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In diverse Oregon it is a very noble calling to qualify as an LPN. This profession has become more and more popular as the years pass and people realize that the health care industry is never going to decline.
Becoming an LPN in Oregon is a great way to get your foot in the door of the financially stable, job secure health care industry. Once you have qualified as an LPN you will be able to advance your career even further through further education. You can become an RN or get your BSN there are several schools in Oregon that offer LPN training, and, as it does not take long to become an LPN, it is the preferred starting point by many.
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 be able to pass the basic skills test that will be administered to you
- 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 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 Oregon Board of Nursing. This amount of money is $160. You will also have to pay $52 for fingerprinting and provide your transcripts from your LPN program and high school. You will then also have to renew your license once every two years at a cost of $145 and with proof of 192 hours of continuous training.
As mentioned previously you will be able to advance your career in the nursing field by becoming an RN or BSN nurse once you have completed your LPN qualification. Here is a comparison of the average LPN salaries you can expect to earn at each level in the state of Oregon.
Financial Aid Available
If you are looking for financial aid in Oregon, you will be glad to know that if you look hard enough you will find that there are several options available to you.
The first thing that you should do when looking for financial aid is to apply to FAFSA. When you fill out the application form with all of the details you will soon be given feedback based on the responses that you gave to the questions in the application form. FAFSA will most likely give you information about both loans and grants that you are thought to be eligible for.
Grants: are a far more financially viable option than loans, so be sure to consider these first. The reason for this is that grants do need to be paid back (although some grant programs will want you to work in a designated facility for a set period of tie in order to make up for the grant). Grants are often given on a needs basis and you may have to prove your financial need for the grant before you are given one.
Loans: are monetary amounts that are given to you to help you pay for your studies that you will be required to pay back in full. On top of that the loans also accrue interest, which means that the amount you end up repaying is higher than the amount you originally loaned. In many cases you will not be required to pay the loan back until you have finished studying, but you must remember that the loan will most likely accrue even more interest over this time. Federal loans are a better option as they have lower interest rates. However the criteria for eligibility for federal loan are very stringent so you may not qualify. Private loans on the other hand are very easy to get, but consequently have a much higher interest rate of repayment.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
If you went the route of taking out a loan for your studies the time would come when you would be required to repay that loan. In this case considering a loan forgiveness program may be a viable option for you. A loan forgiveness program is one offered by the state or a particular school whereby a portion or your entire loan will be paid back so that you don’t have to. In return for this you will be required to work for a set period of time in whatever facility you are assigned to.
There are also a number of scholarships offered by a variety of organizations. A scholarship is an amount of money that you are given for your studies that you will not have to pay back. However they are not easy to get. They are usually given based on two criteria:
- How much you need the money
- Your previous academic records
The importance of each criterion varies from scholarship to scholarship. If you are in eh top tier in terms of academic achievement then you stand a fairly good chance of qualifying.
Ask Your Employer
If you already work in a health care facility you may be able to apply to your employer for financial aid as most employers are happy to have more LPNs on their staff. This works out well for everyone. Your employer will get a staff member who knows what they are doing, who is familiar with the facility, and who s obligated to work there for a specified period of time. You will receive help paying for your studies, you will be guaranteed of having a job as soon as your studies are over, and you will be able to out the valuable experience that you will gain working there as an LPN into your resume for when it comes time to look for a new job.
List of Schools
There are a fair number of schools where you can get your LPN qualification in Oregon, and it is well worth while investigating and comparing each and every one of them. This is so that you make the best decision possible about which school you would like to study at. Remember that one of the most important criteria is that the school must be approved by the Oregon Board of Nursing. Here is a list of the options you have along with the contact details you will need to make further enquiries:
2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97232
Blue Mountain Community College
2411 NW Cardin
PO Box 100
Pendleton, OR 97801
Central Oregon Community College
2600 NW College Way
Bend, OR 97701
Chemeketa Community College
4000 Lancaster Drive NE or
PO Box 14007
Salem, OR 97309
Clatsop Community College
Astoria, OR 97103
Columbia Gorge Community College
400 East Scenic Dr.
The Dalles, OR 97058
Concorde Career Institute
1425 NE Irving St., Building 300
Portland, OR 97232
Mt. Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark St.
Gresham, OR 97030
Oregon Coast Community College
332 SW Coast Highway
Newport, OR 97365-4928
Finding the best school
Finding the best school may not be easy, but there are several aspects of as school that you should consider when making your decision. These are:
- 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 there is a low pass rate then you should treat the school with suspicion. There may be many reasons why the pass rate for that particular school is low, but whatever the reasons are you do not want to risk your time and money on a program that may not get you through the exam.
- Length of the program
- Courseware: The courseware should go a long way to preparing you for the examination. Investigate this before enrolling in the program that you have chosen. If you are not preparing for your exam you are wasting your time.
- Clinical facilities and exposure
- Reputation of the college
- Financial aids
- Guidance provided by the school for NCLEX-PN exam: I cannot stress enough how important this point is. The point of LPN training is to prepare for the examination. If you are not being adequately prepared by your LPN program, then you need to find a different program.