Average Duration of an LVN Program

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How long it will take you to complete your LVN program, from start to ready for licensure? The answer is dependent on a variety of factors.

Your Schedule

The time it takes you to complete your LVN program will mostly depend upon you. Do you plan to be a full-time or part-time student? Will you be working? How much time can you devote to study? All of these things can affect the length of time it takes to complete your LVN program, no matter how fast-paced the courses are.

While you might be excited about completing your LVN program early, you don't want to sacrifice the quality of your educational experience (or your scores) just to be done as soon as possible. If you are just coming from high school, you may know your limits. If you are returning to school after working for a long period of time, you may want to realistically evaluate your current ability to stay focused in class and study outside of it.

Prerequisites Required

Many schools have specific prerequisites that you must meet before entering or completing your LVN program. These can include basic math, science, and English courses. If you have not met these prerequisites, you might have to take a semester to complete them before you can begin your LVN program, or you might have to take them in conjunction with your LVN coursework.

One way to speed up the process is to find out what the prerequisite courses are and if your school will accept alternative ways to meet these prerequisites, such as taking an entrance exam or CLEP exams. This will allow you to save time - and money - by completing these requirements outside of your school.

Programs Offered

The average LVN programs last one year, or three semesters. Some schools offer fast-track programs, while others let you take courses at your own pace. As you are evaluating schools, make note of the ones that offer programs durations that meet your goals. And as mentioned earlier, realistically evaluate your own ability to take classes and study to ensure you are prepared for accelerated programs.

Maximum Credit Restrictions

If your school allows you to take courses at your own pace, you may feel that you can complete your LVN program in less time by taking more credit hours. However, some schools have a restriction that keeps students from taking more than a specified number of credit hours per semester. Check with your school to see what their rules are, and see if a talk with your advisor can help you stretch your limits to complete your program faster.

Your Score

At the end of your LVN program, you will need to meet a minimum GPA in order to graduate. If you have one or two bad scores that are keeping you from meeting the GPA requirement for your school, then you might need to retake those specific courses, thus extending the duration of your LVN program. You will want to check with your school to find out if the repeated course's grade will replace the previous attempt, or if it will be averaged. This will help you determine what score you will need to boost your overall GPA.

In Conclusion

While your school may offer LVN programs that are expected to last a specific length of time, your own availability and ability may be a factor in completing your program in more or less time. Keep this in mind and plan your education accordingly.