The Nevada Board of Nursing has been regulating the state’s nursing workforce for 90 years (http://nevadanursingboard.org/). RNs were regulated first, LPNs somewhat later. There are currently 29,221 RNs and 3,368 LPNs in the state, according to the National Nursing Database.
Nevada is not a member of the nurse compact, but nurses who are licensed in other U.S. states can apply for license by reciprocity. Candidates who have never been licensed in any state must apply by examination. They will need to pass the NCLEX exam. The Nevada BON lists pass rates by program (http://nevadanursingboard.org/education-and-continuing-education/approved-nursing-program-2/).
What does it take to become a nurse in Nevada? First eligibility, then education and examination. Nevada defines eligibility as having the physical, intellectual, and mental ability to practice nursing http://nevadanursingboard.org/licensure-and-certification/eligibility-requirements.
Scholarship information can be found on the site of the Nevada Nurses Association (http://www.nvnurses.org/Main-Menu-Category/CE/Financial-Aid).
A candidate should enroll in an approved program. A list of approved programs can be found on the Board site (http://nevadanursingboard.org/education-and-continuing-education/approved-nursing-programs/).
A student who completes a Nevada program can expect the school to send an affidavit to the Board. This is adequate educational documentation for an interim permit to be issued, though the candidate will need to send official transcripts later.
Fingerprinting may be done before or after application. A candidate may request an application packet with all required forms, including the fingerprint card. It is also acceptable to download the application, fill it in and mail it, and then wait for the Board to send the fingerprinting card. The applicant must have the right card, but can choose where to have the fingerprints done.
It is necessary to register with the company that administers the NCLEX-PN (www.vue.com/nclex). An LPN applying for licensure by examination must pay $90 to the Nevada BON (http://nevadanursingboard.org/licensure-and-certification/fees/) and $200 to Pearson.
After eligibility has been determined, the candidate will be issued an ATT. There is a code that the candidate must have in order to schedule. The choice of testing sites is again up to the candidate.
Permanent licensure is dependent on satisfactory examination and background check results. However, an Interim Permit can be issued before.
Nevada does not mail paper licenses. Candidates can check their license status using the license verification section of the website.
An LPN who has previously licensed in a U.S. state should get license verification from the original state of licensure. There is a form on the Board site; the applicant fills out the top portion and then sends it to the state board (along with whatever fee the other state may require). In many cases, license verification can be done online through Nursys.com.
The applicant must also complete an application and have fingerprints done. The fee for LPN by endorsement is $95 (http://nevadanursingboard.org/faq-2/#reciprocity). The fingerprint-based background check can be done at the applicant’s choice of locations, provided the candidate has the agency-issued card. The Board cautions candidates to make sure their application is in before other documents start arriving in the mail.
Eligible candidates will be issued an interim permit which will allow them to begin work while waiting for the background check. There is no additional fee – the candidate just needs to wait for it to be issued.
In order to be eligible for licensure as a registered nurse in Nevada, a candidate must graduate from an approved program. This doesn’t mean that the program has to be located in Nevada. Candidates who will be going to nursing school in Nevada, though, can find a list of approved in-state programs on the Board site (http://nevadanursingboard.org/education-and-continuing-education/approved-nursing-programs).
There are multiple steps that must be completed before a graduate is eligible for permanent licensure. A criminal background check is among the requirements. Candidates who request license applications from the Board will receive fingerprint cards in the packet. Those who download applications from the website will receive theirs later. It is also an option to have fingerprints captured electronically at a Nevada Live Scan facility. A candidate who is having prints done the traditional way may go to a choice of agencies.
Exam registration and scheduling is a two-step process. The candidate must register with Pearson and pay a $200 fee (www.vue.com/nclex). Later the candidate will receive an ATT number – and the opportunity to schedule an exam at the choice of Pearson testing centers.
An RN applying for license by examination must pay $100 to the Nevada BON.
A graduate who has turned in the required paperwork to the Board may be issued an Interim Permit, or IP, relatively quickly. It is valid, though, for only a short time frame. It will be invalidated if the candidate fails the first attempt at the NCLEX. (This happens immediately upon receipt of official exam scores.)
The Board notes that it can take several weeks for official NCLEX results to be received. A candidate can get them from Pearson sooner if the candidate pays a small additional fee. However, this doesn’t change the time frame of licensing.
An affidavit of completion from a Nevada nursing program is sufficient educational documentation for an interim permit. However, permanent licensing is contingent on receipt of official transcripts. (In the case of out-of-state programs, an affidavit is not sufficient for credentialing.)
Registered nurses may wish to join the Nevada Nurses Association (http://www.nvnurses.org). Membership in this organization is not tied to licensure.
An RN who has passed the NCLEX or state pool exam in another jurisdiction may be eligible for a reciprocal license. The nurse must have license verification sent from the state where the candidate was originally licensed. The fee for license by endorsement is $105. An endorsement candidate may work under a temporary permit while waiting for the results of the background check. The Board cautions that processing can take a long time, and that fingerprinting should be done early. A candidate who requests an application from the Board will receive a fingerprint card that the candidate can take to a fingerprinting agency in the current state. There is a $51.25 fee for processing fingerprints.
An internationally educated nurse will need to go through the CGFNS evaluation process before the candidate can be authorized to take the NCLEX (http://nevadanursingboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/international-additional-information.pdf). In many cases, internationally educated nurses will also need to demonstrate English proficiency. The Board accepts either the TOEFL or the Pearson Test of English Academic. Neither will be required of a candidate who received nursing education in an English speaking country like Barbados, Ghana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, Tobago, Trinidad, or the United Kingdom. Most of Canada is also exempted. A candidate who has not already had the required evaluations will accrue additional fees.
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