South Carolina Nursing License
To practice nursing in South Carolina, a current or temporary nursing license is necessary, as it is in virtually every state. All practicing nurses must have at least an associates degree in nursing attained by completing a program approved by the state board of nursing.
In South Carolina, though, orientation is considered an element of the practice of nursing. All nurses must have an existing license before starting orientation, which consists of classroom instruction along with reading the appropriate policies and procedures.
It is considered a violation of the Nurse Practice Act to enter orientation without the proper license, and nurses can get a temporary license that is valid for 60 days while they go through the orientation process.
In South Carolina, there is no single source for scope of nursing practice in the state for RNs or LPNs. For more information on this subject, applicants can consult the Nurse Practice Act, the Position Statements therein, and the Advisory Opinions and Advisory Opinion Supplement on the Nursing Management of Invasive Devices.
South Carolina is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), and it is also designated as a “walk-through” state. This means that nurses with licenses from other states can practice in South Carolina, and licensed South Carolina nurses can practice in other states that are NLC members.
To work in a compact state, nurses must show proof of residence in a compact state with an ID issued by the government that shows an actual street address (e.g., a current drivers license, as well as a current, active RN license).
The “walk-through” designation refers to licensed traveling nurses, who can obtain a South Carolina nursing license within a period of one hour to one day and use it to practice nursing in the state while applying for a permanent license.
More information on the licensing process can be found at http://www.fastaff.com/obtaining-your-south-carolina-nursing-license.
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LPN Licensing in South Carolina
Of the approximately 64,000 nurses in South Carolina, nearly 12,000 are LPNs. To get a license, these nurses have either completed an RN education program or one that is equivalent to that program with at least 41 total semester hours.
The coursework includes anatomy, physiology, nursing fundamentals, medical/surgical nursing and nursing throughout the lifespan. Candidates need at least a C in all required courses, and an overall GPA over 2.0.
They must also register to take and then pass the NCLEX with Pearson Vue within a year of their graduation date.
The appropriate professional organization for practical nurses is the South Carolina Federation of LPNs. Information on this program can be found at http://www.nflpn.org/stateEvent.php.
Out-of-state candidates can also be licensed by endorsement if they have taken the required exam, have three years of successful practice or were licensed under different criteria. Fingerprinting is required for out-of-state nurses.
Registered nurses in South Carolina must have at least an associates degree in nursing from a college or university that it approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
A partial list of schools offering this degree includes Midland Technical College, Greenville Technical College and Piedmont Technical College, among others. A list of accredited schools can be found at http://www.degreetree.com/resources/how-to-become-an-rn-in-south-carolina.
The average nursing salary in South Carolina is just over $61K.
In South Carolina, the practical nursing program is the quickest educational route to become a nurse. The degree consists of a year of courses, along with hands-on practice. Nurses must get a CPR card and pass the NCLEX-PN after completing the LPN course.
All licensed nurses in South Carolina operate within a two-year renewal window within which they must complete one of four possible requirements: getting thirty credits in continuing education, getting certified or recertified by a national certifying body, completing an academic program in nursing or a related field, or getting certified for competency by an employer based on performance and the number of hours worked.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of South Carolina licensed nurse compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
RN-to-BSN in South Carolina
Because South Carolina is in the midst of a shortage of nursing educators, taking the RN-to-BSN path is a desirable option. Nurses with BSNs can teach entry-level nursing courses, and they can also teach clinical rotations at some teaching hospitals and colleges. The degree is definitely a solid move to land positions that are in high demand.
South Carolina BSN programs generally follow a similar curriculum, which includes treatment programs, pediatrics in the community, defining health needs in the community, preventive care and professional role transition to define the role of nurses in management, and mentorship and different aspects of practice.
According to current statistics, approximately 36 percent of RNNs in South Carolina currently have BSN degrees, but the schools operating within the state would very much like to boost that number. Areas where the BSN is expected to be especially desirable include wound, ostomy and continence nursing, psychiatric nursing, critical care nursing, nurses specializing in the use and implementation of information technology and nurses specializing in health policy.
The most prominent schools currently offering a BSN include Clemson University, Charleston Southern University, South Carolina State and the University of South Carolina, which offers the program in Columbia, Aiken and Spartanburg.