Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in Nebraska
The need for LPNs in Nebraska is currently on the rise. If you have considered a career in healthcare, then becoming an LPN might be the right path for you. With an average program length of 12-18 months, it is a fantastic way to help people and make a living wage without having to spend too much time in school.
Common responsibilities of LPNs include observing patients for symptoms to help diagnose health problems, examining patients, administering medications and consulting with RNs on how patients should be cared for. They are typically under the watch of doctors and RNs and help supervise CNAs.
Obtaining Your License
To become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Nebraska, a person must have a high school diploma or GED, possess a clear criminal record and be a minimum of 18 years old. Once you have completed an LPN program, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-PN examination. If you don’t pass, you can retake it after 45 days.
LPN licenses last two years and expire on the 31st of October in years ending with odd numbers. For a license to be renewed, LPNs must have completed 20 hours of continuing education during the previous two years.
LPN Education Programs in Nebraska
LPN programs in Nebraska take 12-18 months to complete. Nebraska is a bit unique because many of the colleges also offer web-based classes that can be taken as part of their LPN programs. LPN programs in Nebraska are offered by technical, community and vocational colleges. Some of the programs available in Nebraska are:
- Northeast Community College. In order to graduate from the Practical Nursing program at Northeast, you have to complete a minimum of 41 credit hours. Forty-six percent of all students complete the program within one year. This particular program meets licensure requirements in both Nebraska and Iowa.
- College of Saint Mary. This Catholic, all-girls school has a Practical Nursing program that 67 percent of its students complete in one year. A minimum high school or college GPA of 2.0 is needed to be accepted into the program. In 2017, the school had an 86.3 percent NCLEX-PN pass rate.
- Western Nebraska Community College. The PN program at Western takes four semesters to complete. Prior to starting the program, there are six prerequisite classes that have to be taken and passed with a C or higher. Clinical experiences take place during the second and third semesters. The NCLEX-PN pass rate is 86.9 percent.
Salary and Career Expectations
LPNs in Nebraska make an average of $37,000 a year. While this is lower than the national average, some places in Nebraska pay more than the state average. Practical Nurses in Omaha make the most, at $42,346 a year.
According to data collected by the Projections Managing Partnership, there were 5,300 LPNs working in Nebraska in 2016. PMP predicts that by 2026 that number will rise to 6,090.
Finding Work as a Licensed Practical Nurse
Since the need for LPNs continues to grow, there are more options and opportunities available today than there were even just a few years ago. LPNs in Nebraska are able to find work in a variety of settings. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities employ the highest number of LPNs, with hospitals and doctors’ offices coming in close behind.
Long-term care LPNs make the least amount of money, while psychiatric, dialysis and surgical nurses make the most. The most popular cities for LPNs to seek work in Nebraska are Bellevue, Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island and Fremont.
How much do licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earn in the state of Nebraska?
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in the state of Nebraska made an average of $44,450 per year in 2019. Entry-level licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earned around $33,830 and some experienced professionals earned salaries as high as $56,430.