As with most states throughout the country, New Jersey is also facing a shortage of nurses. The state expects to lose at least 10,000 more nurses to retirement in the next few years. The State of New Jersey Board of Nursing faces a major potential staffing crisis in hospitals, nursing homes, and home care. While the shortage might be concerning for some, it presents an opportunity for those looking to join the healthcare workforce.
If you become a registered nurse (RN) in New Jersey or pursue a career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you may have plenty of employment opportunities to explore amid the increased demand caused by the staffing shortage. Still, understanding the nursing board requirements in New Jersey is essential if you want to become an RN or LPN in the state.
At Fast CE For Less, we offer nursing continuing education courses to help RNs and LPNs expand their knowledge and renew their license. For prospective nurses, we share guides to help them make better-informed decisions regarding their careers. Today’s guide will help you understand the state board’s requirements to become an RN or LPN in New Jersey.
How to Become a Registered Nurse
Becoming an RN or an LPN are two options available to join the healthcare workforce, and they both have different requirements to gaining licensure. Of the two, it will take longer to become a registered nurse in New Jersey than to pursue an LPN license. The requirements to become an RN demands years of specialized training and education before applying for a license. Once eligible, you can apply for the state license by passing a nationally recognized licensing exam. After becoming an RN, you must also renew your credentials every two years.
Earn an ADN or BSN
To be eligible to apply for a state license to become a registered nurse in New Jersey, you must obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. An ADN takes two years to complete, while earning a BSN requires enrolling in a four-year program.
A BSN program offers more in-depth training and education relevant to the field. With more training, you can become a more attractive candidate for employers. Additionally, a BSN can set you up for better-paying positions than an ADN when you begin practicing. Regardless of the nursing degree you choose, you must ensure you complete your education through a program approved by the State of New Jersey Board of Nursing. You can find a complete list of nursing programs approved by the state board on its official website here.
Apply for State Licensure
After earning your nursing degree, you can become eligible to apply for a state license to become a registered nurse in New Jersey. Because you are applying for the state license for the first time, you must pass the National Council of Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Also called the NCLEX-RN, this exam is the nationally recognized licensing exam for RNs. You can find the application to apply for a nursing license via examination on the State of New Jersey Board of Nursing’s official website here. You must also register with Pearson VUE to appear for the NCLEX-RN.
Obtain Your License to Become a Registered Nurse
Once you complete registration and follow the instructions, you can take the NCLEX-RN. You must pass the licensing exam. If you fail to pass three consecutive times, you will have to complete a 30-hour remediation course taught by qualified instructors before you can attempt to take the test a fourth time. You can find a few options for remediation courses on the board’s official website here. After you pass the licensing exam, the board will review your documents and send you your permanent license. While you wait for a permanent license to become a registered nurse in New Jersey, you can apply for a temporary license through the board’s official website here.
How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
To become a licensed practical nurse in New Jersey, you do not need to earn a two-year or four-year degree. The nursing board requirements in New Jersey to become an LPN still demand a certain amount of training and education through a state board-approved nursing program.
Complete a State Nursing Board-Approved Practical Nursing Program
If you have a high school diploma as a prerequisite, you can complete a practical nursing program to become eligible to apply for a state license as an LPN. Ensuring you complete a practical nursing program approved by the State of New Jersey Board of Nursing is essential. You can find a complete list of approved practical nursing programs available in New Jersey on the board’s official website here.
Apply for State Licensure
After completing a practical nursing program approved by the State of New Jersey BON, you can apply for a state license to become a licensed practical nurse in New Jersey via examination. You must take and successfully pass the National Council of Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses. Also called the NCLEX-PN, this exam is the nationally recognized licensing exam for licensed practical nurses. You can find the application for a licensed practical nurse certification on the State of New Jersey Board of Nursing’s official website here. To take the NCLEX-PN, you must also register with Pearson VUE.
Obtain Your License to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse
After completing registration, you must pass the NCLEX-PN to become a licensed practical nurse in New Jersey. After you pass the exam, the state’s nursing board will review your documents. Once your documents are approved, the new Jersey BON will send you your permanent license. While you wait to receive your license, you can apply for a temporary license via the State of New Jersey BON’s official website here.
Renew Your License After Becoming an RN or LPN
To ensure better patient care and outcomes, nursing boards nationwide require RNs and LPNs to renew their nursing licenses every two to three years. A crucial part of renewing a nursing license as an RN or LPN is to complete a number of contact hours through nursing continuing education courses.
Each state’s nursing board sets its own requirements for nursing continuing education necessary to renew a nursing license. To meet recertification requirements for New Jersey’s Board of Nursing, RNs and LPNs must complete a minimum of 30 contact hours of nursing continuing education courses every two years. They must complete at least one hour each on organ and tissue donation and prescription opioid drugs to recertify. You can find the nursing board requirements in New Jersey regarding nursing continuing education on www.fastceforless.com/nursing-ce-new-jersey.
If you are already an RN or LPN nearing the time to renew your license, online nursing CEUs like those available at www.fastceforless.com can be an excellent solution to consider.