How to Become a Nurse in South Carolina

Future nurses in the Palmetto State can obtain their nursing licenses through the South Carolina Board of Nursing. Aspiring nurses can read the licensing requirements for certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) below.

In 2017, there were 43,200 registered nurses employed in South Carolina as well as 2,000 nurse practitioners. Registered nurses made an annual mean wage of $63,630, while nurse practitioners make an annual mean wage of $84,790. In addition, there are 9,590 LPNs employed in South Carolina making an annual mean wage of $40,390.

How to Get Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in South Carolina

Unlike South Carolina nursing licenses, South Carolina nurse aide certification is not regulated by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. South Carolina’s Bureau of Long Term Care and Behavioral Health Services is in charge of the South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry, where CNAs must be registered to work in the state.

Students must attend and complete an educational program that is approved by the state, submit their form upon completing the program and schedule their test, which includes a written section and an applied skills section. The exam is $101. After taking and passing the test, individuals may register with the South Carolina CNA state registry. CNAs must renew their certifications every two years to stay on the registry. This can be done online through the Pearson Vue webpage for nurse aides.

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

South Carolina LPN licenses are obtained much in the same way as RN licenses. South Carolina nursing licenses of both types require either an examination or an endorsement, and the latter is only acceptable if the individual has an RN or LPN license in another state. Students who do not already have a license must submit their applications to the state nursing board along with a photograph of themselves, a copy of their passport or birth certificate, a copy of their social security card and the $70 examination fee.

Students must pass the NCLEX in order to obtain their LPN licenses. The fee to retake the test for those who do not pass is $45. Renewing one’s LPN license is $75, and one must renew every two years to stay in good standing. Those whose licenses have lapsed and who want to reinstate them must pay a fee of $60.

How to Get a Registered Nursing (RN) License in South Carolina

Aspiring RNs may obtain their South Carolina RN licenses through the South Carolina Board of Nursing after completing an RN program like an ADN or BSN degree. Individuals must first complete their applications for licensure by examination (that is, if they don’t already have a valid nursing license in another state, which would allow them to apply for a license by endorsement).

In addition to filling out and sending in an application (along with a 2-by-2-inch picture, a copy of their birth certificate and the $90 examination fee), the individual should register to take the NCLEX-RN. The candidate will also need to ask the program director at their nursing school to submit the certificate of endorsement of their application. After passing the exam, the individual will receive the RN license in the mail. It costs $75 to renew a South Carolina RN license, and this must be done every two years before April 30 to keep one’s license in good standing.

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

Aspiring APRNs may obtain their South Carolina advanced practice registered nurse licenses if they have met all the qualifications for their South Carolina RN licenses and/or already hold their RN licenses in the state. To obtain their South Carolina nursing license for advanced practice, the individual must also have graduated from a master’s program and hold a degree from a program approved by the board. In addition, the individual must hold certification in a nursing specialty from an organization approved by the board.

The individual must declare their specialty and apply for their South Carolina APRN license by completing their application, which requires a photo of themselves, a copy of their birth certificate and social security card, and a $30 fee. Those who require an endorsement APRN license and have RN licenses in other states may need to pay upward of $140 to receive their licenses. It costs $105 to renew one’s APRN license in South Carolina, and renewal is required every two years.