How to Become an LPN in West Virginia – A Simple Guide

How to Become an LPN in West Virginia - A Simple Guide

Becoming an LPN is a great career choice!

It is both rewarding and meaningful because it allows you to help those around you.

But how can you become one?

Aren’t there a LOT of requirements? Don’t the requirements differ per state? 

Don’t worry! 

In this article, we are going to answer all your questions by providing a step-by-step, easy-to-follow plan.

We’ll give you the whole process of how to become an LPN in West Virginia in just 4 steps!

We’ll also answer frequently asked questions, including:

  • How much does an LPN in West Virginia make?
  • Is West Virginia an NLC State?

To be able to fulfill your dreams, you have to know how to get there. 

So, let’s get right into it!

How to Become an LPN in West Virginia – 4 Simple Steps

Here are the 4 simple steps to becoming an LPN in West Virginia: 

Step #1: Enroll in a State-Approved LPN Program 

Step #2: Get Your LPN License 

Step #3: Land Your First Job

Step #4:  Keep Your License Active

Let’s have a look at each one.

Step #1: Enroll in a State-Approved LPN Program 

The first important step in becoming an LPN is getting the best nursing education. 

But don’t worry! LPN programs are not that long!

They usually last 12 months for full-time students but can extend to 18-24 months for part-time students. It depends on your schedule and student load. 

Typically, the best nursing schools are those which are state-approved and accredited. You can be assured that these schools provide good education because they have to undergo evaluation and screening. 

State approval is not just important for the quality of education you can receive, but is also a requirement to qualify for licensure later on. 

You can see the list of schools approved by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for LPNs here

Program Content 

The exact content will differ per school, but you can expect some common subjects, such as:

  • Pediatrics
  • Maternal and Newborn Care
  • Adult Health
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health
  • Community Health
  • Medical and Surgical Nursing
  • Long-term Care and Geriatrics

You will also receive clinical training and exposure in different healthcare settings. 

This will allow you to practice the principles and theories you learn in the classroom in real-life settings. Of course, you will be under the supervision of one of your teachers or another professional. 

Program Cost

LPN program costs vary from school to school. However, you can expect to pay around $3000-$5000. This may or may not cover expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, and other supplies. 

You have to check with your school what is included in the total cost. 

For example, the cost of nursing school at Greenbrier School of Practical Nursing is around $3500.

If this amount seems too much for you, make sure to check with your school’s financial aid office. Some schools may offer scholarships, grants, or other forms of financial assistance. 

Admission Requirements

Before you can enroll in an LPN program, you need to fulfill some requirements.

These requirements may change depending on the institution. But, generally, they include:

  • A high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED)
  • Must be 17 years of age or older
  • An official transcript from colleges previously attended (if applicable) 
  • Vaccination and complete immunization records
  • Finish all pre-requisite classes

Some schools may have fewer or more requirements than the ones listed above so be sure to contact your prospective school directly. 

Step #2: Get Your LPN License

Schooling was the first step, but to get to your final dream of becoming an LPN, you’ll need to get a license.

A license is a state-recognized authorization for you to practice as an LPN. Without an active license, you cannot practice as one.

So, how can you get a license in West Virginia? 

There are two ways: 

  1. Examination
  2. Endorsement

Examination

Just like any other exam, the practical nursing exam called the NCLEX-PN, is meant to test your knowledge and skills. 

All aspiring LPNs all over the country need to take and pass this exam. It is the only official way to become a Licensed Practicing Nurse.  

To be able to take the test, you must submit the following requirements to the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses:

  • Filled-up application form and payment of the $75 application fee 
  • An official transcript from a nursing program that has received state approval.
  • A fingerprint card and consent form for a criminal background check
  • Substance use disorder evaluation conducted by a board-approved practitioner (for applicants who have had a substance use disorder within the past five years)
  • Registration with Pearson Vue and payment of the $200 examination fee to take the NCLEX

The State Board of Examiners will evaluate your application and determine if you qualify to take the exam. 

If you do, then you will receive an email from Pearson Vue with an Authorization to Test (ATT) form. The email will also contain instructions on how to schedule your exam and choose your testing center.

Once you pass the exam, your license will be mailed to you! Congratulations!

If you don’t pass, you can still retake the exam, but you will have to notify the board office and pay the $75 fee again. You will also need to register with Pearson Vue for a re-examination. 

Endorsement

The second way to become an LPN is through endorsement.

However, the endorsement process is only applicable to LPNs already practicing in other states and who want to move to West Virginia and continue their practice there without having to go through the entire examination process.

To submit a successful endorsement application, you must:

  • Filled-up application form and payment of the $50 application fee
  • Undergo a criminal history records check
  • Substance use disorder evaluation conducted by a board-approved practitioner (for applicants who have had a substance use disorder within the past five years)
  • Documentation for any disciplinary action taken or initiated against a professional or occupational license, registration, or certification (if applicable)
  • Disclosure of participating in an alternative to discipline program in any other jurisdiction (if applicable)
  • Verification of original licensure and current licensure

The State Board of Examiners for LPNs in West Virginia will evaluate your application. If you qualify, you can receive your West Virginia LPN license.

Note: West Virginia is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact. 

So, if you have an active multi-state license from another NLC state, you can work as an LPN in West Virginia without having to go through the whole endorsement process. That’s great news for you! 

Step #3: Land Your First Job!

Sometimes, finding a job can be a nightmare.

It seems whenever you try finding jobs, you either can’t find one, it isn’t paying well, or it’s not the one you are looking for.

Well, LPNs have it easier! 

With an average age of 42 and 25% of the population above 65, West Virginia has an increasingly aging population, which means there is a huge demand for LPNs

So, where should you start looking?

  • Nursing Care Facilities
  • Home Healthcare Services
  • Hospitals
  • Doctors’ Offices
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the areas where LPNs commonly work, so consider applying here.

But you can also look for jobs in other areas, such as schools, correctional facilities, sports centers, health shops, insurance companies, etc. 

Healthcare is needed almost anywhere, so you can be innovative in your job hunt. 

Step #4: Keep Your License Active 

For an LPN, the license is the most important thing; that’s why keeping it active is very important. 

Every year by June 30th, LPNs in West Virginia must renew their licenses by filing an updated renewal application with the state. 

However, you only need to report your CE and practice requirements every two years (on even-numbered years). 

West Virginia requires you to complete 24 hours of continuing education and 400 hours of LPN practice in each 2-year reporting period. 

Note: Failure to renew your license two years after expiry will result in heavy fines. If failure prolongs for four years, your license can be revoked.

But pursuing continuing education is not just about keeping your license active. 

This is also a good way to improve your credentials and advance your career.

You can get training to become specialized in a certain nursing field. 

You can also consider studying to become an RN and eventually an APRN! 

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming an LPN in West Virginia

Okay! So, now we know the steps to becoming an LPN! 

It isn’t THAT complicated, right?

But you may still have some questions in your mind. We’ll try to answer a few of them in this section. 

How much does an LPN in West Virginia make?

LPNs in West Virginia make an average of $45,530 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

However, the hourly and annual salaries of LPNs vastly differ based on where exactly you live. 

Other factors such as experience, institutional policies, and your credentials also contribute to how much you can make. 

Is West Virginia an NLC State? 

Yes, it is!

This is good news for you because it means that you can work in other NLC states without having to apply for a separate license in each state. 

This gives you more job opportunities not limited to West Virginia alone. 

Wrapping it up

Becoming an LPN will require time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end. 

LPNs are an extremely important part of the healthcare system. Their job involves a lot of responsibility, commitment, and care. 

LPNs are needed everywhere, and without them, hospitals and other healthcare institutions can’t run properly.  That being said, the rewards will be immense, and you will enjoy every moment of it.

For the ambitious types out there, working as an LPN doesn’t have to be the end of the road. 

Becoming an LPN is just the start of greater opportunities that lie ahead, such as becoming an RN or pursuing a nurse specialization, or more. 

Dream big and work hard!

We wish you all the best!

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