Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Idaho
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a medical professional who helps both patients and other medical staff each day. These nurses provide patients with medicine, wound care and assistance with basic hygiene, among other tasks. They also help Registered Nurses and doctors by keeping detailed patient records. While many LPNs specialize in particular areas of medicine, such as hospice care, many choose to generalize their work.
To receive your LPN license, you must first obtain a high school diploma or GED. Then, you may enroll in an accredited LPN certificate program. You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and submit an application to the state Board, which includes a criminal background check with fingerprinting, to receive your license.
People already holding an LPN license from one of 24 partner states may practice in Idaho without filing additional paperwork. Those with licenses from other states must show proof of licensure for at least two years, official transcripts, employment references, a fingerprint card and evidence that they passed the NCLEX.
Licenses in Idaho expire every two years on August 31, and no continuing education is required to renew a license.
No additional certifications are needed to begin working as an LPN. However, many choose to complete certification courses that help them specialize in particular areas of nursing, become Registered Nurses or receive better job offers. Available certifications include IV medicine, long-term care, pharmacology and hospice care, for example.
Idaho Schools for Licensed Practical Nurses
The majority of accredited LPN education programs take just one year to complete. Some ask that students take the Test of Essential Academic Skills, or TEAS, as part of the application process. The following programs are available to students in Idaho:
- Idaho State University College of Technology. In this program, students receive classroom, lab and practicum instruction. An additional semester may be required to complete prerequisite courses prior to beginning this two-year program.
- College of Western Idaho. The College of Western Idaho offers an LPN program at both of its campuses and encourages students to maintain a spirit of inquiry in their academic and professional lives. Its students average a 95 percent pass rate on the NCLEX.
Salary and Career Expectations
Jobs for Licensed Practical Nurses in Idaho are expected to continue increasing, with the Projections Managing Partnership estimating growth of 13.7 in the 10 years from 2016 to 2026. Annual salaries typically average $41,980 for LPNs in the state.
Working as a Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed Practical Nurses can work in hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. These jobs provide a fast-paced environment and constant interaction with patients and their families. As a result, successful LPNs are able to pay close attention to detail, communicate clearly and empathize with their patients. Jobs are typically most plentiful in urban areas, such as Boise, Idaho, where higher salaries match the higher cost of living.