Top Nevada Nursing Schools and Programs

June 7, 2021 · 6 Min Read

Top Nevada Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs. The shortage of nurses in Nevada is the worst in the country, and it has been since 1989. At present, there are less than 600 nurses employed for every 100,000 residents, which...

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Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

Online nursing programs in Nevada can help students and professionals across the state expand their career opportunities and earning power. This guide looks at how candidates can obtain a nursing degree in the state and explores Nevada nursing licensure. Readers can learn about the benefits of attending online nursing programs in Nevada, what courses they can enroll in, and how online nursing degrees are structured.

We also look at state licensing requirements by nursing specialty, salary and employment trend information, and state-specific nursing resources. Finally, we explore the different requirements for registered nurses (RNs), certified nurse assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs).

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Nevada?

There are a variety of benefits to attending online nursing programs in Nevada. It can be expensive to pursue a nursing degree at any level, so tuition rates are a major factor for most students. Nevada boasts the seventh-lowest tuitions in the U.S. for both in-state and out-of-state students attending public four-year institutions.

In addition to low tuition rates, students in Nevada can explore financial aid and scholarship opportunities specifically for nursing students in the state. Since Nevada has the eighth-highest cost of living in the United States, the lower tuition rates allow students in the state to balance their expenses, pursuing affordable opportunities to earn their nursing degrees.

Featured Online Programs

How to Become a Nurse in Nevada

Requirements to become a nurse are similar in every state. For example, all states require students to have a certain level of education and pass an exam. However, each state has its own board of nursing, so while basic requirements are comparable, each state's process is unique. The licensing procedure, for example, differs between states, as do licensing costs and the process for renewals.

  • 1. Choose the Path That's Right for You

    To earn a Nevada nursing license, candidates must graduate from an approved institution with a nursing certificate, diploma, or nursing degree, such as those offered at nursing schools in Nevada. Nurses hoping to teach or receive a terminal degree must pursue a master's degree in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). While some online nursing degrees allow students to move directly from a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) to a DNP, most require DNP applicants to hold a master's degree. A DNP leads to a career as a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist.
  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Nursing degrees are available both on campus and online, allowing students to choose the format that best fits their schedules. Accelerated online nursing programs in Nevada have varying requirements for enrollment, including residency restrictions, GPA minimums, or licensure requirements for RN-to-BSN programs. Some online programs require students to come to campus for labs or intensives, or to complete fellowships or internships. The length of nursing programs can also differ based on curriculum, number of credits required, whether a student is enrolled full or part time, or whether the student has transfer credits.
  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    While each state maintains its own licensing requirements, all candidates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Experts recommend taking the NCLEX soon after graduation, while learned concepts are still fresh, especially for online nursing degree graduates. While your degree prepares you for much of the subject matter, test prep books and online study courses prepare you to take the exam itself. Exam lengths vary, with six hours maximum allotted for the RN exam and five hours maximum for the PN exam. Many recent graduates apply for nursing jobs before they take the exam but cannot start work until they pass the NCLEX and are licensed. There is a registration fee.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Nevada

Nevada nurses can explore degree opportunities that allow them to pursue certification and licensure in different areas, leading to various careers in the field. Many students choose to pursue their degrees online, where they have the flexibility to continue working as they study.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Nevada?

Nursing program requirements and courses vary considerably by school and degree level. Bachelor's students explore foundational nursing concepts, master's candidates focus on more advanced topics, and doctoral students examine the most specialized concepts in the discipline. While each institution offers its own unique curriculum, below are some common courses students might find at the bachelor's level.

Human Growth and Development

Degree-seekers enrolled in this course study human development throughout the lifespan, focusing specifically on the environmental and social factors related to human growth.

Pharmacology in Health and Illness

Students in a pharmacology in health and illness course explore safe and therapeutic drug use, reviewing the pharmacologic agents most commonly used in healthcare settings.

Community Health Nursing

This course emphasizes nursing care management for culturally diverse individuals, families, and communities with a particular focus on handling health maintenance and promotion.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

Every college and university structures their online nursing degrees differently. Many institutions in Nevada offer fully online nursing programs with no on-campus requirements while others follow hybrid structures, combining online coursework with on-campus components.

Nursing students who pursue their degrees online typically follow the same program schedules as their on-campus counterparts, studying the same topics under the same instructors. While many online programs are identical in length to on-campus nursing programs, some use accelerated formats that allow degree-seekers to complete more credits each semester and graduate sooner.

Online nursing students receive the same diplomas as on-campus students and enjoy the same certification, licensing, and career opportunities after graduation. Online programs allow learners flexibility and convenience, enabling them to continue working as they earn their degrees.

Nursing Licensure in Nevada

Nursing professionals can pursue careers in a variety of specialty areas at many practice levels. Nurses also have a multitude of licensing and certification opportunities. In Nevada, NPs enjoy full practice environments, with state laws and licensure allowing NPs to evaluate patients, prescribe medications and controlled substances, initiate and manage treatments, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and diagnose patients under the exclusive authority of Nevada's nursing board.

The Nevada State Board of Nursing regulates nursing licensure in Nevada. It ensures that professionals provide the highest quality nursing care possible, demonstrating the necessary skills and knowledge needed to help patients within their specialties. Nevada nursing licensure requirements vary by nursing subfield. Readers can learn more about the requirements for each license type below.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

Prospective nursing students in Nevada can review the information below to learn more about the requirements needed to become a CNA, LPN, RN, or NP in the state.

Certified Nurse Assistant Candidates must complete a board-approved training program before they can pursue Nevada CNA certification. Training programs must also meet Omnibus Reconciliation Act requirements and last for at least 75 hours. CNA candidates should fulfill the examination requirement within two years of completing their training programs. CNA candidates must pass the Prometric Nursing Assistant Competency Exam. The exam has two major components: practical skills and knowledge. All candidates must receive permission to take the test directly from the state's nursing board. After completing the educational and exam components, candidates for CNA certification must undergo a criminal background check and submit their fingerprints. During the final step in the certification process, prospective CNAs complete an application and submit the associated fee.

Nevada Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Board-approved training program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Fulfilled during training program
  • Exams: Nursing Assistant Competency Exam
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 24 hours of continuing education credits every two years, along with at least 40 hours of paid work as a CNA
Licensed Practical Nurse The first step to becoming a Nevada LPN is successfully completing a board-approved practical nursing program. Affidavits from approved programs are sent directly to Nevada's nursing board, allowing graduates to receive a temporary permit and send in their official transcripts later. Prospective LPNs might be required to submit their fingerprints before or after completing their license applications; these candidates receive a fingerprinting card when they apply for application materials. All applicants must register with the testing company that administers the NCLEX-PN examination before they may take the test. LPN candidates pursuing licensure by examination must pay an exam fee to the Nevada Board of Nursing and a fee to the test administrator. Once candidates are approved by the board for testing, they must complete and pass the NCLEX-PN exam and a criminal background check before earning permanent licensure.

Nevada Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Board-approved practical nursing program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: N/A
  • Exams: NCLEX-PN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 30 hours of continuing education credits every two years
Registered Nurse Prospective Nevada RNs must earn an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science in nursing from a board-approved, accredited program. Upon meeting the educational criteria for licensure, applicants must undergo a criminal background check and submit their fingerprints. Candidates who request an application for licensure from the state's nursing board receive fingerprint cards as part of their application packet, although they can also elect to submit their fingerprints digitally. After passing the background check and submitting an application and fingerprints, RN candidates can register to take the NCLEX-RN exam. After paying a fee, applicants can schedule their exam. Individuals who submit all required paperwork can sometimes receive an interim permit that becomes invalid if they do not pass the exam. While it may take up to several weeks for the board to receive the NCLEX-RN exam results, candidates can receive their results from Pearson sooner if they pay an additional fee.

Nevada Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Board-approved, accredited associate degree in nursing or bachelor of science in nursing
  • Additional Clinical Hours: N/A
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 30 continuing education credits every two years
Nurse Practitioner Individuals interested in becoming NPs in Nevada must complete a master's or doctoral degree in nursing. Advanced practice programs must last for at least one year and include clinical components. Approved programs should hold accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduate transcripts should denote completed coursework in advanced role preparation, advanced health assessment, clinical preceptorship, advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and a specific clinical specialty. Candidates who wish to obtain an APRN license must hold active, current RN licensure along with national certification in their chosen specialty area. Candidates applying for prescriptive authority must submit an additional application along with their license application. APRNs must renew their license every two years by completing 45 continuing education credits within their nursing specialties.

Nevada Licensure Requirements

  • Education: Master of science in nursing or a doctor of nursing practice
  • Additional Clinical Hours: N/A
  • Exams: None, but candidates must obtain national certification in their chosen specialty
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 45 continuing education credits within the NP's specialty area every two years

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Nevada FAQ

Is Nevada a Nurse Compact State? Nevada does not participate in the Nursing Licensure Compact. As a result, Nevada nurses who wish to practice outside of the state must pursue licensure by reciprocity outside of Nevada. They may not be able to practice in compact states without earning additional licensure.
What Nursing Field Makes the Most Money? Nurses enjoy a variety of high-paying career opportunities across specialties, with salary potential varying by geographic location. However, the nurse anesthetist specialty typically has the highest salary opportunities.
How Long Does it Take to Get an RN License in Nevada? The time it takesto become an RN in Nevada depends on the degree path candidates follow. ADN candidates can earn their licenses in about two years, while BSN students earn their licenses in around four years.
Is Nevada a Good State For Nurses? Nevada nursing professionals can explore job opportunities at different educational levels and specialty areas, taking advantage of high salary opportunities and fast projected job growth figures in the state.
How Should I Choose What Nursing Field to Go Into? Prospective nurses should take into consideration what patient populations interest them, what level of education they would like to pursue, and their own personal interest areas and career goals.

Nevada Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

Nevada nurses face different salary opportunities and employment trends depending on their education level and specialty. Below, you will find salary and job growth information for nurses in Nevada, along with similar data for nearby states across nursing types. However, earning potential and career opportunities depend on a variety of factors, and no degree or program can guarantee a specific salary amount or position.

In Nevada, all types of nursing professionals are projected to see fast job growth rates in the coming decade. This positive employment outlook should allow nurses throughout the state to explore a variety of lucrative opportunities without facing the uncertainty of employment availability or the threat of nursing shortages.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Nevada, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth(2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $35,130 22.3%
Licensed Practical Nurse $57,140 18.6%
Registered Nurse $85,620 27.3%
Nurse Practitioner $112,540 38.8%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Certified Nurse Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
United States $29,580 $47,050 $75,510 $110,030
California $35,220 $56,200 $106,950 $133,780
Arizona $31,450 $54,090 $77,000 $110,750
Utah $27,880 $48,130 $65,670 $105,840
Idaho $27,400 $44,280 $67,110 $102,600
Oregon $33,230 $53,240 $91,080 $110,010

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant

The $35,130 annual mean wage for Nevada CNAs is much higher than the occupation's national annual mean wage of $29,580. The state also anticipates a projected 22.3% job growth rate for CNAs, which is much faster than the national average job growth rate for all occupations. Compared to the nearby states of California, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, and Oregon, Nevada CNAs have the second-highest salaries, falling behind California by less than $100.

Licensed Practical Nurse

While the U.S. annual mean wage for LPNs is $47,050, LPNs in Nevada enjoy an annual mean salary of $57,140 and a faster-than-average projected job growth rate of 18.6%. In addition, Nevada offers the highest annual mean wage for LPNs in the region, including in nearby Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah.

Registered Nurse

RNs in Nevada draw an annual mean wage of $85,620 -- over $10,000 more than the $75,510 national annual mean wage for RNs. The occupation anticipates a 27.3% projected job growth rate, which is significantly faster than the national rate for all occupations combined. When compared to the nearby states of Idaho, Arizona, California, Utah, and Oregon, Nevada RNs enjoy the third-highest annual mean wages.

Nurse Practitioner

At $112,540, the annual mean wage for Nevada NPs is somewhat higher than the $110,030 national average for the same profession. In addition, Nevada's projected 38.8% job growth rate for NPs is significantly faster than the U.S. job growth rate for all occupations combined. When compared to the nearby states of California, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah, Nevada NPs enjoy annual mean wages that are second only to California.

Nursing Resources for Nevada

  • NNA addresses the issues and challenges nurses face throughout the state, across all specialties. Members can enroll in self-study courses and attend exclusive events.
  • A professional organization for Nevada APRNs, NAPNA aims to improve and expand access to healthcare for individuals, families, and communities across the state.
  • This state department is responsible for regulating licensing and practice standards for nurses in Nevada. The Nevada State Board of Nursing administers nursing licenses for a variety of levels and specialties.
  • NSASN is an affiliate of the National Association of School Nurses. It is dedicated to optimizing student health and health education throughout Nevada.
  • Based in Reno, NONL is committed to developing nurse leaders in Nevada through collaboration, education, and mentorship. It also offers student membership options.

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