Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in North Dakota
A Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, is someone who is trained and authorized to work in a variety of settings under the supervision of Registered Nurses and doctors. The role of an LPN depends on what kind of work environment they are in. Making beds, taking vital signs and administering medications are some of the typical tasks performed.
LPNs are needed in all areas of healthcare, from emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals to nursing homes and assisted living centers. If people are in need of medical help, chances are LPNs are on staff. The demand for LPNs continues to rise across the country, and North Dakota is no exception. There are specific steps that must be followed to become an LPN in the state.
Obtaining Your License
The first step to start practicing as an LPN is to complete a Practical Nursing program from an accredited college. Once you have completed the program, you will need to apply for the NCLEX-PN exam. An official transcript and criminal background check will need to be sent in with your application form and fee. If you pass the exam, you will be issued a license to start practicing.
North Dakota is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows nurses to have a single license that they can use to practice in multiple states. There are 34 states that recognize this multi-state license. Licenses are valid for two years. If an LPN license expires, then a reactivation application form must be submitted.
LPN Education Programs in North Dakota
Technical, community and vocational colleges offer LPN programs in North Dakota. Some of the programs available in North Dakota are:
- Dickinson State University. This university offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing. It takes 66 credit hours to complete, and the enrolment is limited to 43 students a year. A cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher is required for graduating.
- North Dakota State College of Science. Evening classes and class schedules that are limited to four days per week make NDSCS a popular option for non-traditional students. The PN program has a two-and-a-half to three-year cycle.
- Turtle Mountain Community College. To be accepted into Turtle Mountain’s PN program, potential students must complete a 500-word essay, have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better in all prerequisite courses and have an interview with the department director.
Salary and Career Expectations
LPNs in North Dakota make an average of $45,000 a year. Practical Nurses working in long-term care facilities make an average of $29,000, while PNs in a primary care office make around $41,000 annually.
According to data collected by the Projections Managing Partnership, 2,710 LPNs were working in North Dakota in 2016. PMP predicts that by 2026 that number will rise to 2,980.
Finding Work as a Licensed Practical Nurse
The need for LPNs is expected to grow at a much faster rate than other occupations. Because of this, finding work as an LPN in North Dakota should not be too much of a challenge in the coming years. As the need for LPNs continues to grow, many hospitals and nursing homes are offering incentives such as paid time off and hiring bonuses to attract potential employees.
The most popular cities for LPNs to seek work in North Dakota are Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, Mandan and Dickinson. LPNs in Fargo have the highest salary, while LPNs in Dickinson are paid the least.