Nursing Schools in Idaho – ID

Nursing Schools in Idaho – ID

Idaho had nine registered nurses for every 1000 people in 2018, according to an Idaho Nursing Workforce Center report that was released in the same year. About 37% of licensed registered nurses (RNs) at that time were of age 55 or above. With an aging population and nursing workforce, the demand for qualified nurses in the state is set to increase at least until 2025, the report predicts. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration too shows that around 3,870 RN jobs may be added in the state between 2016 and 2026. All these factors make pursuing a nursing career in Idaho an attractive option.

Several nursing schools in Idaho offer nursing degree programs ranging from associate to doctoral levels and offered in on-campus, online or hybrid formats. To find out what a successful nursing career may require, you could read our article Nursing Education, Schools and Career Overview.

What nursing schools are there in Idaho?

Most nursing schools in Idaho are regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Idaho Board of Nursing approves nursing degree programs. Here are a few examples of accredited nursing schools in Idaho.

  • Boise State University
  • Brigham Young University – Idaho College of Western Idaho
  • Idaho State University
  • Lewis-Clark State College
  • North Idaho College
  • Northwest Nazarene University

If you are keen to pursue a nursing career in Idaho, here is an overview of some interesting nursing degree programs available in the state.

  • To practice as a qualified licensed practical nurse (LPN), you may complete an Intermediate Technical Certificate (ITC) course in practical nursing from College of Western Idaho or from North Idaho College in around 11 months.
  • An Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree is usually considered the basic education necessary to become a qualified RN. You could explore ASN in professional nursing degree program from College of Western Idaho or AS in registered nursing transfer program from North Idaho College.
  • Completing a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program may help you establish yourself as a skilled RN. Schools such as Boise State University, Idaho State University, Northwest Nazarene University, Brigham Young University – Idaho and Lewis-Clark State College may offer four-year BSN degree programs. Students may also explore accelerated BSN from Idaho State University that may be completed in around 12 months.
  • An RN-to-BSN completion degree program may expand opportunities available to RNs who have an ASN degree. Boise State University, Idaho State University, Northwest Nazarene University and Lewis-Clark State College are some schools that may offer this as an online program.
  • LPNs with AS or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in practical nursing may complete a BSN through the on-campus LPN to BSN program from Lewis-Clark State College.
  • Boise State University's dual enrollment option for ASN students may be a faster pathway to a BSN. In this program, students pursuing ASN degree programs at Idaho community colleges might be able to take online RN-BSN programs at Boise State University concurrently.
  • You can specialize in a particular field and prepare for an APRN role by completing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program. Some schools such as Boise State University, Idaho State University and Northwest Nazarene University may offer online MSN degree programs with certain specializations. Northwest Nazarene University may also accept ASN degree holders into the program provided they complete certain prerequisites.
  • A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree may help advanced practice nurses to specialize further and establish themselves as experts in nursing practice. Online DNP degree programs may be available from schools such as Boise State University and Idaho State University.
  • A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in nursing may be an excellent choice of terminal qualification for a candidate keen on carrying out scholarly research in nursing science. Idaho State University may have an online PhD degree program for eligible BSN or MSN degree holders.

What financial aid can I get for nursing programs in Idaho?

A number of federal and state financial aid programs such as grants, loans, work-study programs and scholarships may be available to nursing students in Idaho. Make sure to check a program's eligibility criteria before you apply. A few examples of nursing scholarships in Idaho are as follows.

  • American Legion Auxiliary Traditional and Non-traditional Nurses Scholarships — typically for Idaho residents who are related to Armed Forces veterans.
  • Idaho Nursing and Health Professionals Scholarship Fund — may be awarded to students who have been accepted into an Idaho nursing or health professions program and are in financial need.
  • Caldwell Memorial Hospital Employees and Friends Health Services Scholarship Fund — for students interested in pursuing a degree or certificate in a healthcare field. The students must be full-time residents of the area served by West Valley Medical Center.
  • CampusRN Idaho Nursing Scholarship — may be awarded to a deserving nursing student in financial need and enrolled at a registered school.

What do I need to know about certifications in nursing in Idaho?

Having completed a graduate-level nursing program, you may apply for certification as an APPN. Nursing certification in Idaho is usually provided by the Idaho Board of Nursing. Registered nurses who are trained in the roles of certified nurse-midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse practitioner (NP), or registered nurse anesthetist (RNA) may apply for APPN authorization.

APPN candidates may be accepted by the Board of Nursing if they are nationally certified by recognized certifying organizations such as the ones below.

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • National Certification Corporation
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • American Midwifery Certification Board
  • National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists

Do I need a nursing license in Idaho? How do I apply for it?

You may need a nursing license from the Idaho Board of Nursing to practice nursing in Idaho. Passing the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) may be necessary to be eligible to apply for licensure.

When applying for licensure, you may need to submit the following.

  • Completed application form with photograph and application fee
  • Filled in census questionnaire
  • Transcripts of your completed APPN education program, mailed directly to the Idaho Board of Nursing by the institution
  • Copy of current national certification
  • Declaration of state of residence
  • Copy of current RN license valid in Idaho or in a Compact state

Candidates may be required to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Those nurses who are licensed in other licensure compact states may need to submit a verification of licensure to the Idaho Board of Nursing.

Nursing licenses in Idaho may require renewal every two years. To be eligible for license renewal, practicing RNs may need to complete at least two continued competence requirements, such as 15 hours of continuing education. APPNs may need to maintain valid national certification to be eligible. Temporary permits that are valid for up to 90 days may be issued to certain eligible candidates.

What can I do with a degree in nursing in Idaho?

Nursing salaries in Idaho are ample. According to the 2018 Idaho Nursing Workforce Center report, Idaho ranked fourth in RN annual salaries compared to the six states surrounding it in the Northwest. Thus, with a nursing degree along with the necessary certification and licensure, you could pursue a rewarding nursing career in Idaho in a variety of professional roles.

Here is an overview of different nursing careers in Idaho based on projected job growth, salaries and employment rates.

CareerTotal EmploymentStatewide Projected Job Growth Rate
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses2,48013.5%
Nurse Anesthetists6207.8%
Nurse Midwives4016.7%
Nurse Practitioners75035.1%
Nursing Assistants7,30021.7%
Registered Nurses13,79029.3%
2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

CareerAnnual Mean WageBottom 10% Annual WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$44,280$32,700$57,330
Nurse Anesthetists$143,270$110,230$170,000
Nurse Midwives$67,950$37,080$100,190
Nurse Practitioners$102,600$41,530$156,000
Nursing Assistants$27,400$21,050$35,990
Registered Nurses$67,110$49,980$89,270
2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Sources:

  • American Legion Auxiliary, Non-traditional Nurses Scholarship, Department of Idaho, on the Internet at http://www.idahoala.org/media/9de8d38bebfafedbffff8065ffffe907.pdf (accessed on 26 September, 2019)
  • American Legion Auxiliary, Traditional Nurses Scholarship, Department of Idaho, on the Internet at http://www.idahoala.org/media/9de8d38bebfafedbffff8064ffffe907.pdf (accessed on 26 September, 2019)
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