Humid South Carolina has a fairly average population in terms of numbers, but all of the people living there require medical professionals who are able to meet their health care needs. While other industries suffer, the health care industry remains strong and is therefore a great industry to become involved in if you have the opportunity.
The best way to become involved with the medical industry in South Carolina is to train to be an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse. This is a very basic job in the health care profession, but it will give you a chance to help others and will open up many doors for you to study further and advance your career in the health care industry significantly.
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
- Need to pass a health 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 South Carolina Board of Nursing. This amount of money is $70. You will then also have to renew your license once every two years at a cost of $50 and with proof of 30 hours of continuous training.
Because you will have the opportunity if you wish to take it of doing an LPN to RN or an LPN to BSN program once you have qualified, you may find it interesting to consider the average LPN salaries that you can expect to receive at each level in the state of South Carolina:
Financial Aid Available
Always be sure to investigate all of the various options that are open to you when it comes to financial aid. In South Carolina there are many opportunities to study for your LPN qualification even if you do not have the finances to do so. It just takes a little digging to find the best financial option for you.
Work and Study Programs
Many schools offer work and study programs in order to encourage more students to join them. In a program like this you will be able to work while you learn thereby generating an income with which you can pay back a loan or fund your studies. Not many people know about this option, so it is worth your while to enquire at the school where you would like to study. However this cannot be given to everyone, so when too many people apply, the decision is then based on needs.
Sign Up Bonuses
Because there is a shortage of nurses in South Carolina many companies and health care institutes are offering sign up bonuses in order to attract new LPN graduates. If you are able to get into one of these facilities then you will be able to use that incentive to pay for any loans or outstanding fees that you may have. It will take a bit of time and effort to research which institutes offer this and which institutes don’t as well as how much each institute is willing to pay, but it is worth your while as you will be able to become financially safe.
There are several loan options that you may want to consider if you are hoping to study as an LPN in the state of South Carolina. However you must remember that loans have to be paid back, and that they accrue interest which means that you will be paying back more than you originally borrowed. These are concerns you must beware of before you commit yourself to a loan. Be sure that you will be able to pay it back when it becomes required. Of course many loans do not have to be repaid until you have finished studying and some even wait for you to find a job. However the loan may accrue even more interest during this time that you will have to repay. Federal loans are the best bet, but not everyone qualifies for such a loan. The requirements are quite stringent. However if you are eligible for a federal loan than you should grab the opportunity without hesitating. This is because federal loans have far more reasonable interest rates. The other option is getting a private loan. It is fairly easy to qualify for a private loan, but the interest rates are a lot worse.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
If you go the route of getting a loan then you may be interested in looking into the loan forgiveness programs that are offered in South Carolina. With a loan forgiveness program part or your entire debt may be repaid on your behalf. This may sound too good to be true, but remember that you have to play a part in this transaction as well. In return for this financial aid you will be required to work somewhere designated by the state. Often this will be an underserved rural area, but at least you will be guaranteed of employment and you will also definitely have something to put on your resume for when it comes time to look for another job.
Scholarships and Grants
Loans are a viable option but there are also ways to study for free. Grants and scholarships are monetary amounts that you do not have to repay and that are given out on the following bases:
- If you have a dire financial need you may qualify for a grant or scholarship
- If you are a top academic achiever you may qualify for a grant of scholarship
The weight given to each of these criteria differ from grant to grant and scholarship to scholarship.
Ask Your Employer
If you are currently employed then your employer may be a good source of financial aid. This is especially true if you are employed in the health care industry. Many employers are happy to have a qualified LPN on their staff, in return for which you are required to work for them as an LPN for a set amount of time. This benefits you in a number of ways. First you will receive financial aid for your studies. Secondly you will be assured of having employment once you finish your studies. Third you will have some experience to put on your resume when it comes time to find a new job.
List of Schools
There are several options open to you if you are hoping to study for your LPN qualification in South Carolina. Remember that when you choose a school you must make sure that it is certified by the South Dakota Board of Nursing. If it is not certified or accredited than you will be wasting your time and your money. Here is a list of your options with the contact details you will need to make further enquiries:
Aiken Technical College
2276 Jefferson Davis Highway
PO Box 696
Aiken, SC 29802
Applied Technology Education Campus
874 Vocational Lane
Camden SC 29020
Central Carolina Technical College
506 North Guignard Drive
Sumter SC 29150
Cherokee Technology Center
3206 Cherokee Avenue
Gaffney SC 29340
Denmark Technical College
500 Soloman Blatt Blvd
P O Box 327
Denmark SC 29042
ECPI College of Technology
1001 Keys Drive #100
Greenville SC 29615
Florence-Darlington Technical College
2715 West Lucas Street
P O Box 100548
Florence SC 29501
Greenville Technical College
620 South Pleasantburg Drive
P O Box 5616
Greenville SC 29606
Horry-Georgetown Technical College
2050 Highway 501 East
P O Box 261966
Conway SC 29528
Choosing a school
There are a few basic factors that you should consider when deciding which LPN school in South Carolina is the best one for you. This is a decision that should be made carefully. Consider the following:
- Location of the school
- Tuition fees
- Percentage of NCLEX-PN passed candidate from the school in last years
- Length of the program
- Clinical facilities and exposure
- Reputation of the college
- Financial aids
- Guidance provided by the school for NCLEX-PN exam