Programs to Become an RN in Delaware
Nursing opportunities in Delaware continue to rise as healthcare options expand and people are living longer. According to the Bureau of Labor, nursing opportunities will continue to rise by 18 to 29% through the year 2020. Even though the demand for qualified nurses is great, being accepted to nursing school is highly competitive. Delaware is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. What that means is once an RN, whose home state is Delaware, is licensed in Delaware they will be licensed in all other Compact states.
RN candidates are required to complete a nursing program approved by the Delaware Board of Nursing (DBON) and earn at least an Associate’s degree in order to qualify to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The program will include class work and clinical training. Students must pass both the class work and clinical aspects of the program to complete the program. Most nursing programs have a prerequisite program for nursing school applicants who are deficient in math and science. The prerequisite program must be taken before applying to the nursing program.
Once the student graduates from the program, they must apply to take the NCLEX-RN with the DBON and register with the exam administrator. There will be separate fees due to the DBON and Pearson VUE, the exam administrator. The graduate may apply for a temporary RN license to work during the exam process, but only if the student has a job offer. The temporary license is valid for 60 days and only until the student passes the exam. If the student does not pass the exam, the temporary license expires automatically.
As soon as the nursing board approves the application to test, the student has 60 days to schedule and take the NCLEX. The exam is a national exam and computer based. The exam is held at the Pearson VUE testing centers around the state, and the graduate may choose the testing center most convenient. Following the exam, results are available within 72 hours. The students will be notified of pass or fail. If the student passes the exam, an RN license and number will be issued and the student’s name and license number added to the nursing data base.
The average RN salary in Delaware is $57,000 annually and the entry level RN salary for new graduates is $44,000 annually. The actual starting salary for entry level nurses and salary offers for experienced nurses will vary according to the facility where employed, geographic location, level of responsibility and years of experience. Nurses in supervisory and administrative positions will command a higher salary and could top out at about $110,000 annually.
The employment options for RNs include hospitals, nursing homes and assisted care facilities, occupational health centers, educational and government facilities, visiting nurse and hospice organizations, the American Red Cross and insurance companies evaluating medical claims.
The duties an RN undertake vary according to facility where employed, but typically include dispensing medication, treating wounds, changing dressings, performing diagnostic tests, developing patient care plans, supervising the nursing staff including nursing assistants, tracking patient progress and assisting doctors and nurse practitioner.
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