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CNA to LVN Bridge Programs in Dallas

For CNAs in Texas, considering a transition to a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) role often starts with evaluating career advancement opportunities and the desire to expand their scope of practice. LVNs have a wider range of responsibilities compared to CNAs, including administering medication, performing certain medical procedures, and supervising CNAs. This step in their career can offer more professional autonomy and a deeper involvement in patient care.

LVN Programs in Dallas

If you’re interested in climbing the healthcare career ladder by moving from being a CNA to a role as an LVN, the following LVN courses in Dallas can help you on your way.

Alvin Community College

Address: 3110 Mustang Rd, Alvin, TX 77511
Phone: (281) 756-5630
Email: [email protected] 

The CNA-Vocational Nursing (VN) Bridge Program at Alvin Community College (ACC) provides a pathway for students with a CNA certification to enter the Vocational Nursing program. This unique opportunity is tailored for those who have existing experience in the healthcare field and wish to advance their careers.

Eligibility and Application

To be eligible for this bridge program, applicants must:

  • Hold a current CNA certification through the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.
  • Possess a current Medication Aide Certification (CMA) through Texas Health & Human Services.
  • Have a minimum of six months of full-time work experience at a long-term care facility as a CNA.

Additionally, all traditional Vocational Nursing program requirements must be met by the application deadline. The application period for the program is from October 2, 2023, to November 10, 2023, with classes beginning on June 3, 2024.

Program Structure and Content

The first semester of the bridge program is conducted through the Continuing Education Workforce Division at ACC during the summer semester. Course topics include nursing-focused assessment, the nursing process, sterile procedures, advanced nursing skills, dosage calculation, and medication administration beyond CMA training.

The program utilizes a hybrid model with online lectures via Blackboard and in-person skills assessments and exams. Students need reliable computer and internet access, as mobile devices are not compatible with some Blackboard systems.

Upon successful completion of the summer semester, students will receive credit for first-semester VN courses through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. They will then attend the fall and spring semesters of the VN program.

Additional Coursework and Costs

Alongside the bridge program courses, students must also take Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health (VNSG 1420) during the summer semester, unless they have completed equivalent coursework recently.

The estimated cost of the CNA-VN Bridge program is approximately $2,000 for in-district tuition or $2,035 for out-of-district tuition. The Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health course has additional costs.

Application Process and Requirements

Applicants must:

  • Gain admission to Alvin Community College.
  • Apply to the Vocational Nursing program within the specified application period.
  • Attend a mandatory Applicant Meeting.
  • Meet Texas Success Initiative (TSI) standards, including completion of any required developmental coursework.
  • Provide proof of Hepatitis-B immunization or immunity and previous education credentials.
  • Take the HESI-A2 exam, meeting the minimum score requirements.

Final Steps for Accepted Students

Conditional acceptance to the program requires completion of several steps, including attending an orientation meeting, passing drug and background checks, providing necessary medical documentation, and submitting copies of a valid CPR card, Social Security card, and official ID.

Additional Information

The ACC VN Program is fully approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and has a strong reputation for educating competent and compassionate Graduate Vocational Nurses. For more information, applicants are encouraged to review the detailed application packet and contact ACC’s Vocational Nursing department for assistance.

Tarrant County College

Address: 245 E Belknap St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Phone: 817-515-1484
Email: [email protected]

The Vocational Nursing program at Tarrant County College (TCC) is tailored for those aspiring to become vocational nurses, capable of caring for ill, injured, or disabled patients under the supervision of registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, physicians, dentists, or podiatrists. This program is ideal for individuals who wish to enter the healthcare field and provide direct patient care in various healthcare settings.

Program Highlights

  • Why Choose Vocational Nursing at TCC?
    • Fulfill a passion for serving others in the healthcare sector.
    • Availability of job opportunities as Licensed Vocational Nurses are needed everywhere.
    • Enter the healthcare workplace relatively quickly.
    • Eligibility to enter TCC’s Nursing program after completing and passing the NCLEX-PN.
  • Skills and Learning Outcomes
    • Administering and recording prescribed medications, fluids, and feedings.
    • Monitoring and recording patients’ vital signs.
    • Observing patients and reporting changes in their conditions.
    • Answering patients’ calls and providing necessary assistance.
    • Marketable skills include critical thinking, communication, personal and social responsibility, teamwork, and computer literacy.

Admission and Program Details

  • Selective Admission: The Vocational Nursing program requires meeting selective admission criteria after being accepted to TCC.
  • Program Requirements: Includes passing the NCLEX-PN® (National Council Licensure Examination) for quality and safe medical care delivery.
  • Licensing Notice: Consideration of prior criminal history in licensing, as per Texas House Bill 1508.

Degrees and Certificates

  • Certificate Level 2 in Vocational Nursing
    • Traditional VN Track: A 1-year program.
    • CNA/PCT/CMA-to-VN Track: For those already holding certifications in CNA, PCT, or CMA.
    • Credit-by-Exam opportunities, such as for VNSG-1360 Clinical Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse Training.

Time and Financial Investment

  • 2023–2024 Academic Year Costs: The total tuition and fees for the Vocational Nursing certificate are approximately $3,105 for 45 semester credit hours, not including textbooks and other materials.

Career and Transfer Opportunities

  • Graduates can transfer to colleges or universities for further studies, opening doors to more career and promotion opportunities.

Support and Resources

  • Advising and Support: Health Care Professions Advising Resource Hub with designated career advisors.
  • Program Leadership: Assistant Dean of Nursing, PCT & Vocational Nursing – Workforce, and administrative support.

Contact and Additional Information

  • Contact Details: Trinity River Campus East, with contact information for advising, program assistance, and administrative support.
  • Hours: Detailed hours for fall, spring, and summer.

The Vocational Nursing program at TCC offers a robust and comprehensive pathway for those seeking to make a significant impact in the field of healthcare, providing the necessary skills, knowledge, and qualifications to excel as a vocational nurse.

Collin College

Address: 391 Country Club Rd, Wylie, TX 75098
Phone: (972) 378-8790

Collin College offers a dynamic and comprehensive Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program designed for individuals who are passionate about starting a career in nursing. This program is structured to be completed in just 12 months, making it an ideal choice for those eager to enter the healthcare sector rapidly.

Accreditation and Approvals

The LVN program at Collin College holds approval from key regulatory bodies including the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON), Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The college is also recognized as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nurses, highlighting its commitment to high-quality nursing education.

Career Prospects for LVNs

Graduates from the LVN program at Collin College are prepared to work under the supervision of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, physician’s assistants, or dentists. LVNs/LPNs are employed in diverse healthcare settings, including acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, dialysis centers, and many more. The program also outlines the promising job growth and salary prospects for LVNs in the region, with an average starting salary of $45,100 and an average salary of $54,300, reflecting the demand for skilled nursing professionals.

Licensure and Certification

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensing Exam for Practical Nurses). This national examination facilitates easy transfer of a Texas LVN license to other states through license reciprocity.

Nursing Licensure Eligibility

The Texas Board of Nursing evaluates each applicant’s eligibility to attend a nursing program and attain licensure upon graduation. This includes an FBI criminal background check with fingerprinting and photographing. The program provides detailed guidance on navigating this process, especially for applicants with previous arrests or convictions.

Educational Pathways

The program offers pathways for LVNs to advance their careers. Graduates can opt for the LVN-to-RN Bridge Program to become Registered Nurses, earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and preparing for the RN licensing exam. Additionally, Collin College offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) for those who wish to further their education after attaining an ADN and RN license.

Program Costs

The estimated cost for the program varies based on residency status, with approximate costs being $9,000 for Collin County residents and $11,900 for out-of-county residents. These costs include tuition, fees, uniforms, textbooks, and other program-related expenses.

Program Structure

The program is a full-time commitment with classes scheduled Mondays through Fridays. It emphasizes the importance of regular attendance due to the clock-hour nature of the program as regulated by the Board of Nursing and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The program does not offer a part-time option.

Admission Criteria and Process

Admission to the program is competitive, based on TEAS exam scores, academic performance, and other factors. Applicants must meet specific educational requirements and undergo drug testing. The program requires personal laptop computers for classwork, reliable transportation for clinical placements, and CPR certification from the American Heart Association.

Application Process

The application process includes attending an information session, applying to Collin College, registering for and taking the TEAS exam, completing the VN Program application, and submitting required documents. The admission process is detailed, with applicants ranked on a point system based on their TEAS scores and other criteria.

Collin College’s LVN program offers a rigorous and comprehensive training for aspiring vocational nurses, backed by strong institutional support and a clear pathway to career advancement in the nursing field.

North Central Texas College

Address: 316 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201
Phone: (940) 668-7731, ext. 4291
Email: [email protected]

North Central Texas College offers a one-year certificate program in Vocational Nursing (LVN), approved by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). The program aims to prepare entry-level practitioners capable of providing direct care to patients across all age groups, under the supervision of registered nurses or licensed physicians. The curriculum emphasizes the development of sound judgment based on scientific principles and the acquisition of technical skills for diverse healthcare settings.

Campus Availability

The LVN program is available at multiple NCTC campuses, including Gainesville, Corinth, Bowie, Graham, and online as a hybrid option. This broad accessibility caters to students’ varied geographical locations and learning preferences.

Program Structure and Certification

The program spans 12 months and includes comprehensive training in various aspects of nursing care. Upon successful completion, graduates receive a certificate of completion and become eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

Professional Expectations

Graduates of the program are expected to function as members of a healthcare team, providing patient-centered care and advocating for patient safety.

Admission Steps and Requirements

  1. Application to NCTC: Prospective students must first apply to NCTC and fulfill all admission requirements, including the submission of a graduation report/advising worksheet.
  2. Pre-Program Coursework: Students can take VNSG 1420 before program admission, or no later than the first semester after admission. Anatomy and Physiology I and II (BIOL 2401 and BIOL 2402) may be substituted for VNSG 1420, with both semesters required for credit.
  3. TEAS Entrance Exam: Students need to schedule, register, and take the TEAS test at an ATI/TEAS testing site and with the Testing Center on their campus. Two attempts per calendar year are allowed, with a minimum 90-day interval between attempts. The TEAS test must be taken in-person.
  4. LVN Program Application: Prerequisites are not required for program application. The application includes submission of TEAS scores and any health science certificates.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring Admission: August 1 – August 31 (Online Hybrid and Gainesville Campus)
  • Fall Admission: March 1 – March 31 (Bowie, Corinth, Gainesville, and Graham Campuses)

Program Costs and Information Sessions

Prospective students are encouraged to attend virtual and in-person information sessions to learn more about the program, its schedule, and expectations. Costs and additional details like the TEAS Testing Guide and Nursing Health Insurance information are provided in these sessions.

Degree Plan and Credit Hours

The program’s degree plan includes a spring admission (Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters) and a fall admission (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters), totaling 42 credit hours. Students can take VNSG 1420 or substitute it with BIOL 2401 and 2402.

Financial Considerations

Another critical factor is the financial aspect. Transitioning from a CNA to an LVN typically results in a higher salary. However, it’s important for CNAs to consider the costs associated with LVN educational programs. These costs include tuition fees, books, and other materials, alongside potential lost income if they need to reduce working hours for study.

The difference in pay is significant, as LVNs in Dallas make nearly $20,000 more per year on average compared to CNAs in the Dallas area. There are also a tremendous number of LVN positions available, though not quite as plentiful as CNA positions.

Hourly WageAnnual Wage# Employed

Educational Commitment

LVN programs in Texas require a significant educational commitment, generally lasting one to two years. They include both classroom learning and clinical practice. CNAs should assess their readiness to commit to this level of education and whether they can balance it with other life responsibilities.

Long-Term Career Goals

For CNAs with aspirations of further advancement in nursing, such as becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) or a nurse practitioner, the path through an LVN role can be beneficial. This step provides valuable experience and foundational education for more advanced nursing roles.

Job Opportunities and Market Demand in Texas

The demand for LVNs in Texas, especially in long-term care, home health, and rural areas, is a crucial consideration. Researching job opportunities and market demands in different regions of Texas can provide insights into the viability and potential success of making this career transition.

Personal Life and Timing

The decision to become an LVN should also take into account personal life circumstances. CNAs need to consider their family commitments, other obligations, and whether the present moment is the right time for pursuing further education.

Passion and Job Satisfaction

For those CNAs who are passionate about providing more comprehensive patient care and taking on more responsibilities, the transition to an LVN role can be a highly fulfilling career move, offering greater job satisfaction.

Understanding State Requirements

Finally, understanding the specific requirements in Texas to become an LVN is essential. This includes completing an approved nursing program and passing the NCLEX-PN exam. Familiarity with these requirements ensures that CNAs are well-prepared for the transition process.

In conclusion, transitioning from a CNA to an LVN in Texas involves careful consideration of various factors, including career goals, financial implications, educational commitment, and personal circumstances. By thoroughly evaluating these aspects, CNAs can make an informed decision that best aligns with their long-term career aspirations and personal goals.

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