Anyone who wants to pursue their career as a nurse must get a nursing license. And if you choose Pennsylvania as a place to chase your dream, getting a PA nursing license is a good start. How to be a licensed nurse in PA? Does it take a long and complicated process?
Basically, the steps to get a nursing license is quite similar to other states. But the fact Pennsylvania is not a member of Nursing License Compact (NLC), you will need to get a specific license to practice in PA. Learn more about Pennsylvania nursing license here.
PA Board of Nursing and Nursing License
The State Board of Nursing is responsible for nursing license in Pennsylvania by providing regulation, licensure, and certification. The Board issues certifications and licenses to qualified candidates, establishes standard of practice, approves nursing programs, and reinforces regulations.
With a commitment to protect the safety and health of citizens of Pennsylvania, the Board only permits registered and licensed nurses to practice nursing. They have to submit an application and take the NCLEX test before getting the license and are allowed to practice.
How to Obtain a Nursing License in PA
PA nursing license can be obtained after you graduate from an approved nursing education program. This is a two-year program with coursework and training that prepares students to know their focus. According to the official website of the Board of Nursing PA, there are six approved programs.
Those programs include Registered Nursing Programs; Practical Nursing Programs; Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Programs; Clinical Nurse Specialist Programs; Advanced Pharmacology Courses; and Reactivation Programs.
The nursing program will automatically submit an education verification to the Board. However, candidates must also turn in an application and an application fee as much as $35. A coursework and training of child abuse is also required.
Prior to submitting the application, candidates must request their criminal record from the state police. Applicants must also take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to receive the license. Once you get the license, it authorizes you to practice in healthcare facilities.
And if you apply for nurse practitioners certification, you must submit an application accompanied by a $100 free, criminal records, and education certification. Besides, they are required to pass a specialty examination approved by the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing.
How to Renew Nursing License
According to the regulation, registered nurses in Pennsylvania are required to renew their license every 2 years. The Board will send a renewal notice before it expires. Prior to renewal, the registered nurse must accomplish 30 hours of acceptable, nursing related-continuing education.
Besides, registered nurses must also complete 2 hours of continuing education about child abuse reporting. Without these requirements, PA nursing license renewal cannot be proceeded.
Is Pennsylvania Nursing License Worth It?
Getting a PA nursing license is not an easy process. You have to pass the NCLEX which is not an easy exam, not to mention the prerequisites and coursework or training you have to take. Is the license worth all the effort?
Pennsylvania is not the highest paying state for RNs but it is quite promising to chase your dream. The median salary of registered nurse in PA is approximately $71,410 per year with hourly rate around $34.33. The average wage is slightly higher than Vermont that is rated at $70,240 annually.
However, your salary heavily depends on several factors. RNs with years of experience can collect more money than new RNs. As you progress and your skills improve, you will receive a higher amount of salary.
Aside from monetary benefits, being a licensed nurse is a great way to pursue your career. It can be a perfect stepping stone for career advancement as a wide opportunity is available for registered nurse. You can work in various places, from healthcare facilities to insurance companies or vocational schools.
The state currently has 148,040 RNs working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and healthcare centers. To comply with the regulation of the State Board of Nursing, all nurses practicing in Pennsylvania must have license unless they will be considered violating the regulations.
To sum up, PA nursing license is required if you want to be a licensed nurse. In order to get this license, you have to take Board-approved diploma or degree program and take the NCLEX test. Once you are licensed, you will be authorized to practice in healthcare facilities throughout Pennsylvania.