Idaho has been proactively working since 2006 to increase its number of nursing graduates. Nursing schools, government, and hospitals have combined efforts to attract new blood to the profession. Schools offer incentives to nursing students such as loan forgiveness programs, and a few institutions have partnered with hospitals to expose nurses to hands-on skills they’ll need in their future careers, a move designed to improve students’ marketability and increase in-state retention of a highly skilled workforce. To get the most out of your education, use the search tool below to filter through nursing schools and programs in Idaho.
Nursing licensure is granted by the Idaho Board of Nursing, which regulates the profession to protect public health and the welfare of patients. Information about becoming licensed in the state can be found below.
Earning Initial Licensure in Idaho
Nurses interested in getting licensed in Idaho must graduate from a board-approved nursing program. Once they have done so, they should:
- Send in a notarized application form with $132 for the application fee and fingerprint fees
- Submit a recent passport-sized photo
- Complete and send a census questionnaire form along with their application
- Fill out a fingerprint card to be used for criminal background checks conducted by the FBI and the state
- Have their nursing program head submit an attestation of graduation to the board
- Register for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in Idaho
Nurses who hold a license from another state have a different set of criteria, depending on whether they practice in a compact state. For more details, visit the Idaho Board of Nursing.
Renewing an RN License in Idaho
Nursing licenses must be renewed online before August 31 of every odd-numbered year. Applicants who have a license that has lapsed for more than one year or whose primary state of residence is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (other than Idaho) cannot renew online. The renewal fee is $90 and a late fee will be enforced if a nurse fails to renew by August 31 of the appropriate year. Nurses who continue to practice with an expired license will be fined. There are no continuing education requirements, though certain Idaho employers may require RNs to fulfill a set amount of CEs on a regular basis.
Moving Up: Idaho Advanced Practice Licensure
Advanced practice professional nurses (APPNs) who are not already licensed as RNs in Idaho must simultaneously apply for RN licensure and APPN licensure. Those who do have RN licenses must simply apply, pay a $90 application fee, and have their official transcripts and a copy of their national certification sent to the board.
APPNs must renew their licenses online before August 31 of every odd-numbered year. The renewal fee is $90. APPNs are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education during every two-year licensing period.
To gain prescription authority, APPNs must show evidence of 30 hours in a relevant pharmacotherapeutics course, pay $50, and complete a signed affidavit as part of the APPN application for initial licensure.
The state of Idaho regularly updates its forms and requirements. Therefore, it suggests that nurses interested in licensure should email or call the board directly. Contact information and mode details on APPN licensure can be found at the Idaho Board of Nursing.
The state healthcare sector is on the rise, according to 2012 statistics from the Idaho Department of Labor. The agency reports that while the state’s overall economy is only expected to grow by 1.5 percent annually over the next ten years, jobs in the healthcare sector will increase by 2.5 percent each year. To meet increased demand, the supply of registered nurses and advanced practical registered nurses must increase. To see what nursing jobs across the state pay, and how these compare to national salaries, take a look at the stats below:
Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Idaho
|Area||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Median Wage|
|Southwest Idaho nonmetropolitan area||$27.81||$57,840|
|Southcentral Idaho nonmetropolitan area||$26.98||$56,130|
|North Idaho nonmetropolitan area||$26.79||$55,720|
|East Idaho nonmetropolitan area||$25.88||$53,820|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Idaho vs. National Numbers
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central
The Idaho Board of Nursing issues professional licenses to nurses. Its website is the go-to source for licensure forms and contact information.
Originally formed as the Idaho State Association of Graduate Nurses, the Idaho Nurses Association offers members free publications, insurance discounts and a voice in state and federal advocacy efforts. It is affiliated with the American Nurses Association.
Nurses in the southeastern part of the state are represented by the Intermountain Advanced Practice Nurses Association. The association holds regular dinner meetings with guest speakers from the healthcare field.
Nurse Practitioners of Idaho acts as the champion of Idaho nurse practitioners, often presenting vocation-specific issues to the legislature for consideration. NPI is connected to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Nurses who work in state schools can join the School Nurse Organization of Idaho. The group, affiliated with the National Association of School Nurses, has over 90 members.