Choosing an LPN Program in Delaware

A person must complete an approved practical nursing program to become an LPN in Delaware (http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing/documents/Schools_Refreshers.pdf). There are five approved LPN programs listed on the Board website. Geographic location is not the only factor – in fact, some schools offer courses at schools around the state. Different programs, though, may meet different needs.

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Admission Requirements

In general, admission requirements are set lower than they are for registered nursing programs – at least academically. References and/ or interviews are common. Multiple schools require the TEAS. However, admission policies are not identical and some may feel more comfortable than others.

Prospective students will also want to ask whether making the cut means immediate enrollment or whether they may be waitlisted.

Program Focus

Different programs are geared toward different populations. For some, the focus is on helping adult learners get job skills. There may be excellent career counseling services and strong ties with healthcare facilities in the vicinity. There may also be a minimum age – some programs just aren’t designed for the eighteen-year-old high school graduate.

Test Scores

As in other states, practical nursing graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN before they can be licensed. Delaware’s pass rate is below the national average (https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing/passrates/). There is significant difference from program to program. Thus prospective students may wish to consider this data when selecting programs. However, test scores should not be the sole criteria. (They also reflect the admission processes of the particular institution.)

Job Placement and Retention

Also important is job placement data – after all, licensure is not an end in itself. Students may also consider the retention rate (the number of students completing the program). They may inquire about educational support services.

And then there are the practicalities. For some students, full-time daytime attendance just isn’t a realistic option. Flexible scheduling may be necessary.

Accreditation

Accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) may also be desirable. The ACEN accredits programs across the nation; accredited schools have been reviewed by a respected nursing organization and found to have met a high standard of education.

Financing Nursing School

It is possible to get a practical nursing education in Delaware for under $10,000, even without grants or scholarships. Prospective students should contact individual schools for rates.

Financial aid is available. Some individuals may be eligible for funding through the Workforce Initiative Act (WIA). The purpose is to provide individuals who do not currently have good job prospects with short term training that will lead to financially lucrative jobs. Those who meet eligible criteria and receive funding will be placed into an appropriate program. Currently Delaware has one WIA-approved program. It serves students in all three Delaware counties. It is a full-time day program (http://www.deskillscenter.org/funding/).

Two other programs for qualifying individuals are the Governor’s Education Grant for Working Adults and the Governor’s Education Grant for Unemployed Adults. These programs cover a lesser portion of costs.

Many students are eligible for Pell Grants and/or other financial aid through the federal government. It will be necessary to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some students will qualify for other federal grants by virtue of special status (for example, military service).

Ultimately, Delaware LPNs average $47,350 (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm). A person should be prepared to make less in their first job role.

Out-of-State Programs

Delaware is a small state, and many students live within commuting distance of other jurisdictions. Students who are attending school in other states but planning to seek licensure in Delaware must make sure their program meets Delaware regulations (https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing/exam/). Among other things, the program must have at least 200 clinical hours.

Resources

LPN License Requirements in Delaware

Career Overview: Becoming an LPN in Delaware

Delaware Board of Nursing http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing/

CNA Training in Delaware

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