School and Ranking Information
There are six schools, only one public, in San Antonio, TX, with vocational nurse training. To become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) in Texas, candidates must complete a state-approved vocational nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE). The public school, St. Philip's College, and the two best for-profits are ranked below based on the number of certificates awarded in this field and on graduation rates.
- Winner: Galen College of Nursing - San Antonio, a school dedicated to nursing, offers certificate-level programs. It awarded more than 500 vocational nursing certificates in 2011-2012 and had a graduation rate of 78% for 2009 beginning students.
- Runner-Up #1: Kaplan College - San Antonio awarded more than 220 vocational nurse certificates that year and boasts a 75% graduation rate.
- Runner-Up #2: St. Philip's College is on the list because its the only public school in San Antonio to offer vocational nurse training. It offers certificates and had a graduation rate of 4%.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Galen College of Nursing - San Antonio||Kaplan College - San Antonio||St. Philip's College|
|Location||San Antonio, TX||San Antonio, TX||San Antonio, TX|
|School Type||2-year, private for-profit||2-year, private for-profit||2-year, public|
|Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)||$18,7158 (for LVN program)*||$25,263 (for LVN program)*|| $2,038 (in-district residents),
$5,500 (in-state residents),
$10,822 (out-of-state residents)*
|Vocational Nursing Award Levels Offered||1-2 Year Certificates||2-4 Year Certificates||Less Than 1-Year Certificate, 1-2 Year Certificate|
|Vocational Nursing Certificates Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||520*||222*||158*|
|Most Popular Vocational Nursing Program in 2011-2012||N/A||N/A||1-2 Year Certificate Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Training (87 awarded)*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time) for 2009 Entering Class||78%*||75%*||4% (26% transfer-out rate)*|
|Noteworthy||Science & learning labs have state-of-the-art equipment and patient simulation mannequins**||N/A||College offers workshops, tutoring labs, job assistance programs and career counseling***|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Galen College of Nursing, ***St. Philip's College
Winner: Galen College of Nursing - San Antonio
- Galen College of Nursing is one the nation's largest private nursing colleges
- Many of the college's board of directors and leaders are nationally recognized in nursing education
- Classes start four times a year
- According to the Texas Board of Nursing, LVN graduates at Galen had an NCLEX-PN pass rate of 77.51% in 2012
The vocational nursing program at Galen College of Nursing is offered as a full-time, 12-month program with day classes or a part-time, evening program that students can complete in about 21 months. Classes are small, and students must apply early and meet admission requirements to ensure acceptance in the program. No prerequisite courses are required. The nursing curriculum includes both classroom instruction and clinical education. The clinical education, which is held in local hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities, allows students to observe and help care for patients to gain hands-on experience. Galen College of Nursing also offers an LVN-to-RN bridge program that can be completed in 15-18 months.
Runner-Up #1: Kaplan College - San Antonio
- Graduates of vocational nursing program at Kaplan - San Antonio had a pass rate of 65.38% for 2012, according to the Texas Board of Nursing
- Classrooms utilize real tools and equipment used in nursing profession
- Career Services department offers the Kaplan Certified Professional program to help students better prepare for their careers and job searching
Kaplan College, part of the Kaplan Higher Education Campuses, has accelerated career-oriented training programs to prepare students to enter the workforce in their chosen careers. The college offers certificates, diplomas and degrees in allied health programs, including a vocational nursing diploma program. It combines classroom learning with hands-on clinical training through externships. Students learn basic nursing duties, such as wound management, data collection, patient care, medication administration and medical documentation. Prior to starting externships, students may be required to have a criminal background check or physical examination.
Runner-Up #2: St. Philip's College
- Vocational Nursing Student Association available to help nursing students enhance their learning experiences
- Texas Board of Nursing reports a 2012 NCLEX-PN pass rate of 80.49% for St. Philip's College - San Antonio graduates
- St. Philip's College provides $23 million each year for financial assistance, according to the college
- #1 nationwide in support for learners and #1 statewide in students gaining information about career opportunities, according to the school
One of the five schools to make up the Alamo College District, St. Philip's College provides a vocational nursing certificate program through its Department of Nursing. Prospective students apply for admission through ApplyTexas, which allows them to submit application information in a centralized manner to various Texas colleges and universities. The Texas Board of Nursing and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approve this 3-semester, 12-month program.
Vocational nursing applicants must have a grade point average of at least 2.0, be in good health and show proof of immunizations and medical insurance before being considered for the program. Required coursework for this certificate program includes surgical nursing, pediatric and neonatal nursing, pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, medication administration, nutrition and mental health nursing. Some classes are made available through distance education means. Students must also complete clinical rotations in and around San Antonio.