a nurse. The requirements for licensure include a graduation from an accredited educational program and passing the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination).
The NCLEX is a standardized test that nurses have to take in order to become registered nurses. If you’re planning on becoming a nurse, you can take the NCLEX once you’ve graduated from your nursing program and have completed your clinical hours.
The purpose of the NCLEX exam is to gauge whether or not you have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform as a registered nurse. The exam tests you on your ability to apply the knowledge you learned in school and apply it in real-world situations. It also tests your ability to interpret lab results and medical records.
You’ll be given about 120 questions on the computer-based version of the test, which will take about two hours to complete (and about five hours for those who take it on paper). You’ll need 75 questions correct in order for your license application to move forward—you won’t receive partial credit for answering some questions correctly!
Licensure by Endorsement
Licensure by Endorsement is a process that allows individuals who already hold a valid license in another state to obtain a license without having to take the nursing exam.
To qualify for licensure by endorsement, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
1) Hold a current and valid license from another U.S. state
2) Possess a minimum of one year’s experience as an RN within the past five years
3) Have graduated from an accredited program of nursing education within the past five years with at least a 2.5 GPA (for LPNs), or 3.0 GPA (for RNs)
Renewal of Licenses
The process for reviewing your registered nursing license is pretty straightforward.
First, you’ll need to find out where your current license is from. If you’re not sure, ask your employer or check with the department of health and human services in your state.
Then, visit the website of the board that issued your license. Your board is likely to be on the department’s website list.
Once you’ve found your board, you’ll see a list of requirements for licensure renewal. Each state has its own requirements, but they tend to be similar across states. The most common requirement is continuing education credits (CEUs). They are typically earned through online courses or live seminars offered by hospitals and universities throughout the year. You may also have to pass a written exam or demonstrate competency in certain areas like first aid or CPR training.
Your next step will be to look up what CEUs are required for renewal in your state. The amount varies from state to state and from year to year. It is based on changes in law or policy. They also base it on how many CEU credits you’ve already accrued through previous years’ renewals.
Other Information Regarding Licensing
As a registered nurse, you’re a vital resource in your community.
It’s important to remember that, as a registered nurse, you are a member of the medical profession. You have an obligation to practice in accordance with the law and with your professional code of ethics.
To maintain your license to practice as a registered nurse, you must complete continuing education requirements every two years. These requirements include:
- A minimum of 25 hours per renewal period for RNs who have a license for two years. Less and 50 hours for those who have a license for more than two years.
- A maximum of 40 hours per renewal period for RNs who have a license for two years. Less and 80 hours for those who have a license for more than two years.
These steps may seem daunting. Becoming a registered nurse is based on the principle that you are who you say you are. Next you will want to locate and contact the appropriate licensing board where you want to practice as an RN. They will be able to walk you through the application process, including providing you with all necessary forms and instructions. Good luck!