How to Become a Nurse in Idaho

The nursing profession in Idaho is governed by the Idaho Board of Nursing. This administrative body awards three types of Idaho nursing licenses: licensed practical nurses (LPNs), professional or registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Applicants can also become a certified nurse aide (CNA) in Idaho. Although recent reports recognize that Idaho has a healthy labor market for nurses, there are significant staffing shortages in certain regions, such as the southwest region of the state. The Idaho Department of Labor has determined that nursing careers in the state rank 11th when judging job growth, availability, and compensation. This means that working as a nurse in Idaho has the potential to be a rewarding and lucrative career.

How to Get Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) Certification in Idaho

In Idaho, a certified nursing assistant is referred to as a certified nurse aide. Despite its slightly different nomenclature, the duties associated with the job are the same. CNAs in Idaho will be able to assist in diagnostic procedures, technical treatments, patient charting and documenting patient care. They are also responsible for helping patients with routine activities like dressing, bathing and eating.

There is no idaho nursing license for CNAs, but they are still required to pass a written knowledge examination. This test is administered by a company called Prometric, and candidates are able to apply for this examination online. Eligibility for this exam is contingent upon the completion of a 120-hour, state-approved nurse aide training program, as well as the successful completion of a manual skills test. These requirements exist in order to ensure that professional CNAs acquire the knowledge and skills they need prior to sitting for the exam.

When a nurse has passed the CNA examination, they will be placed on the Idaho Certified Nurse Aide Registry. Because there is no formal licensure process in place for CNAs, there are also no renewal fees or any certification costs for candidates to pay. The Nurse Aide Registry will even replace one’s misplaced CNA card at no charge.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Idaho

There are two ways to obtain an LPN license in the state of Idaho. The first is to apply for licensure by examination. This entails registering for the NCLEX-PN and receiving an adequate score on this industry-standard examination. A second option exists for LPNs who have already been granted licensure in another state. They may be eligible for licensure by equivalency, although they’ll still need to submit an application in order to practice in Idaho. Both applications require aspiring LPNs to demonstrate that they have achieved the appropriate level of education.

Applications for an Idaho nursing license can be completed on the state board’s online Nurse Portal. When applying, LPN candidates will need to provide some additional information. This includes employment references, an affidavit of graduation, a release of confidential information and disclosure of any prior criminal history. While a criminal history does not necessarily disqualify an individual from obtaining licensure in Idaho, the nursing board will need to evaluate the circumstances surrounding any charges in order to make a determination of eligibility.

Once granted, an Idaho LPN license is valid for two years. The deadline for renewal is August 31 in even-numbered years, although the renewal system itself is available beginning May 1. Renewal fees are $90, with an additional penalty of $35 assessed if the renewal application is received after the deadline. For a renewal application to be processed successfully, applicants must demonstrate that they have satisfied the state’s continuing education requirements. This involves 15 hours of continuing education, at least one credit-hour of university-based coursework and the completion of a “refresher” course.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Idaho

In order to be granted an Idaho nursing license, candidates must earn an associate’s degree at a minimum. In most cases, they will then have to receive a passing score on the NCLEX. Another option exists for those who are already licensed in another state: licensure by equivalency. Either method requires candidates to visit the state’s online Nurse Portal and submit an application.

When submitting an online application, candidates will need to include several pieces of personal information, including their criminal history. While this is not necessarily a bar to licensure, the Idaho Board of Nursing will need to determine whether any charges would represent an obstacle to the safe and effective performance of one’s nursing duties. Once properly licensed, nurses will be authorized to work in clinical settings, care for patients and serve their community in a wide variety of roles.

An Idaho RN license is valid for two years. Registered nurses in Idaho must apply to have their licenses renewed in odd-numbered years. The application deadline is August 31. There is an application fee of $90, as well as a $35 penalty if an application is late. Renewing a valid RN license will also require applicants to demonstrate that they have met the state’s continuing education standards.

A benefit to Idaho nurses is that the state participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact, or NLC. This means that nurses who are licensed through this program are eligible to practice in all 25 participating states, including Idaho.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) License in Idaho

Like all nurses in Idaho, an advanced practice registered nurse must obtain an Idaho nursing license. However, this level of licensure is more sophisticated than that of an RN or LPN. As a result, candidates must earn a graduate degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing, in order to be eligible. Fortunately, there are many board-approved nursing programs at colleges and universities throughout Idaho where candidates can earn such a degree. Idaho APRNs must also hold a valid RN license and be certified in their specialty area by the appropriate national certification board. When these requirements have been satisfied, APRN candidates can apply online via the state’s Nurse Portal.

Idaho APRN licenses are granted for two years at a time, and the expiration date for this type of license falls on August 31 in every odd-numbered year. To renew an Idaho advanced practice registered nurse license, current APRNs must submit a renewal application on the state’s online Nurse Portal. This application must be accompanied by a $90 application fee, as well as a $35 charge if the application is submitted late.

Because APRN licensure reflects a more advanced level of nursing, this license has its own continuing education requirements. Among other qualifications, nurses applying for licensure renewal are expected to enroll in a “refresher” course, complete a comprehensive research or nursing project and contribute material to a nursing publication.