Americare Institute is a private vocational school serving the North and West suburbs of Chicagoland, offering LPN courses with no waiting list....this school is a SCAM if I have ever seen one.... I am writing this letter to prevent someone else from making a huge mistake!
As a mom with 2 young kids I was looking to go back to college. I had went down this path before and it ended up I could not afford to/did not have the time to pursue it. As anyone interested in the nursing field/healthcare field knows, acceptance into ADN/fasttrack nursing programs is VERY competitive at community colleges, and not everyone has the time to sit through a BSN program at a regular school. Americare had an LPN program I was very interested in. They advertised flexible schedules and payment plans. I did not want to sit on a waiting list at a normal 2-yr college so I decided--stupidly--to attempt a "short cut".
This place cost more then most 4-yr universities which should have been a red flag there. They did not offer any type of financial aid, they do not do FAFSA, and they do not offer any scholarship options.
If you want teachers that don't know the first thing about how to run a classroom, arrogant board members and very unhelpful employees, this is the school for you. The tuition is VERY expensive (they have upped their price to $17,000/yr now....ridiculous for a vocational school!)
Their credits do not transfer out to other colleges. They say they will accept transfer credits from other institutions (COD, ECC, Harper, etc.), yet most of the time they will not allow the transfer without you passing a ridiculously difficult CLEP exam. If you're thinking about transferring credits for A&P, forget it, they do not accept A&P transfer credits at all.
Students do not have access to their grades, they do not have access to course schedules usually until about a week before classes are to begin...very frustrating especially for those with jobs. I have been an Americare student for the past year and a half, and the school has consistantly screwed up my credits, misplaced grades (how does one misplace a grade?) from classes I have taken, and there is only one person in the entire school that can give you answers (the Director of Nursing) who is almost never available.
Faculty is very rude, does not return phone calls, and I am currently wondering how much longer their accredation will be valid due to the fact that so many students failed the NCLEX the first time around....the clinical sites are so far spread out (some are in Hoffman Estates, while some are in Chicago, for example). I have sat through classes where teachers have actually quit in the middle of the semester, leaving us without a teacher or trying to scramble and find a fill-in at the last minute.
In particular, our OB clinicals (supposed to be an 8 week course with clinicals once a week) ended up being only a 1-day clinical....out of the 8 weeks we only attended ONE clinical day because the teacher left...yet the school gave us credit for the full clinical. Illegal? I think so! Yet they had no problem failing students for missing lecture days due to bad weather during the exact same rotation...this is just one example among many others!
Do not waste your time or your money with this school. It is also VERY small and I do not believe it will be in business much longer. There has been one lawsuit that I know of taken against the school already (the man came into a classroom and served papers to the school right in front of all of us). I would seriously consider other LPN schools.
Community colleges have long waiting lists, but there are NO shortcuts when it comes to nursing. I would try as hard as possible to become accepted into a college that has a good reputation and a solid background before running off and wasting your money on these overpriced vocational hole-in-the-wall schools that are nothing short of a scam. I constantly regret ever enrolling in this school, I have wasted valuable money and time that I could have spent somewhere else.