Washington, D.C. only covers a small amount of land, but it is a major metropolitan area with about 5.5 million citizens, and that many people need a lot of nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 10,680 registered nurses in D.C., and with the major growth in the nursing field, as well as across the board in the health industry, major cities are good places to be for aspiring nurses.
The Washington D.C. Board of Nursing governs all licensure applications and renewal for the state, and offers licenses for an assortment of nursing and nurse support professions, including:
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, or Clinical Nurse Specialist)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA)
- Nurse Aide
Nursing Licensure in Washington, D.C.
The application to either renew a nursing license or receive one for the first time can be filled out online, but must be printed and submitted for consideration. An application checklist is available at the D.C. nursing board’s website to make the process easier. Requirements for licensure include:
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Complete required forms and submit them to the board of nursing for approval along with transcripts from nursing schools attended and passport photos.
- Include any other nursing licenses or credentials you have accumulated from different states.
- Pay $187-$230 application and license fee. Price depends on the type of license you apply for.
After receiving a license, nurses are required to complete 24 contact hours of continuing education. Contact hours may include participation in approved nursing courses, authorship of nursing research, or other nursing activities outside regular job duties. Specific demarcation of what constitutes a contact-hour can be found at the D.C. board of nursing’s website which also offers links to continuing education providers, an FAQ about the requirements, and a good deal of other information for new nurses or experienced ones who need to update their paperwork.
Average Nursing Salaries in Washington, D.C.
All salary data is as of May, 2011
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean salary for registered nurses in Washington, D.C. is $75,160, which is about $6,000 higher than the national mean salary for RNs. For comparison, licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) only earn a mean salary of $49,690 in D.C., which is still higher than the national mean wage for all occupations, but much less than the salary of a registered nurse. The following table shows the total number of RN jobs and their annual mean wages for Washington, D.C. itself and the two metropolitan areas of which it is a part.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Washington-Arlington-Alexandria –DC-VA-MD Metropolitan Division||30,860||$74,710|