If you’re interested in pursuing a patient-facing career in healthcare without spending several years in school, completing an in-person or online LVN program may be a great fit for you. Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) in Dallas pursue a wide variety of roles in long-term care facilities, hospitals, home-care organizations, physicians’ offices, and more. You can complete cost-effective diploma or certificate LVN programs in under two years and be on your way to an exciting and rewarding career.
There are many state-approved LVN programs in Dallas, so how do you know where to start? To become an LVN, should you choose a traditional program at a community college, an online LVN program, or a hybrid that combines both? This guide offers all of the essentials about pursuing an LVN education and career, including details on education and training, costs, financial aid, job prospects, and salary trends. If you’re ready to learn how both in-person and online LVN programs in Dallas work, this step-by-step guide has you covered.
College Spotlights: Best LVN Programs in Dallas
There are a lot of options out there for prospective LVN students. The college spotlights below feature some of the top state-approved LVN programs in Dallas. These programs were chosen based on the quality of education they provide, their affordability, and their high level of student support services. The top LVN programs in Dallas are also state-approved and accredited, which ensures that you’ll receive valuable instruction and credentials that will help you advance your career.
The Chicago School’s College of Nursing and Advanced Health Professions offers an on-campus vocational nursing certificate program. Learners can enroll as full- or part-time students and complete the program in 12 or 17 months, respectively. Graduates then sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Chicago School graduates often move on to careers in rehabilitation centers, correctional institutions, specialty hospitals, and home healthcare agencies.
The Chicago School’s LVN curriculum focuses on three components of nursing care: biology, sociology, and psychology. Learners complete required courses in medical terminology, body growth and development, standard nursing procedures, medication administration, and more.
Prospective students must have a GED or high school diploma and be 17 or older for consideration. The LVN program also requires interested students to submit their ACT or SAT scores and pass a background check and drug screen.
Concorde is a health career college with Texas locations in Dallas and Grand Prairie. The school offers a 13-month on-campus vocational nursing program. Upon completion of the program, vocational nursing graduates are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam. Many Concorde graduates also move on to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree to become registered nurses.
This program prides itself on its extensive classroom-to-career skills training. The primary areas of study for prospective LVNs at Concorde include preventive, therapeutic, rehabilitative, and restorative nursing care. The curriculum also includes instruction in nursing interventions. Concorde LVN students complete hands-on, real-world training both on campus and at off-site clinical facilities. Graduation requirements include 72 semester hours and 1,600 contact hours over the span of 50 weeks.
Incoming students may qualify for Concorde’s financial aid or scholarship packages, which help offset tuition and living expenses. Students should be at least 17 years of age by the time classes start.
Established in 1965, Dallas College offers on-campus learners one of the best vocational nursing certificate programs in the state at its El Centro campus. The school today boasts seven campuses in Dallas County and approximately 86,000 students.
LVN students need at least 43 credits for graduation. In most cases, students complete these requirements in four semesters or 12 months. Required courses include nursing health and illness, pharmacology for health professions, pediatrics, and foundations in nursing. Learners may sit for the NCLEX-PN upon completion of the program.
Prospective students need a 2.0 or higher overall high school GPA for consideration. The program also requires that learners have a 2.5 or higher GPA in three prerequisite courses: applied human anatomy and physiology, composition, and general psychology. At least 25% of a student’s total credits for graduation must come from courses completed through Dallas College.
FAQs About LVN Programs in Dallas
What skills do you learn in LVN programs in Dallas?
In-person and online LVN programs in Dallas provide a diverse skill set and prepare you to handle exciting roles in the field. You’ll take a variety of introductory classes to give you a solid foundation, plus classes in the hard sciences, patient care, and nursing ethics. In addition, you’ll spend a good amount of time in hands-on learning scenarios. Schools often require skills-based lab courses where you’ll practice your skills on clinical dummies using real healthcare equipment that’s the same as what professionals use on the job.
After coursework and labs, you’ll get the chance to complete clinical hours in a healthcare facility, shadowing nurses as they carry out their daily patient-care duties. Depending on your interests and the program you choose, you’ll likely focus on emergency care, pediatric nursing, obstetric nursing, medical-surgical nursing, or nutrition, among other options. Similar to the clinical experiences offered at North Central Texas College, LVN programs in Dallas place you in hospitals, physician’s offices, community venues, long-term care facilities, and other locations so you can get clinical experience and training in your desired area.
How much do LVN programs cost in Dallas?
The cost of your LVN program in Dallas will vary among schools. One thing to keep in mind is that many programs in your area offer tuition discounts for Texas residents or those who live in the same county as the school itself. In most cases, you can expect to pay by the credit or course. Your tuition per semester may also vary depending on how many credits you take at once and how the school’s tuition payments are structured. Here’s a snapshot of tuition costs at three LVN programs in Dallas to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Dallas College—El Centro
Vocational Nursing Certificate
Total Credits: 43
Dallas County residents: $79/credit; out of county: $135/credit; out of state: $200/credit
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LVN program in Dallas?
Pursuing a college education can be a significant financial undertaking for just about anyone. Thankfully, there are many financial aid opportunities out there. You just need to know where to look. Scholarships and grants provide you with free money for school that you don’t need to pay back. Be sure to check with your prospective programs about any internal scholarships they may offer their in-person or online LVN students in Dallas. There are also outside scholarships and grants for prospective LVN students, like those offered by Professional Caretakers and the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program.
Some of your other options might include taking out federal or private loans. If you’re currently working, you can check with your employer about any potential employer tuition assistance programs that are offered. In any case, be sure to complete your FAFSA. This ensures that you’re considered for federal aid, but many schools also use the information you provide in the FAFSA to gauge your eligibility for school-based assistance as well. For more information on financial aid for nursing students, be sure to check out our practical nurse scholarships guide and financial aid guide.
How long do LVN programs in Dallas take to finish?
The duration of your in-person or online LVN program in Dallas depends upon several factors, primarily if you’re enrolled as a full- or part-time student. Full-time learners usually complete their LVN programs in about 12 months. For part-time students, these programs can take up to two years depending on course availability and student course load each semester.
Whether or not your school offers online courses may affect the duration of your program. This is, in part, because in-person programs often follow traditional semester course schedules. Full-time online LVN students at North Central Texas College, for example, need 42 credits for graduation. In most cases, LVN students in this program complete those requirements in three semesters. On the other hand, the Dallas College LVN program is taught primarily in person and takes four semesters, consisting of two 16-week academic semesters and two five-week summer semesters.
Inside Look at Online LVN Programs in Dallas
Online LVN programs in Dallas provide remote learners of all majors and backgrounds with great scheduling flexibility and, in some cases, more affordable tuition than traditional on-campus programs. Distance students also save time, energy, and money by avoiding the commute to and from campus several times a week.
While there are currently no 100% online LVN programs in Dallas, many programs incorporate some remote learning with traditional on-campus coursework. For nursing students, most schools still require all clinical training and hands-on components to be completed in person at an approved healthcare facility or on campus under faculty supervision. However more and more online options are becoming available. For example, both Blinn College District and North Central Texas College are Texas-based programs that feature both online classes and in-person training for a blended or hybrid course delivery format.
Common Questions About Online LVN Programs in Dallas
Will earning my credential from an online LVN program in Dallas impact my ability to get certified or licensed?
No, earning credentials in an online LVN program in Dallas will not affect your ability to gain certification or licensure as long as your program is accredited. State-recognized schools are designed to prepare you to meet state licensure requirements. However, if you attend an online LVN program in Dallas that is not approved by the Texas Board of Nursing, that will likely affect your ability to get certified or licensed.
Will employers care if I took some of my LVN classes online?
No. Most employers today understand that the value and rigor of online education is comparable to traditional on-campus programs. Furthermore, the online LVN programs in Dallas require hands-on clinical experiences, allowing you to get the same real-world experience as fully on-campus students. In that way, there’s no difference.
Are online LVN programs more affordable than campus programs in Dallas?
For many distance students, online LVN programs in Dallas are more affordable than traditional on-campus learning. While the tuition rates for distance learners are often the same as for in-state students, or even less, remote learners save money in other ways. By skipping the commute to and from campus, students save money on transportation costs. Additionally, by working from home students avoid day-to-day expenses like eating out or getting coffee at restaurants or cafes.
Can I complete my LVN training in Dallas faster by taking classwork online?
In some cases, yes, you’ll be able to complete your LVN program in Dallas faster by taking online classes. This is highly dependent upon the structure of your program and whether classes are offered synchronously or asynchronously. If your classes are self-paced and progress quickly, you could save time in the long run. If your program requires you to attend regular meetings over the course of a semester, similar to traditional course schedules, the online component will take the same amount of time. In any case, you’ll need to complete clinical training in person for a certain number of hours, which can’t be fast-tracked.
LVN Licensing Information and Requirements in Dallas
Each state has specific guidelines for you to follow on your way to licensure. Prospective LVNs in Dallas must submit a series of documents to the state to show their eligibility. All of the necessary documents and information must be completed for your licensure to go through. For more information on licensure eligibility guidelines for LVNs in Texas, check out the Texas Board of Nursing licensure application page and EduMed’s Texas LVN program page. Here’s a list of the required materials:
- High school diploma or GED and certificate/diploma from Texas Board of Nursing-approved LVN nursing program, with minimum grade of C in all nursing courses
- Passing score on NCLEX-PN exam
- Fingerprinting and background check
- Passing score on Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam
- Nonrefundable application fee of $186
How Much You Can Earn as an LVN in Dallas
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LVNs in the Dallas area in the 10th percentile earn an annual wage of $40,420, while those in the 90th percentile earn $66,170. The annual median wage for LVNs in Dallas is $49,170. That’s significantly higher than the U.S. averages for LVNs and higher than elsewhere in Texas in almost every category.
Annual Earnings for Licensed Vocational Nurses in Dallas
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
|Austin-Round Rock, TX
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
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