The State of Georgia requires those who wish to reenter the field of nursing as an LPN to complete a "refresher" program. The refresher of 160 hours combines 80 hours of “theory” coursework, and 80 hours of supervised practice in a clinical nursing setting. Studies and training can take place at an approved school, or reentering LPNs can develop and submit an “individual” refresher program for approval by the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses.
Application for LPN Licensure
Once you decide to reenter the profession and regain licensure as an LPN in the State of Georgia, you must submit an application to the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses. The application must include a detailed plan of how you will fulfill the required combined 160 hours refresher training.
Required Refresher Education in Georgia
The State of Georgia requires 80 hours of “theory” refresher education. Coursework must include: Nursing Process, Structured Medication Administration, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Universal precaution, Legal/Ethical Aspects of Nursing and Health Care, and include practice skills that relate to the specifics of the nursing care agency or area of LPN practice.
Reentry LPNs must also complete 80 hours of supervised clinical nursing practice at a nursing school or in a program approved by the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses. More than 50 schools throughout the State of Georgia are approved to fulfill this requirement.
Locate a school in your area and schedule an appointment with admissions counselors to discuss developing your LPN refresher program. The Georgia Board of Examiners lists the approved programs.
Georgia Licensed Practical Nurses Association (GLPNA)
The GLPNA offers a 90-hour course specifically developed to satisfy the theory coursework required by the State of Georgia to reenter the profession. The Association’s classes and topics refresh LPNs on current nursing processes, providing patient assessments, techniques for properly administering medicines to patients, patient observation procedures and documentation, updated care precautions, legal and ethical issues faced by LPNs, how to effectively communicate with patients and family members, intervention procedures based on diagnosis and documentation of care provided.
Developing an Individually Structured Refresher Training Program
You have the option to structure an individual refresher training program to fulfill both the classroom and practice requirements. This can work well if you plan to specialize in a particular area of nursing, for example geriatric or pediatric nursing.
Developing an individually structured refresher program will require you to pursue, consult and negotiate a sponsorship arrangement with a hospital, nursing home, clinic or home health care agency.
The sponsoring agency must also designate someone to serve as your Facility Coordinator. This person will also be required to select or appoint a registered nurse, physician, dentist or podiatrist to plan, monitor and evaluate your refresher program. The Facility Coordinator can also serve in as the organizer to fulfill the required 80 hours of theory instruction, and assist in recruiting an RN to serve as your “preceptor” for the required 80 hours of clinical practice. Your sponsoring agency will work with you to develop your individual refresher program for submission to the Board of Examiners for approval.
Submitting the Refresher Program for Board Approval
After structuring your refresher program (whether individually structured or taken at a nursing school), you must submit the program plan to the Board of Examiners for review and approval, along with your initial application for LPN licensure. You cannot begin any part of your refresher program until approval is granted.
Once approved, the Board of Examiners will issue what is referred to as a “pocket card.” This is a legal requirement in the State of Georgia. It signifies that you are an approved LPN applicant and legally authorizes you to proceed with fulfilling your coursework and practical nursing requirements.
The board will also notify you of corresponding licensure examinations that you may be required to take.
Application for Licensing Renewal
After you have completed your refresher program, you can submit your application for licensing renewal. This application also requires the licensed Registered Nurse who served as your preceptor to provide a rating of your clinical nursing practice skills. The Board of Examiners will evaluate your refresher course completion and preceptor ratings in making the final determination to renew your LPN license.