Utilizing your medical background and experience from the military to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in civilian life can be a challenging task. However there are several things you can do in order to crossover or translate your nursing military experience into a rewarding civilian medical career as a licensed LPN.
Make sure you have the appropriate military medical training paperwork reflecting your military occupational specialty (MOS) and any other military medical certifications you presently hold. In the Army a 91W or 68W is a health care specialist MOS. However, holding an M6 after the 68W means you have completed a higher military nursing course and you are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination for a LPN or LVN nursing license in the state you reside in. It is also a prerequisite in order to obtaining a higher nursing degree while in the military or once you become civilian.
Challenge the state nursing board in the state in which you choose to live once you have been discharged from the military. If your MOS was only a combat medic or other type of standard medical specialist such as a 68W you will have a harder time challenging the state in which you reside, however if you were a 68WM6 than you already hold a LPN or LVN nursing license in a state.
Send any paperwork requested to the state nursing board and follow all the necessary steps that the board may require in order to take the National Council Licensure Examination for a LPN or LVN license. California readily offers LVN or LPN exams to the military. However, some states may deny military medical training as adequate nursing training. Once you are allowed to take the nursing license exam and pass the exam you will be a LPN or LVN only in that state.
No state offers registered nursing exams to military trained nursing personnel.
Kimberly Cummings has been a nurse for more than 28 years and has worked in almost every department in the medical field. She's done legal work and is a nonfiction writer. She has worked in business administration for more than 15 years, been in the military and freelanced for Associated Content as a featured health and wellness contributor as well as a featured travel contributor.