Although Rhode Island is the smallest state LPN nurses still form an integral part of the medical teams that are found there. Because the medical industry is always on the increase, becoming an LPN in the state of Rhode Island is a fairly safe option to choose.
The chances are high that you will always be employed and that you will not have any problems finding a job once you are qualified. There are not many schools where you can train to be an LPN in Rhode Island, at least not as compared to some other states, but the schools that can be found in this state are of very good quality. Once you have qualified as an LPN you will also have the opportunity to advance you career even further by becoming either an RN or a BSN nurse. The options are many and this is the best way to get into the medical industry.
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 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 Rhode Island Board of Nurse Registration and Nursing Education. This amount of money is $130. You will then also have to renew your license once every two years at a cost of $90 and with proof of 10 hours of continuous training.
It is important to note that once you are an LPN you will have the opportunity to upgrade your qualification and become and RN or BSN through further study and training. As this is a very good idea and a career path worth pursuing, a comparison of the different salaries you can earn at LPN, RN and BSN levels are included for your reference.
Financial Aid Available
There are a number of financial aid options that are available to you in Rhode Island if you need help with your LPN studies.
Loans: There are a number of loan programs that you may be interested in. Loans need to be paid back, so you may also want to look into loan forgiveness programs. Loans are given out by federal as well as private agencies and it is important that you consider all options before making a decision.
Grants and Scholarships: There are a number of grants and scholarships that are available in the state of Rhode Island and these are more financially viable than loans because you are not required to repay them with money (although in some cases you may have to work in a specified facility in return for this financial help).
Employers: In many cases your employer may be willing to help you pay for your studies, especially if you are already working in a health care facility. It is well worth your while to ask!
List of Schools
The selection of schools where you can get your LPN qualification is very small and many people believe that it is not the best state to study in. However, the three schools that are available in Rhode Island are of good quality. Here is a list of the schools:
- Rhode Island College- Providence
- University of Rhode Island- Kingston
- Community College of Rhode Island – various campuses
- Saint Joseph’s Health Services of Rhode Island
- Salve Regina University
Choosing a school
Although there are comparatively few schools to choose form in Rhode Island there are still a number of considerations that you should take into account when choosing which school you would like to attend. The school you choose may determine your success in qualifying as an LPN and is consequently not a decision that should be made lightly. Here are some important things to consider when looking for a school:
- Location of the school: The location of the school can be a very important factor. You do not, for example, want to enrol in a school that is too far away from where you live as this will add to your financial burden in terms of travelling costs. However, this is not a good criterion to base your final decision on unless you have also considered the many other factors that play a part in what makes a school good or not.
- Tuition fees: Like the location of the school, tuition fees are important, but, if possible, do not base your final decision solely on this criterion. A cheap school may look attractive, but remember that the reason that it is cheap may be because the quality of the tuition is not very good. On the other hand the tuition may be great and it could be a bargain. Likewise an expensive school may not necessarily be the best quality either. There are simply too many other factors that play a part for you to base you decision on fees and fees alone. In many cases you may not have a choice, especially if you are working with a tight budget, but if possible take the following considerations into account as well.
- Percentage of NCLEX-PN passed candidate from the school in last years: The point of LPN training is to prepare for the exam. If there is a low pass rate form the school that you are interested in, then this may mean that the tuition is inadequate to prepare you. Perhaps the coursework is incorrect or the lecturers are unskilled. Finding out how many students form that school do in fact pass the examination is an important part of looking for the perfect school at which to do your LPN qualification.
- Length of the program: Before you start considering which school you would like to study at you should be sure to know how much time you are willing and able to devote to the program. This refers to how many years or months you are willing and able to study for as well as how much time you will be able to devote to it on a weekly or daily basis. Once you have a good idea of how much time you have it will become easier to choose a school based on how long the program will take to complete.
- Course ware: The type of coursework offered by the program is, as has been mentioned previously, very important. The coursework will have to prepare you adequately for the examination, and should be presented in a way that makes sense and that is easy to follow.
- Clinical facilities and exposure: Remember that you will have to complete a clinical portion in order to become an LPN. This is an essential and unavoidable aspect of any LPN program. Consequently the clinical facilities offered by the program are very important. The better the facilities the more likely you are to be well prepared for your career as an LPN. You should also make sure that the amount of time that the program proposes you spend on clinical work be adequate. If you do not do the clinical portion of your training then you will be unable t become licensed as an LPN.
- Reputation of the college: If the college has a good reputation then it is likely that it is a good college to study at. Schools earn good reputations by having good to excellent teachers and programs, which means that the better the reputation of the school, the better it is as a choice.
- Financial aids: Many students require financial aid in order to study. Many schools offer financial aid packages for their students, so if you are one of those students who require help with your studies then you may be able to narrow down your search in terms of what financial aid is offered by which schools.
- Guidance provided by the school for NCLEX-PN exam: As mentioned previously the main outcome of LPN training is to get you through the qualifying exam. If you are not being adequately prepared for this exam by the LPN program then you are effectively wasting your time and your money. A good way to judge this is to find out what will be tested in the exam and make sure that you are going to receive sufficient training on those topics at each school.