Good news for aspiring LPNs in West Virginia. The Mountain State may be one of the smallest states in the US, but it employs 6,710 LPNs, according to 2014 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). West Virginia LPNs can find employment in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home health care facilities, and even the government with the right education and training. Those looking to enter the world of practical nursing can use the guide below to explore top LPN programs in West Virginia, learn about state licensing requirements, and view salary trends across the state.
West Virginia Licensure Requirements for LPNs
Working vocational and practical nurses in the U.S. are required to hold an LPN license. Although the requirements are similar, each state determines its process for licensure. The following section examines the licensure and renewal process in West Virginia, which has had a paperless system since 2010.
- Complete online application with nonrefundable $85 fee
- Arrange for nursing school to send official transcript to the Board
- Submit to a criminal background check through the West Virginia State Police and United States Federal Bureau of Investigation
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Education & Training
Applicants for a license must have completed an accredited LPN program in West Virginia. The West Virginia LPN Board of Examiners does not participate in the multistate licensure compact, so nurses with out-of-state licenses need to apply for a temporary permit or license to practice.
In lieu of a West Virginia LPN program, military members can qualify for licensure if they served on active duty in the medical corps of any of the U.S. Armed Forces for at least one year within the three years preceding application and have competed training for one of the following ratings: medical specialist advanced, medical service technician, advanced hospital corpsman, medical service specialist, Class "A" hospital corpsman, or an equivalent rating.
Applicants who have graduated from an accredited practical nursing program can work under direct supervision of an RN with a 90-day permit. The permit covers the period from graduation and notification of the candidate’s results from the licensing exam.
Additional Licensure Requirements
- Register with Pearson VUE to take NCLEX-PN nonrefundable fee
- NCLEX will send application an Authorization to Test (ATT) form after receiving notification from State Board of Examiners that an applicant is eligible
- Schedule appointment to take test after receiving ATT form
- Pass NCLEX-PN
- If applicant has had a substance use disorder within the past five years they must submit to an evaluation by a board-approved practitioner to verify that they can practice safely
Renewing an LPN License in West Virginia
LPN licenses in West Virginia expire June 30 of each year. LPNs must renew their licenses online annually and pay the applicable fee. Additionally, in even-numbered years, applicants must meet continuing competence requirements during the previous two-year period:
- 24 hours of continuing education-2 hours must be related to mental health conditions common to veterans and family members of veterans; 3 hours must be related to the subject matter of substance abuse*
- 400 clock hours of LPN practice
*The West Virginia legislature added these continuing competence requirements in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Licenses not renewed by 6/30 are lapsed. They can be reinstated by submitting a form and meeting competence requirements. There is also a nonrefundable fee required for reinstatement.
Note: The Board performs continuing competence audits to 7-10% of licensees each reporting cycle.
Salary for LPNs in West Virginia
There are many potential employment opportunities for LPNs, but some areas of the state will have higher salaries than others. The tables below identify areas in West Virginia with the highest salaries for LPNs.
|Annual Wage (25th percentile)||$29,730||$35,780|
|Annual Wage (Median)||$34,490||$42,490|
|Annual Wage (75th percentile)||$38,800||$49,450|
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas
|Year||Annual Wage (25th percentile)||Annual Wage (Median)||Annual Wage (75th percentile)|
West Virginia LPN Employment Trends
With the potential of more than 1,000 LPN jobs from 2012 to 2022 according to WorkForce West Virginia, there will be opportunities for employment across the state. Bigger counties such as Kanawha and Berkeley are expected to have higher employment growth than small counties such as Tucker and Wirt. Explore LPN Degree Programs Search Programs
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Southern West Virginia nonmetropolitan area||1,690|
|North Central West Virginia nonmetropolitan area||1,410|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 Employment of LPNs in West Virginia 6600 7670 Average Annual Openings 270
Source: Projections Central
Resources for LPNs in West Virginia
LPN can find answers to common questions about continuing competence in West Virginia from the State Board.
FNWVAC is a coalition that works to advance nursing practice, education and leadership for LPNs and RNs in West Virginia.
This issue of the regular publication from the State Board of Examiners reviews the continuing competence process.
Aspiring nurses can find a list of approved LPN programs from the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses.
WVCN is a membership advocacy organization for all nurses, including LPNs, in West Virginia.
This document covers all of the laws pertaining to LPNs in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Nurses Association publishes this newsletter four times a year.
WVNA offers an LPN State Only membership option. Membership includes subscriptions to professional journals, discounts on insurance, and other benefits.
This is the governing body of LPNs in West Virginia. LPNs can locate licensure and renewal forms and instructions at this site.