Want to get into the healthcare field without the huge upfront costs of a 4-year college degree?
There are ways to break into the industry without getting a bachelor’s degree.. one of which is becoming an LPN.
You only need to enroll in a state-approved program and submit all application documents needed. This is definitely faster and less expensive!
Not sure how to become an LPN in New Jersey?
We got your back!
In this article, we’ll list down all the steps, requirements, and costs you need to prepare for and we’ll do it in a simple, straightforward way!
We’ve also included frequently asked questions for those who want to start their journey as LPNs. Questions such as:
- Is New Jersey an NLC state?
- When and how do I renew my LPN license in New Jersey?
- How much is an LPN license in New Jersey?
- And more!
Let’s get into it.
How to Become an LPN in New Jersey in 5 Simple Steps
These are the steps to becoming an LPN in New Jersey:
- Step #1: Complete school admission requirements.
- Step #2: Enroll in a state-approved training program in New Jersey
- Step #3: Submit your licensure application and register to take the NCLEX-PN
- Step #4: Take and pass the NCLEX-PN
- Step #5: Find your first job as an LPN
Let’s discuss each step!
Step #1: Complete School Admission Requirements
Before you can enroll as an LPN student, you need to qualify and complete all the conditions asked by the school.
These are the most common requirements across all programs in New Jersey:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Should have a high school diploma or GED
- GPA should be at least 2.5
- Proof of completion of any or all prerequisite courses
- Completion of Accuplacer
- Proof of immunizations and insurance
- Proof of passing a drug and criminal background check
Not all schools have the same requirements, so it’s still best to contact the specific school you are interested in. But it’s good to know ahead of time what they might ask from you.
If you’re ready, then it’s time to look for a program!
Step #2: Enroll in a State-Approved Training Program in New Jersey
The New Jersey Board of Nursing is strict when it comes to the credentials of its applicants. This is because lives are dealt with when you are a practitioner in the healthcare industry.
To make sure applicants have the necessary education and training, they require them to join state-approved programs only.
You can check this page for the different state-approved programs. You can even check the NCLEX passing rates of these schools to find out how well their graduates perform.
How much do training programs cost in New Jersey?
Training programs usually cost around $28,000.
We know. This costs a lot.
But for many schools, this would already include textbooks, uniforms, and other learning materials needed. At first, it might be heavy to shell out this much. But once you get your license, it’ll all be worth it.
Some schools also offer scholarships and financial grants, so don’t be afraid to ask what your options are!
What do you learn in LPN training programs?
LPNs have a lot of responsibilities.
Aside from providing bedside care, they monitor vital signs, take health histories, administer medications, and even help in managing overall care.
To prepare LPNs for whatever task given to them, they are taught the following.
- Nursing Fundamentals
- Anatomy and Physiology
- How to Assess Health History and Perform Examinations
- Growth and Development
- Infection Control and Prevention
- Patient Safety
- Medication Administration
- Intravenous Medications
- Basic Patient Needs
- Adult Medical Nursing
- Emergency Nursing Care
- Grief and Loss
- Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
- Rehabilitation and Restorative Care
- Gerontology Nursing
- Maternal and Natal Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
Aside from classroom instruction, LPNs are also exposed to real-life settings where they can apply what they learned under the supervision of an RN.
They have to undergo clinical training in different healthcare settings.
Step #3: Submit Your Licensure Application and Register to Take the NCLEX-PN.
In New Jersey, like in most states, the license application and exam registration are done simultaneously.
This is because the Board of Nursing (BON) is the one that evaluates if you qualify to take the national exam or not. They check your credentials and determine if you can proceed.
You need to send your license application to the New Jersey Board of Nursing together with the following:
- Filled-up application form and payment of application fee
- Current photo (should be passport-style)
- Proof of finishing a state-approved training program (transcript should be sent by your school directly to the BON)
- Criminal History Background check
- Registration for the NCLEX through Pearson Vue
- Examination payment of $200
Step #4: Take and Pass the NCLEX-PN
Once done with the application, wait until you receive the ATT or the Authorization to Test document.
This document would contain your examinee number, the dates when you can start taking the test, and the locations of the different testing centers.
What is NCLEX-PN?
The official examination for aspiring LPNs is called the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses or NCLEX-PN. This is a national test mandated by the Board of Nursing to be implemented locally. If you pass this test, this means you are ready to practice as an LPN.
Examinees are given 5 hours to take the exam and that’s because they can receive up to 205 questions.
The test consists mostly of multiple-choice questions and fill-in-the-blanks.
So you can prepare better for the test, here’s a guide as to how questions are organized.
Different Parts of the NCLEX-PN
Part 1: Safe and Effective Care Environment
- Coordinated Care
- Safety and Infection Control
Part 2: Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Ante/Intra/Postpartum and Newborn Care
- Data Collection Techniques
- Lifestyle Choices and Self Care
- Health Promotion Programs
- Developmental Stages and Transitions
- Disease Prevention
Part 3: Psychosocial Integrity
- Coping Mechanics and Grief and Loss
- Stress Management
- Support Systems
- Chemical Dependency
- Behavioral Management
- Crisis Intervention
- End-of-Life Care
Part 4: Physiological Integrity
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
- Reduction of Risk Control
- Physiological Adaptation
If you pass the exam, you will receive your LPN license and can start the job hunt.
If you don’t pass on the first try, you can retake the exam. You will have to apply for a re-examination and pay the exam fee again, however.
The good thing is that you will receive a diagnosis of how you performed in the exam so that you can see where you need to improve and study more.
Step #5: Find your First Job as an LPN
There are many career opportunities for LPNs.
Common work settings include nursing homes, hospital-based nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, home health, and hospitals, especially in ambulatory care. But many, if not most of the LPNs in New Jersey, are found in nursing homes.
Whatever work setting you choose, you will be compensated fairly. New Jersey is one of the higher annual salary state providers for LPN. An annual average salary in New Jersey is about $58,590.
This is higher than the national mean of $51,850.
So if you’re still thinking about the tuition you paid earlier on, don’t worry about it! You’ll be able to earn it back.
FAQs about Becoming an LPN in New Jersey
And there you have it! We’ve given you the 5 simple steps to becoming an LPN in New Jersey.
But you might still have some questions in your mind.
In this section, we are going to answer a few of them.
I’m already an LPN in another state. Do I still need to take the NCLEX-PN again?
If you are already an LPN in another state, you don’t need to do the whole process mentioned above again.
All you need to do is to apply for a New Jersey LPN license by endorsement or reciprocity.
You need to submit the following when you apply:
- Proof showing you completed a state-approved training program
- License verification
- Criminal background check
Is New Jersey an NLC state?
New Jersey is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact or NLC.
So, if you are an LPN from another compact state and you have a multistate license, then you can practice in New Jersey without having to apply for a separate LPN license by examination or endorsement.
Likewise, if you have a multistate license from New Jersey, you can practice as an LPN in other compact states.
You can apply for a multistate license by completing and qualifying for all these requirements:
- Hold a current and valid New Jersey Nursing License
- Meet the requirements for licensure in New Jersey in terms of residency
- Show proof that you have graduated from a board-approved program or have graduated from an international program approved by accredited review agencies and bodies
- Pass the English proficiency education (If English is not your native language or if you graduated from an international program)
- Pass the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam
- Hold an active and unencumbered license
- Submit the state and federal background checks
- Have no criminal record or issuance of conviction
- Have no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing
- Have a valid United States Social Security number
- Not a participant in an alternative program
If all of these are checked on your list, then you can submit an online application.
When and how do I renew my LPN license in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, you will have to renew your LPN license every 2 years.
For LPN licenses, you need to have 30 contact hours in the past 2 years and:
- At least 1-hour addresses instruction in organ and tissue donation and recovery process,
- At least 1-hour concerning the prescription of opioid drugs
To renew online, check out this page.
What are the costs I should prepare for in getting my NJ LPN license?
Aside from your program costs which vary depending on where and how long you’ll take it, you will have to pay for the following fees:
- RN licensure application fee by examination: $120
- RN licensure application fee by endorsement: $200
- Fingerprint processing fee: $58.69
- LPN licensure application fee: $200
- License renewal fee: $125
Now you’re ready to embark on your journey of becoming an LPN in New Jersey!
It’s definitely less of a hassle, less expensive, and faster than becoming an RN in the industry.
Just take note of all the information we’ve shared with you and you’ll be a nurse in no time!
We wish you all the best!