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RN without RN school? West Virginia (WV) military medical personnel to RN

Posted

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

Have any former military persons had experience with applying to take the NCLEX-RN in West Virginia through their rule allowing certain military medical specialty-trained persons to take it and be licensed in WV without a formal ADN, BSN, or RN Certificate education program? Curious what your experiences are or what you have heard.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Hmm - take a look at THIS - table outlining all of the US nursing licensure requirements. If I'm interpreting it correctly, WVa military equivalency is only for LPN. Check page 10 of the document for the complete listing of states which have military equivalency options.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

That would appear true looking at the 'general rules,' but there's a specific exception in the WV code for military medical folks: West Virginia Code

That would appear true looking at the 'general rules,' but there's a specific exception in the WV code for military medical folks: West Virginia Code

Wow -- I wonder how the RNs in WV feel about this. Looks like WV law does now allow this; but you should assume that a license issued in this way will not be recognized by any other state for endorsement purposes, since an individual licensed through this path will not meet the educational requirements for licensure in any other US state.

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 3 years experience.

I would go for it only if you were never expecting to work outside of West Virginia.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

Oh, silly people. I don't live in West Virginia and never intend to. I'm hoping I can use it to enter an "RN to BSN" program that doesn't specify that you need an ADN to apply, or require the RN license be in any particular state. It's just a 'curious pathway' I'm exploring. I may end up doing something more traditional.

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 3 years experience.

You will probably run into licensure issues in other states trying to endorse your WV license, meaning it will be very difficult to work in another state with the pathway you are looking in to. That is what we are trying to tell you.

Those BSN programs may also require transcripts from a nursing school to show you completed an accredited program before entering an RN to BSN program.

Have you looked into ABSN programs at all (if you have a degree already)?

Oh, silly people. I don't live in West Virginia and never intend to. I'm hoping I can use it to enter an "RN to BSN" program that doesn't specify that you need an ADN to apply, or require the RN license be in any particular state. It's just a 'curious pathway' I'm exploring. I may end up doing something more traditional.

I expect you will have a v. difficult time finding an BSN completion program that doesn't require you to be licensed (as an RN) in the state in which you are attending school. Even if you get into a BSN completion program with an RN license you got through the WV exception, you will (most likely) still not be eligible for RN licensure in any state other than WV. Decisions about licensure are made (by all US states) based on the educational program you completed that initially made you eligible for RN licensure. Completing a BSN later on has nothing to do with that, since BSN completion proggrams don't cover basic nursing content. This would be the same as the Excelsior graduates who can't get licensed in CA because their initial, pre-licensure nursing education was through Excelsior, who come here and ask if completing a BSN or an MSN will make them eligible for licensure in CA. The answer is no, because, if your initial program through which you got licensed as an RN doesn't meet the state's educational requirements, no additional nursing education you complete later on is going to change that. You most likely will not be able to endorse a WV license obtained in this manner to any other US state, regardless of what additional nursing education you complete later on, because your original, pre-licensure nursing education is not going to meet the educational requirements of any other US state.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

I agree with what both of you have said for the most part. There are some states that it looks like they would accept it after completion of a diploma, ADN, or BSN. After reading through my state's NPA, I don't think mine is one of them. I think I'll still go ahead and do it though. Partly for the novelty of being able to say I'm an RN in a state I've never lived in, but not my own. But mostly because I plan to do some volunteer work at a local federal facility, and would be able to volunteer as an RN and get broader experience under the supervision of the permanent staff/more experienced RNs.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the VA accepts an RN license from any state.

It is entirely appropriate that ex mil medics and corpsmen, with qualifying training and clinical hours, are eligible to take the NCLEX and be afforded the opportunity to provide health care to our veterans.

Edited by icuRNmaggie

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

The short answer is, "Sorta," for any federal institution. Most job postings require that you have a degree, or diploma, and may take a certain amount of military training in lieu of but only for certain pay grades.

Here's an example from the Bureau of Prisons:

"Education:

Applicants must have degree or diploma from a professional nursing program approved by the legally designated State accrediting agency at the time the program was completed by the applicant. (One year of nursing experience as a military corpsman that has been accepted by a State licensing body may be accepted in lieu of education at the GS-04 level.)"

(It won't unbold for some reason, sorry) So basically, an RN license from any state with no ADN/diploma/BSN would get you a maximum of GS-4, which is actually less than an LVN can make with experience at the VA/BOP or other agencies.

Now this is where federal jobs get.. interesting: How a job is written matters. In this particular job advertisement, it lists additional ways to meet requirements for GS-5, 6, 9, etc

"GS-07:

Completion of a professional nursing program AND 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-05 level OR 1 full year of graduate education or bachelor's degree with superior academic achievement.

GS-09:

2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education or a master's or equivalent degree OR 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level. "

The GS-07 description and GS-09 descriptions are interesting, because the author requires either one or two years of graduate education. Notice that it does not say, "In a program leading towards an MSN."

It becomes interesting because in the federal government, the way it's written is generally what they have to hire based on, or cancel the advertisement and re-write it. I'm not sure how it would play out in the hiring process to be honest, but I do know quite a few people with graduate degrees that are not in nursing, undergraduate degrees not in nursing, who are also RNs, so by the letter of the advertisement they would meet those qualifications.

In short - yes, you can work at a federal facility as an RN from any state. How that translates into pay grade could be much more complex.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

Here's another example, this one from a VA position:

  • Nurse I Level I - An Associate Degree (ADN) or Diploma in Nursing, no experience.
  • Nurse I Level II - An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 1 year of experience, or an ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelor's degree in a related field and no experience; or a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) and no experience.
  • Nurse I Level III - An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 2-3 years of experience, or an ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelors degree in a related field and approximately 1-2 years of experience; or a BSN with approximately 1-2 years of experience, or a Master's degree in nursing (MSN) or related field with a BSN and no experience.
  • Nurse II - A BSN with approximately 2-3 years of experience, or ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelors degree in a related field and approximately 2-3 years experience or a Master's degree in nursing or related field with a BSN and approximately 1-2 years experience, or a Doctoral degree in nursing or meets basic requirements for appointment and has doctoral degree in a related field with no experience.
  • Nurse III - Master's degree in nursing or related field with BSN and approximately 2-3 years experience or Doctoral degree in nursing or related field and approximately 2-3 years experience.

Note that this one takes a lot more care in specifying exactly what type of education it must be, but still allows for example for an RN with a nursing diploma and a BS in some other "related" field to qualify for higher pay grades.

If you get bored, go to usajobs.gov and type in registered nurse in the search box. You'll find that the requirements for various pay grades vary widely.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

The above job requirements also beg the question, "what is a nursing diploma?"

The above job requirements also beg the question, "what is a nursing diploma?"

A diploma is what you get when you graduate from hospital-based nursing programs, frequently referred to as "diploma programs."

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

I'm aware of what the intention was elk. However, in federal job postings, intention and language are two different things. Candidates are hired based on language, not intent. I could produce both a nursing diploma and an RN license, but not have gone through a hospital diploma program leading immediately to an RN license.

icuRNmaggie, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CICU. Has 24 years experience.

Nick,

I have read the links and it appears that the board evaluates each veteran on an individual basis. If you have done your tour or tours of duty and been honorably discharged, there should be a place for you in nursing or as a paramedic. I have to ask if WGU or any of the other online education providers give credit for military experience.

LessValuableNinja

Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

Hey Maggie. I already have undergrad and graduate degrees. Just not in nursing. Gened is taken care of. I used to teach in hospital education, to MDs, DOs, NPs, PAs, BSNs, and so on. So knowledge isn't an issue, even if I'm a bit rusty after being a businessman (and hating it) for the last decade. There are a lot of online options, but most require planes and clinical components unless you're already an RN, in which case a lot of programs allow you to arrange any necessary clinicals locally and some require no clinicals to do an RN-BSN bridge. Hence my interest in a possible "loophole."

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 3 years experience.

I see that you are an LPN/LVN... have you looked into doing LPN bridge to RN?