Continental South Dakota may have a low population density, but there are still plenty of opportunities for high school students who did well at biology to qualify as an LPN in this state.
There are several good schools where you will be able to get your LPN qualification, and there are plenty of financial aid options available if that is what you need to kick start your medical career. Because the medical industry is ever on the increase you will be assured of job security. Once you have your foot in the door of the medical industry you will be able to go on to qualify as an RN or a BSN nurse. The opportunities that you will create for yourself with an LPN qualification are endless.
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
- 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 South Dakota Board of Nursing. This amount of money is $100 and is for the background check. You will then also have to renew your license once every two years at a cost of $90.
The LPN salary that you can receive in the state of South Dakota is very good indeed. Because you are eligible to study further and become an RN or a BSN nurse once you have completed your LPN qualification, it may interest you to know what the salary at each level is. Below is a table comparing the average salary you can expect to earn as an LPN, an RN and a BSN in the state of South Dakota.
Financial Aid Available
There are many different options available to people who are hoping to qualify as LPNs in the state of South Dakota. If you are hoping to study but do not have the necessary financial resources to do so, don’t worry. There are several options that are open to you. You just have to spend the time and effort necessary to find them.
The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program
One of the financial aid programs that are specific to the state of South Dakota is The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program. This program is great for anyone straight out of high school that is hoping to qualify as an LPN. The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program allows you to study for your LPN qualification at no cost to yourself. This is how a scholarship works. You are given a monetary amount that you do not have to pay back, or you are simply accepted into a program free of charge. However this scholarship works on a scholarship for service program. The Dakota Corps Scholarship Program is given to high school students interested in high need industries like nursing, so in exchange for receiving a scholarship you will be required to work for a facility that is designated by the state of South Dakota for a set period of time. However in this way you will be guaranteed of employment once you have finished studying and you will have experience for your resume that will help you later on in your nursing career.
Don’t forget to look into other scholarships that may be available in the state of South Dakota. There are usually a fair number of options that you can consider. Scholarships are usually given on one or more of the following bases:
- Your financial position is such that you are unable to pay for your studies yourself
- You are a top academic achiever and always return excellent results
- You are willing to work in underserved state designated facilities in the case of scholarship for service programs
Scholarships can come from a variety of different sources from the school you want to study at to the government to an anonymous private benefactor.
Don’t forget to find out from FAFSA what financial aid you are eligible. When you apply to FAFSA you will be given a list of options based on the answers that you fill out in the FAFSA form. The options will most likely include:
Loans: A loan is an amount of money that is given to you to fund your studies that you will be required to pay back. Loans accrue interest which means that you will be paying back more money than you originally borrowed in the first place. If you are not required to pay back your loan until you have finished studying, remember that the loan will probably continue gaining interest over that time period. There are two main sources for loans. Federal loans are the hardest to get. This is because the eligibility criteria are very strict. However if you qualify for a federal loan then you are in a good position. Federal loans have the lowest interest rates. The other option is to get a private loan. These loans are far easier to qualify for. However because they are so easy to get they tend to have much higher interest rates.
Grants: Grants are similar to scholarships in that you do not have to pay the money back, but they are generally based more heavily on financial need than scholarships are.
Loan forgiveness or repayment programs
If you have gone the route of taking out a loan then you will need to think about how you are going to pay it back. Loan repayment or forgiveness programs may be the answer to this dilemma. In these programs part or your entire loan is dealt with. In return for this you are required to work in a facility that is designated by the state. This facility will usually be one that is understaffed, so be prepared to work in a rural area. A program like this provides you with a job and experience on top of the financial benefits that you will get.
Ask Your Employer
Your employer may be a surprising source of financial aid. If you are already employed as a CNA then your employer may be more than happy to help you advance to an LPN. This benefits everyone:
- Benefits to you: firstly your financial constraints will no longer be present and you will be free to study for your LPN qualification. Secondly, because you are often required to work as an LPN for your employer for a set amount of time in repayment, you will be guaranteed of a job once you have completed your LPN training. Thirdly you will get valuable experience for your resume and this will help you throughout your nursing career.
- Benefits to your employer: Your employer will have an LPN who he or she already knows well and who knows how things work in that particular health care facility.
List of Schools
In South Dakota there are not as many schools where you can get your LPN qualification as you may find in other states. However the schools that are there are of a good quality. Make sure that the school you choose is accredited by the South Dakota Board of Nursing before enrolling. Here is a list of your options:
Lake Area Technical Institute
230 11th Street NE
Watertown, SD 57201
Sinte Gleska University
PO Box 8
Mission, SD 57555-0008
Sisseton Wahpeton College
Old Agency Road Box 689
Sisseton, SD 57262-0689
605-698-3966 Ext 1126
Southeast Technical Institute
Health and Science Center
2320 North Career Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
Western Dakota Technical Institute
800 East Mickelson Drive
Rapid City, SD 57703-4018
605-394-4034 Ext 315
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