Overview of Nevada Nursing Needs
Nevada is a state of contrasts; largely comprised of desolate desert lands, more than two-thirds of the population lives in and around Las Vegas. Tourism is the greatest economic resource, though mining, agriculture and food processing also contribute to local coffers. Up to 2003, Nevada experienced a population boom like no other state in the country. Las Vegas still shows growth but the state as a whole struggles with an unemployment rate of 9.6%. Still, in 2011 the University of Nevada and University Medical Center ranked in the top 20 as two of the biggest employers in the state.
In terms of education, Nevada offers 14 accredited schools with nursing programs. Among them, Western Nevada College ranked best in the nation in 2012 with 100% pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination, and the University of Nevada was in the top 100 for best nursing schools of 2012.
Job Outlook for Nevada Nurses
According to the US Department of Labor, employment for RNs will increase 26% by the year 2020 (approximately 711,900 jobs). New nursing grads in Nevada can also expect to see job availability because–like in the rest of the nation–there is a need. However, Nevada has joined a Campaign for Action Coalition that hopes to implement suggestions made in the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report. The IOM advises that to improve healthcare across the nation 80% of all RNs should have a BSN or higher by the year 2020, meaning Nevada RNs with less experience/education may have much more difficulty finding work.
The upside is that employers, colleges and scholarship institutions may be more likely to assist nurses in continuing on with advanced degrees. In addition, more students means a need for more teachers, which could be a sensible and lucrative career move for grads wanting to set themselves apart from the rest.
In Nevada the largest concentration of nursing jobs will be found in hospitals located in more populated cities such as Las Vegas and Reno. Outpatient and home health care jobs are also on the rise, though it is not as dramatic an increase as RNs in hospital facilities. Nevada offers some of the best wages in the country for specific health roles: Nurse Practitioners can expect to earn a mean annual wage of $97,040, Nurse Anesthetists will average $208,700 per year, and Nevada LPNs are also paid better than in other states.
Average Nursing Salaries in Nevada
|Data from BLS 2011||10th Percentile||25th Percentile||50th Percentile|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$39,500||$44,210||$51,470|
|Home Health Aides||$18,150||$20,630||$23,550|
Licensing for Nurses in Nevada
Nevada is not part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which accepts practicing nurses from other states. Therefore, nurses practicing in Nevada must hold Nevada-issued licenses.
The type of license and certification(s) required depends on the level of practice each nurse plans to work in. For instance, LPNs must 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). In addition, all nurses and nursing aides require certifications which are specific to their job title and level of responsibilities.
The most comprehensive licensing information for Nevada nurses can be found at the Nevada Board of Nursing website. There you will find specific instructions for LPNs, RNs, and also ARPN licensing and certification, as well.
Nursing Programs in Nevada
Nevada boasts 14 accredited programs for nursing, two of which–Western Nevada College and the University of Nevada–are considered some of the best in the country.
The following is a list of some of the many program options for nursing students in Nevada:
- Licensed Practical Nursing Program
- Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
- RN to BSN Degree
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN Degree)
- Post-Masters Certificate – Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Post-Masters Certificate – Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
There are also accelerated courses available for non-nursing students with Baccalaureate degrees to quickly become RNs.