Nursing is a great profession for people who want to join the healthcare industry and help others in their communities. If you are based in the District of Columbia (DC) or plan to move there for a fruitful healthcare industry career, becoming a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse in DC can be a great path. As the nursing shortage grows throughout the country, the District of Columbia Board of Nursing encourages new professionals to join the ranks of decorated nurses in DC. If you want to join the healthcare sector, you can become a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse in DC.
While nursing is the fastest route to becoming a healthcare provider, it is not something you can take lightly. To become a registered or licensed practical nurse in DC, you must understand the DC Board of Nursing’s requirements. From completing pre-licensure educational requirements to passing the national licensure examination, there are several steps to qualify as an RN or LPN in DC. Beyond that, you must also pursue nursing continuing education courses to renew your license and continue practicing as a nurse in DC.
At Fast CE For Less, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses nationwide can find online nursing CEUs for an affordable solution when they must renew their credentials. For prospective nurses, we publish resources to help them understand the nursing board requirements in different jurisdictions nationwide. Today, we will discuss the DC Board of Nursing’s requirements for RNs and LPNs.
To become a registered nurse in DC, you must meet a few prerequisites, including obtaining a pre-licensure degree in nursing, passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and pursuing nursing continuing education courses to renew your credentials every two years.
Obtain a BSN or ADN
For educational requirements, you must obtain at least a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree through a course approved by the DC Board of Nursing.
While pursuing a two-year ADN might seem more attractive for the shorter time it takes, the DC Board of Nursing encourages people to consider earning a BSN. While it takes longer, a four-year BSN degree offers more in-depth training and education. A registered nurse in DC with a BSN may be a more attractive prospect for employers due to their advanced training.
You can find a list of professional nursing programs approved by the DC Board of Nursing through its official website here.
Pass the NCLEX-RN
Once you obtain a BSN or ADN, you must pass the national licensure examination for registered nurses, also called the NCLEX-RN. After graduating from your chosen pre-licensure nursing education program, you must apply to the DC Board of Nursing to obtain a license as a registered nurse in DC via examination.
You must sit for the NCLEX-RN through Pearson VUE. First, you must submit an application for licensure to the DC Board of Nursing through its official website. Learn more about the process through the resource published by the DC Board of Nursing here. Once verified to sit for the NCLEX-RN, you must pass the exam to qualify for the state license.
Apply for a State License to Become a Registered Nurse
When you apply for the state licensure to become a registered nurse in DC via exam, you must pass the NCLEX-RN within six months of initial eligibility. If you cannot pass the NCLEX-RN within that time, you may need to take a review course. After passing the examination, you can practice as a graduate nurse for up to three months while you await your license from the DC nursing board.
How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
To become a licensed practical nurse in DC, the pre-licensure educational and training requirements are shorter than for an RN. However, it is important to understand the process if you want to take this path to become a nurse in DC.
Complete a State Board-Approved Practical Nursing Program
To become a licensed practical nurse in DC, you do not need to pursue a four-year BSN or a two-year ADN. However, you must have at least a high school diploma and complete a practical nursing program approved by the DC Board of Nursing. You can find a list of approved practical nurse programs on the DC Board of Nursing’s official website here.
Once you complete a qualifying practical nursing program, you must pass the national licensure exam for practical nurses, also called the NCLEX-PN. You must apply for the license through the DC Board of Nursing and submit the documents required by the board to qualify to sit for the licensure exam. Once approved, you must sit for and pass the NCLEX-PN through Pearson VUE.
Apply for a State License to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
When you apply for state licensure through the DC Board of Nursing via examination, you must pass the NCLEX-PN to get your license to practice as a licensed practical nurse in DC. After passing the examination, you will automatically receive your license from the DC Board of Nursing.
Renew Your Credentials to Continue Practicing as an RN or LPN in DC to Advance Your Career
Healthcare is an ever-developing field. To stay updated with the latest developments and continue delivering high-quality care to patients, RNs and LPNs must pursue nursing continuing education courses. Renewing your credentials through continuing education courses is an essential part of being a nurse. To recertify, you must complete a required number of contact hours through eligible nursing continuing education courses at predetermined intervals. Each state’s nursing board has its own requirements for when RNs and LPNs must renew their credentials and the necessary number of credit hours through continuing education courses.
The District of Columbia Board of Nursing requires nurses to renew their credentials after every two years. The total number of hours differs based on your specialization.
If you are a registered nurse in DC, you must complete at least 24 contact hours of nursing continuing education courses to recertify. The courses must include three contact hours on HIV/AIDS and two hours on cultural competency courses focusing on the LGBTQ population.
If you become a licensed practical nurse in DC, you must complete at least 18 contact hours of nursing continuing education courses to recertify. You must complete three contact hours on HIV/AIDS and two contact hours on cultural competency focusing on the LGBTQ population. To learn more details about the continuing education requirements for the DC Board of Nursing, visit www.fastceforless.com/nursing-ce-district-of-columbia/.
For registered nurses and licensed practical nurses approaching the time to renew their licenses, online nursing CEUs like those offered by Fast CE For Less at www.fastceforless.com give you access to convenient, affordable, and reliable courses for this purpose.