Georgia Board of Nursing – Overview
To practice as a nurse in Georgia, you need to be licensed by one of two agencies, depending on your education and practice level. RNs (Registered Nurses) can earn their license from the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBN).
Besides this, LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) also need to earn their license to practice from the Georgia Board of Nursing.
In both scenarios, you will need to go through the licensing process, which involves an approved curriculum course, a national exam and a background check. However, both these scenarios have some small differences.
Apart from this, the Georgia Nurses Association offers resources and guidance to nursing students who are eligible for scholarships from the organization.
LPN License Requirements in Georgia
If you wish to become a licensed practical nurse in Georgia, you need to first enroll in a state-approved practical nursing program. You can find a detailed list of state-approved practical nursing schools in Georgia at http://sos.ga.gov/.
The GBN also accepts students from programs by other state nursing boards, provided their requirement meets the Georgia standards.
You cannot get a temporary license to practice nursing in Georgia if you haven’t taken the examination.
So, once you graduate, you should immediately seek enrollment in the licensure procedure. This procedure involves getting your fingerprints registered and then taking the NCLEX exam.
To download the background check consent form and details of fingerprinting process, including the codes, you can visit the official website at http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/plbforms.asp.
Applying for NCLEX-PN Exam
The examination cost for the NCLEX-PN exam in Georgia is US$ 40. In case you need to retake the exam, you will need to pay the fees once more. You will also need to pay the testing company. You can get this detail from the company’s official website at http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/.
For Out-of-State LPN Candidates in Georgia
If you have completed your education outside Georgia, then you can apply by endorsement or equivalent. The specifics depend on whether you are currently licensed to practice within U.S. jurisdiction and have previously taken the NCLEX-RN exam.
If you received your LPN from another state and if you meet the specific requirements, then you may be eligible for an interstate endorsement in Georgia. This includes having worked for 500 paid hours of practice or practicing for at least 3 months within the past 5 years.
This requirement is not applicable to you if you are an LPN applying within 12 months from the time you graduated or got your license.
If you do not meet the practice criterion then you will need to take a refresher/re-entry course.
This course should be taken within the past 5 years from the date of application. The exact length of the refresher course will be determined on the duration of time you have been out of active practice.
If you are an LPN and applying by endorsement then you also need to submit for license verification.
You can download the application packet from the official website at https://verify.sos.ga.gov/verification/. LPNs need to fill the top portion of the form and submit it to the application board.
RN License Requirements in Georgia
As a potential RN, you must get admission into a conventional or non-traditional professional nursing program. The Georgia Board of Nursing has separate criteria for both.
Candidates from non-traditional nursing programs are usually LPNs or have had training as paramedics or medical corpsmen in the armed forces.
A preceptorship is required of non-traditional nursing candidates who do not have sufficient pre-license practical experience. The length depends on the extent of experience and the time passed since then.
RN Licensing Process in Georgia
There are several steps in the nursing license process in Georgia. The first step is starting the background check. You can do background check registration online through the official website at https://dch.georgia.gov/georgia-criminal-background-check-system-gchexs/
Make sure to check that all information you enter is updated and accurate before starting the background check process.
Apart from this, you will also need to register with Pearson VUE, the company that organizes the NCLEX-RN exam. You can do this online by visiting the official website at http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex. Make sure to do this as soon as possible.
If you are an RN candidate and applying by examination, then you can also complete the application process online through the official website.
The other part of the application process involves submitting the official transcripts and completing the fingerprinting process.
If you are not a resident of Georgia, then there is a separate process for examination. Apart from this, you will also need to pay US$ 40 to apply for the exam, apart from the US$ 200 you will need to pay to Pearson VUE.
The Georgia Board of Nursing offers licenses to practice nursing to professionals who have been trained and undertaken the NCLEX examination.
Make sure to read the instructions on the application forms carefully before entering the information and submitting the form.