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There always has been and always will be a high demand for professional to work in the medical industry. Nevada has an average population, but every single person living in that state requires medical care at one time or another. It is therefore important that there are enough health care professionals to meet this growing need.
A job in the health care industry is a job that you know you will be secure in. If you want to get your foot in the door of the healthcare industry, a good way to start is by qualifying as an LPN. There are many schools available in this part of the world that offers fantastic tuition in this regard. You will be able to help Nevada combat the nursing shortage that they are experiencing. You will also find that once you have your LPN qualification, your opportunities do not stop there. Once you have this qualification you have opened the door o getting many other more advanced qualifications which will in turn better your position even further. Even if you are uncertain about finances, there are several financial aid programs in Nevada that will be available to you. If you are interested in becoming an LPN and making a real difference, read on to find out more.
The first step to being licensed as an LPN is enrolling in an accredited LPN course. In order to do this you will:
- Need t be older than 18
- Need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification
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 exam 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 the exam you will also have to pay an amount of money to the Nevada Board of Nursing. This amount of money is $90. You will also have to complete a fingerprints card and send it back with $51.25. You will then also have o renew your license once every year at a cost of $100.
Financial Aid Available
There is a huge need for nurses in the state of Nevada, especially in the rural areas. Consequently the Health Care Access Program is willing to give financial aid to a number of students who in exchange will be required to work in the rural areas of Nevada for a set period of time. This helps to balance the distribution of healthcare professionals in Nevada and at the same time ensures your employment once your studies are over and guarantees you that you will have experience to put on your resume once you are free to seek alternative employment. There are also a number of other options that you can consider.
Many state, federal and private sources are willing to offer loans to people wanting to study further and get their LPN qualification. If you take the time to investigate the options that are out there you will soon realize that you do not have to give up on your goals of becoming an LPN simply because you don’t have the resources. Loans have to be paid back and usually accrue quite a bit of interest. Generally speaking you will not be required to pay back the loan until you have finished studying and you have found a job. However the interest that you accrue may go up substantially while you are studying. Generally speaking it is advised to make small payments regularly right from the beginning if you are able to. This will keep down the overall amount of money that you will ultimately have to pay. Federal loans are quite difficult to be eligible for, but if you are eligible for this type of loan, then you should definitely take a federal loan over a private loan, as federal loans generally have much better interest rates.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
If you go the route of taking out a loan to find your LPN studies, then you may want to consider a loan forgiveness program when it comes time to repay your loan after your studies. A loan forgiveness program is a system whereby a portion of your loan will be dealt with on your behalf. In return for this you will be required to work in a state designated healthcare facility. Often this facility will be in a rural area as these types of programs often exist to distribute qualified nurses more evenly across the state. With a program like this you will find that your loan suddenly becomes far easier to manage and you will be able to get valuable experience from working in the health care facility that you are assigned to.
Scholarships and grants
If you are hoping to study for free and with no obligations, then there are several grants and scholarships that you may want to consider. A grant is a portion of money given to you to help you pay for your LPN studies that you will never be required to pay back. This may sound too good to be true, but there are several grants available in Nevada for students who are willing to devote the time necessary to finding them. Grants are often given on a needs basis, so the more unstable your financial position the higher chance you have of getting a grant. Scholarships also generally require no repayment, and function in a very similar way to grants. Scholarships are often, however, based on academic achievement. Basically, they serve as a reward for students who have achieved well academically in the past. In order to qualify you often have to be a top achiever.
Ask your employer
Many people wanting to qualify as an LPN are already employed in some capacity in the healthcare industry. If this is the case for you then you should be sure to ask your employer about the options that they are willing to give you in terms of financial aid. Employers are usually more than willing to help their staff upgrade their qualifications in return for which they get an employer who has an advanced qualification and who is obligated to continue working for them for a set period of time. You will be able to study, you will be assured of a job when you have finished studying, and you will be able to gain a lot of necessary experience in a healthcare facility that you are already familiar with.
Work and Study
Many colleges that offer LPN programs also offer work and study programs where you will be able to work and learn thereby generating income for your studies.
List of Schools
There are only two options available to students hoping to qualify as an LPN in the state of Nevada. Consequently places may be limited, so make sure that you get a seat by applying well ahead of time. The schools with their contact details are:
College of Southern Nevada
Health Science Center, W1A
6375 West Charleston Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89146
Western Nevada College
Allied Health Programs
2201 West College Parkway
Carson City, Nevada 89701
Tips for choosing a school
Now that you are aware of what schools are available to you, you have to choose from among the options. This may not be easy, but if you use the following as a guideline, you should be able to reach a sensible conclusion:
- Location of the school
- Tuition fees
- Percentage of NCLEX-PN passed candidate from the school in past years: This is a very important factor. If the percentage is low then it may mean that the school does not adequately prepare the students for the examination.
- Length of the program
- Course ware
- Clinical facilities and exposure: Remember that in order to become licensed as an LPN you will have to complete all of the aspects of the course, and this includes the clinical or practical training. Consequently you will want to attend a school that provides adequate clinical faculties and training in order to be properly prepared for the real job.
- Reputation of the college
- Financial aids: Some schools offer financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and work and learn programs. If you are in need of financial aid you may want to limit your search to schools that offer this. Remember that there are other sources of financial aid other than the school itself, so know all of your options before choosing a school.
- Guidance provided by the school for NCLEX-PN exam