How to Become an RN in New Hampshire
Nursing is an exciting and challenging career and the right choice for anyone seeking a profession that brings excitement and challenge almost every day. Nursing also requires a passion for taking care of patients in a variety of healthcare facilities.
The New Hampshire Board of Nursing (NHBON) regulates the nursing profession and the licensing of all nurses in the state. The Board sets policies to make sure nurses are always using state of the art methods and techniques and their nursing skills stay sharp.
Registered Nurses (RN) are required to complete an approved nursing program and earn at least an Associate’s degree. An Associate’s degree is typically a two year program. It is always advantageous to earn a higher degree when possible. Advanced Practice Nurses are required to hold a Master’s degree in the area of nursing specialty the candidate wishes to pursue.
Nurses are also required to be licensed in the state of New Hampshire and upon completion of the educational requirements must take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). New Hampshire is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact.
RN candidates must apply to take the exam through the NHBON and the application includes a NH background criminal and fingerprint check and an official transcript from the Office of the Registrar of the nursing school attended. The applicant must also register with Pearson VUE testing service, the exam administrator. There are separate fees required to be paid to the NHBON to take request permission to take the exam and a fee to Pearson VUE to actually take the exam. The exam must be taken within 6 months of initial application of submission or the applicant will be purged from the system and the process will have to begin again.
Once the application has been reviewed and the information verified, the NHBON will issue the applicant an authorization to test (ATT). The applicant cannot schedule the exam until an ATT is received. On the day of the exam, the applicant will have to present the ATT, along with appropriate identification to be allowed into the exam center. The NCLEX-RN includes 265 questions and 5 hours to take the exam. Results of the exam are available within 24 to 48 hours following the exam and are reported as pass or fail. Applicants who pass the test will be issued an RN license and applicants who fail will receive a breakdown of their score and an application to take the exam again.
Applicants must observe a 45 day waiting period before taking the exam again.
RN applicants may apply for a temporary license to allow employment during the exam process. The applicant must include a copy of the Application for License by Examination, unless the application is already on file with the Board. The temporary license must be granted before employment begins, including orientation.
RNs must renew their license every two years and licenses expire on the RNs birthday. Licenses may be renewed online and must be renewed before expiration to avoid being assessed a late fee. RNs will be notified of renewal approximately six weeks before expiration. The names for RNs up for renewal will also be listed on the Board of Nursing web page. In order to renew an RN license, RNs must complete 30 contact hours within the two years prior to renewal. RNs are also required to have 400 hours of active practice every 4 years in order to renew a license.
The average RN salary is $60,000 annually. The average RN entry level salary is $45,000. The average RN salary for those in a supervisory position is about $96,000. Actual salary will depend on several variables and those variables include geographic location, healthcare facility where employed, level of education and years of experience and level of responsibility held.
RNs undertake a variety of tasks and the task will vary depending on the type of facility where employed. Typical RN tasks include dispensing medication, establishing patient care plans, performing diagnostic tests, monitor patient progress and working with families to make sure they have a complete understanding of the patient’s condition and care.
RN Degree Programs in New Hampshire
- Professional Medical Assistant