How to Become an LPN in South Carolina
Working in the healthcare field as a nurse is challenging and rewarding. Every day brings something different and as the field of healthcare changes with new technology and updated healthcare methods, there is always something new to learn. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) are often the glue that holds the healthcare staff together.
LPNs interface with patients on a daily basis dispensing medication, changing dressings, monitoring vital signs, performing diagnostic tests and tracking patient progress. LPNs are the first person a patient will seek out when they have questions or need information.
In South Carolina, LPNs make up 21% of the nursing workforce statewide. The projected outlook for LPNs is quite healthy, and through the year 2020, the nursing profession will grow by 22 to 24%. That means new nursing positions, in addition to replacing nurses that retire or leave the profession for other careers. The demand for more nurses is because of expanding healthcare, new and improved medical technology and the aging population.
Becoming an LPN is the quickest way to become a nurse. LPN programs take 8 to 12 months to complete and prepare the student to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The South Carolina Board of Nursing (SCBON) requires nurses to be licensed in order to work as an LPN.
The prerequisite for taking the NCLEX-PN is to complete an accredited and approved LPN program that is a combination of class work and clinical training. Upon graduation, the LPN graduate will apply to take the licensure exam with the SCBON. The graduate will also authorize the school to send a copy of their transcript to the SCBON. The graduate also has to obtain a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) card. Most LPN programs offer CPR as part of the clinical training.
The application to the Nursing Board shall include a 2”x2” picture, signed and dated, copy of birth certificate or valid passport, copy of social security card or resident card, legal documents that authorize a name change if applicable and completion date of all class work for the LPN program. The applicant will also undergo a criminal background check and a fingerprint card. The Board will review the graduate’s application, and when approved, the student will register with Pearson VUE, the exam administrator.
Once the nursing board approves the application to test, the graduate will schedule an exam with Pearson VUE. The student will have 90 days to take the exam and may choose the most convenient exam center. The applicant will be notified of the results with 5 to 10 business days.
South Carolina is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which means once an LPN is licensed in their home state, they have a multi-state license and may work as an LPN in other Compact states without taking the NCLEX-PN for other states.
LPNs are required to renew their license every two years. All licenses expire at midnight on 30 April. LPNs will receive a courtesy reminder, but LPNs are required to renew their license even if no such reminder is received. Prior to renewing a license, the LPN must complete and document 30 hours of continuing education hours.
The average LPN salary is $37,500 annually. An entry level LPN can expect to make $25,000 and salaries can top out at $75,000. Salary increases will sometimes depend on the years of experience, level of responsibility and area of specialty. Additional compensation will include compensated time off, health insurance, long and/or short term disability, pension and 401K participation and tuition reimbursement. Some employers may offer a signing bonus as an incentive to accept an offer of employment.
LPN Schools in South Carolina
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- Medical Assisting (AOS)
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List of Approved SC Practical Nursing Schools
2697 East Hwy 76
P.O. Box 890
Marion, SC 29571
2276 Jefferson Davis Highway
P.O. Drawer 696
Aiken, SC 29802
(803) 593-9954 Ext. 1491
133 South Main Street
Sumter, SC 29150
3206 Cherokee Avenue
Gaffney, SC 29340
500 Soloman Blatt Blvd
PO Box 327
Denmark, SC 29042
1001 Keys Drive #100
Greenville, SC 29615
7410 Northside Drive Suite #100
North Charleston, SC 29420
320 West Cheves Street
P.O. Box 100548
Florence, SC 29502
Grand Strand Campus
743 Hemlock Avenue
Myrtle Beach, SC 29557
1260 Lexington Avenue
P.O. Box 2408
Columbia, SC 29202
1201 Chesterfield Highway
P.O. Drawer 1007
Cheraw, SC 29520
3250 Saint Matthews Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118
620 North Emerald Road
P.O. Box 1467
Greenwood, SC 29648
921 Ribaut Road
P.O. Box 1288
Beaufort, SC 29901
7900 Highway 76
P.O. Box 587
Pendleton, SC 29670
7000 Rivers Avenue
P.O. Box 118067
Charleston, SC 29423
601 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Kingstree, SC 29556
452 South Anderson Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730