How to Become an LPN in West Virginia
A career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is one that is currently high in demand. There is a national shortage of nurses, and the field is predicted to see a 12 percent increase in jobs by the year 2026. Becoming an LPN also takes less time than most other careers in healthcare. In West Virginia, you can complete an educational program and apply for a state license in less than two years.
LPNs work with Registered Nurses (RNs) and doctors. Sometimes they will oversee the work of nursing assistants. Their main task is patient care. This includes monitoring a patient’s condition and alerting an RN or doctor to any changes, inserting and changing catheters and IVs, giving medication and helping a patient with bathing and dressing.
West Virginia Licensing Requirements for Practical Nurses
The requirements for becoming licensed as a Practical Nurse in West Virginia are like those of other states. You must have a high school diploma or GED and complete an accredited nursing training program that is approved by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners. You will then pay a fee and apply for licensure through the state. Before licensure is granted, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). You will have to pay an exam fee, and once you have passed the exam, you will receive your state nursing license. Top of Form
Your Practical Nursing license must be renewed every two years, on the even years. Between the renewal periods, you must complete 24 hours of continued education in nursing and 400 clock hours of nursing practice.
Practical Nursing Programs in West Virginia
Before you can get licensed as a Practical Nurse in the state, you must complete a state Board-approved nursing program. Below are programs that are approved:
- New River Community and Technical College. The program at New River is an 11-month program that prepares students to take the NCLEX and work as LPNs. Classroom study is included as well as clinical practice in a variety of nursing fields. Students who complete this program will receive a Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) in Practical Nursing.
- Pierpont Community and Technical College. This program is set up to be completed in five semesters or 22 months. Coursework includes nursing theory, and students will also complete labs and clinical practice. Graduates will receive a CAS in Practical Nursing.
- West Virginia Junior College. The Bridgeport Campus of WVJC offers a Practical Nursing program. Students are directly admitted and can complete the program within 12 months. Students will complete their clinicals at local hospitals and be prepared to take the NCLEX upon completion of the program.
West Virginia LPN Employment and Salary Outlook
As reported by the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) there were 6,130 LPNs working in West Virginia in 2016. That number is expected to see a seven percent increase to 6,570 by the year 2026. This is slightly behind the national growth rate of 12.3 percent; however, it is still a steady growth rate.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPNs in the state were making $17.40 hourly and $36,190 annually in 2017. LPNs with more experience can expect to make as much as $47,910 annually.
Working as an LPN in West Virginia
LPNs can find work in home health settings, hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices and schools. West Virginia ranks third in the United States for the highest concentration of LPN jobs. Therefore, finding a job as an LPN anywhere in the state should not be a problem. However, the cities of Beckley, Charleston, Huntington and Morgantown would be good places to start, since they have high employment rates for LPNs.
If you have a desire to work in healthcare and are interested in a job that has security and takes little time to train for, you should consider working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in West Virginia.