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Registered Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse

Nursing and Nursing Support

A Registered Nurse (RN) has obtained two to four years of education at a college, university, or hospital. RNs may practice nursing independently.

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) has obtained nine months to one year of education, typically in a community college. LPNs must always practice under the direction of a RN or other licensed practitioner. 

Only graduates of approved programs of nursing are eligible for licensure in Nebraska. Applicants who have only partially completed a nursing education program and individuals who have been trained as corpsman or other equivalency options are not eligible for licensure as a nurse in Nebraska.

The practice of nursing is a process that occurs during interaction between the nurse and the patient. This process begins with a thorough assessment of the patient’s health care needs. The nurse assesses the patient’s needs by interviewing the patient and the family to determine health history and current health status, by physically examining the patient, and by reviewing the patient’s record including the results of diagnostic tests.

Following the assessment, the nurse works together with the patient to develop a plan designed to care for current conditions, improve health status and prevent future illness. The nurse provides a variety of services or interventions for the patient depending on his/her needs. These services range from support for activities of daily living to highly complex technological services necessary to support life and foster the return to health. The nurse has the responsibility to continually monitor the effects of the services being provided and make adjustments or changes as needed.

Throughout this process the nurse is accountable for a caring attitude with the best interests of the patient being the foremost concern.

NEW! Telephonic and Electronic Nursing



LB 129 passed this last legislative session requiring criminal background checks for all initial RN and LPN applicants.  The law becomes effective August 30, 2015.  This includes licensure by exam or by endorsement.  If you are applying for an initial RN or LPN license and anticipate taking the NCLEX and receiving your license after August 30, you will be required to have a criminal background check.  If you are applying for licensure by endorsement and anticipate being licensed after August 30, you will be required to have a criminal background check. To accomplish this, you will need to have your fingerprints taken at a Nebraska State Patrol Office or other law enforcement agency.  The Nebraska State Patrol has obtained authorization from the Federal Bureau of Investigations to conduct the background checks for nurses.  You may now make an appointment with a Nebraska State Patrol Office to have your fingerprints taken (see link above to Criminal Background Check Information).  HOWEVER, the Nebraska State Patrol cannot process the criminal background checks until after August 30.  
Please be aware that standard processing time is 8-10 weeks for the fingerprint background check. Please REFRAIN FROM CONTACTING THE STATE PATROL REGARDING THE STATUS OF PRINTS. 
Please be patient as we begin this new process.


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