How to Become a Registered Nurse in North Dakota
Becoming a nurse is an exciting and challenging process, as well as an exciting career choice. The future of nursing is bright and opportunities for qualified nurses will continue to expand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts nursing opportunities will continue to grow at a rate of 18 to 20% through the year 2020.
The average salary for a registered nurse (RN) in North Dakota is $65,000 annually. The average RN entry level salary is $44,000 annually. RNs in positions of administration and supervisor will find the average salary to be about $92,000 annually. This takes into account the level of responsibility and the years of experience required to fill those positions.
RNs will find employment in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted care facilities, as well as rehabilitative and occupational healthcare centers, clinics, visiting nurse and hospice organizations and government and educational facilities. RNs will also find employment as staff nurses within the oil industry in and around the Watford, North Dakota area.
There are certain educational qualifications an RN candidate must meet in order to qualify to take the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The candidate must complete an in state nursing program approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing (NDBON) or an out of state nursing program that is approved by another board of nursing and includes clinical training equivalent to what the NDBON approves. The RN candidate must earn a minimum of an Associate’s degree. The program will include class work and clinical training.
After the nursing program is completed, the graduate must pass the NCLEX-RN to become licensed. Since North Dakota is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the RN candidate‘s home state must be North Dakota to qualify to take the NCLEX-RN. Application to test is submitted to the NDBON and includes a criminal background check and fingerprint card and a transcript of grades from the applicants nursing program. The transcript must be sent directly from the school to the NDBON. Transcripts sent to the school from the applicant will not be accepted. At the same time the application is submitted, the applicant must register with Pearson VUE to take the exam. Pearson VUE is the NCLEX-RN administrator. Once the NDBON approves the application to test, Pearson VUE will be notified of the applicants eligibility and Pearson VUE will issue the applicant an authorization to test (ATT). With the ATT in hand the applicant contacts Pearson VUE and schedules a date to take the exam.
When the NDBON approves an application to test, the applicant is issued a temporary 90 day work authorization to allow the graduate nurse to begin employment while in the exam process. In this case nursing employment includes orientation. The work authorization will be posted online only. The temporary work authorization is only available to graduates who apply to test within 60 days of graduation.
The graduate nurse will be able to obtain unofficial results 48 hours after the exam is taken through the Pearson VUE NCLEX Quick Results Service for a fee. The NDBON will mail the results of the exam within a week of receiving them from Pearson VUE. Graduates will receive a pass or fail notice. If the graduate passes the exam, the graduate will be issued an RN license number and a graduate who does not pass the exam will receive a notice of failure and an application to take the exam again. All initial RN licenses will expire on 31 December of the year they are first issued.
RNs are required to renew their license every two years by 31 December of the renewal year. RNs renewing their license for the first time will be required to renew their license the very next renewal period. RNs must complete 12 hours of approved continuing education hours every renewal period. RNs renewing their license for the first time will be required to complete 6 hours of approved continuing education hours. Documentation of completing the required continuing education hours should be kept for two renewal cycles. The NDBON conducts random audits and will require selected RNs to provide the necessary continuing education documentation.
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