How to Become an LPN in New Hampshire
Nursing is one of the fastest growing careers in the healthcare field. With advancement in healthcare technology, the opportunities for qualified, licensed practical nurses (LPN) are on the upswing.
Before considering a career in nursing it is important to have the desire to help people and take care of patients no matter the level of illness or injury.
LPN Job Description
LPNs work under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician and work with the medical staff, including nurses, nursing assistants and physicians to provide patient health care. LPNs work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care centers, clinics, schools and hospice care. Some of the tasks an LPN undertakes is collect, track and monitor vital signs, dispense medications, including injections, perform routine diagnostic testing, dress wounds and implement care plans. Nursing is a 24 hour business and nurses work one of three shifts and the work week includes weekends and holidays.
The Job Outlook for LPNs
In New Hampshire, LPNs make up 16% of the total number of nurses in the state. LPN employment is expected to increase by 20 to 22% by the year 2020, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for LPNs is a result of the growing population and increasing life expectancy, as well as advancement in medical technology leading to more extensive care. Because of advanced treatment and medical care, healthcare options are available at facilities other than hospitals, which is in partly responsible for the demand for qualified LPNs.
LPN Salaries in New Hampshire
The average LPN salary in New Hampshire is $20.97 per hour, or $43,610 per year and that is slightly above the national average. The average salary will vary in different parts of the state according to the type of facility and the economical stability of the region. The average starting salary for an LPN is $25,000 and LPNs can make as much as $70,000 per year depending on years of experience, type of facility where employed and area of specialty, if the LPN chooses to specialize in one aspect of nursing.
Benefits include healthcare cost participation, compensated time off, pension or 401K and long term disability. Increase in benefits, such as compensated time off, usually increases with longevity with a particular employer.
LPN Education in New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Board of Nursing regulates the nursing field and requires LPNs to complete an accredited nursing program that includes both class work and clinical training. An accredited program, which are typically offered at vocation training centers, community colleges and 4 year colleges and universities are designed to train the student in nursing and prepare the student to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
An LPN program typically takes from 8 months to 2 years to complete. Programs less than 2 years in length award a diploma or certificate at the completion of the program and a two year program awards an Associate’s Degree in nursing. LPN class work includes nursing fundamentals, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology and psychology. Degree programs may include nursing procedures, nutrition, obstetric, pediatric and geriatric nursing practices, communication and nursing management.
Students will also participate in clinical training under the direction of a registered nurse. The training will take place in a health care facility and students will have the opportunity to learn and perform practical tasks in all areas of the facility.
LPN Licensing in New Hampshire
The last step to becoming an LPN is to pass the NCLEX-PN examination and obtain a CPR card. The exam is a national exam and administered by Pearson VUE. Students must submit an application to take the exam to the New Hampshire Nursing Board with the required documentation. The Board will review the application and if all information is in order the board will notify the student to register with Pearson VUE to take the exam. Once registered with Pearson VUE, the applicant will be given an authorization to test (ATT).
The student must bring the ATT to the testing site on exam day. Students will not be allowed to take the exam without it. Exam results are available within 24 to 48 hours after taking the test. Students who pass the exam will receive their license via postal mail and students who do not pass will have the opportunity to register for a re-take.
LPNs are required to renew their license every two years. In order to renew the LPN license, nurses must complete 30 hours of contact or continuing education hours during the 24 months prior to renewal. The hours can be completed by attending conferences, lectures or other educational offerings.
LPN Schools in New Hampshire
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List of Approved NH Practical Nursing Schools
Harmony Health Care Institute
10 Al Paul Lane, Suite 204
Merrimack, NH 03054
NHTI Concord’s Community College
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-6484, ext.4272
River Valley Community College
1 College Drive
Claremont, NH 03743
Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health
670 North Commercial Street, Suite 403
Manchester, NH 03101