I finished nursing school here in Germany 10 years ago so I can give you a general idea of how it works. (Or at least how it worked where I was)
Most, if not all nursing schools are affiliated directly with a hospital. This is because nursing school here isn't considered "college" or a university-type program. You don't need the equivalent of a highschool diploma to go to nursing school. Even (I think?) 10 years of formal schooling are enough to be accepted. Not saying that you will be accepted, it's always a matter of how much demand there is out there. Right now, with many people choosing to go into nursing, the schools are able to be choosier, than say, 13 years ago, when I attended.
The programs go 3 years. And are all about nursing with tons and tons of hands on. We did have a tiny bit of other things (german, chemistry) but mostly nursing. We would have a few weeks of school, 8 hours a day, and then we'd be on a unit where we would stay for 8 weeks. The classes were small (still are) About 25 people per class. Each year, two classes started. I had all the same classes as everybody else during the 3 years- everybody was always together for everything. (Except for the units- because the hospital had 1000 beds- there were more than enough units to go around.)Every week we had one day of school and would work the other 4 days. I think in all, maybe about 6 weeks of vacation per year, but not the large blocks of summer vacation and winter vacation that U.S. students are used to. But this is probably due to the fact that we didn't have to pay for tuition- in fact, we got payed because we worked so much on the units. And believe me, we did work. Back then, there was a massive nursing shortage in Germany so every hand was used. My first year, I was often responsible for 8-10 pt. Everything from giving bed baths to pulling central lines or giving iv meds. In hindsight really scary- especially for the pts. but man, did I learn a lot!:chuckle
That is quite different nowadays because the nursing shortage is long over.
Nursing students wear a different uniform than the other nurses, so that they are readily identifiable. In my case it was lint green. (very ugly)
There is a reform under way here and while nursing schools still run 3 years and are not considered equal to colleges or universities- there is a call to change this. Who knows how long that could take.
OH, there aren't really LPN's here. The closest is probably a program that only runs a few months, they are called "Pflegehelfer." But Pflegehelfer are not employed by hospitals, and usually end up in old-age homes where nobody else wants to work.
It might also be interesting to know, that all nursing students who are graduating in the same year, take the nursing exam on the same day. Or better said, all Nursing schools that begin in October, take their test together in October. On the same day, at the same time, with the same questions. All Nursing schools that start in September also have everything the same. And so on.
Well, hope this hasn't been too confusing
If you have any more questions, email me and I'll do my best!