Nurses are in high demand in Nebraska and the U.S. as a whole. Nationally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that registered nurses will experience a 15% job growth between 2016 and 2026 while nurse practitioners and other nursing specialists will see a 31% increase in job outlook during the same period. Earning a degree in nursing in Nebraska opens up numerous job opportunities for students that want to work in the healthcare field. Nurses are trained to administer treatments and medications as well as assist physicians in patient care and medical procedures. Nurses may work in hospitals, schools, doctor’s offices, elderly care facilities, and privately with individual patients.
There are several types of nursing professions depending on education, licensure, and certification. Positions include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and vocational nurses. Students can become a registered nurse with an associate degree and can enroll in a bachelor’s of nursing to earn higher wages, take on management roles, and advance their careers. A master’s degree in nursing is required for nurse practitioners. In Nebraska, registered nurses earn a mean salary of $60,370 per year and nurse practitioners earn $94,130. An online nursing degree prepares students to enter this growing field while also affording them the flexibility to maintain a full-time job.
How to Become a Nurse in Nebraska
Nursing licensure is overseen by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. To become a licensed practicing nurse (LPN) or registered nurse, students must complete an approved on-campus or online nursing program. RNs must complete a two or four year nursing program in Nebraska. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) must complete an upper-level degree and relevant specialized training. Students can apply for licensure by exam or endorsement for a $45.25 fee. A background check is also required.
Choose the Path That's Right for You
To work as a LPN in Nebraska, students must complete at least nine months to a year of a nursing program. An associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing is required to become an RN. BSN graduates may develop a career in midwifery, anesthesia, or some other field. To become a nurse practitioner, nurses must hold at least an MSN. MSNs are also necessary for careers in specialized occupations such as psychiatric nurse, flight nurse, and neonatal intensive care nurse. At major nursing schools in Nebraska, a DNP is required to teach nursing.
Earn Your Nursing Degree
Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services has a list of approved nursing programs. Currently, no nursing school in Nebraska offers an online ADN. Online nursing schools in Nebraska currently offer BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees. Nurses that hold an ADN and work as an RN are able to enroll in RN to BSN programs offered by University of Nebraska-Omaha, Bellevue University, and Nebraska Methodist College. Nebraska nursing schools like Clarkson College in Omaha offer both RN to BSN and a RN to MSN degrees online. In order to apply to any of these nursing schools in Nebraska, students must hold a RN license and be working as a RN. Students who do not already hold licensure may enroll in one of the online BSN programs in Nebraska. All students must complete an internship or clinical work at an approved local site. Online nursing degrees can be completed in one to three years, depending on degree and enrollment status.
Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
An online nursing degree in Nebraska prepare students for the state licensing exam, but additional study is required. The exam for nurses in Nebraska costs $45.25 and requires a background check. Students have six hours to complete the exam, which is computerized and varies in length. Because Nebraska is a member of the nursing compact, licensed nurses in the state are able to work as nurses in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Nursing Licensure in Nebraska
The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) is the test is required for nursing licensure in the U.S. Applicants must contact the Nebraska Board of Nursing eight to ten weeks in advance and pay a $45.25 fee. They must also pass a background check. The Nebraska Board of Nursing will then investigate to see whether the student has completed an approved program from one of the nursing colleges in Nebraska. Once the state approves students to take the test, they may register through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The exam fee is an additional $200.
The NCLEX-RN covers patient care, management, and nursing integrity. Students must hold an RN or BSN degree and have authorization through the Nebraska Board of Nursing. The exam lasts approximately six hours, with one break after the first two-hour testing session and another after the three-and-a-half hour session.
After a student passes the NCLEX-RN, they will be issued a license in the state of Nebraska. Nebraska is in a compact agreement with other states, meaning that students licensed in Nebraska can practice nursing in any of the 25 member states.
Nursing Licensing Costs in Nebraska
Career Outlook for Nurses in Nebraska
There are thousands of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and advanced practice nurses in Nebraska. An online nursing degree prepares students for all of these in-demand careers in the state and nationwide. Nebraska has numerous medical facilities where nurses can pursue careers at all levels. Nursing professionals in Nebraska can find gainful employment in the state’s urban centers and rural clinics. The BLS projects a 15% increase in job opportunities for RNs between 2016 and 2026.
Pay is lucrative for these positions On average, RNs in Nebraska earn an hourly wage of $29.02 and an annual salary of $60,370. Job outlook is also excellent for specialized nurses. Nurse anesthetists, for example, will see a 31% rise in job opportunities between 2016 and 2026. These professionals earn an annual mean wage of $179,410 in the state of Nebraska. Specialized nursing professions require a graduate degree in nursing, which can be earned from one of the online MSN programs in Nebraska.
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Biggest Hospitals in Nebraska
An online nursing degree requires an internship or clinical series, which can be completed at one of Nebraska’s hospitals. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations have partnerships with nursing schools in the state of Nebraska. For example, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a nonprofit health system, works closely with Creighton University. CHI Health facilities are located in major cities like Omaha, Lincoln, and Kearney as well as smaller towns. Omaha is home to the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Methodist Hospital. There are also numerous county hospitals in Nebraska that always need additional nurses.
- CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center Bergan Mercy: CHI Creighton University Medical Center offers cancer, women’s health, chest pain, cardiovascular, and maternity services. The medical center cares for uninsured and insured patients and participates in community health initiatives. The CHI hospital network employs over 12,000 workers.
- University of Nebraska Medical Center: UNMC employs over 5,000 workers and serves 3,700 students. UNMC is home to a cancer and disease research center, an eye institute, and colleges of nursing, public health, medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry.
Additional Nursing Resources in Nebraska
Nebraska Nursing Association
The Nebraska Nursing Association brings together nursing professionals from around the state to promote health, wellness, and patient advocacy. They also advocate for nurses statewide and nationally. Members can take advantage of continuing education opportunities, awards and scholarships, and the annual NNA conference.
Nebraska State Student Nurses Association
The Nebraska State Student Nurses Association keeps students informed about the latest nursing news. The association attends Nebraska Board of Nursing meetings in Omaha. They are affiliated with the National Student Nurses Association.
Nebraska Organization of Nurse Leaders
The Nebraska Organization of Nurse Leaders is linked to the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Nebraska Hospital Association. The organization advocates for nurse administrators and executives, promotes education programs, supports research, and provides information to nursing professionals.
Nebraska School Nurse Association
As an organization of school nurses from throughout Nebraska, the Nebraska School Nurse Association promotes health education and school health services. The association offers job resources, news and information, and awards for members.
Nebraska Hospital Association
Most hospitals in Nebraska are members of the Nebraska Hospital Association, which promotes leadership, advocacy, and resources for hospital employees, patients, and communities. They also disseminate health news and resources for Nebraskans.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Nebraska
There are several types of accredited online nursing programs in Nebraska. Associate degrees in nursing (ADN programs) are the minimum requirement to earn a nursing license. However, no school in Nebraska currently offers online ADN programs. Online bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN programs) in Nebraska prepare students to become registered nurses (RNs). There are also many online RN to BSN programs in Nebraska for licensed nurses that wish to earn a BSN. Online master’s degrees in nursing (MSN programs) and online doctoral degrees in nursing (DNP programs) are available to nurses seeking to advance their careers, especially in the field of education.