Admissions and Financial Aid are important steps for all new students who wish to enroll in our nursing programs in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Nowadays, most nursing schools want you to have a basic set of skills and theoretical knowledge before admission. To get into a top nursing program, you must gain a number of academic credits in core General Education subjects, such as English, Statistics, and Human Anatomy, in the form of prerequisite courses.

Like Nightingale, some colleges will offer you the chance to complete the BSN prerequisites during your course. But, not taking these courses or choosing a no-prerequisite nursing course can harm your education, skills, and career in the long run.

Let’s find out what education prerequisites are typically requested by a school of nursing, why it is important to gain them, and what your options are when you don’t yet have all of the necessary prerequisites.

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Moving from an LPN to an RN is a huge career advancement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, the average RN’s salary was 24,000 higher than the average LPN’s. And at Nightingale College, the advancement to an RN license can take as few as 8 months. So why not?

 

via GIPHY

The process of advanced placement for LPNs involves transferring credits, testing, and some paperwork. Becky Christlieb, an advisor in our admissions department, summarized the process this way, “They need to apply, pass the entrance exam, get us their official transcripts, take the Level 2 HESI to see whether they place in level 2 or 3 and take any challenge exams they might need and then finish up with some paperwork and financial aid.”

There was a lot of stuff to do in there, let’s break that down a little bit.

Application and Entrance Exams

The first step in getting into any nursing program is applying. Nightingale College has admissions advisors that walk prospective students through the entire application and testing process. LPNs should also try to apply EARLY so they have time to take all their tests without being rushed.

“They need to start early and getting the tests done so that they feel like they’re confident in their testing, they don’t feel like they’re rushed, and they can study and do it,” said Stacie McVay, Assistant Manager of our Admissions Department

Click here to see the application.

Click here to speak with an advisor.

The second step is the entrance exam. The exam covers arithmetic, reading, and sentence structure, among other things. The exam may be repeated to achieve a higher score, however the student will be required to pay a fee with each test.

Get us your transcripts

Active or inactive license?

An active LPN license is accepted as 12 nursing credits automatically . So LPNs get credit for Level 1. If the license is inactive, the registrar will do an evaluation of credit, and the student may have the option to complete some challenge tests, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

Challenge Exams

Some LPNs think, “I got my LPN too long ago, my credits are expired so I will have to start all over again.” But really, that may not be the case. Transcripts will be evaluated by our registrar to see what could potentially transfer in, or to identify possible challenge exams. Challenge exams allow students to take an exam to test out of a subject, if the credits they took in the subject are expired or if they received a low grade.

Have you done the right Anatomy and Physiology?

A common concern with LPN credits is the Anatomy and Physiology courses. In some cases, LPN programs do not have a compatible Anatomy and Physiology courses for the RN programs, or the LPN took the courses too long ago and the credits have now expired. The LPN may have to retake the courses at Nightingale. Consult the admissions advisors and the registrar for more information.

The good news is that even if the courses do need to be repeated, Nightingale offers an accelerated program for LPNs to get through the A&P courses in just one semester. Upon completion, the LPN can then go right into the level they placed into (2 or 3).

What about an unfinished LPN program?

If a learner has completed most of the credits for an LPN license, we recommend finishing and obtaining the license before transferring in, making it easier for the registrar to evaluate which credits are accepted. After an LPN has taken the NCLEX-PN, Level 1 is automatically completed, but without the NCLEX-PN, the courses would need to be evaluated for transfer individually, meaning the LPN may have to repeat some courses.

If you are considering an RN over an LPN, or debating between an LPN, RN, or BSN, contact an advisor to see which is the best route for you. Click here to contact an advisor.

Optional Advancement Testing

An active LPN license transfers in as Level 1, so LPNs would have levels 2, 3, and 4 left to do. However, if LPNs think that they know the material in Level 2, they can take the Level 2 final exam that all of our other Level 2 learners have to take to move onto Level 3: the Level 2 HESI. If the LPN passes, they would gain credit for Level 2 and start in Level 3.

McVay emphasized that taking the Level 2 HESI is optional, and only for assessment purposes to set them up for success as they approach the NCLEX-RN. “It’s NCLEX-style questions. They get two tries,” McVay said. “We don’t want them to feel pressured, because we don’t want them to feel bad if they don’t make it. If they don’t get it, that just means they need that information. They need that information to pass the NCLEX-RN. It’s just an assessment to place them in the right level.”

 

We hope that this information was helpful for your nursing journey. If you have any questions regarding LPN advanced placement or admissions into our programs, please email admissions@nightingale.edu

why get a bsn
The financial aid process can be confusing and stressful sometimes. It’s like taxes: necessary, but painful. We know that as nursing students, you have enough stress in your lives already, so here are some hints about what NOT to do, to help you through financial aid.

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Popular admissions questions

Let’s get down to it: do you know what questions to ask during an Admissions interview? Our Admissions team gets bombarded with questions daily and despite their uncanny ability to answer questions quickly, some questions can be answered simply by doing minor research. However, don’t let that discourage you from asking questions when you are given the opportunity. Knowing what to ask is important when considering such a big step as enrolling in nursing school. So, avoid the mistake of assumption and ask those questions. But, please do some research. The answer may already be available to you. Hence why we decided to throw together our most popular Admissions questions and answers. (Don’t forget to check out the bonus article at the end, Tips to Prepare You for Your Admissions Meeting.

When asked what the more popular Admissions questions and answers were, our advisors gave us the top questions most often asked and the correct answers.

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Money managementMoney management is always a hot topic and there are various strategies for managing finances and setting a budget floating around the Internet. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Money management is unique to everyone. It can be challenging managing your money when you are a full-time learner.  Some learners may have a job while balancing school, but many learners do not work. Learners who work and don’t work should both be conscious of how their money is being divided and work to set a budget. It’s time to position yourself in the right direction in terms of finances. Don’t live paycheck to paycheck after graduation.

Money management and learning the art of budgeting, along with other focuses, is a service our Learner Advising and Life Resources Department (LALR) offers to learners. Nursing school is a big investment. We know that with such an investment, our learners should be provided with resources to help manage their finances. Not only is money management a skill that is necessary while in school but long after you have graduated.

For more information about money management for learners, contact the LALR Department.

Tips for Money Management

Here are a few tips and a few websites that will help you manage your money while in school that you can continue to use later after graduation.

Set a budget. As mentioned, a specific budget will not work for everyone. Even a budget that you are using may need tweaking here and there to adjust to the new priorities you have set. A budget is meant to allocate your money to your top priorities first, including savings. We suggest the 50/20/30 budget rule.

Here is the 50/20/30 budgeting rule:

50% of your income is for fixed or essential spending (like rent, food, student loans, etc.)

20% of your income is for savings or paying off debt

30% of your income is for flexible spending (like phone, gas, entertainment, etc.)

To learn more about the 50/20/30 budgeting rule, ask the LALR Department or click here to view an article by Mint, an Intuit product.

Set your priorities. According to the 50/20/30 budgeting rule, fifty percent of your income should be directed at essentials (or priorities). Take a few minutes to jot down the essential spends that you have. Be very careful to only include what is necessary in your life such as rent and food.

Always have an emergency fund. When setting a budget, many people forget to include an emergency fund. An emergency fund goes beyond what is included in your savings account. Always set some of your income aside for your emergency fund. You’ll never know when you’ll need it.

Stay on top of your budget and finances. How often do you check your bank statements? Make it a routine to check the status of your bank accounts at least once a week to every two weeks. It is easy to manage your money when you are fully aware of what you are spending on. Understanding where your money goes also gives you the ability to determine areas that you can cut back. It could be as simple as one or two less coffees a week or as impactful as cutting back in one area to pay more on a loan. You are able to make wiser decisions when you are knowledgeable of what is going on with your finances.

Work on paying off your debt. Paying off debt goes without saying, but it should be included in your essentials list. Depending on the amount of income you have allotted to pay specific debts, getting debt off your plate is a top goal.

Here are some tips to pay off debt and save at the same time:

  1. Eliminate any non-essential expenses
  2. Figure out exactly how much money you owe
  3. Create a new budget (using the 50/20/30 rule)
  4. Decide what percentage you want to put towards the debt. Maybe you will use 10% for debt and 10% for savings.
  5. Make it automatic. Set this up through your bank so that you don’t even have to think about it each month.

Eight Frugal Habits to Live By

Living frugal means being resourceful and smart with your money. Are you frugal with your money?

Here are eight frugal habits to live by:

  1. Think long term. Is this something that you would still want in 5 years?
  2. Pay your future self, first (saving is key!)
  3. Use everything to the last drop
  4. Look for deals and clip coupons
  5. Cook food at home rather than going out
  6. Don’t shop for entertainment
  7. Use a credit card with good rewards
  8. Carry just enough cash with you so you don’t over spend

Additional Resources

Along with the tips we have provided, there are several resources available to use such as BalanceTrack and MyMoney. If you have questions regarding the validity of a money management site, ask us and we can direct you in the right direction. Until then, check out these two sites by clicking the links below.

BalanceTrack: This website is a free short course that teaches you the core concepts of money management.  This course will teach you how to set goals, get organized, track spending, build a budget, and save money. Click here to head on over to the site.

MyMoney: This website has financial aid counseling, money management resources, online counseling,  budget calculators, and helps you navigate through the student loan process. Click here to check out the site.

financial aid

Starting college can be intimidating, especially when it comes to discussing personal financial situations and educational funding options. The costs associated with enrolling in college can make some people very nervous, and there is nothing worse than starting school and being stressed about finances.

Nightingale College’s Financial Aid department is here to help in any way possible. Not only is it our job to help, but we love helping you and there is no such thing as a stupid question. So make the most of it when you meet with Financial Aid and keep your ears open and ask a lot of questions. The financial aid process can be daunting and you are receiving so much information all at once, but it is your responsibility to speak up if there is something you don’t understand. We don’t know that you need help to better understand the financial options and requirements unless you tell us.

It’s true that not everyone knows how to budget or how to tackle their finances, but don’t let it worry you or change your focus of getting a degree. There are many, many tools available to help you along the financial aid process, but one of the most important tools is the services that the school provides you, such as the Financial Aid department.

Creating Your In-School Budget

A tool that is provided to all learners is the Imagine America-Financial Planning Made Simple tutorial. Learning how to budget prior to making any official financial commitments is essential; plus, it is a requirement to complete the tutorial before meeting with a Financial Aid Advisor. It is always important to review your current financial situation before engaging in any future financial commitment. The Imagine America tutorial illustrates the “bigger picture” of budgeting and introduces concepts from a different perspective.

Below is a list of websites with tools to assist you with creating an in-school budget:

The publication “Be a Responsible Borrower: Plan Ahead and Graduate with Less Debt,” is an additional resource that breaks down how to be on top of college finances and provides tips on how to decrease the debt left after graduation. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/responsible-borrower.pdf

Options to Pay for School

Consider the various financial opportunities to fund your education and choose carefully regarding college financing. Please don’t limit yourself to just one possibility. It takes time and energy to look for financial help, so BE PROACTIVE and DETERMINED. Financial aid opportunities are endless. Here are a few financial options that are available to eligible applicants; however, keep in mind that there are more possibilities than those listed below:

  • Federal Student Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans)
  • Grants (Federal Pell Grants, State Grants, Minority Grants, Student Specific Grants)
  • Scholarships- View Nightingale College’s scholarships
  • Third Party Loans (MACU, personal bank)
  • Savings account
  • Official benefactors
  • Income Tax credits (The American Opportunity Tax Credit, Life Time Learning Credit)

Federal Student Aid

Choosing the route of applying for federal student aid is a great start. So, what can you expect when applying for federal student aid?

  • You will be required to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Not everyone is eligible for Federal Pell Grants or Federal Student Loans.
  • You will be required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Requirements (SAP). (SAP is defined in the Nightingale College Catalog)
  • You will need to renew your FAFSA each year that you will be receiving aid.
  • You will be required to complete Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note to receive Federal Student Loans. (Please see the Loan Counseling (LC) and Master Promissory Note (MPN) directions that are available on the Nightingale website under Financial Aid)
  • The importance of loan counseling is to help you understand what a direct loanis and how the loan process works. Additionally, loan counseling helps you manage your education expenses and lists your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. (For more information on loan counseling, visit FSA’s website.)
  • The importance of a Master Promissory Note is to ensure your promise in repaying your loans and any accrued interest or fees. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. (For more information on Master Promissory Note, visit FSA’s website.)

Questions that You Should be Asking Regarding Your Student Loans

When coming to talk with financial aid, have questions ready to go. Sometimes it is difficult to think of questions on the spot, so it is beneficial to have at least a few questions outlined. Check out some of the questions learners have asked the Financial Aid Department:

  • What type of loan am I receiving?
  • What is the interest rate on my student loan?
  • How is interest calculated?
  • When do I need to start making payments on my student loan?
  • What are my repayment options?
  • Can I make payments while I am in school?

The Financial Aid Department is here to steer you in the right direction. Don’t be deterred by false information that can be found online or is given to you by a friend. When a question arises, stop by and let us get you the right answer.

Visit Nightingale College’s Financial Aid page at https://nightingale.edu/financial-aid/ and the Scholarships page at https://nightingale.edu/financial-aid/scholarships-2/.

Remember to frequently meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to stay current on your individual financial status so you don’t fall behind on payments. Call (801) 689-2160 to make an appointment.

If you are a learner here, you’ve probably met Stacie McVay, one of our Admissions Advisors. As a  powerhouse in Admissions, she is dedicated to helping each learner and prospective learner find their way in nursing school. Nursing school is tough, but Stacie is a great champion to have supporting you from orientation to graduation. […]

fafsa Every year students need to renew their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2016-2017 year. Dealing with financial aid can seem tricky and complicated at times, but it is important to stay on top of the deadlines associated with the 2016-2017 FAFSA. Now is the time to renew your FAFSA so don’t wait! To qualify for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA applications must be completed and submitted by June 30, 2016. Follow the guidelines and steps below that will help make the FAFSA Renewal process as stress-free as possible. The Financial Aid Department is here to help at any point during the process. Make an appointment with a Financial Aid Advisor now to get assistance: (801) 689-2160. Start renewing your FAFSA by visiting the Federal Student Aid website.

Who needs to fill out the 2016-2017 FAFSA? You need to fill out the 2016-2017 FAFSA if you will be attending Nightingale College during the Summer Semester that starts May 2, 2016 and the semesters following.  The Summer Semester falls under the 2016-2017 FAFSA timeframe so don’t let the dates confuse you.

When does the 2016-2017 FAFSA begin? The 2016-2017 FAFSA begins on July 1, 2016.

How does the FAFSA correlate with my taxes? It is advisable to hold off on your 2016-2017 FAFSA until you have completed your 2015 Federal Tax Return because you will need the correct financial information from 2015.

I don’t know if I should fill it out. If you are unsure whether you need to fill out the 2016-2017 FAFSA, do so anyways or speak with a Financial Aid Advisor who will be able to guide you in the right direction.

What happens if I do not have my FAFSA completed by the deadline? You may not qualify for Federal Student Aid for the following semesters:

  • Summer Semester: May 2, 2016 – August 19, 2016
  • Fall Semester: August 29, 2016 – December 16, 2016
  • Spring Semester: January 2, 2017 – April 21, 2017
  • Summer Semester: May 1, 2017 – August 18, 2017

How do I complete the FAFSA? Completing the FAFSA isn’t as complicated as one may think. If you have already completed the 2015-2016 FAFSA, your information will automatically be transferred to the 2016-2017 FAFSA. If this is your first time completing the FAFSA, you will need to start a new FAFSA. Visit FAFSA.ed.gov to get started.

What about my FAFSA ID number? Don’t forget to remember your FAFSA ID number and keep that information private. Do not share your FAFSA ID number with anyone. However, if you do forget your FAFSA ID number, you’re not alone. You can easily reset it by visiting the website and either receiving the reset password link through email or by providing personal information.