Pennsylvania Nursing Certification and Licensing
Nursing Licensing in Pennsylvania
In today’s job market, no industry hires more people than healthcare. Nurses are always in demand, and the pay rates and benefits for nursing usually reflect the competitive hiring environment. Members of the nursing field enjoy long and rewarding careers. With flexible schedules and low job turnover rates, most people in the profession are glad that they took the time and effort to educate themselves and train for a career as a nurse.
Pennsylvania Nursing Schools
Most state approved schools offer two to four year programs for Registered Nursing (RN) degrees, an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s degrees respectively. The school will also usually require its students to take certain core subjects to achieve their degrees. Keep in mind that you will earn your college credit hours at your pace. You may take longer than the two or four years to complete your studies depending on the amount of classes you take and when you take them. Full time and part time statuses will affect the amount of time it takes you to earn your degree. If have decided on a career path as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) your education will usually take about a year to complete.
Pennsylvania Licensing Requirements
To become ‘board certified,’ you will need to apply to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). The application for the test is available from your school as well as the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs website. You must fill out the application and send it in with the non-refundable testing fee. You will receive the information for your testing site and time in the mail. If you do not pass the NCLEX, you will not be able to apply for a nursing license in Pennsylvania. If you should fail the test, you may reapply and take the test again until you do pass. Professional licensing ensures the health and safety of the public. To that end, Pennsylvania does require that all of its RNs and LPNs be licensed to practice here. The application for licensure is available through the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs’ website. Pennsylvania is not a Nursing Licensure Compact state, so anyone wishing to practice here will have to gain a valid license to work here.
Pennsylvania License Renewal
Nursing licenses in Pennsylvania are good for two years. Proof of continuing education in the form of Contact Hours is required to renew. A $65.00 renewal fee will be due at the time of application.