How to Become an LPN in Georgia
Do you like taking care of people? Are you physically able to work long hours, sometimes while standing for long periods of time? If you answered yes to both, then you may want to consider becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in Georgia. Nursing careers are currently high in demand, as there is a shortage of them throughout the United States. The LPN job field is presently experiencing a national growth rate of 12.3 percent.
LPNs are often supervised by a Registered Nurse (RN) or doctor. The duties of an LPN are usually determined by the Board of Nursing for the state in which the LPN is employed. Typical LPN duties include administering medication, changing bandages, checking vital signs and charting records. These nurses may work in hospitals, nursing homes or in a home health setting.
Requirements for Becoming an LPN in Georgia
To become an LPN in Georgia, you must complete one year of nursing training at a school that is approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. After you have completed an educational program, you can apply for a practical nursing license through the Board. You must also take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). An application fee and an exam fee will apply. In Georgia, the NCLEX can be taken in Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Macon and Savannah. You must renew your license biannually by paying a renewal fee and showing proof of having completed 20 hours of continued education. If you are licensed to practice nursing in another state, you can apply for licensure by endorsement. You will need to pay a fee and show proof of licensure and past employment as an LPN in the state in which you are licensed.
Nursing Programs in Georgia
To work as LPN in the state, you must first complete an accredited program that has been Board approved. Below are some of your options in Georgia:
- Georgia Piedmont Technical College. The Newton Campus of Georgia Piedmont Tech offers a Practical Nursing diploma program that can be completed in two years. This program prepares nursing students for the NCLEX as well as for entry level nursing.
- Chattahoochee Technical College. Chattahoochee Tech has a Practical Nursing program that can be completed in three semesters. Graduates of this program will receive a diploma and be prepared to take the NCLEX and apply for a state license. This program is available at the Marietta campus.
- Albany Technical College. The Practical Nursing program at Albany Tech, in Albany, consists of 57 credit hours of nursing and general education courses. This program can be completed in two years or less. Students who graduate from this program will receive a Practical Nursing diploma and be eligible to take the NCLEX and apply for state licensure.
Employment and Salary Outlook for LPNs in Georgia
According to data given by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP), 26,370 LPNs were employed in the state of Georgia in 2016. The number of LPNs working in the state is expected to increase by 11.3 percent by the year 2026, which is just slightly behind the predicted national growth rate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that LPNs in the state were earning an hourly average of $19.54 in 2017. The annual average in the state for this profession was $40,650. The top earners in the state made an annual average of $52,100.
Working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Georgia
LPNs generally work in places that provide long-term care to chronically ill patients, such as nursing homes and for home health agencies. However, they may also work in clinics and private practices, hospitals and even schools. You may remain at a practical nursing level or continue your education and seek licensure as an RN.
With a steady growth rate in the state, there are job opportunities for LPNs throughout Georgia. However, the cities with the highest employment rates include Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Decatur, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta and Savannah. The highest paying cities in the state are Athens, Atlanta, Roswell and Sandy Springs.
How much do licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earn in the state of Georgia?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in the state of Georgia made an average of $42,570 per year in 2019. Entry-level licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earned around $31,390 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $56,240.