You have decided you want to enroll in Summit College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program. Congratulations! You have chosen a career path that will allow you to help patients and make their lives better. As an LVN, you will be fulfilling a crucial role in healthcare as the need for nurses increases.
After completing your LVN program and passing your licensure exam, you’ll be joining more than 700,000 LVNs in America. That might seem rather large, but it pales in comparison to the over 46 million people living in the United States who are over 65 years old. Not to mention that 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic disease and 68 percent have two, according to the National Council on Aging. Those are a lot of people will inevitably need healthcare.
The career path you have chosen will have no shortage of work in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses to increase 21 percent through 2024. That being said, it is difficult to take advantage of these great job prospects without a good education.
So how do you get started? That is probably the question on your mind. You can’t become an LVN and help people if you do not know where to begin. Luckily, beginning your licensed vocational nursing education is an easy process with lots of help available if you need it.
This post will discuss how to get started in the LVN program and hopefully address many of the questions you have about beginning your journey to licensure.
What do I need to enroll to Summit College?
To enroll at Summit College, you need either a high school diploma or a GED. The high school or GED program must be accredited by the United States Department of Education.
I have my high school diploma/GED. What’s next?
With your high school or GED diploma in hand, the next step toward enrolling at Summit College is to contact an admissions advisor. You can do this by either filling out the contact form on the Summit website or calling 888-497-3382. Calling the phone number will put you in direct contact with an admissions advisor. If you opt to fill out the contact form, an advisor will contact you via email shortly after your submission.
The admissions advisor will provide you with additional information about Summit College and schedule an interview. The interview will give you the chance to learn more about the program and help the advisor understand your career goals.
After your interview, the next step on your enrollment quest is to schedule a campus tour. Your visit to Summit College’s Colton Campus will award you a chance to see everything the campus has to offer. Prospective students also get to see what the relationship between teachers and students is like, as this is a vital part of an education.
I’m blown away by the tour of campus. Can I just enroll already?
Once you decide that the LVN program and Summit College are for you, there are still a few more hurdles to clear. One such hurdle is an entrance exam assessing your math and English skills. Though Summit doesn't require students to take the SAT, the school still needs to see what you know.
Once you complete the aptitude test, the only obstacle standing between you and your LVN dreams is financing your education. The tuition costs for Summit College’s LVN program range from $30,507-$32,844 depending on the type of enrollment.
The cost of the LVN might seem like a lot of money, but it is actually a fraction of the price of a four-year nursing degree. A four-year BSN degree can cost between $40,000 and $200,000.
Additionally, Summit College offers a variety of financing and payment options. These include a number of federal and state financial aid programs. You can also meet with a staff member of Summit’s Financial Aid Department to explore your options.
The easiest way to find out what kind of federal financial aid you qualify for is to file a FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps college students get their share of more than $150 billion of financial aid awarded annually. These funds are provided by Federal Student Aid, which is part of the United States Department of Education.
The FAFSA takes your personal financial into account when determining how much aid you will be awarded. Factors such as your or your parents’ incoming, expected financial contribution and other assets are among those that may influence your award.
Federal student aid is parsed out in a few different ways:
- Work-study funds
Grants are allotments of money given to you by the government. You do not need to pay back these sums after you graduate. Grants are typically need-based awards.
Loans are sums of money that you borrow from the government to finance your education. These come in both subsidized and unsubsidized varieties. Subsidized are loans that the government pays the interest on while you are enrolled in school. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest as soon as you take them out.
Following graduation, you are required pay back the loans in full with interest.
Work-study jobs are part-time jobs awarded to students while they are in school. These jobs allow students to work to earn some of the money they need for their education. Work-study jobs are available to both full-time and part-time students.
Many states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for state- and school-awarded aid, such as scholarships.
Once your finances are in order, you can enroll in the LVN program. You can choose between full-time and part-time enrollment.
The full-time program offers classes during the day and can be completed in 12 months. The part-time program offers classes during evenings and weekends to accommodate students who work other jobs. Part-time students complete the program in 18 months.
The LVN program consists of both theory and clinical components. The curriculum is comprised of 632 lecture hours and 751 clinical hours. During the program, LVN students will gain exposure to a wide array of subjects including:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Nutrition and Psychology
Once the clinical and theoretical work is completed, students receive a certificate from the program. Following completion of the program, aspiring vocational nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination. Candidates must pass the exam to work in the healthcare field as LVNs.
Every licensed vocational nurse in the United States is required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The exam measures a candidate’s competencies needed to perform the role of a licensed vocational nurse safely and effectively. With LVN programs, there is no such waiting or rigorous application process for admission.
Given that LVNs perform a variety of duties in a variety of different medical settings, it is no surprise that the job outlook for licensed vocational nurses is promising.
A quality education can help an aspiring licensed vocational nurse stand out during their quest for healthcare employment. Summit College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program is one of the largest LVN programs in California is accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians. Students who enroll in Summit College’s LVN program receive a well-rounded nursing education that allows them to provide optimum care after licensure.
Summit College offers its licensed vocational nursing students the resources they to ace the NCLEX. Such resources include:
- Full-time NCLEX tutors
- NCLEX review classes
- Financial assistance with first-time application costs and other fees associated with licensure (in certain cases)
Summit College also offers students career assistance beyond acquiring their vocational nursing license, including resume help, mock interviews and externships. These resources help LVN students capitalize on entry-level healthcare jobs.
Once you pass the NCLEX, you can begin working as a licensed vocational nurse. You will be able to work along side doctors and registered nurses in a multitude of medical settings. You will help patients get better by handling a variety of tasks such as:
- Taking a patient’s blood pressure
- Applying/changing bandages
- Inserting catheters
- Listening to patients’ concerns and address them
- Maintaining patients’ health records
Licensed vocational nurses start making a difference and saving lives sooner than other nurses. They are needed just as much as registered nurses and doctors. The need for nurses will not be going away any time soon. The sooner you enroll, the sooner you can start saving lives.
Discover the Summit College Difference. Get started today at summitcollege.edu.