Throughout one of the largest but least populous states are quality post-secondary educational institutions that are committed to advancing the field of nursing. Located in such major centers as Boise, Coeur d'Alene, and Twin Falls, colleges and universities make use of the expansive terrain and concentration of science and technology industries that are peppered throughout the state to supply a stream of individuals who are committed to changing the dialogue surrounding patient care through evidence-based and empathetic nursing practice.

Known as the Gem State, Idaho is looking to the future of nursing as an ever-changing profession, and has committed to their patients and nurses to provide opportunities for growth and development. The state has noted that nurses with a BSN or greater degree are better placed to accept greater job opportunities and have the added bonus of earning higher salaries. Idaho is looking at a projected increase in nursing positions of approximately 600 positions per year until 2022. Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a degree greater than this has become the primary focus of achieving their state goal of providing the best nursing care.

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ADN Programs in Idaho

The Associate's Degree in Nursing - also called the ADN - is an effective choice for students who are interested in the fastest track through post-secondary and licensure to a career as an RN, that is, a Registered Nurse. Typically, program length is 2 years or so, with summers off, and ADN programs are often available at community colleges throughout the state.

With more than five ADN programs offered at state colleges, Idaho's students and teaching nurses are working to overcome the needs of the healthcare industry while providing evidence-based, patient-centered care.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Idaho

Different ADN programs emphasize slightly different skill sets and outcomes, however comparing each schools accreditation, licensure status and outcomes is an effective way to support the decision of which school you favor.

Accreditation

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) provides institutional accreditation to community and technical colleges in the state. This means that the accredited institutions meet or exceed the standards for institutional quality. While the NWCCU accredits the institution, ADN programs are accredited individually by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (CCNE). Whether or not an institution is accredited is available on the college or accrediting body's website. Students should ensure that their school choice meets accreditation standards.

Licensing

After your ADN degree has been granted, the next step in your professional pathway is to sit the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure. The Idaho Board of Nursing has vital information to ensure that the program you've enrolled in is actually eligible to have graduate students sit for licensure exams. Without the licensure component, students cannot use the title of "Registered Nurse".

Program Outcomes

Schools maintain a body of data to help them keep their accreditation and attract new students and faculty. Frequently available on the college website, this information is useful to students who are trying to decide which school choice to attend in an evidence-based fashion. Compare:

  • Total number of program graduates
  • Raw enrollment vs graduate data
  • NCLEX-RN exam pass rates (first attempt, not aggregate data)
  • Student experience data

With competitive entry for the program, North Idaho College welcomes students who wish to enter health sciences, specifically nursing. The program offers preferential placement for those who hold an LPN diploma.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Idaho

While there may be a shortage of nurses in the field, that doesn't mean that nursing admissions can afford to be anything less than rigorous in their criteria. Admissions do change between institutions, but there are a number of similarities:

  • High school or GED transcript with posted graduation date
  • Record of all college-level credits
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (cumulative) on prerequisite courses
  • Meet the ADN Admissions criteria for physical ability
  • Individual TEAS score of 60% or greater
  • Provide evidence of current CPR certification

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Idaho

Subject to an array of federal and state regulations, Idaho ADN tuitions are roughly the same between institutions. Housing and associated costs like uniforms, nursing equipment and student fees might vary but on the whole, in-state students can expect good value for their dollars at a community or technical college's ADN program. We've included a sample school to give you an idea of how much money your education may cost.

With campuses in Boise and Nampa as well as online offerings, the cost for an in-state student's tuition per credit hour is about $140 at the College of Western Idaho. The quoted book cost is about $1000; however, nursing students will likely exceed this figure. Nursing supplies and uniforms are not quoted on price lists, however, often teaching staff has recommended vendors to source these items from."

Advantages of ADN Programs

While there is still the romantic appeal for a 4-year university degree, practical students may opt for a 2-year Associate's Degree in their discipline for any number of reasons. Foremost, the cost and time commitment are considerably less, which ups the value for most cash-starved students. In recent years, community and technical colleges have entered formal agreements with associated universities to streamline the transfer process for students that wish to carry on in their education. While academic quality is on par, junior colleges often feature a more hands-on approach to learning which appeals to some students.

BSN Programs in Idaho

When researching options for becoming a nurse, ADN programs are not the only option available to students. BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are the bar to which all students are being streamed, either in a 4-year block of university schooling, through an ADN-to-BSN bridge, or as RNs who wish to enter continuing education for professional development. BSN programs tend to prepare students differently for the rigors of clinical practice with more in-depth reading and theory work to expand their knowledge and skill set.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Idaho

BSN applicants to university programs throughout the state are looking to become top-caliber nurses who are continual learners in their field and who are prepared to educate, serve and become involved in research and service in order to enhance the field of patient care for a diverse population base. Nurses are committed to a path of lifelong inquiry and education for their field and schools should match this.

The University of Idaho has a philosophy of holistic management of the patient condition for healing. Nursing students, RNs and faculty strive to build upon this ideal to improve patient care and nursing standards on a continual basis.

BSN Program Length in Idaho

Unless a BSN program is considered 'accelerated' or a bridge program between ADN and BSN or RN and BSN, the standard length of the bachelor degree program is 4 years or eight semesters. Students may find that some universities condense the standard length of programming into 2.5 years, but warn that the pace and amount of knowledge is intense.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Idaho

Every school has unique requirements for admission to their nursing program; generally, this depends on funding and number of program spaces to fill, as well as the need of surrounding communities and state data. However, what follows is the standard admissions criteria so that students can get an idea of what may be expected of them.

  • Satisfactory completion of general education and program course requirements
  • Submit your official transcript and any other post-secondary documentation you may have
  • Ensure your GPA is 2.0 or higher for pre-requisite courses
  • Submit the appropriate application forms with fees if applicable
  • Visit your assigned Academic Advisor

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Idaho

A baccalaureate degree represents unique value depending on the specialty. With a starting hourly figure of $25 - $30, a BSN can be well worth the cost that it incurs in tuition. In order to help ease a student's transition to adulthood, universities publish their tuition rates, and may also lend insight on other costs like housing, uniforms, texts and equipment. The University of Idaho's resident costs for tuition average about $3,500 per semester for 12 credit hours, and about $11,000 for non-residents. Other fees may be as much as an additional $2500 for first year students with housing and transportation calculated separately.

Advantages of BSN Programs

With double the number of credit hours, the health care industry favors RNs who have a BSN degree after their name. With this in mind, many hospitals, clinics and health departments are looking specifically for candidates who have the extended learning that a BSN provides, as well as the additional experience due to more clinical placements. Finally, if you think you may want to pursue an MSN degree at some point, a BSN is a vital step in the process.

MSN Programs in Idaho

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) emphasizes various aspects of nurse education, public education, leadership and specialty medical tracks. Often offered online for nurses with other personal or professional commitments, ideally nurses in Idaho would complete their MSN in 2-3 years, depending on their prerequisites. Throughout the Gem State, there are two such universities that offer MSN programs, and both have online options, as well as a number of out-of-state universities from which RNs may choose.

MSN Program Length in Idaho

With a full-time course load, the average MSN degree program requires three to four semesters of full-time work. With the heavy clinical and theoretical components in graduate level work, students should carefully consider their workload as they enter this phase of their education.

MSN Admission Requirements in Idaho

At the graduate degree level, standards of professional experience, practice and pre-requisites are important. Institutions may vary, but admission criteria are similar for both MSN schools.

  • Degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Current US RN licensure or its international equivalent
  • Evidence of good standing by the Idaho Board of Nursing
  • Evidence of current employment as an RN
  • Meet or exceed the minimum prerequisite course grade of "C"
  • Provide transcripts indicating a cumulative GPA of 3.0

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Idaho

Compared to other states, MSN programs in Idaho are neither the most nor the least expensive. The Northwest Nazarene University School of Nursing and Health Sciences has a per-credit-hour tuition of about $600; additional fees are calculated separately per semester. Graduate students are expected to enter the program having procured nursing equipment and uniforms.

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Getting a Idaho Nursing License

Idaho requirements for nursing licensure by examination or endorsement must include a completed and notarized application package consisting of the following information:

  • Photo - taken with in the last year (2" x 2" or 2" x 3")
  • Completed census questionnaire
  • Completed 'Affidavit of Graduation' - sent from school directly to state board, after being notarized
  • Fingerprint Card - criminal background check
  • Registration for NCLEX-RN exam

Licensure by endorsement can be obtained by providing:

  • Completed, notarized application form
  • Census questionnaire
  • Verification of license form - via NURSYS if applicable
  • Satisfactory employment reference
  • Declaration of state residence
  • Completed, notarized affidavit of validity
  • Fingerprint card

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Idaho

In 12 months time you could earn your BSN in nursing, if you were to look at an accelerated program offered in the state. Accelerated programs are intense in nature due to providing candidates with 2 degrees in a short amount of time. Clinical hours run concurrently with course load, so it is recommended that students not work during this time. Entry requirements for these programs can require some candidates to have to complete specific courses before the program start date. Any additional courses that must be completed will also alter the amount of tuition for the program. Look into prerequisites and tuition costs for each program you are interested in applying.

Registered Nursing Programs in Idaho

ProgramWebsite
Boise State University Department of Nursing
1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725
(208) 426-1000
Programs: BSN
Brigham Young University-Idaho
525 S Center St, Rexburg, ID 83460
(866) 672-2984
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
Carrington College Department of Nursing
1122 North Liberty Street, Boise, ID 83704
(208) 779-3100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
College of Southern Idaho
315 Falls Ave, Twin Falls, ID 83301
(208) 733-9554
Programs: Associate in Nursing
College of Western Idaho Center for Health Professions
5500 E. Opportunity Dr. , Nampa, ID 83687
(208) 562-3000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Eastern Idaho Technical College Department of Nursing
1600 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, ID 83404
(208) 524-3000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Idaho State University School of Nursing
921 South 8th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83209
(208) 282-1044
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN, MSN
Lewis-Clark State College - Division of Nursing & Health Sciences
500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501
(800) 933-5272
Programs: BSN
North Idaho College Allied Health
1000 W. Garden Ave, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
(208) 769-3300
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Northwest Nazarene University Department of Nursing
623 S University Blvd, Nampa, ID 83686
(208) 467-8011
Programs: BSN
Stevens-Henager College
1890 W 1350 S, Ogden, ID 84401
(801) 392-1471
Programs: BSN

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