Licensed Practical Nurse Licensing
Practical Nurse Resources
Additional Nursing Resources…
All states require that you pass the NCLEX-PN exam. Licensing details do vary from state to state. Get to know your own state board website as you will find a lot of resources there. Generally you notify your state board when you have met program requirements. Your state board will notify the National Council of State Boards of Nursing that you are eligible to sit for exams. A criminal background check will also be required for licensure. If you live in a Nurse Compact state, you will be able to work in any other compact state.
There are additional certifications you can earn to demonstrate advanced competency and make yourself more marketable. Among the more useful is IV therapy and gerontology certification. This is helpful for long term care nurses and is available from the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses. Initial certification requires passing an exam. Recertification requires twenty continuing education units every two years.
You can also pursue advanced life support certifications: Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
Some certifications require a couple of years experience before you can sit for exams. One example is wound care.
Do be aware that the scope of practice of a licensed practical nurse varies from state to state. You will want to make sure that any certification you pursue is valid and that it will be useful to you. Your state board and professional organization can assist you with questions. An additional way to see what certifications employers in your area value is to search job ads through Indeed.com.