lvn programs in austin tx

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

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Whether you’re new to nursing or looking to advance your nursing career, our Austin, Texas campus offers VN, LVN to ADN Bridge, BSN, and MSN degree programs to meet your highest standards – from experienced faculty to hands-on learning to student support. Our regionally accredited nursing school prepares new nurses to sit for the NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® licensure exams.



  • VN
  • BSN


  • Must be a high school graduate or possess a General Education Development (GED) diploma
  • Must be able to communicate effectively in English


ACTSAT Exam taken on or after 03/05/16Multilevel PAXATI TEAS

Applicants may be granted acceptance into the College based upon equivalent entrance test scores on other qualifying examinations, including the ACT, SAT, HESI A2, PAX-PN/RN, and TEAS, or evidence of a previously earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Please contact your admissions representative for more information on equivalent examinations and test scores. Admission test scores must have been earned within the last five years.


  • VN
  • BSN
REGISTRATION FEE$100 (Due after acceptance, paid during the enrollment appointment)
BACKGROUND FEE$100 (Due after acceptance, paid during the enrollment appointment)
UNIFORM & SUPPLIES (ESTIMATED)$250 (Requires purchase of leather shoes, wristwatch with a second hand, stethoscope, penlight, bandage scissors, blood pressure cuff, CPR certification, and uniforms)
PHYSICAL EXAMCost varies depending on health insurance

Gainful Employment Disclosure: For more information about our graduation rates, median debt of students who completed our programs, and other important information, please visit

Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) Program Information

Courses are completed in two 16-week academic semesters and two five-week summer semesters.

The program includes classroom and laboratory work on campus as well as clinical experience at various area health care facilities.

Students will need to plan two to three hours of studying and preparation time weekly for each class and/or clinical experience.

The demands of nursing courses are such that students may not be able to work full time while enrolled in these coursesCourses are offered during daytime hours only.

The program’s clinical experience requires that students be physically able to care for sick patients. This involves lifting, moving, bathing and transferring patients into and out of bed. Students will be exposed to patients with infectious diseases.

Clinical rotations may take place at:

  • Brentwood Health Care Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation
  • Kindred Healthcare
  • ​Methodist Health System
  • Dallas Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center

Acceptance to the Vocational Nursing program is via a competitive selection process based on grade point average of prerequisite courses.

Students who complete the program receive a Vocational Nursing certificate and are eligible to take the Licensing Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in order to become licensed vocational nurse (LVN) within the guidelines set by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Find out more about information sessions and packets.

​​​​​​Information Packet and Information Sessions

​Please visit for information packet and information session details. The information packet will include complete information on admission requirements and application instructions.​Email the Health Occupations Admissions Office or call 972-860-5001 ​with additional questions.​

Drug Testing and Criminal Background Check

All students enrolled in allied health programs are required by Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council member facilities to undergo drug testing and a criminal background check after admission to the program.

Class Locations for El Centro Allied Health Programs 

Classes for the Medical Laboratory Technology and Paramedic programs are held at the El Centro Downtown Campus, 801 Main St. 

Classes in Dental Hygiene are held in the Dallas College Dental Hygiene Center, 1250 W. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 500, Dallas, Texas 75247, just east of I-35, Stemmons Expressway (in the six-story Comerica Bank building). Courses will be held at the Paramount Building​, 301 N. Market St, Dallas,​ starting Spring 2022.​

All other allied health programs at El Centro hold classes in the Downtown Health Sciences Center (formerly El Centro Center for Allied Health and Nursing)​, 301 N. Market St. in the West End District of downtown Dallas, one block north of the El Centro Downtown Campus.

The Vocational Nursing program is approved by the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners (333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460; Austin, Tx. 78701; phone: 512-305-7400; fax: 512-305-7401), and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400​; Atlanta, Ga. 30326; phone: 404-975-5000; fax: 404-975-5020). Students are awarded a certificate upon program completion and may write the Licensing Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in order to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in Texas.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started in the LVN program?

The best place for you to start is to email the Health Occupations Admissions Office or call 972-860-5000 ​to receive an information packet and information session details.

Attend an information session. Get upcoming session dates:

  • In person at the Health Occupations Admission Office on the first floor of the Center for Allied Health and Nursing in the Paramount Building, located in the West End of Downtown Dallas at 301 North Market Stree​t. Please note that this building is located one block northwest of the main El Centro campus.
  • By calling 972-860-5000

What are the sections required on the HESI test?

We require a minimum score of 80 on the five sections of the HESI A2 entrance exam.

What about IV certification?

Our program does not currently have a stand-alone IV certification class; it is taught in the nursing programs.

What about VN refresher courses?

VN refresher courses are not included in our credit program. Check each semester’s Continuing Education schedule, or call the Continuing Education division at El Centro at 214-860-2147 to see if one is offered in the semester you are looking for.

What are expected hours? Are night classes and weekend clinicals available?

Our clinicals at present are on weekdays during daytime hours, and do not include night and weekend hours. Some of the institutions which offer these additional hours are much more costly than ours.

What about transferring other college credit into the VN program?

Please check with an allied health advisor. Any educational experience you have had would need to be evaluated by our district education specialists; they will request the course numbers and catalog descriptions of the courses you wish to transfer.

This may be easier done in person. You can reach our education specialist at 972-860-5003. Please note that in many cases, students have to complete our entire curriculum of classes due to the vast difference from other curriculums.

Can I complete prerequisites in summer and still apply for Fall?

No. The deadline for applying to our program with complete qualified applications is May 31 each year before the coming fall semester. You must have prerequisites completed with a 3.0 GPA before applying to the program.

What if I’ve been out of nursing practice for many years or am coming from another state?

It may be as simple as a refresher with appropriate documentation of your completed program and transcript or perhaps taking a full program and the board exam for Texas. Please check with an allied health advisor.

Becoming an LVN in Texas

A Texas LVN license can be a short path to a rewarding career. Texas vocational nursing programs are just a year in length (LVN programs in Texas). The minimum training is 1,398 hours, though most are longer. LVNs receive training to work across age groups, from mother-baby care to geriatric care; mental health populations are also covered.

LVNs most often work with older adult populations, though some work with children. Pediatric populations are varied: Patients may be generally well and in need of only primary care. Others, on the other hand, have high needs, necessitating private duty nurses. Private duty nurses are hired to work with medically fragile children or adults, including ones who rely on medical equipment like trachs or G-tubes. In a sense, pediatrics represents multiple specialties.

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The Texas Board calls the certificate programs clinically intensive. LVNs exercise more limited amounts of professional judgment than RNs (who typically hold academic degrees in nursing). Texas differentiates competencies by educational level. Descriptions of vocational nursing competencies use words like “assist” and “report”; LVNs often report changes in condition to RNs or other healthcare professionals. They function as part of healthcare teams.

LVNs, though dependent, have much more nursing training than nurse aides. They sometimes assign duties to unlicensed personnel and supervise their performance. This is something that routinely happens in settings where residents have ongoing stable needs.

The Board periodically issues position statements about scope of practice. Some technical duties, for example, particular tasks related to IV therapy, will require training beyond the basic. Others have been found to be beyond LVN scope.

Ultimately, many who start at the LVN level do choose to advance beyond this. Nursing positions have been projected to grow at the LVN level and grow at an even more accelerated rate at the RN level. Texas stakeholders emphasize the value of LVN to RN programs. Successful LVNs can receive credit for previous study.

LVN Work Settings and Roles

The Texas Board released data about the LVN workforce in 2018 (

The largest single employment setting, and by no small amount, was nursing home and extended care facilities. The next most common setting was home health, followed by hospital inpatient. (Inpatient hospital positions at the LVN – or LPN – level are on the decline nationwide, however, and a job search will not necessarily turn up openings in the same settings, and the same proportions, that experienced nurses report them.)

The following settings are also fairly common, according to the most recent Board data: community and public health agencies, hospital outpatient, doctor’s (or dentist’s) offices, rural clinics, and freestanding clinics. Some LVNs are employed in private industry.

Different areas of the state have different types of facility and different needs. The Texas Board has made information about work setting available by county (

The most common LVN position is staff nurse, followed by office nurse. Some LVNs work in head nurse/ assistant or supervisor/ assistant roles.

Geriatrics is the most commonly reported practice area: 21,254 LVNs. Well over 9,000 report home health; similar numbers report general practice. Other common practice areas include pediatrics, psychiatric/ substance abuse/ mental health nursing, medical/ surgical nursing, and rehabilitation.

Nursing Homes and Other Care Facilities

Nursing homes are changing. Many residents are short-stay. The nursing home can serve as a bridge between hospital and home. There is a trend toward discharging patients from the hospital at an earlier stage than was common in the past, but this doesn’t mean sending them home unsupported – and it doesn’t mean sending them straight home. The Veterans Administration, for example, has a Short Stay Community Living Center that focuses on helping people regain function after medical events such as the following: coronary artery bypass surgery, hip and joint replacement, amputation, hip fracture, acute flare-ups of MS.

Some nursing facilities are part of continuing care communities. Residents who are at the “assisted living” level may require support with personal care, medication, and mobility. Assisted living facilities may also be standalone. Many services are provided by unlicensed personnel, but nurses are integral to service provision. Silverado Vivre, for example, includes RNs and LVNs in their staff mix and touts the facility as appropriate for various populations from diabetics to people awaiting transplants.

Texas Health and Human Services has provided basic information about the many types of care facility and program operating in Texas ( For assisted living, the department provides both the total number of licensed beds and the number licensed for Alzheimer’s.

Varied LVN Roles
Statistics fail to capture the variety of settings and roles possible. In 2017, KVUE News reported on a new psychiatric facility, one designed to provide short-term stabilization (typically two to three days). The facility was set to open with an equal staff mix of RNs and LVNs (four of each) and a couple relief nurses ( Part of the goal of the facility: to provide an alternative to incarceration. One of the major sources of referrals would be law enforcement.

The following are among the roles Texas organizations have sought LVNs for in early 2018:

Caring for hospice patients who require continuous care shifts
Supervising caregivers in an assisted living setting
Carrying out utilization review
Providing wound care
Acting as charge nurse at a nursing facility
Average Salary
Texas Licensed Vocational Nurses made an average hourly wage of $22.17 in 2016.

The Texas LVN profession has been projected to see 27% occupational growth over the course of the 2014 to 2024 decade. Given its size, Texas was expected to add more practical nursing positions than any other state.

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