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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Idaho

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Let us help you land on your dream job here in Idaho! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Idaho, and more!


Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Idaho

  • Popular hospitals in Idaho

  • Nursing associations in Idaho

  • Contact details


Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more details, visit the Idaho licensing page.

As a nursing compact state, Idaho lets nurses obtain multi-state licenses

*Fees may change without any notice.

**A background check is required in most states, but prices are not usually indicated.


Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Idaho Board of Nursing website. Idaho has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Idaho Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information.


Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Idaho.

  • For RN/LPN - 15 contact hours every 2 years

  • For APRN - 30 contact hours every 2 years (10 of these hours must be in pharmacology if the nurse has perspective authority)

The Idaho Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.


Licensing and Certification

Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.

Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.

Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.


Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Idaho

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is currently $73,640.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Idaho is the right place for you.


Popular Hospitals in Idaho

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Idaho or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. US News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Idaho. Here are some of them:

  • Rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 17 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®.

  • Specializations include cardiology and heart surgery, conditions related to cancer and orthopedics, neurology and neurosurgery.

  • Rated high performing in 9 adult procedures and conditions

  • A general medical and surgical facility.

  • Specialties include gastroenterology and GI Surgery, heart failure, colon cancer, and orthopedics.

  • A highly decorated member of the of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Included in the top 10% in the nation for cardiac care

  • Specializes in cardiology, cancer, orthopedics and family birth.

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult procedure or condition

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Specializes in cardiology and heart surgery.

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.


Nursing Associations in Idaho

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Idaho.

American Nurses Association – Idaho: “gives emphasis to the nursing profession through promotion of professional development, characterizing high standards of practice, encouraging the safety and well-being of nurses in the workplace, and through leadership on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.”

Nurse Practitioners of Idaho: “the highly-recognized resource for continuing education of nurse practitioners that provides a yearly conference to meet ongoing continuing and pharmacology education for the nurses”

Idaho Nursing Students Association: ” helps in the professional growth of nursing students by giving programs on trending nursing and health care issues, promoting involvement in community health and educational activities, and representing nursing students to consumers, nursing faculty, and institutions.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Contact Details

Idaho Board of Nursing

Phone: (208) 577-2476


Mailing address:

PO Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-0061

Physical address:

11351 W. Chinden Blvd.

Building 6

Boise, ID 83714

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