Purse a Nursing Career with an LPN Degree
The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that South Carolina will face a deficit of almost 4,000 licensed practical nurses by 2025. While this is a concern for residents and the state's health care industry, it can mean promising career opportunities for those looking to enter South Carolina's nursing workforce as an LPN. The following guide helps aspiring LPNs start working towards their ultimate career goal. Read on to get detailed information on LPN licensure requirements in South Carolina, salary and employment trends throughout the state, and to explore the various LPN programs offered by community colleges and technical schools in this southern state.
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Licensure Requirements for South Carolina LPNs
Licensed practical nurses must be licensed in order to practice. This is what South Carolina requires in order to award the license to qualified applicants:
- Must have graduated from high school or earned an equivalent diploma
- Must have graduated from an approved LPN program
Education & Training Requirements
In order to practice as an LPN, a license is required; in order to get that license, applicants must prove that they graduated with a diploma, degree or certificate from an approved nursing program. The dean or director of the nursing program will need to certify as to the completion date in order for the completion to be accepted by the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
- Complete the formal application.
- Submit a 2x2 photograph (similar to a passport photo), signed and dated.
- Provide a copy of the birth certificate or passport, as well as social security card.
- If the nurse's name has been changed at any point, provide proof of that change.
- Register to take the NCLEX-PN.
- Submit to a criminal background check.
- Pay the appropriate fees: $70 for the application, $200 for the NCLEX-PN.
South Carolina is a Nurse Licensure Compact State. A nurse who obtains a license in South Carolina and keeps that license in good standing can practice in other states that are also part of the compact agreement. Nurses whose legal residence is in South Carolina should apply for their license in that state, even if they intend to work in another state. These requirements must be met:
- Declare South Carolina as their legal state of residence.
- Legally reside within the geographical confines of the state.
- Hold an active nursing license in good standing
- Meet all licensure requirements in South Carolina.
LPNs in South Carolina must renew their license every two years. Renewals cost $75. The following are required in order to renew the license:
- Completion of 30 continuing education hours, OR
- Maintain certification by a national certifying body, OR
- Complete an academic program in the field of nursing, OR
- Verify competency and number of hours practiced via employer certification.
Nurses are not required to send this information in with their renewal application; however, the state board of nursing routinely conducts audits that might request the proof of competency. Upon this request, nurses should immediately provide records showing competency for the time period of the renewal.
South Carolina LPN Employment Trends
According to Projections Central, South Carolina can expect to see many new LPN positions opening up from 2012 to 2022; 470 annual openings, in fact, which translates to 23.6% employment growth. Employment trends in the state depend upon the healthcare facilities and specific need, as well as geographical area. The charts below detail what graduates of LPN programs in South Carolina might expect from the job market.
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area||690|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area||550|
|Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway||370|
|Lower Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area||330|
South Carolina Resources for LPNs
Those LPNs who choose to work in schools can benefit from this site, which offers information on certification, awards, conferences and other perks.
This is the one-stop-shop for all things nurses need to know about getting their license, renewing a license, moving to South Carolina from another state, and more.
Aspiring LPNs can find a great deal of information on jobs, interview tips, legislative changes and other points of interest to those in the nursing profession.
The NFLPN maintains state chapters in South Carolina. LPNs in the state can turn to this chapter for information on continuing education, new legislation and more.