When it comes to becoming a licensed vocational nurse, or LVN, there are many paths to follow. One of the most important decisions to make is whether to complete your training online or through a campus-based program. Both online and campus-based LVN training programs are readily available around the country, and choosing between them can be tricky. For some, online training is the only viable option. Others do better when they have to be physically present in a classroom every day. If you want to be an LVN but aren't sure whether to choose online or campus training, read on to learn more.
Know the Advantages of Online Programs - First, familiarize yourself with the best aspects of online LVN training:
- Flexibility - By completing your LVN training online, you will have more flexibility. Oftentimes, online programs are asynchronous, which means that students are given work to do and can then complete it at their own pace.
- Convenience - If you have family or work responsibilities to handle during your training, you will appreciate the convenience of being able to do much of the work from the comfort of home.
- Savings - Online LVN training programs aren't typically less expensive than campus programs. However, you stand to save money by having to commute less and by potentially being able to complete your training more quickly.
Understand the Downsides of Online Programs - As convenient as they may be for some, online LVN training programs aren't for everyone. A few potential drawbacks of completing LVN training online include:
- Distractions - Unfortunately, many people struggle to stay focused while studying at home. Some folks truly need to be in a different environment to make the most of the education that they are receiving.
- Confusion - If you've never done online schooling or training of any kind, you may have a hard time making sense of it. The last thing that you need is to fall behind in your studies because the online training interface is too confusing.
- Lack of Structure - Finally, online LVN training is a lot more flexible, but it's also a lot less structured. Some people thrive in situations where they are expected to take charge, but others do far better with more direction. If you aren't a naturally disciplined person, you may find online LVN training to be too relaxed for your tastes.
Be Aware of the Pluses of On-Campus LVN Training - Perhaps you've been told that in this day and age, online LVN training is the way to go. However, there's still a lot to be said for campus-based programs. A few of the top advantages of on-campus LVN training include:
- Structure - If you are the kind of person who does better with a bit more structure, you will appreciate completing your LVN training on campus. Knowing where and when you need to be is pretty comforting for many, and it allows you to stay more organized about your studies.
- Interaction - Some people learn better when they can bounce concepts off of others. With on-campus LVN training, you will work directly with instructors, professors and fellow students. This means that you will have plenty of opportunities to get extra help, which is a major plus.
- Hands-On Training - All LVN programs, including online programs, include hands-on clinical training at local healthcare facilities. With a campus-based program, all of your training will be "hands on" in that you will be there physically in person every day. Many students find it easier to absorb complex concepts when they can see them in action right in front of them.
Understand the Drawbacks of On-Campus LVN Training - Finally, if you think that on-campus training is the best way to go, it's important to understand that it's not without its drawbacks. These include:
- Location - Depending on where you live, finding a conveniently located LVN training program may be difficult or even impossible. It is crucial to find a program that is within a reasonable distance of where you live, or you will struggle to be there on time or at all. If you can't find campus LVN training within a reasonable proximity of your home, stick with online training.
- Scheduling - Like many aspiring LVNs, you may have work, family and other obligations to attend to while completing your training. As nice as it is to be present in person for LVN training, it just isn't practical for many busy adults. Be realistic about what you can handle in terms of scheduling. Remember that with online training, you will have more flexibility.
- Pace - Finally, LVN training is fairly fast paced in general. However, if you already have a grasp of some concepts, sitting through long lectures on campus may not be the best use of your time. In that case, online training is a better option because you have more control over when and how you complete the work.
Is Online or On-Campus LVN Training Right for You?
After reviewing the pros and cons of both online and on-campus LVN programs, you should have a much clearer idea about which option is right for you. If you are still in doubt, you should get more clarity after investigating specific LVN training programs. If possible, visit a few campus-based programs and check out a few online options to get a feel for them. Another option is to choose a program that lets you move between online and on-campus training.
Whether you complete your LVN training online or on campus, the important thing is staying focused. At the end of the day, you need to be ready to take and pass the NCLEX-PN, so choose the type of training that suits your studying style and preferences the best.