How to Become a Registered Nurse in Idaho
Nursing is one of the very few careers that does not fall victim to economic downturns like other careers. The field of nursing is strong and will continue to grow by 18 to 20% through the year 2020. Continued growth is due to advancement in medical technology, increased health care options and longevity. Nursing is very challenging, but it is also very rewarding for those who like challenge and have the desire to take care of people.
The Idaho Board of Nursing (IBON) requires nurses to earn at least an Associate’s degree at an accredited college or university in a IBON approved nursing program. Students who earn a Bachelors degree may find more entry level nursing opportunities than a student with an Associate’s degree. Approved nursing programs will include class work and clinical training.
Nursing school graduates are required to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Graduates must apply to the IBON to take the exam and register with Pearson VUE, the exam administrator. The application to the IBON includes a 2”x2” passport type photograph, an affidavit of graduation, census questionnaire form and a fingerprint card for a fingerprint based criminal background check. The application to test must be notarized and will not be accepted by fax nor will photocopies of the application be accepted. After the nursing board approves the application, the applicant will receive an authorization to test (ATT) and with the ATT can schedule the NCLEX-RN. Exam results will be mailed to the graduates about 10 days after the exam.
Graduates may also apply for a temporary nursing license, valid for 90 days, to allow them to work while in the exam process. Idaho is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. That means, nurses must take the NCLEX-RN in their own, declared home state, but have the ability to practice nursing in other Compact states without going through the licensing procedures for that state.
RNs are required to renew their license every two years in the odd numbered years and all licenses expire on 31 August. Licenses may be renewed online up to three months prior to expiration and up to one year after expiration. If a license is expired beyond a year, the nurse must apply for license reinstatement.
RN’s in Idaho earn an average salary of $59,000 annually. An entry level RN can expect to make about $42,000 annually and the average high salary is about $110,000. Actual salary will depend on geographic location, type of facility where employed, level of education, level of responsibility assumed and years on the job.
RNs perform a variety of duties including performing emergency procedures, dressing wounds and changing dressings, monitoring patient’s progress, performing diagnostic tests, establishing, implementing and monitoring patient care plans and assisting doctors with medical procedures.
The opportunities for nursing positions are many and varied and include hospitals, assisted care facilities and nursing homes, educational and government facilities, seasonal vacation opportunities, occupation healthcare facilities, rehabilitative facilities and private duty assignments.
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