Choosing an LPN Program in Oklahoma

If you are searching for a practical nursing program in Oklahoma, you will likely not have to go far. Approved practical nursing programs can be found at colleges and technology centers throughout the state (http://www.ok.gov/nursing/ed-schls.pdf). While location is an important criteria for many, there are a number of factors that distinguish one program from another. The following guide may help you.

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Accreditation

There is one essential: You must make sure your school is approved by the board of the state in which it is located. You may also consider its accreditation status.

Many Oklahoma programs hold accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), an organization known until recently as the NLNAC. While Oklahoma does not require this accreditation, it is a testament to the program’s quality. A 2003 Oklahoma task force found some correlation between accreditation and NCLEX pass rates; none of the programs with the lowest pass rates were accredited.
Additionally, some professional (RN level) nursing programs award advanced standing only to LPNS who graduated from an accredited program (http://www.osuokc.edu/nursing/).

Students can search for accredited programs on the ACEN site (http://www.acenursing.org/).

NCLEX Pass Rates

Prospective students may also consider the program’s NCLEX pass rate: the percentage of test takers who pass the examination. NCLEX pass rates are an indicator of program quality, and also of admission and retention policies. Prospective students can find ten years of pass rate data on the site of the Oklahoma Board (http://www.ok.gov/nursing/nclexpass.pdf).

Considering the Timeline

Oklahoma schools offer full- and part-time options. The program may take 11 months — or 21.
It’s not just the number of semesters that determines the timeline. Nursing schools may have one or more admission periods per year. The course may not begin until many months after the application period closes. There may be additional requirements to complete between acceptance and enrollment.

Programs often do not have the faculty or facilities to enroll all qualified applicants. They may deal with the situation by waitlisting candidates or by becoming more selective.

Academic and Extracurricular Opportunities

You can expect any Oklahoma LPN program to include clinical healthcare rotations. Programs will have different clinical partnerships, though, and the experience may vary from school to school.

Some schools offer additional pre-professional and leadership opportunities. You may, for example, have the opportunity to join the Health Occupations Students of America.

Paying for Nursing School

As a prospective student, you can attend advisement sessions to learn about financial aid options as well as admission requirements.

Costs are variable. It is possible to complete practical nursing education at a public Oklahoma college for $5,000, though some charge more. Proprietary colleges may be significantly more expensive.
There are WIA-approved LPN programs in Alva and Stilwell; additionally, there are WIA-approved Texas and Kansas program that some Oklahoma residents may qualify for. You can search out options on the Oklahoma JobLink site (https://okjobmatch.com/ada/r/training). You can also use the website to gauge whether you will be eligible for services.

Pell Grants are more widely available. Additionally, some colleges have their own scholarships. Students may have other opportunities, based on factors such as ethnic status or military background. Some will, for example, qualify for grants from the Cherokee Nation (http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Education/College-Resources)
Many students do take out subsidized or unsubsidized loans. The school’s gainful employment data will likely include information about the average loan debt.

Oklahoma LPNs earn, on average, $17.69 an hour or $36,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It takes some experience to reach the average — and the biggest hurdle is landing that first job. You may also consider the program’s job placement rate.

Resources

LPN License Requirements in Oklahoma

Career Overview: Becoming an LPN in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Board of Nursing http://nursing.ok.gov/

Related Content:

RN Programs in Oklahoma

How to Become an RN in Oklahoma

LPN to RN Programs

CNA Programs in Oklahoma

Medical Assistant Requirements in Oklahoma

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