If you’ve thought about working in the healthcare field and are eager to make a difference in the lives of patients as soon as possible, completing an online LVN program from a Texas community college or vocational school is a convenient and cost-effective way to reach your goals. Online LVN programs in Texas combine the flexibility of remote coursework with required on-campus labs and in-person clinical experiences in your local area. Most importantly, you’ll complete a curriculum that meets Texas state LVN credentialing requirements.
This guide provides a comprehensive look at online LVN nursing programs in Texas. You’ll find a list of fully-accredited, state-approved LVN programs and spotlights of standout Texas programs to get you started on your program search. You’ll also learn how online LVN study works, find out about Texas LVN licensing requirements, and get a good idea of the job market and salary trends in Texas for LVNs.
How Do Online LVN Programs in Texas Work?
Online LVN programs in Texas with 100% online coursework are relatively few in number, at least presently. The good news is that Texas colleges and vocational schools are beginning to incorporate distance learning into their LVN programs. You may be able to find online study options available for the LVN program at your local school’s campus. If so, you can expect an online curriculum identical to that of the traditional on-campus one. Most online LVN programs consist of fully-online or hybrid (combination of online and on-campus) formats, with online work that can be completed when it fits your schedule.
Online LVN students will typically have in-person clinical experiences scheduled at the same time and at the same local facilities as their on-campus counterparts. In some cases, online students may be able to complete their clinicals on weekends. Most online LVN programs require 12 months of full-time attendance, although longer part-time study options may be available. Graduation from your online LVN program will qualify you to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam (required in Texas), just like traditional on-campus programs.
For a more detailed look at LVN distance learning, check out the Inside Online LPN and LVN Programs guide.
Texas LVN Program Online Spotlights
We’ve surveyed online LVN programs throughout Texas to find some of the best ones for 2020, including the two featured below. These programs were selected based on several factors including accreditation, study flexibility and convenience, strong student support services, high NCLEX-PN exam pass rates, and affordability. Both of these programs are fully approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. If you live near one of these schools, the online LVN program they offer may be perfect for you. If you don’t live nearby, these two spotlights will give you a good idea of what you should expect from the online LVN program at your local college.
LVN Licensing Information and Requirements in Texas
Like every other state, Texas has specific requirements for obtaining vocational nurse licensure and practicing nursing within its borders. It is essential that you familiarize yourself with those requirements before starting any LVN certificate program. LVN initial licensure and license renewals are administered by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Take a look at the major requirements that must be met to obtain your LVN license in Texas.
Education and Training
All LVN license applicants must hold either a high school diploma or GED and graduate from a BON-approved Texas LVN nursing program. The BON additionally recognizes graduates from pre-licensure nursing programs outside of the state that are accredited and approved by the governing agency of the program’s home state. Out-of-state graduates can be approved by the BON to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and apply for Texas LVN licensure. The education requirement may also be met by applicants trained internationally through the submission of a credential evaluation service course report. International applicants must also pass an English proficiency exam. More information on Texas LVN license education requirements can be found on the BON webpage.
Professional Nursing Examination
Texas requires that all LVN license applicants take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The NCLEX-PN consists of 85 to 205 mostly multiple-choice questions covering four major client needs categories: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. Test-takers are allowed a maximum of five hours to complete the exam. The exam is taken in person at one of the over 240 Pearson Professional Center sites throughout the U.S. Grading is pass or fail with no numerical score.
Fingerprinting and Criminal Background Check
Fingerprinting and criminal background checks are required of all Texas LVN license applicants. Electronic fingerprinting is mandated and must be performed at one of the over 80 IdentoGo centers located throughout the state. The criminal background check is conducted by the FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety based on the submitted fingerprints. More information on fingerprinting and criminal background check requirements and processes can be found on the BON’s licensure-examination information webpage.
Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam and Preparatory Course
In addition to the NCLEX-PN exam, Texas LVN license applicants must take and pass the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Examination (NJE). The NJE consists of 50 questions that cover Texas rules and regulations governing nursing practice. The test is online and open book and must be completed prior to sitting for the NCLEX-PN. Detailed information on the NJE and information on the BON’s exam prep course and other study resources can be found on the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam webpage.
License Renewal & Continuing Education
Initial LVN licensure in Texas is for six to 29 months as determined by the licensee’s birthdate. Renewal periods are two years each. Licenses must be renewed prior to the expiration of the initial period and all subsequent renewal periods. Starting with the second renewal, all LVN license holders must complete 20 BON-approved continuing nursing education (CNE) contact hours in an area of the licensee’s practice. Alternatively, license renewal applicants may demonstrate maintenance of a BON-approved national nursing certification within the licensing period and meet applicable targeted continuing education requirements. Detailed information on LVN license renewal and continuing education requirements is available on the BON’s Education – Continuing Competency Requirements webpage.
Salaries and Job Demand for LVNs in Texas
Money and job security are crucial factors in choosing any career, including vocational nursing. Here’s a look at figures for current salaries and predicted job growth for Texas LVNs.
Are LVNs in high demand in Texas?
The job outlook for vocational nurses is bright in Texas and throughout the nation. The U.S. Board of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a national job growth rate for LVNs at twice that of all occupations combined from 2018-2028, and job outlook figures for Texas LVNs are right in line with national figures. The reasons for this exceptional job growth include an aging baby-boomer population that will require long-term care in their homes and in residential care facilities and increases in the number of patients with chronic illnesses such as obesity and diabetes.
Job Outlook for Licensed Vocational Nurses in Texas
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs (2018-2028)||Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)||Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)|
Source: Projections Central
How much do LVNs make in Texas?
While salary levels for LVNs are lower than salary levels for registered nurses and nurse practitioners, they’re substantially higher than the salaries reported for all occupations combined and even higher than salary levels for many professions that require an associate or bachelor’s degree. Salaries for Texas LVNs — both in the state generally and in particular metropolitan areas — are very similar to those for the U.S. as a whole.
Annual Earnings for Licensed Vocational Nurses in Texas
|10th Percentile||50th Percentile (Median)||90th Percentile|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||$34,970||$49,310||$62,160|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||$40,420||$49,170||$66,170|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$33,980||$48,090||$62,240|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||$33,450||$45,580||$60,940|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
Similar Entry-Level Online Nursing Programs in Texas
If you’re interested in a nursing-related career but not sure that being an LVN is for you, here are two alternative education options leading to entry-level nursing positions in Texas:
Certified nurse aides (CNAs) provide basic assistive patient care, such as help with personal hygiene and other daily necessities, in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and related facilities. CNA programs in Texas are shorter than those for LVNs and are available from community colleges and vocational schools throughout the state. Programs are typically on campus but may include some coursework that can be completed online. All CNA programs include in-person practice hours in clinical settings. Certification of CNAs in Texas is administered by the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.
An Associate Degree in nursing (ADN) provides training in basic nursing competencies. Graduates of properly-accredited Texas ADN programs are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN, a requirement for obtaining RN licensure in the state. ADN programs designated as fully online or partially online are hard to find in Texas, but schools in the state typically offer online courses that fulfill ADN curriculum general education requirements.
Texas LVN Student and Professional Resources
- Licensed Vocational Nurses Association of Texas (LVNAT) Established in 1950, LVNAT is the professional association of LVNs in Texas. LVNAT members have access to a range of association resources and benefits, including attending the association’s annual conference and other networking events, the LVNAT newsletter, and more.
- RGV Nurses Facebook Group This Facebook group provides professional information, advice, and social networking to its over 2,500 members. The group is private, so membership is required to access content. Membership is open to LVNs and RNs practicing in the Rio Grande Valley area.
- Scholarships and Online Resources for LVN Students This guide explores scholarship opportunities for vocational nursing students, many of which are open to Texas LVN students. You’ll also find spotlights of vocational nursing programs with exemplary student support services and a list of great online resources to help you succeed in your LVN program studies.
- Texas Board of Nursing The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) is the state’s government agency that approves nursing education programs and administers nursing licensure, including licensure of LVNs. The BON website provides detailed information on licensure requirements and the licensing process, as well as access to a number of useful resources, including online CNE programs.
- Texas School Nurses Organization (TSNO) As an affiliate chapter of the National Association of School Nurses, the TSNO is a professional association of school nurses and supporters whose mission is to promote and enhance school nurse practice in support of student well-being and readiness to learn.