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Choosing an LPN Program in Nevada

If you are considering a practical nursing program in Nevada, geography may be an important consideration. The Board has granted full approval to just two in-state programs. There is one practical nursing program with conditional approval and one Arizona school approved to do clinical rotations within Nevada. Approvals change periodically.

NCLEX Pass Rates in Nevada

Practical nursing graduates must pass the NCLEX-PN, a board examination that tests competent entry-level practice; this is a licensing requirement. The Nevada Board publishes NCLEX pass rates. A prospective student can see four years of testing data (http://nevadanursingboard.org/education-and-continuing-education/approved-nursing-programs/).

Students considering a school in Arizona or another state may visit that state's licensing board to see similar data. It is important to remember that pass rates reflect not only instructional quality but also policies for admission and retention.

Other Indicators of Program Quality

Students may also consider gainful employment data. Some programs boast an impressive 100% placement rate, at least among students who have completed the program and passed the NCLEX.

If the completion rate is low, students will also want to know the reason. Some students may be interested in knowing what academic support services are available.

The Admission Process

Prospective students will also need to consider the admission process. A test may be required. Candidates may be awarded points for healthcare experience, nursing assistant certification, and community service. Some schools make their point systems public. It can be a good idea to take a look well in advance.

Students who don't find a spot the first time may consider what they can do to make themselves more competitive or try a different school. Sometimes the selection process is, in essence, done for the student. He or she enrolls in the nearest school that has an open seat.

Paying for Nursing School

A student may pay as little as $6,000 to $7,000 at a state funded school (http://sites.csn.edu/health/nursing/lpncareerguide.pdf). A private college may charge substantially higher tuition.

Students do not necessarily pay all fees themselves. Many college students are eligible for Pell Grants. Those with exceptional need may be eligible for additional grant money. It is important to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students may qualify for grants based on military service. Work study is an option at some colleges. .The Nevada Nurses Association has put together a resource to help nursing students understand the many potential sources of financial aid (http://www.nvnurses.org/).

Ultimately, it may be necessary to take out loans to cover the cost of a more expensive program. There are both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Some school websites provide a net price calculator that lets students estimate costs, based on tuition, fees, and probable financial aid.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists $25.41 an hour ($52,850 a year) as the average salary for a Nevada LPN (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm). Workers typically start below the average. Still, a nursing student who makes it through the program and successfully transitions into the workforce is generally in a position to handle some academic debt.

Other Options

There are more registered nursing programs in Nevada than practical nursing programs. A student is more likely to find one in their metropolitan area. The salary potential is also higher. A student who doesn't have a practical nursing program in their area may consider whether they will be competitive for admission to an associate level program. Another option is to begin the journey as a nursing assistant.

To find out more, students are often advised to attend information sessions before submitting an application. This is an opportunity to learn more about the application process and also get a sense of whether the school feels right.

Resources

LPN License Requirements in Nevada

Nevada Board of Nursing

Become an LPN in Nevada

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