Healthcare is one of the top industries in New Hampshire, which makes nursing a great career for individuals interested in healthcare. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the industry will grow 15% by 2026, and the median annual salary for a registered nurse in Manchester, New Hampshire is $58,486. There are numerous nursing schools in New Hampshire and many offer students the opportunity to pursue an online nursing degree.
Those considering an online nursing degree can pursue multiple career options based on the extent of their education. RN programs in New Hampshire allow students to become registered nurses quickly, while a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) is longer and more in-depth. Many employers now require nurses to hold at minimum a BSN degree. Licensed nurses who wish to complete their bachelor's may enroll in an RN-to-BSN program. Upper-level programs include the master of science in nursing (MSN) and doctor of nursing practice (DNP). This page lists all on-campus and online nursing schools in New Hampshire.
How to Become a Nurse in New Hampshire
Licensing procedures to become a registered nurse in New Hampshire are similar to the requirements in other states. However, there are certain fees specific to New Hampshire, including an examination fee, a background check fee, an application fee, and the NCLEX-RN fee.
1. Choose the Path That's Right for You
At minimum, an associate's degree in nursing is required to become a registered nurse, but many employers now require a bachelor's degree. Individuals with an ADN are also qualified to be a travel nurse or a school nurse. Students interested in becoming an advanced nurse like a nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or a clinical nurse specialist must obtain a master's degree in nursing. Students looking to become a certified nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist will want to pursue a doctoral degree in nursing. Online nursing schools in New Hampshire offer all of these degree opportunities.
2. Earn Your Nursing Degree
Students interested in pursuing an online nursing degree at one of the nursing schools in New Hampshire will need to research the specific requirements of the school they plan to attend. In order to be admitted to some BSN programs, students must already have an ADN. For MSN programs, students are required to maintain their nursing licensure. Nursing programs also require clinical hours in order to graduate, and some require fellowships or internships. It typically takes two years to earn an ADN, four years to earn a BSN, two years to earn an MSN, and two additional years to earn a DNP. Students enrolled in one of New Hampshire's accelerated nursing programs can complete their degree more quickly.
3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License
Graduates from online nursing schools in New Hampshire must take the NCLEX, a national licensing exam. Online nursing degree programs are designed to prepare students for the exam, but students should still study extensively. The RN exam is six hours long and the PN exam is five hours long. Both exams include two optional breaks. Prior to testing, nursing students in New Hampshire are required to fill out an application and pay an application fee, undergo a background check and pay the associated fee, and pay an examination fee.
Nursing Licensure in New Hampshire
After earning an online nursing degree from one of the nursing schools in New Hampshire, students may begin the process of becoming a registered nurse. The New Hampshire Board of Nursing details all relevant information for individuals interested in obtaining nursing licensure. Those applying for an RN license must declare New Hampshire as their state of residence. Typically, if a nurse moves to another state, they will have to research and meet licensure requirements in their new place of residency.
All nursing candidates in the U.S. must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The exam is extensive and tests individuals in all areas of nursing. All questions on the test are written by licensed nursing professionals. Questions cover topics like safety, patient management, infection control, safe equipment use, injury prevention, high risk behavior analysis, disease prevention, patient care, and health screening. If the test is failed on the first attempt, it can be retaken 45 days later. In order to take the exam, an associate of science in nursing or bachelor of science in nursing degree is required.
State Requirements by Nursing Type
In order to become a registered nurse in New Hampshire, an applicant first must obtain an associate's or bachelor's degree at an approved RN school. Then, they must take the nursing licensure exam, NCLEX, within six months of graduation. Individuals may apply for either permanent or temporary licensure, the latter of which is primarily for those who wish to work as a nurse while waiting for NCLEX test results. The application fee is $120, or $140 for both a permanent and temporary license. Applicants must complete a criminal background check, take and pass the NCLEX exam, declare New Hampshire their primary state of residence, include a copy of their driver's license as proof of residency, send an official transcript of the degree earned, and preregister with Pearson VUE in order to be approved by the Board to test.
New Hampshire is a Nurse Licensure Compact state, which allows nurses certified in other Compact states to practice with a single multistate license. RNs already licensed in other states may apply for a license in New Hampshire through endorsement. Fees are the same as other applications.
Licensed RNs in New Hampshire should renew their license every two years. Continuing competency requirements include either 400 hours of active practice in the four years preceding the date of application or renewal, completing a board approved refresher course, or passing the NCLEX within the last 2 years. Continuing education requirements include 30 contact hours of educational offerings such as conferences, workshops, and lectures on nursing practices or the completion of a refresher course.
Licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) are primarily responsible for patient care and typically work in settings like hospitals or other healthcare facilities. In order to become an LNA in New Hampshire, applicants should have completed an approved nursing assistant program within the last five years or prove to the state's board of nursing that they have equivalent training. Prospective LNAs must also go through competency testing and have passed these examinations within the last two years. Competency tests are offered by several organizations, and include both written and clinical components.
An LNA certified in another state may apply for endorsement licensure. To do so, applicants should hold an active nursing assistant certification and either have completed 200 hours of nursing practice under the supervision of an APRN, RN, or LPN and 12 hours of continuing education coursework, or taken and passed competency testing in the last two years.
To remain active in practice, LNAs should complete a minimum of 200 hours of practice under the supervision of a licensed nurse or retake the competency exams every two years. Continuing education requirements include completing 24 contact hours of conferences and lectures on nursing knowledge or retake the competency exams.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) typically report to registered nurses and specialize in long term care at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In terms of education, LPNs are usually required to complete one year of nursing education, often a practical nursing certificate program. While educational requirements for LPNs are shorter than for RNs, the licensing process is very similar. Upon completing their education, they must complete and pass a national exam, the NCLEX for practical nursing. In addition, they will need to go through a criminal background check, submit an application packet with materials proving residency, and pay an application fee of $120.
An out-of-state LPN with an active license may apply for licensure in New Hampshire through endorsement. Candidates applying for endorsement will need to meet continuing competency requirements for LPNs.
To remain active in practice and renew an LPN license, an individual must complete either 400 hours of practice within four years of another application, complete a refresher course, or retake the NCLEX. Continuing education requirements include completing 30 contact hours in conferences and lectures on nursing knowledge or completing a refresher course. These requirements are the same as the ones for RNs.
Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists. To become an APRN, candidates must have obtained at least a master's degree. An APRN program typically consists of at least 225 hours of theory and 480 hours of clinical practice. Upon completing their degree program, aspiring APRNs need to obtain and maintain national certification through an approved organization. Certification is initially granted based on a review of the applicant's credentials, education, experience, and an examination. Then, APRNs are required to maintain their certification by meeting the state's continuing competency and continuing education requirements.
To apply for APRN licensure, an applicant should hold a registered nurse license, go through a criminal background check, pay a $100 application fee, submit a final transcript from an accredited nurse practitioner education program, and obtain national certification from an approved organization. Out-of-state applicants from a compact state with an active nursing license should register with NURSYS to verify their original license.
To maintain certification, practicing APRNs should complete 400 hours of practice in their specialty area within four years of renewal. Continuing education requirements include completing 30 contact hours in their specialty and 30 additional hours that include pharmacology.
Career Outlook for Nurses in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, there are about 13,190 registered nurses. Specialized nursing jobs include certified nurse midwife, oncology nurse, home healthcare nurse, neonatal nurse, psychiatric mental health nurse, pediatric nurse practitioner, and rehabilitation nurse.
Registered nurses in New Hampshire earn an average annual salary of $70,040. Students who earn an advanced degree from one of the nursing schools in New Hampshire can earn even more. Nurse anesthetists earn $160,370, nurse practitioners earn $112,440, and nurse midwives earn $99,060.
Employment Data for RNs in New Hampshire
RNs are responsible for observing and monitoring patients, recording and assessing patients' medical history and current conditions, administering medicine or treatment, performing diagnostic tests, consulting with physicians, and explaining conditions and at-home care procedures to patients. Nationwide, they earned a median annual salary of $70,000 in 2017. In New Hampshire, registered nurses earn an annual mean salary of $70,040. Most registered nurses across the nation are employed in industries of general medicine and surgical hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, and outpatient care clinics.
According to BLS, the industries with the highest registered nurse employment include hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, nursing care facilities, and outpatient care centers. Hospitals across the nation employ around 1,685,820 registered nurses at an annual mean salary of $75,820, while physicians' offices employ 196,040 nurses at an annual salary of $66,890. Top-paying industries for registered nurses include pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, accounting and payroll services, and the federal executive branch. Nurses working in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing make an average mean salary of $90,510. Employment for registered nurses is projected to grow 15% in the next decade.
Employment Data for LNAs in New Hampshire
Nursing assistants are responsible for providing basic patient care and typically work in hospitals or long term care facilities like nursing homes. Their daily tasks include bathing patients, assisting patients with getting dressed or using the toilet, monitoring vital signs, observing and reporting patient health concerns or symptoms, and serving meals. In 2017, nursing assistants nationwide typically earned a median annual salary of $27,510.
The largest employers of nursing assistants in the U.S. are nursing care facilities, hospitals, assisted living facilities, home healthcare services, and the government. Nursing care facilities across the nation employ 594,460 nursing assistants at an average salary of $27,470, while general medical and surgical hospitals employ 365,360 nursing assistants at an average salary of $30,640. The top-paying industries for nursing assistants include the federal executive branch, facilities support services, scientific research and development services, educational support services, and colleges and universities. Nursing assistants working at colleges and universities make an average mean salary of $34,290 while nursing assistants working for the federal executive branch earn an annual salary of $38,340.
Employment Data for ARPNs in New Hampshire
APRNs can be nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners who coordinate patient care and may be in charge of providing primary or specialty care for patients. According to BLS, APRNs nationwide earned a median annual salary of $110,930 in 2017. In New Hampshire, a nurse practitioner earns an average annual salary of $112,440, a nurse anesthetist earns an average annual salary of $160,370, and a nurse midwife earns an average of $99,120. The largest employers of APRNs include physicians' offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, and educational services. Physicians' offices across the nation employ 77,840 nurse practitioners at an average salary of $105,730, and hospitals employ 42,220 nurse practitioners at an average salary of $111,850. However, the top-paying industries for nurse practitioners are actually personal care services, management and technical consulting services, and religious organizations. Advanced nursing practitioners working in personal care services earn an average annual salary of $139,460. Overall employment of advanced practice nurse practitioners is expected to grow 31% in the next decade.
Biggest Hospitals in New Hampshire
Hospitals are the largest employer for nurses. There are a total of 32 hospitals in the state of New Hampshire that provide job opportunities for candidates with online nursing degrees. The larger the hospital, the more job opportunities available. Below are some of the largest hospitals in New Hampshire.
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center : Dartmouth-Hitchcock is the largest hospital in New Hampshire and serves approximately 1.3 million outpatients each year. The hospital trains about 400 residents and fellows annually and employs more than 1,800 direct care nurses.
- Elliot Health System : Elliot is the largest healthcare provider in southern New Hampshire and is located in the state's biggest city, Manchester. The main facility, Elliot Hospital, provides 296 acute care beds.
Additional Nursing Resources in New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Nurses' Association: Any licensed registered nurse in the state of New Hampshire is eligible to be a member of the NHNA. The organization advocates for nurses and helps them learn new skills through continuing education opportunities.
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association, New England Chapter: This chapter of APNA offers opportunities for networking, training, and certification. APNA holds annual conferences and places a high level of importance on mentoring and skills training.
- University of New Hampshire Student Nurse Organization: This organization was created to help students at one of the largest nursing schools in New Hampshire learn about the university's nursing program. SNO is made up of sophomore mentors and freshmen mentees.
- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Eta Iota Chapter: Sigma offers scholarship and research funding opportunities to members in an effort to celebrate nursing excellence. The organization also hosts discussions of contemporary issues in nursing.
Accredited Online Nursing Programs in New Hampshire