In Texas, vocational nursing programs are typically offered at 2-year colleges and often culminate in an undergraduate certificate. Studies combine lectures, labs and clinical experiences. Vocational nursing programs typically have specific admission requirements; some requirements must be met prior to admission, while others are required prior to starting clinical education. Requirements may vary by school, but common requirements include a high school diploma, assessment test, completion of prerequisite courses, criminal background check, drug screening, physical examination and proof of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification, current immunizations (including Hepatitis B) and health or liability insurance. Students may be able to complete these programs in approximately one year.
All of the vocational nursing programs listed below prepare students for the NCLEX-PN exam.
Austin Community College
Part of the Austin Community College District, Austin Community College in Austin has a four-semester vocational nursing program that's offered at the Austin-Eastview campus and the Fredericksburg campus. Didactic studies for the Fredericksburg program are offered by Interactive Video Classroom. Students take courses in medical terminology, pharmacology, basic and advanced nursing skills, foundations of nursing, and disease prevention and control. Graduates are prepared to take the licensing exam.
Located in Brenham, Blinn College offers a vocational nursing program that takes one year to complete. The curriculum includes classroom lectures, lab studies and clinical practice at various area medical sites. Upon completion of training, students can take the NCLEX-PN and the Nursing Jurisprudence Examination (NJE). Students can take advantage of the school's Student Services department, which offers advising and counseling and various resources to help students reach their career goals.
Central Texas College
Killeen-based Central Texas College has a twelve-month vocational nursing program that culminates in a Certificate of Completion. Offered in the spring and fall, the LVN program includes a blended curriculum of classroom instruction and supervised clinical rotations at local health care agencies. Topics of study include gerontology, mental health, pharmacology, maternal/neonatal nursing, basic and advanced nursing skills, pediatrics and nutrition.
Del Mar College
Del Mar College in Corpus Christi has a three-semester vocational nurse education program at its West Campus. Nursing courses include health assessment across the lifespan, mental health nursing, pharmacology, medical terminology, professional development, and foundations for nursing practice. Students complete clinical rotations each semester. A capstone course in the final semester helps students prepare for the NCLEX-PN. Students who plan to enroll in an associate degree in nursing program can complete the first three semesters of courses to earn the certificate, complete the general education courses and then return to finish the final semester of the associate degree program.
El Paso Community College
El Paso Community College is located in El Paso and offers a vocational nursing certificate program that requires completing two semesters plus a summer semester, once prerequisite courses are completed. The curriculum includes classroom studies, field experiences and clinical education. Through coursework and clinical rotations, students learn about various areas of nursing, such as pediatrics, maternal/neonatal, women's health and mental health. Upon passing the licensing exam, graduates can seek work as licensed vocational nurses in various medical facilities.
Houston Community College
Located in Houston, this school has a three-semester, full-time vocational nursing program that can be completed in one year. Prior to starting the program, students must complete prerequisite courses in nutrition and anatomy and physiology. Applicants must attend a pre-enrollment session. Once a student is accepted into the program, he can expect to attend a program survival camp and student services orientation. In addition to completing nursing courses, students participate in clinical rotations in various areas of nursing.
Lone Star College System
Lone Star College System in The Woodlands offers a vocational nursing certificate program at its CyFair, Kingwood, Montgomery and Tomball campuses. The three-semester program trains students to provide nursing care in various health care settings. Admission into this program is based on a scoring system; scores are awarded for successfully completing prerequisites and meeting admission requirements. In addition to taking basic nursing courses, such as pharmacology, nutrition and professional development, students study various areas of nursing. Additionally, they complete three clinical courses, which are supervised work experiences to get hands-on training in various health care settings, with an emphasis on acute care.
San Jacinto Community College
Pasadena-based San Jacinto Community College has a vocational nursing program that prepares students to work as licensed vocational nurses. Through a curriculum of lectures, lab skills training and clinical experiences, students develop basic skills and learn about the various areas of nursing. Upon completion of this three-semester program, students earn a Certificate of Technology. Students at San Jacinto Community College can find many resources through the school's Career Center, which offers career assessment, resume-writing assistance, career expos and online job search tools.
South Texas College
South Texas College is a four-year school located in McAllen. The college offers a one-year nursing certificate program that includes a summer semester. Students develop basic nursing skills and prepare to take the state licensing exam through a blended curriculum of nursing courses and clinical education. Course topics include nutrition, growth and development, disease control and prevention, pediatrics, gerontology and pharmacology for vocational nursing.
Texas Southmost College
Located in Brownsville, Texas Southmost College offers a one-year vocational nursing program. The four-semester program runs from January to December or August to August. To be admitted to this program, students must have a grade of 'B' or better. The program includes classroom courses and five clinical courses. In addition to being the first vocational nursing program in the UT system, it is also the only one in the UT system.
To become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) in Texas, an individual must complete a formal training program and pass a licensing examination. The Texas Board of Nursing requires that the LVN curriculum include at least 1,398 clock hours - 558 for classroom instruction and 840 hours for clinical instruction. When a student has completed the program, he needs to pass the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses) through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Licensed Vocational Nursing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Austin Community College District||2-year, public; large city||Vocational Nursing Program|| $2,550 in-district;
|Blinn College||2-year, public; distant town||Vocational Nursing Program|| $2,832 in-district;
|Central Texas College||2-year, public; midsize city||Vocational Nursing Certificate of Completion|| $2,700 in-district;
|Del Mar College||2-year, public; large city||Vocational Nurse Education Certificate|| $2,729 in-district;
|El Paso Community College||2-year, public; large city||Vocational Nursing Certificate|| $3,010 in-state;
|Houston Community College||2-year, public; large city||Vocational Nursing Certificate|| $1,632 in-district;
|Lone Star College System||2-year, public small city||Vocational Nursing Certificate|| $1,600 in-district;
|San Jacinto Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||Vocational Nursing Program|| $1,548 in-district;
|South Texas College||4-year, primarily associate degrees, public; midsize city||Vocational Nursing Certificate|| $3,780 in-district;
|Texas Southmost College||2-year, public; midsize city||Vocational Nursing Certificate|| $3,198 in-district;
Source: *NCES College Navigator