How Do I Choose the Best Online LPN Classes?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan
A mother needs to make sure she can balance classes with family responsibility.
A mother needs to make sure she can balance classes with family responsibility.

The best licensed practical nurse, or LPN, online classes will fit your needs and your budget. They will also be taught by well qualified instructors who are helpful as well as knowledgable and organized. In many cases, the best quality education will be offered by an educational institution that is accredited by a professional organization with high educational standards. The school will also have affiliations with hospitals and doctors offices to arrange for your internship, often called a "clinical", which will provide hands on practice of the theoretical knowledge you gain through classwork.

Before you begin searching for online LPN classes, determine how much time your schedule will allow you to devote to the coursework. Write down all your obligations for work, family, clubs, worship services, and anything else which you do on a regular basis. Don't forget to make a note of the time you need for personal hygiene, exercise, and sleeping. The time you have left over is what you can use to study for classes, complete assignments, and attend online meetings.

The traditional recommendation is to study for two to three hours per week per credit hour. If you choose online LPN classes which are three credit hours, you'll have to spend six to nine hours outside of class studying. Online classes can take even more time since attendance is accounted for through written discussion boards and regular assignments.

Next, look at your budget. Most programs have a specific cost per credit hour for tuition, but there are also fees and textbooks to account for. Whatever your budget, it needs to cover all of those costs, plus the cost of a computer and Internet service to ensure that you can attend your class. Contact the educational facility's financial aid department to find out if you are qualified for loans, grants, or scholarships. Some loans must be repaid with interest and some do not have to be paid back at all if you complete requirements after graduating, so research all financial aid options carefully before making a decision.

After ascertaining your scheduling and budget needs, search for programs that offer a significant portion of their LPN certification online. Remember, it is not possible to complete your entire certification online because of the practical nature of the work. If a program claims that you can be fully certified with online LPN classes without an internship, keep looking. It is probably not accredited.

Accreditation is important because most LPNs must be certified or licensed by their government before they can work. Certification also requires that you pass a standardized exam, which you may not be prepared for in an unaccredited program. Many employers will not hired uncertified LPNs.The National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) is one of the organizations which accredits schools in the United States.

Schools have two documents that are useful when searching for a class: the course catalog and the semester course schedule. The catalog lists all the courses which are offered on a regular basis, and the schedule lists the courses that are being offered in the upcoming semester. The catalog will have a detailed description of the courses which are listed in the schedule, but the schedule typically lists the class beginning and ending dates, instructor name, and required class meeting times.

The course catalog will also list what courses are required to complete your LPN certification. Find out which of those classes are offered in the current semester and contact the instructors for the syllabus. The syllabus should give specific information regarding the attendance policy, assignments, due dates, required textbooks, and overall objectives for its online LPN classes. Take this opportunity to ask the instructor about any concerns you have, especially if you anticipate missing classes, and what he or she hopes students will learn by the end of the class.

If the instructor seems unhelpful or even rude, you might consider a different course or different program. It is also a sign of poor quality online LPN classes if the syllabus is poorly organized or, worse yet, the instructor does not have a syllabus available. The quality of the instructor will make a major difference in the quality of the class, so keep looking if the instructor does not seem to be competent.

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    • A mother needs to make sure she can balance classes with family responsibility.
      A mother needs to make sure she can balance classes with family responsibility.