Choosing an LPN Program in Wyoming
If you are doing your practical nursing program in Wyoming, geography may be a big consideration. There are just four approved programs in the state. Some have two campuses and/or project lectures to a distant site; still, not all areas of the state are served.
If you are traveling to get your education, you may want to be picky. Here are some things to keep in mind.
NCLEX Pass Rates
Eventually you will need to pass the NCLEX-PN licensing examination. You may be interested in knowing the percentage of candidates who passed on a first attempt. The Wyoming Board posts pass rates by program (https://nursing-online.state.wy.us/Default.aspx?page=27). A program that falls too low risks its status with the Board. The 2013 results are listed by program and location — a total of seven campuses.
Pass rates can reflect admission policies as well as nursing instruction. Wyoming’s LPN programs have recent pass rates far above the national average. In 2013, the Wyoming average was 99.7%. This compares to 85.53% for the nation as a whole. The state RN pass rate was only a few percentage points above the national average. Wyoming schools that educate both LPNs and RNs have higher pass rates at the LPN level.
Gainful Employment Data and Disclosures
You may also be interested in knowing the percentage of students who completed the program and the percentage who were placed in positions. Attrition at the practical nursing level is common.
Programs may share additional information, like data from surveys of past students and their employers.
You may also consider how easy it will be to continue on for a higher level nursing license if you choose to. Some Wyoming nursing schools have programs where students enroll at the associate’s level but can exit with a practical nursing credential.
The Admission Process
Nursing programs are competitive even at the entry level. Students may need to complete prerequisites. They often need to take the TEAS or other pre-admission exam. If there are more potentially qualified candidates than there are spaces, the school may use a point system to determine who makes the cut. This is an alternative to placing students on long waiting lists.
The total cost of a practical nursing program is higher than what might be expected based on the tuition rate of the community college or other institution. Students file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for need-based programs. In addition to standard governmental financial aid, some Wyoming nursing students may qualify for tuition assistance through the Wyoming Investment in Nursing (WyIN) program (http://www.commission.wcc.edu/nursing-tuition-program.aspx). A WyIN-funded nurse who successfully completes a service obligation after graduation will not have to make monetary payments.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites $20.07 as the average hourly wage for a Wyoming LPN. Nursing departments may know more about what newly licensed nurses are earning at healthcare facilities in the community.
The Campus Experience
Students in the more rural parts of the state may need to relocate for training. Some Wyoming community colleges have quite an array of housing options. You may want to consider not only the nursing program but the whole campus experience.
Programs Approved by Other State Licensing Agencies
An LPN needs to complete a state approved program. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Wyoming institution, but a student who attends a program approved by another state as a nonresident may face steeper tuition rates.
Prospective students will find data like NCLEX scores on the site of the licensing agency where the program is located.
Wyoming State Board of Nursing https://nursing-online.state.wy.us/Default.aspx
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