How to Become an RN in Nebraska
Becoming a nurse is a process that takes dedication and commitment to education. RNs in Nebraska are required to complete a nursing program approved by the Nebraska Board of Nursing (NBON) and receive at least an Associate’s degree. RN candidates must pass the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) following graduation. RN candidates must also be of good moral character and able to handle the physical demands of nursing.
RNs can expect an average annual salary of $60,000. The average entry-level annual salary in Nebraska is $42,000 and the average annual salary for a senior level nurse is $82,000. Salaries will vary depending on geographic location and facility where employed. Actual salary will also depend on years of experience, level of education and responsibility assumed. RNs can also maximize their salary by additional education, assuming more responsibility, pursuing a nursing specialty and working the night shift. It is important to keep in mind, salaries will be higher in metropolitan areas than rural areas, and RNs who work in hospitals will earn a higher salary than RNs who work in a nursing home.
The NCLEX (RN) is designed to test skills, knowledge and abilities essential to the practice of entry-level nursing. The exam is a national test required by all states and the results are reported as pass or fail. Upon graduation, graduates apply to the NBON to take the NCLEX (RN) and register with Pearson VUE, the exam administrator. The NBON will review the application to test and if all the information has been included and is in order, the applicant will be issued an authorization to test (ATT). With the ATT, the applicant may contact Pearson VUE and scheduled a date to take the exam. The applicant is free to take the exam at any of the Pearson VUE examination centers in the state of Nebraska or an adjoining state if the location is more convenient. The exam is five hours long and there are 265 questions and the applicant must receive a 75% or better to pass the exam. To take the exam requires the payment of an application fee to NBON and a separate fee to Pearson VUE. Applicants who do not pass the exam are required to wait at least 45 days before taking the exam again.
Nebraska is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). That means it is easier to transfer nurse practice privileges from one compact state to another. An RN license under the NLC is considered a multi-state license. RNs must declare Nebraska as their home state when taking the NCLEX-RN.
RNs are required to renew their license every two years. Licenses expire on 31 October every even year. Renewal license reminders will be sent to the address on file with the NBON. An RN licenses not renewed within 30 days beyond the 31 October expiration will be considered lapsed and will not be eligible for renewal online. Criteria to renew an RN license must include one the following: practiced at least 500 hours during the previous five years and complete at least 20 hours of approved continuing education/in service hours within the previous two years; graduated from a nursing program within the last two years; graduated from an approved nursing program in more than two and less than five years previous and completed 20 hours of continuing education/in service hours; completion of a refresher course within the previous three years or maintained current certification in a nursing specialty.
RNs will continue to be in demand and nursing positions will increase by slightly better than 18% through the year the year 2020. Demand for RNs is driven largely by an aging population and the availability of more advanced health care. In addition to hospitals and nursing homes, RNs will find employment in rehabilitative and occupational healthcare facilities, government and educational facilities, seasonal vacation venues, the American Red Cross, blood collection agencies and private and public clinics.
RN Degree Programs in Nebraska
- Earn a nursing degree focused on leadership & expanding technologies in healthcare
- SACS accredited with flexible options for Associate, Bachelor & Master degrees
- Regionally accredited private career university with degrees on campus or online
- Ranked #42 in 2018 Best Value Schools in U.S. News & World Report
- Ranked as a top school in the nation by the Military Times Best for Vets Colleges
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- Doctor of Health Science
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
- And more...