Holley Introduces Legislation to Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Nursing Careers

Bill Would Allow Veterans Who Completed Military Nursing Programs to Qualify for LPN Licensure

Assemblyman Jamel Holley introduced legislation Monday that would provide veterans in New Jersey with an alternate route to a nursing career.

“The brave men and women who served their nation in the United States military know what it means to act with integrity and put others first, even when it means putting themselves in danger,” Holley (D-Union). “Those who attained health care experience in the military combine that sense of self-sacrifice with a specialized skill set that makes them excellent candidates for civilian nursing careers.”

The bill (A-4954) would permit honorably discharged veterans who completed the Army Practical Nurse Program, the Air Force Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program or an equivalent program to receive credit toward licensure as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Under the legislation, veterans who have taken these courses may qualify as an applicant for LPN licensure in lieu of obtaining a diploma from a traditional board-certified program. Currently, a diploma from a school of practical nursing approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing is a requirement for LPN licensure.

“There’s no reason that someone with significant health care knowledge and experience – who very well may have gained that experience while working under adverse conditions – should be required to repeat coursework prior to qualifying for LPN licensure,” said Holley. “Facilitating veterans’ transition to LPN careers will help ensure that former service members can find employment while also ensuring that patients in New Jersey have some of the hardest-working, most selfless individuals providing them with care.”

Under the bill, the New Jersey Board of Nursing, in consultation with the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, would issue regulations regarding the training, education and experience for which it would give credit and the remaining criteria an applicant must meet before taking the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN), the nationwide examination required to obtain an LPN.

In addition to the aforementioned Army Practical Nurse and Air Force Basic Medical Technician Corpsman programs, veterans who successfully completed the following courses or programs may also receive credit toward LPN licensure: Army Practical Nursing Specialist, Army Healthcare or Medic Specialist, Navy Basic Medical Technician Corpsman Program, Air Force Basic Medical Technician Corpsman or Aerospace Medical Service, Air Force Independent Duty Medical Technician or any other program as determined by the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs.