Becoming an RN in Delaware

You become a registered nurse in Delaware by completing an approved course in professional nursing. The course may be at the diploma, associate’s, or bachelor’s level — you just need to make sure that it qualifies you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. All RN courses cover the basics of nursing across the lifespan (maternal, pediatric, and adult care). All provide an introduction to mental health as well as medical-surgical nursing. ADN and diploma courses are similar in terms of level. One difference is that diplomas are generally granted by hospitals like Beebe Medical Center. BSN (bachelor’s of science) courses go somewhat above the minimum that is required for licensure. They generally cover more advanced nursing concepts and provide more instruction in leadership roles.

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After you complete your program, you will need to pass a background check and also receive an authorization to take the licensing exam. You are required to take the NCLEX within 90 days of graduation (unless you have been granted a waiver due to extenuating circumstances). The exam may be retaken, if necessary.

Candidates who did their training in other municipalities are eligible for licensing, and the process is often relatively quick. If you did your initial education in another nation, you should have your credentials reviewed by CGFNS.

RN Education Options

If you are already licensed as a practical nurse, your degree program may be significantly shorter than it is for a traditional student. You can enroll in an LPN to RN bridge program or receive advanced placement in a standard RN track. Policies vary from program to program.

If you already have a degree, but it’s in a field other than nursing, there are fast track options for you as well. As a second degree student, you will get credit for general studies and some prerequisites. You will also have the option of taking a short but intensive program that includes summer, fall, and spring semesters.

Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Delaware

A recent AACN survey looked at job offers for BSN and direct entry MSN graduates who had entered the field between 2008 and 2010. Delaware’s college deans reported that 74% had had job offers within four to six months. This is good considering that the country was in the throes of recession. However, the rate is somewhat below what was reported by nearby states. Delaware is a Nurse Compact state, and so is Maryland. A registered nurse who lives in DC is eligible to apply for jobs in Maryland as well.

It’s also helpful to put things into perspective. The AACN notes that placement figures in nursing are well above those in other fields. Changing demographics should result in a high need for professional nurses for years (and decades) to come.

The Nursing School Application Process for Delaware

There is a lot that a person can do to make herself more competitive, when applying to schools, and later, when applying for positions in hospitals or other care facilities. Grades are important, especially in those science-heavy prerequisite classes. Universities often consider other factors from healthcare experience to personal attributes.

When it comes time to apply for jobs, you’ll want to arm yourself with as many resources as possible. It’s not just online job boards. The American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing are both resources.

In prosperous times, interviews are indeed two-way. Nurses have questions in their own minds as they contemplate which institution or job opening is the best fit. It can be helpful to ask a few questions during the interview process even during lean times. You want to avoid a work situation that will lead to serious burnout, but you also want to demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about workplace issues and that you have a reasonable amount of confidence. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has put together a brochure of possible interview questions, arranged in eight general areas of concern.

Delaware Board of Nursing Approved Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree Nursing Programs

424 Savannah Road
Leewes, DE 19958

Department of Nursing
Box 215
Dover, DE 19901 Indiana

PO Box 610
Georgetown, DE 19447

400 Christiana Stanton Road
Newark, DE 19702

100 Campus Drive
Dover, DE 19804

UNIVERISTY OF DELEWARE College of Health Sciences

Newark, DE 19716

Department of Nursing

Dover, DE 19901

(Source: Delaware DPR, Board of Nursing website)