How to Become a Licenced Practical Nurse in Nevada
A licensed practical nurse, or LPN, is an essential part of a healthcare team. Working under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a doctor, you will perform patient care tasks including changing bandages, inserting IVs and catheters and administering approved medication. You will also maintain your patients’ health records and report the information to your supervisor.
What You Need to Become an LPN in Nevada
For admission to an LPN program, prospective students must have their high school diploma. Admission requirements may also include a placement test, completing prerequisite courses and earning your CPR certification; these vary according to the school. Once your program is completed, you will sit the NCLEX practical nursing exam and can apply for your license when you complete the exam successfully.
Education Programs for LPNs
Unfortunately for Nevada residents, there is currently only one practical nursing course available in the state. However, it is possible to complete programs out-of-state and transfer your license to Nevada. Educational options include:
- College of Southern Nevada. CSN’s Charleston campus in Las Vegas is home to their three-semester Practical Nursing program. They also offer a bridge program for military medics and corpsmen to become LPNs. Currently, the LPN program costs $3,600.00, with books and fees not included.
- Dixie Technical College (Utah). Located in St. George, Utah, Dixie Tech is less than two hours’ drive from Las Vegas. Their program requires 900 hours of combined classroom and clinical time, and currently costs an estimated $5,203.00 with tuition, textbooks and other fees included.
- Mohave Community College (Arizona). This Arizona school offers a practical nursing program at their Kingman campus, just over an hour and a half southeast of Las Vegas. It is possible to complete an accelerated program and transfer to the registered nurse track in your third semester. The program tuition for Nevada residents is $5,000.00 at this time, plus textbooks, supplies and fees.
State LPN Certifications
There are two ways to obtain a nursing license in Nevada. The first, available to graduates of Nevada LPN programs, is by sitting the NCLEX practical nursing exam and submitting a license application. License applicants who have completed out-of-state programs and passed the NCLEX-PN exam can apply for licensing by endorsement. For more information on this process, contact the Nevada State Board of Nursing.
Nevada nursing licenses expire every two years. Renewing your license requires completing continuing education courses and paying a renewal fee. The full information for license renewal can be found in this publication from the Nevada State Board of Nursing.
Job Outlook for Nevada LPNs
The LPN profession is growing quickly in Nevada, with the projected growth between 2016 and 2026 currently at 18.6 percent. This rate of growth means an estimated 250 positions will be opening annually. The highest concentration of opportunities is in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area (Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise), but there are also jobs available in Reno, Carson City and smaller cities across the state.
The wage for an LPN is also competitive: in 2017, half of the state’s Practical Nurses made $26.29 per hour or $54,690.00 annual salary, while the national median wage for LPNs during the same year was $21.65 hourly or $45,030.00 per year.
Working as a Licenced Practical Nurse in Nevada
As an LPN, you may be called on to do more than medical work. Maybe you will be your patient’s comforter, listening to their worries and providing reassurance; maybe you will be the one to educate them and their family about the treatment and recovery processes. Whatever you are asked to do, you will need to be compassionate and sensitive to your patients’ needs. If your passion is helping people, a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse might be right for you.