Idaho is a fairly large state, ranked 14th in the nation for geographic size, but only 39th for population. The people of Idaho are spread out, and there are few metropolitan areas compared to the amount of land where people live at relatively low density. For nurses who want to work in smaller communities or more rural settings, this may be ideal, although the nonmetropolitan areas of Idaho have lower annual wage estimates than the national average, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Idaho is a member of the Nursing Licensure Compact, meaning that anyone holding a license in another member state may practice nursing in Idaho as well, without getting an additional license.
Idaho licenses nurses in all the standard professions, including:
- Registered Nurses (RN)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN, including Nurse Midwife, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Practitioner, and Certified Nursing Specialist)
- Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses
- Certified Nurse Aides
Nursing Licensure in Idaho
Unless you already have a nurse practitioner license in a “Compact” state, you’ll have to apply for a new one when moving to Idaho. The application process is pretty standard, and has the following requirements:
- Complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)
- Submit application paperwork, including transcripts from nursing school or training and copies of any nursing licenses you already hold. Licenses expire on August 31 of even numbered years for LPNs and LVNs, and odd numbered years for RNs and APRNs.
- Submit a criminal background check showing that you are not a convicted felon.
- Complete 30 contact hours of continuing education if your last education or training in nursing was more than two years ago. You will have to complete 30 contact hours every two years in order to renew your license.
Average Nursing Salaries in Idaho
All salary data is as of May 2011.
Nursing salaries in Idaho are generally lower than the national average, but not by much in the major metropolitan areas. Cities usually offer better salaries for nurses, but the higher cost of living may balance out the higher wages, or effectively create a net-loss. The table below compares national average wages for nurses to those in various metropolitan areas of Idaho, according to The BLS.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Boise City-Nampa, ID||5,600||$65,500|
|Coeur d’Alene, ID||1,230||$64,210|
|Idaho Falls, ID||990||$54,150|