If you’re enjoying your work as a licensed practical nurse and are ready for new challenges, a bridge program to get your BSN could be the way to go. LVN to BSN programs in Texas build on your previous training and experience, broaden your scope, and deepen your skills, preparing you for increased pay and responsibility.
This guide gives you everything you need to take the first step. You’ll learn what you can expect from a typical program, including curriculum offerings, class formats, and time to completion. It also spotlights a few of the best programs currently available and answers FAQs related to financial aid, accreditation, and licensure. Keep scrolling to find out more.
Nursing School Spotlights: Best LVN to BSN Programs in Texas
Get a glimpse into a few standout LVN to BSN programs in Texas for 2021. Searching for solid schools can be overwhelming, so we made these selections using the key criteria that will matter to you the most: accreditation, state approval, and academic excellence. Find out which LVN to BSN programs in Texas rise to the top.
Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University’s LVN to BSN program offers the training and skills current LVNs need to elevate their professional profile in the industry. The program is administered from the school’s Woodlands campus just north of Houston and requires 121 credits. Fifty-nine of those credits must be completed prior to admission to fulfill general education and nursing prerequisite courses, with the other 62 credits devoted to core instructional courses. The program builds a sound knowledge base in health assessment and care delivery and additional skills in professional ethics and information management.
This course of study stands out among other LVN to BSN programs in Texas by offering a unique course specifically designed for active LVNs in transition. It helps students elevate their standing by deepening key skills and broadening their field of application. Sam Houston State also offers some hybrid options (a mix of in-person and online learning) for courses that don’t require hands-on or immersive interaction.
Tarleton State University
A member of the Texas A&M University System, Tarleton State University administers a Post Licensure BSN (LVN to BSN) Program ideal for working nursing professionals interested in advancing their careers. Qualified applicants must hold an unencumbered Texas LVN license, credentials from a vocational nursing program, and 56 general education credits. Tarleton State accepts new students during the fall and spring terms. The curriculum looks at effective nursing care across the human lifespan and develops skill in informatics and nursing leadership. Several courses come in hybrid formats, including one designed to empower LVNs for transition into roles with a broader range of responsibility.
Tarleton State offers the program from its Waco campus and provides additional learning experiences that combine classroom instruction with collaborative lab settings. Students also receive training in disaster preparedness and can even study abroad. The program maintains accreditation with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Wayland Baptist University
Wayland Baptist University offers an LVN-BSN Completion Program at its campus in New Braunfels, TX. The only one of its kind in the San Antonio region, this program involves clinical training placements, lab simulations, and traditional face-to-face instruction. Most students graduate within six terms of full-time study and have new skills in evidence-based practice and preventative care. Wayland Baptist provides support resources through financial aid and a nursing student organization that focuses on professional development.
The school offers additional pathways to fast-track general education and expedite completion for students who still need to fulfill some requirements. The core nursing curriculum includes courses in mental health, medical-surgical nursing, and pathophysiology. Wayland Baptist delivers all classes through in-person instruction, but active LVNs can receive up to 11 credits in advanced placement based on prior training experiences.
FAQs About LVN to BSN Programs in Texas
What additional nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in an LVN to BSN program in Texas?
These programs build upon and expand your previous training as an LVN. In fact, in some cases you will receive advanced placement or a credit equivalency for previous professional experience. You will also receive specialized instruction designed for students transitioning from the LVN role to positions that require a BSN.
Program curricula also includes further instruction in evidence-based practice, care coordination, and diagnostics. Each step of the way you will deepen your skills and refine your technical healthcare knowledge. Most programs conclude with a practicum experience that anticipates the rigor and fast-paced conditions of real-world work environments.
How long does it take to complete an LVN to BSN program in Texas?
Most students complete their studies in three years or less. The core components for LVN to BSN programs in Texas, like this one at Southwestern Adventist University, usually last five to six terms. Other schools, such as Prairie View A&M University, don’t specify a timetable and instead offer a time limit, usually around five years, to accommodate a wider range of circumstances. It’s worth noting that if you haven’t completed general education or course prerequisites, you can expect to extend the average timeframe. Likewise, a significant number of transfer credits can expedite it.
How much do LVN to BSN programs in Texas cost?
Tuition rates change annually, but the list below gives you a sense of the overall costs. Potential transfer credit, course prerequisites, and your state of residence can all affect the final bill. So can factors like enrollment status and the type of school. For instance, public schools can be much less expensive than private institutions, especially if you are a state resident. These figures do not include university fees or other expenses (books and other course materials, e.g.).
Southwestern Adventist University
Total Credits: 125
West Coast University
LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Total Credits: 120
West Texas A&M University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree
Total Credits: 120
What are the admission requirements for LVN to BSN programs in Texas?
Each school uses its own process, but most require the same application items and generally use the same selection criteria. In addition to holding an unencumbered LVN license in Texas, you will need:
- Evidence of some general education courses and specific nursing prerequisites (usually around 50-60 credits total).
- Official academic transcripts with a competitive GPA.
- Results from any required skills and knowledge assessments (HESI, etc.).
Most LVN to BSN programs in Texas also offer advanced placement based on your experience as a vocational nurse. Additional admissions paperwork may be required to complete this step.
What should I look for in an LVN to BSN program in Texas?
There are two main criteria to look for in a quality program. First, you should make sure potential schools have state approval. Graduating from an approved program means you will be eligible for licensure and further career advancement. The Texas Board of Nursing keeps a useful list of these programs.
The other mark of a quality program is accreditation with organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Both commissions provide additional backing for LVN to BSN programs in Texas that excel with innovative curricula and high NCLEX-RN pass rates. Attending an accredited program means your degree will have wide recognition.
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LVN to BSN program in Texas?
Securing substantial (or renewable) financial aid can significantly reduce the cost of your education. This means less of a burden in the future and more freedom for career advancement. Some LVN to BSN programs in Texas extend financial awards like scholarships or grants to current and incoming students. This is a great place to start your search because these awards see a smaller pool of applicants, which increases your chances of obtaining funds overall.
If you actively work as an LVN it’s also worth checking with your current employer to see if they offer any opportunities on this front. Some regional organizations may also extend awards to qualified candidates as well. See our nursing scholarship guide and our broader financial aid page for more resources on where to look.
Inside Look at Online LVN to BSN Programs in Texas
In most cases, online LVN to BSN programs in Texas deliver academic coursework in this format near the beginning of study. This gives you the opportunity work at your own pace. The course of study at Prairie View A&M University, for example, is explicitly designed as a distance education program. Students receive course instruction entirely online and interact with material at their convenience.
This does not mean you won’t visit campus, however. Hybrid programs like ones at Tarleton State University and Sam Houston State University either require some in-person class attendance or limit online options to a single course focusing on the LVN-RN transition. Even fully online LVN to BSN programs in Texas deliver only academic coursework online but still require hands-on clinical training components. For information on how distance-based offerings work, see our main page covering online LVN to BSN programs.
Common Questions About Online LVN to BSN Programs in Texas
Are hybrid and online LVN programs more affordable than campus programs in Texas?
Most online LVN to BSN programs in Texas charge similar tuition rates as in-person offerings. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t more affordable. Online/hybrid formats help cut costs in other ways. For instance, not having to regularly commute to campus for a term or so means you will save money you might otherwise spend on transportation. So online LVN to BSN programs in Texas are worth a look for cost and time savings.
Can I finish my LVN to BSN program in Texas faster by taking coursework online?
This is definitely possible, but it really depends on you and your circumstances (outside responsibilities, overall course load, etc.). You will already be expediting your studies by entering as an LVN, and online coursework can help further that by giving you tools to complete courses faster and more efficiently.
Will earning my LVN to BSN degree online or through a hybrid program impact my ability to get certified or licensed?
No. The Texas Board of Nursing and accreditation agencies like the CCNE and the ACEN do not distinguish between traditional and online LVN to BSN programs in Texas. Online and hybrid programs use the same curriculum as in-person programs to achieve the same learning outcomes.
Will employers care if I took some of my LVN to BSN classes online?
No. As with licensure and certification, potential employers do not consider graduates of online LVN to BSN programs in Texas any different than others. They desire competent candidates with credentials verifying the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality, patient-centered care. As long as you attend a program that provides those credentials, it doesn’t matter how you complete classes. Completing online LVN to BSN programs in Texas won’t negatively impact your future employment.
How Do I Go from Being an LVN to a BSN Nurse in Texas?
Obtaining a degree from one of the LVN to BSN programs in Texas is just the first step. You will still need to fulfill all the requirements established by the Texas Board of Nursing. Your course of study will help you prepare for this, but it’s best to familiarize yourself with the process well in advance:
- You will first need to review the licensure eligibility requirements and complete an online application.
- Near or immediately following graduation you must register for the NCLEX-RN exam.
- After you register you must pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence exam. Once you pass, you will be issued authorization for the NCLEX-RN.
You will also need to complete a criminal background check. After you receive your initial license, you must renew it periodically by fulfilling the necessary continuing education requirements.
LVN to BSN Salary and Employment Trends in Texas
This section takes a closer look at salary data and broader employment trends for graduates of LVN to BSN programs in Texas. It compares current job outlook and earnings for LVNs against the increases that come with additional training and education. Find out more about how these programs support long-term career development.
How much more can I make going from an LVN to BSN in Texas?
Drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the table below outlines the most recent annual earnings data for LVNs and RNs in Texas. As you can see, nursing professionals stand to benefit from a significant pay bump by earning a BSN. This degree increases your earning power by qualifying you for a wider range of employment opportunities with expanded responsibility. These numbers remain consistent with broader pay trends at the national level.
|Austin – Round Rock, TX||$47,480||$72,070||52%|
|Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington, TX||$49,310||$75,440||53%|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$49,170||$80,640||64%|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||$48,090||$72,210||50%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
What’s the job market like for BSN nurses in Texas vs. LVNs?
Texas nurses with a BSN also benefit from encouraging job market conditions in comparison to LVNs with a more limited professional scope. Growth rates for both roles–LVN and RN–will continue to outpace other occupations, but those with a BSN see an increase over practical and vocational nurses.
The Texas Department of State Health Services also projects that demand for qualified nurses with a BSN will continue to exceed the current supply with increased disparity well into the next decade. This means that graduates of LVN to BSN programs in Texas will be desirable candidates on the job market for years to come.
|Job Growth Rate
(2018 – 2028)
|Average Annual Openings
(2018 – 2028)
|LVNs in Texas||74,390||7,950||10.7%||6,770|
|RNs in Texas||216,120||36,210||16.8%||16,130|
Source: Projections Central