A student who has just completed high school with a diploma or a GED and who has the desire to pursue an Licensed Vocational Nursing program is facing an additional 12 to 18-month program of intensive learning to earn the privilege of an entry-level position in the health care industry in delivery of care and treatment directly to a patient.
Depending on the relative financial status of the entry student in an LVN program, the effort can be expensive, however, the pursuit of an LVN may prove less expensive even if the student is planning on further pursuit of an RN (registered nurse) or BSN (bachelor of nursing) program. Both of these advanced programs have available bridge programs from the LVN experience which will reduce the time and effort to achieve them once having achieved the LVN.
The first fees to consider are the tuition fees. These will vary by the institution conducting the program, which may be in a community college, a university, a teaching hospital associated with a medical school, or a private nursing education institution, and by location in the country. The tuition fees may range from $800 to $3,000 per semester (3 full semesters comprises the typical program), but do not include other expenses outlined below.
A uniform is generally required to be purchased for any involvement in professional health care, even at the educational level. The uniform will typically consist of either loose-fitting pants and top or overalls, usually of a unisex design. The uniform will cost up to $300, or even a little more.
Textbooks, binders and other typical educational paraphernalia are necessities in any educational program. Individual textbooks can cost as much as $200 per book, but often, used books are available and suggested for the frugal student. In addition, many textbooks are available in a reference library associated with the institution at no cost for access to them. This is a good option for saving on the cost of textbooks.
Nursing tools are an expense even for the beginning LVN student. These will consist of at least three instruments: the sphygmomanometer (the device to measure blood pressure about $50), stethoscope ($20), and thermometer ($10). Other instrument requirements will vary depending on the institution.
Graduation fees may be imposed if the graduating student wishes to attend graduation exercises, which would then require rental of cap and gown, invitations/announcements, etc. These costs are not going to be excessive and may be avoided altogether.
The National Council Licensing Examination Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN also for LVNs) must be taken and passed to be licensed to work as an LVN in any state. The application alone is up to $200, plus a testing fee of up to $200 plus a fingerprint fee of about $60 for a criminal background check, if required. It usually is a requirement of taking the exam.
General living expenses must be considered if the student is not living at home. However, considering the cost of most college degrees, the LVN programs has minimal expenses by comparison for a rewarding, compassionate career.
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