The Best LVN-to-RN Programs in Texas 2021 icon

The Best LVN-to-RN Programs in Texas 2021

| NurseJournal Staff

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Are you interested in transitioning from licensed vocational nursing (LVN) to a career as a registered nurse (RN)? Our guide to the best LVN-to-RN programs in Texas helps you find the right role for your career goals, explains the importance of accredited programs, and offers advice on applying to and paying for nursing school.


We use our data-driven methodology to rank the best LVN-to-RN programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, program offerings, and online flexibility.

Top 10 LVN-to-RN Programs in Texas 2021

Rank School Location
1 Texas State Technical College Waco, TX
2 El Paso Community College El Paso, TX
3 College of the Mainland Texas City, TX
4 San Jacinto Community College Pasadena, TX
5 Amarillo College Amarillo, TX
6 McLennan Community College Waco, TX
7 St Philip's College San Antonio, TX
8 Trinity Valley Community College Athens, TX
9 Ranger College Ranger, TX
10 Navarro College Corsicana, TX

Featured Online Programs

What Can You Do as a Registered Nurse in Texas?

LVN-to-BSN programs in Texas prepare graduates for challenging and rewarding careers as BSN-prepared RNs. Some programs also offer LVN-to-associate degree in nursing (ADN) tracks.

RNs provide patients with direct care and education about maintaining or regaining good health. RNs assist physicians and advanced practice registered nurses and often supervise other nursing staff, such as LVNs and nursing assistants. RNs work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, physicians' offices, long-term care facilities, and schools.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the average salary for RNs at $80,010 a year. Graduate degrees and specialty certifications can increase a nurse's earning potential. Successful RNs possess integrity, empathy, and the ability to perform under pressure.

What to Look for in a LVN-to-RN Program in Texas

As you research LVN-to-BSN programs in Texas, pay attention to each program's admission requirements, the curriculum, the clinical rotations format, and the online learning format, along with the school's accreditation status and National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) pass rate.

  • Admission Requirements: Admission requirements help applicants narrow down their program choices by pinpointing threshold requirements, such as minimum GPAs, test scores, and prerequisite coursework.
  • Program Curriculum: The curriculum can guide decision-making by listing the course offerings, especially for those interested in a particular specialty area. Candidates can examine the class schedule to ensure that the courses they need are available.
  • Clinical Experience: Online students in particular should be sure that a program's clinical rotation format works for them. Do clinical opportunities exist close to home, or is travel required?
  • Accreditation: Accreditation indicates that a program's academics and clinical experiences undergo rigorous review to ensure that graduates emerge prepared for licensure exams and the workplace.
  • School NCLEX Pass Rate: One of a BSN program's primary goals is preparing students for licensure exams. A school's National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) pass rate offers valuable information on graduates' success.

Applying to an LVN-to-RN Program in Texas

Those interested in earning their LVN-to-BSN online in Texas can find admission requirements and application instructions on each program's website. While criteria may vary by school, some commonalities exist among LVN-to-RN accredited programs in Texas.

Applicants typically need to submit proof of LVN licensure, academic transcripts, and entrance examination scores.

Common Admission Requirements

LVN (or licensed practical nurse) license One year of work experience Entrance examination score Academic transcripts Minimum 2.5 GPA Prerequisite coursework in health assessment, math, and sciences CPR training Criminal background check

Program Requirements

Program Length: 18-24 months Clinical Requirements: Three clinical hours per each classroom hour, as suggested by the Texas Board of Nursing GPA Requirement: 2.5-3.0

Why is LVN-to-RN Program Accreditation Important?

There are several reasons to ensure that any program you consider is properly accredited.

  • Accreditation ensures academic quality that prepares graduates for licensure exams and RN work.
  • Unaccredited school credits may not transfer towards accredited program requirements.
  • Graduate programs may not admit applicants with undergraduate nursing degrees from unaccredited schools or programs.
  • Candidates who attend unaccredited institutions may be ineligible for federal financial aid.
  • Accredited degrees can lead to higher salaries and job prospects, and employers may require or prefer hiring graduates of accredited nursing programs.
  • State nursing licensure boards may require that applicants attend accredited programs.

Who Accredits LVN-to-RN Programs?

Programs and institutions are accredited by different accreditation bodies. The following are key accrediting bodies for nursing programs and institutions:

How Do I Know an LVN-to-RN Program is Accredited?

Online LVN-to-RN programs in Texas undergo the same accreditation processes as traditional, in-person programs, including regular and rigorous curriculum reviews to ensure that programs meet state and national standards.

Students can check for a program's accreditation status on the school's website and by following the links of the accrediting organizations listed above. All nursing programs in this guide and on NurseJournal.org are accredited.

Paying for LVN-to-RN Programs in Texas

The cost of attending an LVN-to-RN program in Texas varies by school and depends on many factors. These include cost per credit hour, financial aid eligibility, program length, student residency status, the number of available transfer credits, and whether students can work while attending school.

Students can find a variety of financial aid options to help pay for nursing school, including federal, state, and privately funded grants and scholarships for nursing students; work-study opportunities; and student loans. Nursing schools, government agencies, and private organizations offer funding for minority students, and students can access budgeting resources online.

Learn More About the Top LVN-to-RN Programs and Schools

Texas State Technical College View School Profile $ Waco, TX 41% 32% 19% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

One of the best licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) programs in Texas, TSTC's associate of applied science in nursing program prepares candidates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) and earn RN licensure.

Licensed LVNs who have completed their general education requirements within the last three years can finish the transition program in 12 months. The 60-credit curriculum combines classroom instruction, simulations, labs, interactive online sessions, and virtual and on-site healthcare clinicals.

Details:

  • Program(s): Associate of applied science in nursing
  • Campus: Breckenridge, Harlingen, and Sweetwater, Texas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $270 per semester credit hour (Texas residents); $390 per semester credit hour (nonresidents)
  • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; background check; Texas Success Initiative and Health Education Systems Incorporated assessments; cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification; immunizations; three letters of recommendation
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.47% (Harlingen)
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
El Paso Community College View School Profile El Paso, TX 21% 4% 27% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Candidates who earn an associate of applied science (AAS) through EPCC's licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) transition program can sit for the national RN licensing exam and pursue a variety of nursing careers.

Graduates are considered nursing generalists, as the 60-credit program offers clinical and classroom experience in medical, surgical, obstetrical, pediatric, and mental health nursing. Students with a current license and work experience can fulfill some prerequisites, completing the remaining coursework over three semesters. Classes address topics in professional nursing, decision-making, and leadership.

The program is also open to paramedics licensed in Texas. EPCC's nursing department maintains articulation agreements with three nearby four-year institutions.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN (AAS)
    • Campus: El Paso, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $116 per credit (Texas residents); $201 per credit (nonresidents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license and employment; 6-12 months of work experience; ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills and ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam; minimum 2.5 GPA; criminal background check; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.49%
College of the Mainland View School Profile Texas City, TX 28% 5% 33% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

COM's licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) transition track offers hands-on training for prospective RNs. Eligible LVNs must have completed prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology, psychology, lifespan development, microbiology, and composition.

The full-time program lets students earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) in 12 months. New candidates complete transition coursework in the summer and enter the fall semester as second-year nursing students. The program's second portion includes clinical rotations and classes in nursing practice and skills development.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN (ADN)
    • Campus: Texas City, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $270 per credit hour (in-district residents); $510 per credit hour (out-of-district Texas residents); $690 per credit hour (out-of-state residents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; minimum 2.0 GPA in previous coursework; two years of college experience; passing standardized test scores; criminal background check; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88.31%
San Jacinto Community College View School Profile $ Pasadena, TX 32% 4% 33% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

San Jac's registered nurse (RN) transition track lets paramedics and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) earn an associate degree at an accelerated pace.

General and specialty nursing coursework prepares candidates for the national RN licensure exam. Students gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations at San Jac's simulation lab, local hospitals, and community agencies.

Candidates on the associate of applied science (AAS) in nursing track must complete 30 credit hours of prerequisite coursework in the humanities, nursing, and statistics. The remaining coursework covers advanced topics in nursing practice and population-specific nursing, including family and pediatric nursing.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN/paramedic-to-RN (AAS)
    • Campus: Houston, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $78 per credit (in-district); $135 per credit (in-state); $210 per credit (out-of-state)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; minimum 2.5 GPA; passing standardized test scores; criminal background check; immunizations and physical exam; current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 73.17%
Amarillo College View School Profile $ Amarillo, TX 31% 16% 51% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

AC's accelerated licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) transition track lets LVNs turn their license into credit toward an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Graduates of the three-semester, 60-semester hour program qualify to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN).

Students complete 15 hours of prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and psychology before enrolling in transition classes. Candidates may earn additional credit for nursing experience and LVN courses during their first semester.

The program's final two semesters are devoted to clinical experiences. Learners build decision-making and leadership skills as they explore mental health nursing and adult health.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN (ADN)
    • Campus: Amarillo, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $112.50 per credit (district residents); $155.50 per credit (Texas residents); $305 per credit (nonresidents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; minimum 2.5 GPA; passing standardized test scores; criminal background check; immunizations; orientation session
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.28%
McLennan Community College View School Profile $ Waco, TX 25% 27% 45% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

This institution offers two licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) options: a one-year LVN certificate program and a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) program for prospective RNs. Certificate-holders can transfer to either the second year of the ADN program with advanced placement or the LVN to bachelor of science in nursing (LVN-to-BSN) program through Tarleton State University on the McLennan campus.

New students complete a transition course that assesses their base skills and theoretical knowledge. The class also introduces new concepts and theories rarely addressed during LVN training programs.

Details:

  • Program(s): Advanced Placement for LVNs; LVN-to-BSN
    • Campus: Waco, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $212 per semester hour (county residents); $248 per semester hour (Texas residents); $385 per semester hour (out-of-state residents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; minimum 2.8 GPA; passing scores on the Psychological Services Bureau Exam and Texas placement exams; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.04%
St Philip's College View School Profile San Antonio, TX 21% 5% 45% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

SPC's path for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) through the LVN/Military to ADN Mobility Program leads to an accelerated associate of applied science in nursing. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN). LVNs can apply along with Army combat medics, Navy corpsmen, or Air Force medics.

The one-year program is a three-semester experience that includes 60 credits of online, face-to-face, and clinical and direct patient care coursework. Graduates also have the option to transfer credit to a Texas university toward a bachelor's in nursing.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN/Military to ADN Mobility Program
    • Campus: San Antonio, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    • Tuition: $99 per semester credit hour (in-district residents); 215 per semester credit hour (Texas residents); $466 per semester credit hour (nonresidents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; 3.5 GPA in previous coursework, including a "C" or better in all science courses; 70% or higher on the Test of Essential Academic Skills; three references; one year of LVN work experience in a military or civilian setting
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
Trinity Valley Community College View School Profile $ Athens, TX 24% 21% 88% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

TVCC offers a licensed vocational nurse to associate degree in nursing (LVN-to-ADN) pathway that allows LVNs to expand upon their knowledge and skills during a summer transition course, before entering the second year of the ADN program. With the ADN, nurses can become licensed registered nurses (RNs) by passing the national RN licensure exam or transfer into a bachelor of science in nursing bridge program.

Once accepted to the LVN-to-ADN program, LVNs complete six credit hours of transitional coursework over the summer. The full-time program then continues with 24 credit hours of coursework split between two semesters. This includes clinical rotations at local hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-ADN
    • Campus: Terrell, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $1,073 per semester (in-district); $1,909 (out-of-district)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; one year of work experience; completion of prerequisite courses; 2.5 GPA in previous coursework; passing scores on the Health Education Systems, Incorporated and Texas Success Initiative exams
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88.12%%
Ranger College View School Profile $ Ranger, TX 23% 15% 56% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Ranger College's licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) bridge program prepares LVNs to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) in only three semesters.

Students complete 60 semester hours, including 13 semester hours in prerequisite coursework in psychology, composition, anatomy and physiology, and lifespan growth and development. Once accepted to the bridge program, LVNs complete 10 semester hours of transitional nursing studies. These classes combine the first two semesters of coursework in a traditional associate of applied science (AAS) program.

Successful students receive 12 hours of advanced placement credit for completing transitional coursework. Prior to graduation, learners spend another 25 hours performing clinical work in healthcare settings.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN (AAS)
    • Campus: Early, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
    • Tuition: $12,881 (four semesters)
    • Admission Requirements: Current Texas LVN license; minimum 2.5 GPA in prerequisite courses; cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification; immunizations; three references; passing standardized test scores; interview
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 15 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.98%
Lone Star College System View School Profile $ The Woodlands, TX 18% 11% 40% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Available at four LSC campuses, the transition to professional nursing program spans three semesters and 60 credit hours. Combining classroom instruction and clinical experience, the program was developed specifically for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) seeking registered nurse (RN) licensure.

Coursework surveys concepts in anatomy and physiology, clinical nursing, microbiology, and psychology. Learners also complete elective classes. The program culminates in a five-credit capstone course covering integrated patient management. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) and may immediately apply to the bachelor of science in nursing program at LSC's Montgomery campus.

Details:

  • Program(s): Transition to Professional Nursing (associate in applied science)
  • Campus: Kingwood, Montgomery, Mount Harris, and Tomball, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $90 per credit (in-district residents); $201 per credit (out-of-district Texas residents); $256 per credit (out-of-state residents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; Texas Success Initiative assessment results; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.32% (Kingwood); 97.92% (Montgomery); 87.97% (Mount Harris); 91.49% (Tomball)
North Central Texas College View School Profile Gainesville, TX 12% 21% 48% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Prospective registered nurses (RNs) in NCTC's licensed vocational nurse (LVN)-to-RN transition program begin their studies each July and complete the program in the following June. Coursework is delivered in eight-week segments, with most clinical rotations occurring during the last five weeks of each segment. Graduates earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

LVNs complete prerequisite coursework in statistics, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and composition, along with an elective course. Graduates may take the National Council Licensure Examination for RNs (NCLEX-RN) and apply for RN licensure.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN (ADN)
    • Campus: Gainesville, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $57 per semester hour (in-district residents); $115 per semester hour (in-state residents); $206 per semester hour (out-of-state residents)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; completion of prerequisite coursework; entrance exam; cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.11%
Blinn College View School Profile $$ Brenham, TX 7% 25% 24% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Blinn's licensed vocational nurse (LVN) transitional program focuses on giving LVNs the clinical field experience they need to qualify for registered nurse (RN) licensure.

Graduates of Blinn's program earn an associate of applied science (AAS) in nursing. The first semester is spent completing necessary prerequisite coursework, which may include psychology, anatomy and physiology, and nursing foundation courses.

The following semesters are devoted to clinical rotations and coursework related to various populations and specialties, including mental health. The program requires a total of 60 credit hours of full-time study.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-Transition Program (AAS)
    • Campus: Brenham, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $7,457 (in-district for program); $9,251 (in-state for program); $13,323 (out-of-state for program)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; one year of nursing experience; Texas Success Initiative and Test of Essential Academic Skills results; 2.5 GPA in prerequisite coursework; criminal background check; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.65%
Brazosport College View School Profile $ Lake Jackson, TX 20% 1% 32% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

BC's licensed vocational nurse to registered nurse (LVN-to-RN) track is an accelerated, three-semester program that prepares LVNs for the RN role. The 60-credit program includes 24 hours of prerequisite coursework and eight hours of credit by exam or substitution.

The LVN-to-RN track begins with a summer transition program, which includes coursework and clinical hours in professional nursing. Learners spend the next two semesters studying nursing for various populations, including adults, women, children, and newborns.

Graduates hold an associate of applied science (AAS) and qualify to pursue RN licensure. The program also prepares nurses to transfer into a bachelor of science in nursing program at any public Texas institution.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN (AAS)
    • Campus: Lake Jackson, Texas
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
    • Tuition: $90.50 per credit hour (in-district); $124.50 per credit hour (in-state); $225.50 per credit hour (out-of-state)
    • Admission Requirements: Current LVN or practical nurse license; minimum 2.5 GPA in prerequisite coursework; passing standardized test scores
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.29%

LVN-to-RN Program FAQs


Can an RN work as an LVN in Texas?

An RN who wants to work as an LVN in Texas must hold an LVN license in addition to an RN license. However, an RN working as an LVN cannot perform RN duties while functioning in the LVN role. RNs interested in working as LVNs should contact the Texas nursing board for guidance.

What is the difference between an LVN and an RN in Texas?

LVNs care for patients with predictable healthcare needs; RN patient needs tend to be more complex. LVNs perform basic patient care tasks. RNs develop care strategies, perform assessments and diagnoses, implement interventions, and evaluate patient responses to treatment.

How much do LVNs make an hour in Texas?

According to ZipRecruiter, Texas LVNs earn an average hourly wage of $23. Cities where LVNs can make higher-than-average salaries in Texas include Alice, Plano, Mexia, and Port Arthur, which list hourly rates above $25. LVN travel nurses in the state can bring in more than $30 an hour.

Is an LVN the same as an RN?

LVNs and RNs differ in many ways. LVNs earn a certificate or diploma, take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam, and perform basic medical and patient care tasks. RNs also take the NCLEX-RN exam and can qualify with RN diplomas, but many earn undergraduate nursing degrees that let them work with more independence and provide higher levels of patient care.

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