How to Become a Nurse in Montana, MT
If you want to become a nurse in Montana, you must follow three simple steps: enroll in a nursing education program, complete your training, and pass the licensure examination.
Step 1: Enroll in a Nursing Education Program
To enter a nursing education program in Montana, one must first decide between a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) diploma, which takes a year, or decide to become a Registered Nurse (RN) through either a four year Bachelor of Science (BSN) or two year Associate Degree (ADN) in nursing. Entry into all the programs is competitive, and there are usually more applicants than spots—good grades are very important in the application process. LPN programs can be entered directly from high school, while RN nursing programs usually require around five prerequisite courses in first year college topics like physiology, statistics and psychology before application.
Step 2: Completing Nursing Education
While nursing education varies slightly based on the program, in all programs the first year is mostly focused upon direct patient care and assessment. Then, the second year for RN candidates brings larger-scale concepts of nursing, such as team management and research into play. For those pursuing a BSN, the third and fourth years move into advanced theories and practices of nursing, while also offering the opportunity to take focused electives that cover things like community health, elder care, drug research and beyond—the possibilities are only limited by the elective courses offered by your program.
Step 3: Licensure Examination
The licensure examination for nurses nationwide is the NCLEX—the NCLEX-PN for LPNs, and the NCLEX-RN for Registered Nurses. Over 85 percent of candidates pass the tests on their first try and become licensed as a Montana Nurse.
Further Information on Montana Nursing
Job prospects for nurses, wages, typical duties, and both lower and upper level education opportunities are covered on our Montana state nursing pages.