Idaho is one of the most interesting states to work as a nurse. There are lots of job opportunities in the area and the demand is expected to increase in the next coming years.
If you like boating, hiking, fishing, bird-watching, nature reserves, or even the ever-popular Idaho potatoes, this state might be for you.
If you are interested in practicing your career in Idaho, here’s a handy guide to help you succeed in the field of nursing.
Requirements: How To Become An RN In Idaho
Like most states, you need to secure your license as a registered nurse before you can legally work in Idaho. For you to get your license, you need to meet the state’s requirements such as a minimum amount of education as well as experience.
Complete An Accredited Nursing Program
The first thing you need to consider is the program you’ll get yourself into.
Since there’s a lot of options in the state, you need to compare every school’s accreditation as well as licensure status. Make sure that the program and school are recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Idaho Board of Nursing.
It’s also a good idea to check the outcomes of the programs, such as their NCLEX pass rates and the employment rate of their graduates.
Pass The NCLEX
The NCLEX or National Council Licensure Examination is a standardized test that gauges your readiness to safely practice as an entry-level nurse.
To pass it, you need to prepare for it. Hone your test-taking skills and be committed to studying. Answer practice questions and invest in really good test prep resources.
Get Your Nursing License
After passing the NCLEX, you’ll be able to get your Idaho nursing license.
However, before you can actually get it, there are a few things you need to submit. The list includes:
- Fingerprint card
- Criminal background check
- Registration for the NCLEX-RN exam
- Passport type photo
- Payment for licensing fee
ADN Programs In Idaho
Associate’s Degree in Nursing or ADN offers a quick way to jumpstart your career as a nurse. The program generally lasts for 2 years or so.
In Idaho, there are more than five ADN programs. Even though there’s a lot of them, it doesn’t mean that their admission requirements aren’t rigorous.
Here are some of the things you need to prepare if you’re planning on getting into an ADN program:
- A record of all your college-level credits
- Proof of current CPR certification
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 on the determined prerequisite courses
- Proof that you meet the admission criteria for physical ability
LPN To RN Programs In Idaho
Licensed Practical Nurses or LPNs don’t need to worry about repeating courses in the event that they want to become registered nurses. There are LPN-to-RN programs in Idaho that are created particularly for them.
These programs allow LPN students to gain advanced standing within their selected RN program. They can earn either an ADN or a BSN degree.
Out of the two bridge programs, the LPN to ADN pathway is considered shorter. The LPN to BSN program, on the other hand, is longer but allows provides students with more in-depth learning since it culminates in a bachelor’s degree.
Graduates of these programs are able to enjoy more autonomy and gain increased responsibility as they work in a wide variety of settings as registered nurses.
BSN Programs In Idaho
The standard length for BSN programs in Idaho is 4 years. That’s equivalent to 8 semesters.
Take note that there are some universities that condense the length of their program into 2.5 years. Although it’s quicker, the amount of knowledge and pace are quite intense.
Each nursing school in Idaho has different sets of requirements. To give you an idea, here are what most of them ask from their applicants:
- Official transcript
- Proof of satisfactory completion of general education and other program course requirements
- Submission of appropriate application forms and payment of fees
BSN programs might be longer than other programs but a lot of students choose this path. One good reason is the increasing demand for nurses with BSN degrees. A lot of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare institutions prefer them because of the extended learning the program provides.
MSN Programs In Idaho
With full-time commitment, MSN programs can take 3 to 4 semesters to complete. Because it comes with heavy theoretical and clinical components, students are highly cautioned to assess their workload before they enter the program.
Admission criteria aren’t the same for all MSN schools. However, most of them require the following:
- Proof of good standing by the state board
- Proof of current employment (registered nurse)
- Current US RN license
- Transcripts showing a cumulative GPA of 3.0
Accelerated Nursing Programs In Idaho
Accelerated nursing programs in Idaho allow students to earn their BSN degree in just 12 months. These programs are intense since the programs are short. Because of that, students aren’t recommended to work while completing the program.
Best Nursing Programs In Idaho
|Lewis-Clark State College||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Northwest Nazarene University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Idaho State University||✔||✔||✔||View School Profile|
|Boise State University||✔||✔||╳||View School Profile|
|Brigham Young University - Idaho||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|North Idaho College||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|College of Western Idaho||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
|College of Southern Idaho||✔||╳||╳||View School Profile|
A Closer Look At The Best Nursing Programs In Idaho
Choosing the best nursing program in Idaho isn’t easy. In fact, it’s confusing. With so many things to consider, you might end up feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
The following schools have been carefully considered based on reputation, NCLEX pass rates, satisfaction level of both students and graduates, and post-graduation employment rate.
1. Lewis-Clark State College
Lewis-Clark State College has a low student-to-teacher ratio. This means that students get more one-on-one time with their mentors. Apart from that, the college also has state-of-the-art labs. Such facilities can help students learn more.
The college’s main campus can be found in Lewiston, Idaho. To complete its BSN Basic Track, you need to be there 4 to 5 days per week.
If that’s not possible, you can take a look at its online RN to BSN program. It offers flexible scheduling and the opportunity to complete the program without going to the campus. The said track can be completed in just 9 months.
To know how you can apply to this program, click here.
2. Northwest Nazarene University
Northwest Nazarene University’s College of Nursing is one of the best in the state, particularly its traditional undergraduate BSN program. The university’s RN-BSN and MSN programs are popular among nursing students, too.
The admission process is quite strict and admission to the program isn’t guaranteed. You will be assessed based on the points you earn from the interview, your entrance exam score, and GPA.
You can check out the full details here.
3. Idaho State University
Idaho State University’s traditional nursing program is 4 semesters in length. It accepts about 80 students each year. 40 students get accepted for the Fall Semester while the other half get accepted for the Spring Semester.
The university’s main campus is the Pocatello campus. However, it also has additional campuses in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and Meridian.
The classes are primarily taught on the main campus following a hybrid-course model. This means that the courses are a blend of online and face-to-face learning.
4. Boise State University
Boise State University’s nursing program is CCNE accredited. This proves that the school is capable of providing high-quality nursing education.
Admission to its nursing program is quite competitive. This explains why they were limiting their students to 60. However, they’ve recently increased the number to 80 students per cycle.
To give you an idea of its program requirements, here are some of the things they ask applicants to submit to them:
- Submission of health requirements specified in the welcome packet
- Completion of pre-nursing courses with the required GPA
- Meeting specific physical and emotional requirements
5. Brigham Young University – Idaho
In Brigham Young University’s pre-licensure BSN program, students need to take 4 semesters of general education and prerequisite coursework. After that, they can move on to complete the final 4 semesters of its core nursing curriculum.
Through the programs, students are expected to gain excellent leadership, clinical reasoning skills, and versatility. You can enjoy the incredibly affordable BSN program in this university regardless of your religious affiliation.
6. North Idaho College
North Idaho College stands out for its Associate’s Degree in Nursing program. Its curriculum includes teaching nursing theories in the classroom and guiding students in their clinical practice in real healthcare settings.
The college has impressive NCLEX pass rates. For 2019 to 2020, their rate was 95.08% for first-time test takers. Meanwhile, their LPN to RN pass rate for May 2020 was 100%.
To be accepted into North Idaho College’s Associate Degree Nursing Program, you’ll need to meet its minimum requirements. You can see all the details here.
7. College Of Western Idaho
College of Western Idaho’s ADN program produces caring and competent registered nurses. It utilizes a blend of lab instruction, classroom theories, and clinical experience to teach enrolled students everything they need to succeed in their chosen profession.
The tuition rates are affordable. In fact, even out-of-state students may find the rates lower than what’s listed.
The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. It’s also approved by the Idaho State Board of Nursing.
8. College Of Southern Idaho
College of Southern Idaho offers an associate in nursing program that allows students to earn their RN licensure. There are two routes to enter the program.
First is the traditional route which requires no previous experience. The second one is a bridge option for licensed practical nurses.
Fully approved by the Idaho Board of Nursing, the program is also accredited by the ACEN.
You can find out more about the admission steps here.