How to Become an LPN in New Jersey
People often become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to gain industry experience while they study to become registered nurses (RNs).
However, those who enjoy the challenging, fast-paced nature of this role might consider making their New Jersey LPN job into a lifelong career.
Education and Training
Whether you’re a certified nursing assistant (CNA) looking to qualify for a practical nursing job or you’re new to the healthcare field and want to know how to become an LPN in New Jersey, the first step is completing the proper training.
During an accredited LPN course, you’ll take classes like:
- Medical Terminology
- Human Biology and Microbiology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Mental Health
- Human Growth and Development
- Foundational Nursing Practices
- Sociology and Communication
- Patient Privacy and Healthcare Ethics
- Infection Control and Prevention
- Medical Recordkeeping
To gain hands-on nursing experience, students participate in externships where they get to apply the skills they’ve learned in class to real-world situations. Schools may partner with local hospitals and outpatient clinics to place students in various medical settings. However, you may be able to earn clinical hours working in a nursing home, psychiatric facility, or surgical center.
Aspiring New Jersey LPNs who want to work in a particular area of the medical field might be able to take specialized classes or complete their clinical hours at a location that lets them practice the required skills.
Some of the most popular specialties for LPNs in NJ include:
- Urgent Care
- Labor and Delivery
- Hospice and Palliative Care
- Correctional and Rehabilitative Health
- Long-Term Care
How Long is LPN Training in NJ?
Certificate programs for LPNs in NJ are typically one year long. Hopefuls can also find 18-month courses that offer specialized training and instruction for aspiring specialist LPNs. Two-year associate’s degree programs might be available at some schools.
How Much Does LPN School Cost?
Most LPN programs in NJ cost between $10,000 and $15,000 in tuition, lab fees, books, and study materials. However, course costs differ depending on where you enroll. For example, some schools charge about $2,000 for LPN certificates, while others offer courses for about $45,000. Longer degree programs might cost anywhere from $8,000 to $65,000.
If you work as a CNA, medical assistant, or EMT while pursuing your LPN degree or certificate, you might be able to receive tuition assistance from your employer. Check the terms of your employee benefits package to see if this perk is available.
New Jersey LPN Requirements
In addition to completing an accredited educational program, aspiring LPNs in NJ must meet certain requirements before receiving licensure from the state’s Board of Nursing. For starters, hopefuls must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
To pass the NCLEX-PN, test takers must answer questions that show their competency and expertise in the following four areas:
- Safe and Effective Care Environments
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Psychosocial Integrity
- Physiological Integrity
State Licensure Requirements
Once you pass the exam, you must apply for state licensure before you can qualify for LPN jobs in New Jersey. Create an account with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and provide:
- Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license number, social security number (SSN), or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
- Transcripts showing proof of graduation from an accredited training program
- Required information for fingerprint-based state and federal background checks
- A completed application form
- A recently-taken passport-style ID photo
- Payment of all necessary fees
After you receive your license, you can work as an LPN in NJ for two years before you have to recertify. LPNs in NJ must complete a minimum of 30 hours of state-approved continuing education courses to be eligible for license renewal.
Most LPN schools include a Basic Life Support (BLS) credential in the curriculum. If your chosen program lacked instruction and certification components that taught proper first aid, CPR, and AED use, you might need to receive additional training from the Red Cross or the American Heart Association.
LPN Salaries in NJ
On average, an LPN in NJ makes roughly $58,855 per year. However, the average LPN salary in Jew Jersey varies depending on which part of the state you live in. Check out the list below to learn about how much LPNs make in different New Jersey cities:
- Newark $59,798
- Atlantic City $53,704
- Jersey City $59,592
- Toms River $60,261
- Burlington $55,968
- Trenton $57,724
Specialized LPN jobs at New Jersey surgical centers and private hospitals sometimes pay closer to $70,000 per year. As they gain more experience and qualify for more advanced, higher-paying positions, LPNs in NJ might be able to earn as much as $90,000 per year or more.
Employees working LPN jobs in New Jersey perform various patient care tasks while under the supervision of a registered nurse. Depending on whether they work in a hospital, nursing facility, or specialized medical center, these healthcare professionals typically perform duties like:
- Gathering supplies that doctors, nurses, and physician assistants need to perform medical procedures
- Monitoring patients’ blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, and other vital signs
- Dispensing and administering medications
- Collecting blood and fluid samples alongside phlebotomy techs
- Helping patients bathe, groom, and dress themselves as needed
- Tracking a patient’s progress after treatments
- Informing RNs about changes in a patient’s medical condition
- Updating medical charts
Like many jobs in the healthcare industry, LPN jobs tend to increase in demand as experienced professionals move on to other medical careers. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that LPN job openings are likely to increase by about six percent over the next ten years, possibly because of LPNs obtaining additional degrees or certifications and becoming registered nurses.