Montana is truly for the outdoorsperson. There are so many parks like Yellowstone, Going-to-the-Sun, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. But there are more things than just basking in the beautiful outdoors. There is Museum of the Rockies and the Carousel for Missoula. Not your scene? Head over to on the many ghost towns. Boo!
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a Montana nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in Montana
- Top hospitals in Montana
- Nursing organizations & associations in Montana
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Montana whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Montana from another state. For more information visit the Montana licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX fee: $200
- Application fee: $100
- Fingerprint fee: $30
Licensing fee by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fee: $200 (RN/LPN); $75 (APRN, $100 for Rx authority)
- Fingerprint fee: $30
License renewal fees:
- Application fee: $100 (RN/LPN); $50 (APRN, per certification type)
Montana is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
Steps for renewing a Montana nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page to confirm your license.
- Complete your Montana nursing continuing education requirements before your license
You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
- Go to the Montana Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application
Visit the Renewal Information page for specific requirements. Montana is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in Montana unless you are declaring Montana as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
RN: 24 contact hours every 2 years
LPN: 24 contact hours every 2 years
APRN: 24 contact hours every 2 years
Required Nursing CEU Courses in Montana
In addition to any CEUs nurses choose, the Montana Board of Nursing also requires nurses to obtain contact hours on the following topics:
- Role of the Board – 1.5 contact hours
- Delegation – 1.5 contact hour
- Filing of Complaints to the Board – 2.5 contact hours
- Nurse Licensure Compact – 1.5 contact hours
- Licensing Process – 2.0 contact hours
- Substance Abuse Disorder – 2.0 contact hours
- Scope of Practice for LPNs and RNs – 2.0 contact hours
- Ethics – 2.0 contact hours
Job & salary outlook for nurses in Montana
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean wage is $70,530.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Montana is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Montana ]
Top hospitals in Montana
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Montana will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- St. Patrick Hospital – Missoula, MT: Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 10 procedures and conditions. This facility is a Magnet® recognized hospital. Some of the specialties include:
- Pulmonology & Lung Surgery
- Aortic Valve Surgery
- Procedures and conditions related to Neurology & Neurosurgery
- SCL Health-St. Vincent Healthcare-Billings – Billings, MT: Rated high performing in 6 adult procedures and conditions. This facility has achieved Magnet® recognition. Some specialties include:
- Colon Cancer Surgery
- Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy)
- Procedures and Conditions Related to Orthopedics
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations & associations in Montana
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Montana:
Montana Nurses Association – “As the recognized leader and advocate for the professional nurse in Montana, Montana Nurses Association works to provide a voice for nurses at local, state, and national levels.”
- “Joining MSNA is a great way to become more active on your campus.
- Meet new friends and develop networking skills for when you are out of school.
- MSNA provides several volunteer and outreach activities in your community throughout the year.
- Membership looks great on your resume.
- Show faculty and future employers your leadership skills.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
[ Looking for more support? Get free, personalized career guidance from experienced RNs. ]
Montana Board of Nursing
For licensing questions:
Phone: (406) 444-6880
For questions related to practice, rules, or education call the Executive Director:
Phone: (406) 841-2380
Email: [email protected]
301 S. Park Ave. 4th Floor
PO Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
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