Washington nursing outlines the educational, licensing, and career prospects for nurses in the state of Washington. There are several levels of nursing in Washington State set forth by the Board of Nursing in Washington state, and a lot depends on how much education you have. The steps build on each other while becoming a nurse in Washington state.
What Kinds of Nurses are There in Washington State?
- The nurse assistant is the lowest level and takes about two years or less but still must be approved by the board of nursing.
- Licensed Practical Nurse is normally a two-year program, and a person with this certification can do more medical procedures.
- Registered Nurse is the most common type and requires some training approved by the board of nursing in Washington State, beyond the four-year degree. How to become a registered nurse in Washington State involves education and licensing.
- Nurse Practitioners require a master’s degree and are a step below a doctor, but can do most medical procedures. Advanced education is how to become a licensed practitioner in Washington State.
- A Certified Nurse Anesthetist is an even higher level of nursing with a skill that is in demand.
- A certified nurse-midwife also requires a master’s degree and is the highest level of nursing in the state.
How Do I Become a Nurse in Washington State?
Washington state nursing license requirements are similar to other states. There must be an education program, followed by an exam and licensing. There are several Washington State board of nursing programs approved around the state, both in a traditional classroom and in an online remote setting. Most online programs require some in-person training. The levels build on each other. If you were an LPN, you would already have taken some RN classes, for instance. The Washington State Nursing Board sets requirements and issues licenses.
- LPN’s must pass a state of Washington board of nursing course, and pass a state examination. After passing the exam LPN’s may apply for state endorsement.
- How to become a registered nurse in Washington State is a similar path but much more education. After completing a four-year degree, they must complete a state-approved nursing education program. After passing the state exam they may apply for a license with the state board of nursing.
- Higher levels of nursing need a graduate degree from a nursing education program and must pass state and national exams in their specialty area. Being endorsed by a national organization is how to become a nurse practitioner in Washington State. While there is national accreditation for higher levels of nursing, the Washington State nursing board still governs all nurses.
How Do You Decide Which Nursing School to Attend?
There are several things to consider when looking for a school. It is important that the school is accredited especially for nursing programs. Washington state nursing license requirements include attending an accredited school. Becoming a nurse approved by the board of nursing in Washington State takes time and perseverance.
Finding a program that fits your life is also important. If you are working a full-time job you may need a school that has night classes. How important is distance learning? Does the school have online courses available for some or all of the programs?
It is also a good idea to ask about specialties within nursing that the school has available and that are approved by the Washington state board of nursing. If you have an interest in one of those, you could learn more about it at that school. The Washington State board of nursing is a good source for checking out schools.
How Does Licensing Work in Washington?
The Washington State board of nursing has agreements with other states that allow people to transfer licenses from one state to another easily. If you have not worked as a nurse for a while and want to transfer your license, you may have to take the state exam again, but other than that transferring licenses through the state of Washington board of nursing is easy.
Licenses have to be renewed every two years with the board of nursing in Washington State, and this is normally a simple matter of mailing in your application fee. Continual education is required as well to make sure you keep up with the latest in nursing. The state board of nursing helps with continuing education.
What is the Job Outlook for Nurses in Washington?
Many states have a nursing shortage and Washington does at the present time. However, state officials are projecting a surplus of nurses by 2030. There should still be plenty of jobs, but in 10 years there may be seven percent more nurses than there are jobs available. A nurse’s assistant can make about $30,000, and a nurse practitioner can make more than $100,000.