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Despite the fact that DC is the smallest state there are still numerous opportunities available for people who want to get their LPN qualification in this part of the US.
There are several different schools that offer the qualification and, because the health care industry is growing all the time, it is a safe career choice in terms of job security. Generally speaking the health industry is a good one to become involved in, and the easiest way to get your foot in the door is by becoming an LPN. Once you’ve done that there are even more options put there for you.
The first step to being licensed as an LPN is enrolling in an accredited LPN course. In order to do this you will:
- Need to be older than 18
- Need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification
- Need to pass a background check
Once you have enrolled in the program you will then have to complete the theoretical and clinical sides of the course over a period of about 1 or 2 years. Then you will have to write the NCLEX-PN exam. On completion of the exam you will be licensed to practice as an LPN.
In order to write the LPN examination you will need to pay an amount of money to the company that administers the exam. This company is called Pearson Vue and the amount of money that you will have to pay is $200. To apply for licensure you will also have to pay an amount of money to the District of Columbia Health Regulation and Licensing Administration. This amount of money is $102. You will also have to pay an exam application fee of $85. The criminal background check costs $50. You will then also have to renew your license once every two years at a cost of $145 and with proof of 18 hours of continuous training.
Because you will have the option of studying further and becoming an RN or getting your BSN qualification it is interesting to have a look at the salaries of the three positions to see how they compare to each other. Here is a list of the average salary you can expect to earn as an LPN, an RN and a nurse with a BSN qualification in Washington DC.
Financial Aid Available in Washington D.C.
Grants and Scholarships
There are ways to study for your LPN qualification at absolutely no cost to you. If you want to achieve this then you will have to apply for the many nursing scholarships and grants that are available in D.C. A grant is a portion of money that is given to you to help you pay for your studies that you will never have to pay back. These grants are generally needs based. This means that the more severe your financial need is, the more likely you are to qualify for a grant. Scholarships are similar to grants in that you will never have to repay them in cash (although in some cases you may have to repay both grants and loans by working for a set number of years in a specified facility). Scholarships however tend to work more on a rewards basis. For most scholarships you will have to be a top academic achiever in order to qualify, so if you did well in high school then this route may be the answer for you.
If you are not eligible for a grant or scholarship, or if the grant or scholarship that you have achieved does not cover all of the costs of the LPN program you are interested in, then you may want to consider taking out a loan. Unlike grants and scholarships, loans need to be paid back in cash with interest. In most cases you will not be required to pay back the loan until after you have finished studying and found a job. However remember that the loan may well accrue a great deal of interest while you are studying, so be careful about leaving it for too long. If you can make regular but small repayments, then do so. There are a number of different sources for loans. Generally speaking federal loans come with the best interest rates, so you should check first to see if you qualify for one of these. However they are quite hard to qualify for as there are many stringent requirements, so don’t pin your hopes on getting a federal loan. There are also several private sources for loans. These loans tend to be a lot easier to qualify for, but they come with very high interest rates that you may struggle to repay.
If you have had to go the route of getting a loan then you may want to consider one of the many loan forgiveness programs available in Nebraska. With a loan forgiveness program a portion of your loan will be dealt with so that you don’t have to. Of course, this comes at a price. In exchange for his you will be required to work in a health care facility, usually one that is non profit or designated by the state, for a set period of time. However you may learn some valuable skills during this time.
Ask your employer
If you are already working in a healthcare facility then it is well worth your while to enquire with your employer about financial aid. Many employers are more than happy to help their employees out when it comes to improving their qualifications as this can be in the best interests of your employer as well as you.
Work and Study
Some colleges that offer LPN programs also offer work and study options whereby you can work while you study and generate the income you need to pay for your studies. These often cannot be given to all students so make sure that you apply well ahead of the rush.
List of Schools
There are not many schools to choose from in D.C. but the ones that are there are of high quality. You will of course have to make sure that the school is accredited by the D.C Board of Nursing before enrolling. Here are the schools with their contact details for further inquiries:
Capital Health Institute
7826 Eastern Avenue
Washington, DC 20012
Comprehensive Health Academy School of Practice Nursing
1106 Bladensburg Road, NE
Washington, DC 20002
JC Inc – American Institute of Professional Studies
6411 Chillum Place, NW
Washington, DC 20012
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
University of the District of Columbia Practical Nursing Program
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW Mail Box 1005
Washington, DC 20008
VMT Academy of Practical Nursing
4201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 301
Washington, DC 20008
Personality requirements for an LPN
Being an LPN is not what you might call an easy job. If you don’t have the right motivation and personality for this field than you are going to find this already difficult job even more challenging. Have a close look at these personality requirements and make sure that you fit in with them.
- A Caring Nature – The most obvious personality trait you will have to have is this. Working with sick and injured people requires that you be caring at all times. If you are not this type of person, then you may want to consider a different line of work.
- Be Empathetic
- Be Detail-Oriented – When it comes to administering medicines or recording patient information and records you cannot afford to make a mistake as this could often have serious consequences. You also cannot omit to perform any of your necessary tasks. Consequently you will need to have a detail oriented personality in order to be an effective nurse.
- Be Emotionally Stable
- Be Adaptable
- Have Physical Endurance – Being a nurse is physically hard work. You will need to have the physical endurance as well as the mental endurance necessary to get through all of your daily tasks and duties. If you think that you do not have the physical strengths necessary, then you may want to consider an alternative line of work.
- Be a Quick Thinker
- Have Great Judgement – It is very important that you have good judgement if you want to be a nurse. You are not always going to have someone around telling you what to do. In a real life nursing situation there may often be times where you will have to think for yourself, and this requires good judgement.
- Be Hard-Working
- Have Great Communication Skills – To provide your patient with good care you will need to be an effective communicator. Health care is collaborative so you will need to be able to communicate adequately with those around you in order to ensure that your patient receives the best care possible.