PRN Nursing Jobs in Idaho: Ultimate Guide [2024]

This ultimate guide to Idaho for nursing professionals offers an overview of what living and working in the Gem State is like for nurses and nursing assistants.

Discover average annual wages for RNs, LPNs, and CNAs across Idaho in the table below. Then keep reading the guide to learn more about average wages, cheapest cities, best nursing schools, PRN nursing jobs, and working in the state of Idaho.

Salary information throughout this guide comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and living wage information comes from the MIT Living Wage Calculator (most recent data as of December 2023). 

Metropolitan Area CNA Annual Mean Wage LPN Annual Mean Wage RN Annual Mean Wage
Boise City, ID $37,190 $56,950 $81,240
Coeur d'Alene, ID $35,450 $55,780 $84,230
Idaho Falls, ID $32,240 $48,830 $71,050
Lewiston, ID $35,530 $57,570 $79,470
Logan, UT-ID $29,680 $48,430 $72,740

Table of Contents

How Much Do Nurses in Idaho Make?

Understanding average annual incomes and the cost of living in Idaho is vital for nurses living in this beautiful state.

While Idaho’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, nurses earn substantially more. RNs in Idaho average an hourly wage of $33.66, reflecting the high value of nursing skills.

Single adults in Idaho must earn at least $16.07 per hour working full-time or $33,422 annually to meet living costs. Nurses in Idaho comfortably surpass this, with the following average annual wages:

These figures vary based on numerous factors, including location and specific healthcare institutions. While the wages in Idaho may not match those in high-cost-of-living areas like California, they are related to the state’s cost of living and can provide a comfortable lifestyle for healthcare workers.

Some of the highest-paying cities for nurses working in Idaho include Boise, Meridian, and Coeur d'Alene. These cities offer nurses and nursing assistants average annual wages that reflect the state’s demand for healthcare professionals and competitive salaries within the regional market. 

Best Hospitals and Medical Centers in Idaho

Idaho has a dynamic healthcare landscape beckoning nurses and CNAs. Welcome to the vibrant and diverse world of nursing in the Gem State, Idaho. Although it’s known for its stunning natural beauty, Idaho offers more than just beautiful landscapes: It’s a hub for healthcare professionals seeking career advancement opportunities. The healthcare sector boasts various facilities, including the many advanced city hospitals in Idaho and quaint rural clinics. This variety ensures RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and PCTs working in Idaho can find jobs that are perfect fits.

Whether you’re eyeing Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Emergency Room (ER) jobs in Idaho, or perhaps Progressive Care Unit (PCU) or Medical-Surgical (Med/Surg) positions, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a roundup of top healthcare centers in Idaho, recognized for their quality care and growth opportunities for nurses:

  • St. Luke’s Health System: With locations in Boise, Meridian, and Twin Falls, this leading network is known for its comprehensive services and commitment to excellence in patient care.
  • Idaho Falls Community Hospital: A central healthcare provider in Idaho Falls, this hospital offers a range of medical services and high-quality patient care.
  • Primary Health Medical Group: Serving areas like Nampa and Caldwell, this network is praised for its patient-centered approach and wide range of services.
  • Portneuf Medical Center: Based in Pocatello, this center is dedicated to delivering top-tier medical services and improving community health.
  • Saint Alphonsus Health System: Operating in regions like Boise and Nampa, this system is known for its broad spectrum of healthcare services and compassionate care ethos.
  • Mountain View Hospital: Located in Idaho Falls, this facility is ideal for nurses seeking a supportive environment.
  • Kootenai Health: Based in Coeur d’Alene, it is renowned for its patient-focused care and medical excellence.
  • West Valley Medical Center: This Caldwell-based center is known for its commitment to quality care.
  • Bingham Memorial Hospital: This key healthcare provider in Blackfoot offers a positive work atmosphere for nurses.
  • Madison Memorial Hospital: Situated in Rexburg, this hospital is celebrated for its innovative medical solutions and community-focused approach.

These Idaho healthcare centers are excellent workplaces, offering nurses a chance to impact their communities. Whether you are looking for RN jobs in Idaho as a newcomer or a veteran, these institutions provide varied opportunities to hone your skills and progress in your career.

How to Apply for Health Insurance in Idaho

Healthcare professionals working in Idaho, especially per diem nurses or, in some cases, remote RNs, need private insurance. Here’s how to start:

  • Assess your needs: Consider healthcare, dental, vision, and other coverage needs.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace: Explore plans on the Your Health Idaho website if you lack employee coverage. Check if you’re eligible for subsidies.
  • Medicaid and CHIP: Low earners might qualify for Idaho Medicaid or CHIP. Apply through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Research and select the best insurance options for your needs in Idaho.

Become a Nurse in Idaho

Not yet a nurse? Let’s walk you through the steps to launch your nursing career in Idaho. You can choose between a practical nursing license or a registered nursing license.

Practical nursing programs typically last a year, preparing you for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Passing this exam, along with other requirements, earns you a license to choose from the diverse selection of licensed practical nurse (LPN) jobs in Idaho.

For registered nurses (RNs), options typically include an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). ADN programs usually take about two years, while BSNs take around four. After graduating, you’re eligible for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Turn to the Idaho Board of Nursing for guidance and resources for the licensing process. 

If you are already a licensed nurse, you can look up the status of your Idaho nursing license with Nursys. This license verification website plays a crucial role in the nursing field. It provides a centralized and efficient platform for nurse license verification across the United States. 

What Are Some of the Best RN Nursing Programs in Idaho?

Here’s a list of some of the top nursing schools in Idaho, along with their first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates based on information from the Idaho Board of Nursing:

  1. Eagle Gate Boise - Master's Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) RN: 100%
  2. North Idaho College - ADN RN: 90.67%
  3. Lewis-Clark State College - BSN RN: 90.24%
  4. College of Eastern Idaho - ADN RN: 89.53%
  5. College of Western Idaho - ADN RN: 89.09%
  6. Brigham Young University Idaho - BSN RN: 88.33%
  7. College of Southern Idaho - ADN RN: 87.27%
  8. Idaho State University - BSN RN: 86.36%
  9. Idaho State University - ADN RN: 85.19%
  10. Boise State University - BSN RN: 83.78%
  11. Northwest Nazarene University - BSN RN: 83.78%
  12. Carrington College - ADN RN: 80.56%
A man studying nursing from his PC in Idaho
Idaho has a variety of great RN nursing programs.

Exploring Nursing Career Paths

In Idaho, nurses exploring career paths have a wealth of options. Among the most sought-after advanced practice degrees are nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners (NPs), which are expected to grow significantly in the coming years. These roles not only offer professional fulfillment but are also among the highest-paying in the nursing field. Nurses in Idaho must consider factors like stress levels, burnout rates, and personal compatibility with different specialties to ensure they find a match that aligns with their personal and professional goals.

Nursa’s guides to nursing specialties are invaluable for nurses exploring their career options. They address the complexities of choosing a specialty and the diverse settings where nurses can work, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health

What Is a Patient Care Tech?

PCTs in Idaho, also known as nursing assistants or nurse aides, work under nurse supervision to provide crucial patient care. They assist with daily patient needs, ensuring comfort and safety.

Thanks to the state’s evolving healthcare requirements, PCT jobs are plentiful in Idaho. PCTs find roles in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and home healthcare agencies, performing tasks like monitoring vitals, aiding patient mobility, and providing basic medical care.

What Are the Cheapest Cities in Idaho to Live In?

When assessing a city’s affordability, there are many factors to consider. Based on our research, these are some of the top picks for the cheapest cities in Idaho, offering a balance of low living costs and quality of life.

Idaho also sees variations in living wage requirements. Here are the most affordable Idaho cities for single adults:

  • Payette: Known for its low housing prices and moderate figures for average rent, Payette stands out as an affordable Boise suburb​​.
  • Preston: This city offers affordability, especially for renters, and boasts a low unemployment rate​​.
  • Ammon: Despite being a growing city, Ammon maintains its affordability and stands out as an attractive destination for both families and professionals thanks to its economic stability and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Idaho Falls: With a strong economy and affordable rentals, Idaho Falls provides residents with a suburban feel.
  • Burley: This city offers affordable housing and is a great destination for retirement.  Burley also has a positive sense of community and manageable living expenses, both of which contribute to its charm.
  • Blackfoot: With low average rent and reasonable home prices. Blackfoot boasts a living cost below the national average, making it a smart choice for economical living.
  • Jerome: The town's laid-back lifestyle and ample space offer a rest from the hustle and bustle of bigger cities. There is also a rural appeal that gives a sense of peace and tranquility.
  • Weiser: This small town and friendly community boasts a robust agricultural economy​​.

Idaho’s Climate: Diverse and Dynamic

Idaho’s climate varies from region to region, offering everything from temperate forests to arid plains. Here’s what to expect in some key cities:

  • Boise experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters.
  • Coeur d’Alene is known for its more temperate climate, distinct seasons, and cooler overall temperature range.
  • Twin Falls enjoys a semi-arid steppe climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.
  • Idaho Falls features a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers.
  • Pocatello experiences a semi-arid climate with hot summers and moderately cold winters.

Fun Facts about Idaho

Idaho, often thought of for its potatoes, is rich in intriguing facts:

  • The Gem State: Idaho’s nickname comes from its wealth of natural gems.
  • Hells Canyon: North America’s deepest river gorge is in Idaho.
  • Famous Potatoes: Idaho is the leading producer of potatoes in the US.
  • River Surfing: Yes, you can surf on the river waves in Idaho!
  • No Major League Teams: Idaho is one of the few states without a major league sports team.

What Are Some Fun Things to Do in Idaho?

With a population of approximately 1,900,923, Idaho mixes city buzz and serene country life. Idaho’s diverse regions offer activities ranging from outdoor adventures to cultural events:

  • Boise: Boasting a vibrant city life, a rich cultural scene, and nearby outdoor activities
  • Coeur d’Alene: Known for its stunning lake and outdoor recreation
  • Sun Valley: A haven for skiing and other winter sports
  • Idaho Falls: Offering access to natural wonders and outdoor activities
  • Lewiston: Housing the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers
  • Twin Falls: Famous for the breathtaking Shoshone Falls and outdoor adventures
  • Moscow: Known for its vibrant arts scene, home to the University of Idaho, and brimming with youthful energy
  • Kimberly: A gateway to the stunning Shoshone Falls, offering a quaint small-town atmosphere just a stone’s throw from outdoor adventures
  • Garden City: Nestled along the Boise River Greenbelt and perfect for those who love urban amenities with easy access to riverfront parks
  • Emmett: Famous for its annual Cherry Festival, a picturesque gem in the Treasure Valley
  • Hayden: With Hayden Lake’s pristine waters
  • Post Falls: A paradise for anyone seeking the thrill of water sports or the tranquility of nature walks
  • Mountain Home: A cozy base for exploring the nearby mountains and the Bruneau Dunes
  • Sandpoint: Situated on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille and renowned for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant cultural scene
  • Ketchum: A stone’s throw from the world-famous ski slopes of Sun Valley and a haven for winter sports enthusiasts
  • Chubbuck: A family-friendly environment with numerous parks and a community-oriented atmosphere
  • McCall: The jewel of Payette Lake and beloved for its winter Carnival and summer water activities
Picture of waterfalls with rainbow
Idaho has many natural wonders nurses can explore on their days off work.

Find Your First Per Diem Shift in Idaho

With its varied landscapes, bustling cities, and growing healthcare demand, Idaho is ripe with opportunities for nurses. From the urban energy of Boise to the tranquility of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho offers a place for everyone. Discover a world of possibilities and a chance to impact the health and well-being of Idahoans. Start your per diem nursing journey in Idaho today.

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