New Hampshire is a New England state known for national politics, as well as outdoor recreation such as skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. Lesser known is the state’s commitment to quality healthcare and education. Of the top 50 employers in New Hampshire, many are hospitals such as Concord, Portsmouth and the Catholic Medical Center. Many other top employers include educational institutions such as Southern New Hampshire University, Dartmouth, and the University of New Hampshire.
Future students can choose from 19 nursing programs with the option of becoming an LPN, RN, and Advanced RN such as a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Midwife. Students can also pursue qualifications to become nursing educators, as well. Scholarships are also available for residents seeking nursing degrees, making New Hampshire a good option for those seeking quality education that is also affordable.
Job Outlook for New Hampshire Nurses
At 5.8%, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is considerably lower than the national average. That said, this New England state is home to a number of hospitals, outpatient centers and private practices offering employment. However, like many other states in the nation, New Hampshire is aiming its focus on RNs in specialized fields such as Oncology, Geriatrics and Critical Care, as well as nurses with BSN degrees and higher. For example, Elliot Hospital in Manchester and the award-winning Exeter hospital offer positions for Neonatal RNs, Flight Transport Nurses, and Nursing Educators, as well.
Despite the competitive market, new graduates with Associate degrees shouldn’t feel the job search will be hopeless; the US Department of Labor predicts the field of nursing will rise 26% for RNs by the year 2020. The need for qualified nurses is pervasive, as is the need for nursing educators, but that does not mean there is a job for every graduate. To help assure success, look toward the future by specializing, gaining extra training, becoming flexible to change, and/or continuing on in education.
Note too that diversity is also very important; the New Hampshire Nursing Diversity Pipeline Project was created to help nurses of varied backgrounds to advance in both education and career. If a resident of New Hampshire and a ‘minority nurse of racial, ethnic and linguistic background,’ you may be eligible for financial assistance.
Salaries for Nursing Jobs in New Hampshire:
|Data from BLS 2011||10th Percentile||25th Percentile||50th Percentile|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$35,600||$40,650||$45,800|
|Home Health Aides||$18,000||$20,180||$22,290|
Licensing in New Hampshire for Nursing
In order to practice nursing in New Hampshire, LPNs and RNs must be appropriately licensed. After graduating from an accredited nursing program LPNs would need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) and RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). New Hampshire is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) so nurses licensed in other complying states (such as Maine) are also allowed to practice in New Hampshire.
Please note that nursing support roles such as Nursing Aides and Orderlies will require specific certifications, just as advanced level nurses such as Nurse Technicians and Nurse Practitioners will be required to have their own career-specific certifications, as well. All pertinent information can be found at the New Hampshire Board of Nursing website.
Nursing Programs in New Hampshire
Educational needs can be met in New Hampshire no matter what level of nursing degree is sought. Options to become an LPN are available at local community colleges such as River Valley, and also vocational organizations such as the New Hampshire Technical Institute. With 16 nursing programs in New Hampshire, students can also go on to seek advanced nursing degrees at well-known schools such as Rivier College and the University of New Hampshire, both which rank well nationally according to the US & World News grad school report of 2012.
When choosing a nursing program it is important to weigh numerous factors depending on one’s own personal needs and career goals. In addition to seeking specific course of interest and faculty/student ratios that are conducive to learning, also look at the partnerships and hospital affiliations of each college. Don’t forget, too, that individual schools may offer unique scholarship opportunities that others do not.