How to Become a Nurse in Nebraska

The Nebraska Board of Nursing is housed under the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. Aspiring nurses can review licensing requirements for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs),and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), along with certification requirements for certified nursing aides (CNAs).

According to a recent Nebraska economic report, nurses are the second-highest-paid common jobs in the state. The nursing field is also considered one of the top industries with high wage, high skill and high demand. Nursing schools in Nebraska are plentiful. Each licensing option has multiple nursing programs in Nebraska, making the right education accessible to students across different geographic regions.

How to Get Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Certification in Nebraska

To become a nurse aide in Nebraska, students must complete at least 75 hours of training in an approved Nebraska nurse aide training program. Alternatively, applicants may also complete a 21-hour basic resident care course for intermediate care facilities for residents who are developmentally disabled. Aspiring CNAs also need to take a one-hour state-specific course on abuse, neglect and misappropriation training.

To register as a CNA, students must also pass a state exam that includes written and clinical competency portions.

Renewal for nursing aides occurs every two years and may be completed online. To remain active, a CNA’s last paid job in the previous two years must be as a nurse aide. If this requirement is not met, the Nebraska CNA registration will become lapsed. Another scenario is a CNA becoming ineligible if there are findings of conviction, abuse, neglect or misappropriation.

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

A Nebraska LPN license requires completion of a nursing program that lasts between nine months and one year; there are several programs available throughout the state. Applicants must also pass the NCLEX-PN exam prior to becoming licensed. The results need to be sent directly to the Board. Additionally, applicants are required to complete a fingerprint and background screening. A fingerprint card must be returned along with a processing fee of $45.25.

The LPN application for a Nebraska nursing license costs $123. However, this fee drops to $30.75 for applicants who apply between May and October during a renewal year. Renewal occurs in odd-numbered years on October 31. Before this date, LPNs must practice nursing for at least 500 hours in the preceding five years. They must also complete 20 contact continuing education hours. There are also several alternative continued competency requirements licensees can choose from in order to maintain their Nebraska LPN license.

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

In order to qualify for a Nebraska RN license, applicants must complete two to four years of nursing education at a college or university. Aspiring RNs must also pass the NCLEX-RN exam before becoming licensed. Exam results should be sent directly to the board from the testing organization as part of the application for a Nebraska nursing license.

Applicants must also include a photograph and application fee. The fee is either $30.75 or $123 depending on when the application is submitted. Nebraska RN licenses expire on October 31 during even-numbered years. Those applying between May and October in an even year qualify for the less-expensive application fee.

All Nebraska RN license hopefuls must also undergo a background and fingerprint check. The fee for this service is $45.25. Transcripts must also be sent from the graduate’s nursing program.

In order to get existing licenses renewed, RNs must meet one continued competency requirement. A common example includes practicing nursing for a minimum of 500 hours in the last five years and completing 20 contact hours of approved continuing education.

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

Registered nurses who receive a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing may apply for a Nebraska advanced practice nurse license. Successful APRNs must also receive national board certification in order to qualify. There are four specialty areas in which an APRN may become certified to practice: a certified nurse midwife (APRN-CNM), clinical nurse specialist (APRN-CNS), certified registered nurse anesthetist (APRN-CRNA), or nurse practitioner (APRN-NP).

In addition to the RN application and fee, APRNs must submit an additional application and $68 fee. A fingerprint and background check is also required, which entails a fee of $45.25.

Nebraska APRN licenses expire on October 31 of even-numbered years. Licensees must maintain their current national certifications. Each specialty may also have additional required hours of practice, including those who are licensed as a CNS, CNM or NP. The renewal process includes submitting a renewal notice, attesting to meeting the continued competency requirements, and paying the biennial renewal fee.