Choosing an LPN Program in Kansas
A student has lots of practical nursing programs to choose from. The one essential is that the program be state approved. If it’s located in Kansas, look for it to appear on the list of approved programs (http://www.ksbn.org/cne/nursingschoolst.pdf). Beyond that, it’s what works best for you!
Examination Pass Rates in Kansas
One consideration is NCLEX-PN pass rates. Whatever the quality of your schooling, you will be taking the same test: the NCLEX-PN.
This is a national board examination that assesses skills for safe, efficient entry-level practice. For some, tests scores are a factor in making enrollment decisions. The Kansas Board has posted a full five years of test passage rates. These reflect scores on a first attempt at the exam.
Prospective students may also consider the completion rate. A surprising number of students who begin nursing programs don’t finish them. Nursing students may want to ask what education support services are available.
Fitting Nursing School into Your Lifestyle
Of course people drop out for many reasons besides academics. It’s a good idea to consider how the realities of nursing school fit with your lifestyle and obligations. Classes may be held in the day or evening. It is possible to complete a program full-time in two semesters or part-time in three semesters or more. In some locations, it is possible to find a nursing school with on-site daycare.
Clinicals are the time spent working in actual healthcare facilities. Often clinical rotations feel like the biggest part of the commitment. As a prospective student, you may want to ask where clinicals are located and how they are structured.
Accreditation of LPN Programs in KS
Most Kansas LPN programs have the state board as the only evaluating or approving agency – this is sufficient for a license. A few, though, are also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) – a plus.
Articulation Between Programs
Articulation refers to transfer of credits from one program to a higher one: How easy is it to go from practical nursing to professional nursing?
Some Kansas nursing programs have two components. After the first year, a person is eligible to take the NCLEX-PN. After the second year, they are eligible to test as an RN.
Kansas LPN Admission Requirements
Admission requirements are not set as high at the LPN level, but there is some selectivity. Students will need to be prepared to take an admission test, for example, the HESI. There will be an interview as well. There is a good chance that if one makes the top cut, they will not be placed on a waiting list.
The Cost of Practical Nursing School in Kansas
Often there are a couple thousand dollars of fees added on to the basic tuition rate. Even so the cost of a two-semester practical nursing program can be modest. You may find an LPN program for less than $5,000. In some cases, if you are a resident of the county where the school is located, you will get a lower rate.
Cost should be weighed against gainful employment opportunity. This too varies by program. Some schools boast impressive 100% placement rates — at least for some years. Nursing is subject to the ups and downs of the economy. Even when shortages are predicted, economic downturns can hold them at bay as nurses choose to put off retirement or to return to the workforce. Kansas is working to form a workforce center to better predict nursing demand (http://www.nursingworkforcecenters.org/WorkForceCenters.aspx).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average wage of $37,790 for Kansas practical nurses. One generally starts a career in nursing as in other fields somewhat below the mean.
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