How To Become A Nurse In Nevada

Anyone interested in becoming a nurse in Nevada would be well advised to try their luck in Las Vegas where 60 percent of the desert state’s population lives. In recent years Nevada experienced the highest unemployment in the nation, but there are always jobs for those interested in a nursing career.

Studies show that the biggest demand in Nevada health care facilities is for registered nurses (RNs). To become a registered nurse in Nevada it is necessary to apply for licensure by examination or by endorsement by the Nevada Board of Nursing. Anyone licensed as a registered nurse in another state may apply for a license by endorsement in Nevada if they successfully completed an approved RN program.

Nevada requires applicants for an RN license to have a diploma or nursing degree from an approved school of nursing and LPN (licensed practical nurse) candidates must have a nursing certification from an approved educational institution. The state Board of Nursing maintains a list of approved schools and colleges and has approved 13 RN programs. The University of Nevada, Nevada State College and the Truckee Community College are examples.

The next step is to make application for licensure and, if qualified, pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure) examination. That exam tests the RN candidate’s knowledge of the nursing process in broad areas ranging from child health to psychiatric nursing. It also includes assessing, analyzing, planning, implementing and evaluating.

Nevada Allows Some Pre-Licensure Nursing Practice

Once a license is obtained in Nevada, it must be renewed annually and nurses must supply proof of continuing education. The state nursing board also approves pre-licensure practical nurses who are enrolled in a board-approved LPN program. They may practice as apprentice nurses at a health care facility if they are under the supervision of the director of nursing.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, there are about 18,000 nurses employed in Nevada which has a population of just over 2.7 million. Nearly 60 percent of the people live in Las Vegas and most of the rest are residents of Reno or Henderson.

RNs in Reno and Las Vegas make an average $67,785 a year and LPNs make $42,607 in Reno and $41,711 on an annual average in Las Vegas. Entry-level nursing in Las Vegas is a gamble because the hospital turn-over rate is high due to increased patient-nurse ratios and many nurses leave the profession, according to a study by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Nevada is at the bottom in the nation in the percentage of nurses in the workforce. Nonetheless, there is a growing demand for more nurses in the state where tourism, gambling and prostitution are a big part of the economy. Nationally the employment of RNs is expected to grow 26 percent by 2010, faster than the average for all jobs.

Colleges Betting on Increasing Nursing Students

Many schools in Nevada are gearing up for an influx of nursing students, betting on the projected growth in the healthcare industry.The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) offers several up-to-date technology courses, including a technical degree in slot machine repair. It also has an emergency simulation center using computerized mannequins for patients as part of the training. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing selected CSN, which educates about a third of Nevada’s nurses, as one of ten prestigious nursing programs across the country to take part in the innovative program.

Nevada State College at Henderson, the fastest-growing higher education institution in the state, is building a new three-story nursing school and education building as part of a $61 million expansion. Henderson also is listed as one of the top fastest growing cities over 100,000 in the United States.

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Nursing School Locations

College of Southern Nevada
Health Sciences Center
6375 West Charleston Boulevard
Las Vegas 89146
(702) 651-5684

Nevada State College
1125 Nevada State Drive
Henderson, NV 89015
((702) 992-2000

Truckee Meadows Meadows Community College
7000 Dandini Boulevard
Reno, NV 89512
(775) 673-7115

University of Nevada
Orvis School of Nursing
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
(775) 784-6841

University of Nevada
School of Nursing
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
(702) 895-3360

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