You’ve already made a significant decision – to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)! LPNs are very important team members in the healthcare field, providing essential care for the ill, the ailed, and the injured. Now, you are facing another important decision: which path will you take to become an LPN?
In Connecticut, LPNs must complete a reputable program before earning licensure. LPN programs can vary in structure and format. As a leading LPN school in the state, Stone Academy is here to talk about the pros and cons of enrolling in a part-time versus a full-time LPN program. When the benefit of an LPN diploma is the same no matter how you get there, it can be hard to decide on your approach. Use these metrics to help gauge what is right for you and your life!
Speed is Personal
Attending school part-time means it is going to take you longer to finish than full-time students. Simple as that! At Stone Academy, the full-time schedule is 8am-3pm, Monday through Friday. This means 7-hour days, 5-days a week, equaling 35 hours each week – similar to a full-time job.
There are two part-time schedule options available at Stone Academy, as well:
- 5pm-10pm, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, OR
- 5pm-10pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, plus
- 8am-4pm on Saturday, no matter which weekday schedule you choose
For part-time LPN students at Stone Academy, this equates to 23 hours in class every week. The extra 12 hours that full-time students spend in class every week means that they’ll be able to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam sooner, and qualify for LPN credentialing and employment.
Now, often told to children (but no less relevant to adults), is the traditional Aesop’s Fable of the tortoise and the hare. Speed and steadiness are sometimes in a tightly-locked match. So when it comes to LPN school, think about whether speed should be the deciding factor. Or, is it more flexibility you need? Consider next whether you’ll be able to spend all or most of your time on your education, or whether a part-time format is more your pace.
Aligning Your Priorities
Becoming an LPN is a big deal. When considering your LPN program options, you’ll have to ask yourself how much time you can reasonably spend in a classroom. Most likely, this will depend on the other “big deals” in your life!
If you are not currently working, or are working part-time or less, you are a good candidate for 35 hours of school each week. This can also be said of those who do not have children or dependents to care for, and those who are financially stable enough to attend school full-time. Even with all of life’s little stressors, you can have confidence that you’ll be able to accomplish your goal of earning your LPN license quickly.
If you have children or elderly relatives, and a full or part-time job, a part-time LPN program might be a better fit for your life. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family. Maybe you want to continue working in your current job, to stay on top of bills and build savings while you study. Maybe there’s another big goal on your horizon the same year that you decide to start school! There’s a great way to compromise, and that’s with a part-time LPN program. Remember that part-time LPN programs offer the same high-quality education of a full-time LPN program, only in a different plan and pace.
Time is Money
Your education will cost the same at your chosen school, no matter whether you slice it part- or full-time. The difference is in the duration that you give yourself to pay. Part-time classes mean that the cost of school will be drawn out over a longer time period. You’ll have a larger amount to pay more quickly if you decide on a full-time program. Considering how much you want to invest, and at what rate, will help you decide whether a full- or part-time practical nursing program fits your finances.
Beyond Campus Life
As of the Fall of 2015, there were 17 million undergraduate students enrolled in colleges and universities across the United States. The majority – 61% of students – in two-year programs were enrolled part-time. In contrast, only 23% of students in four-year programs, were enrolled part-time. From these studies prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics, we can infer that two-year programs (or less) are better equipped to suit the needs of part-time and commuter students, while four-year programs may appeal to students with their sights set on the green of the campus quad.
A quick look at a college’s “student life” section of their website will tell you about the services and activities that the school offers. Life at Stone Academy, for example, shows just how seriously we take flexibility. From the 2-1-1 program, which is an all-around financial, domestic, health, and disaster support line, to peer tutoring, loan repayment assistance, career services, and community building, you get the sense that Stone Academy is a great place to learn – no matter whether clubs and networking are part of your priorities, or if you just want to get in, achieve good grades, and get home to the fam.
How to Choose Between a Full-Time and Part-Time LPN Program
It all depends on you, and where you are in your life at the time you decide to enroll. The good news is that thanks to its flexible program in Connecticut, Stone Academy has options for you. To learn more about getting started on your LPN education, please request a tour, or call now: 800-585-1315.