Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) possess experience and training that makes them excellent candidates to become registered nurses in the future. Because of the added responsibilities, RNs receive more intensive training that can lead to better job prospects and higher salaries than LVNs. Texas schools offer convenient, flexible, and affordable online LVN to RN bridge programs to help vocational nurses accelerate their careers and earnings.
Keep reading to learn about nursing schools in Texas that offer quality online LVN to RN programs, what you can expect once you enroll, how much more you could earn as an RN compared to an LVN, and much more.
Best LVN to RN Online Programs in Texas for 2022
Texas is home to several online LVN to RN programs that can help you advance your nursing career. The schools featured below offer two high-quality programs based on factors like affordability, accreditation, flexibility in instruction, and available student support. Each program offers a solid, accelerated pathway to RN licensure and develops transferable, in-demand skills that qualify you for work in hospitals, nursing centers, and other treatment facilities. Discover which programs stand out in 2022 below.
What Are Online LVN to RN Programs in Texas Like?
If you’re a working LVN considering boosting your career by earning your RN degree online, you should know that LVN to RN bridge programs in Texas are more flexible than ever as more schools implement hybrid and online learning. These options are especially suitable for working LVNs who might find it hard to fit a standard class load into their busy schedule.
Coursework for these programs often occurs in the evenings and sometimes includes interactive labs or simulations. Several Texas LVN to RN programs offer online academic study and require that students complete hands-on components of the program, such as clinical rotations, in person. Some schools may require on-campus visits, while others may offer other options more conducive to your current work situation. See our main LVN to RN page for more information on how these programs work and what to expect.
LVN to BSN vs. LVN to RN Online in Texas: Which Bridge Program Is Right for You?
Most colleges and universities in Texas offer two bridge pathways: the online LVN to RN program and the online LVN to BSN program. Both programs can advance your career, but each is geared toward different students with varying levels of background and education.
|Program Length||Total Credits||Degree Conferred|
|Texas LVN to RN||1-2 years||60||Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN)|
|Texas LVN to BSN||2-4 years||120||Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)|
How Do I Go from LVN to RN in Texas?
The transition from LVN to RN in Texas involves a number of steps that include formal education and other credentialing requirements. The Texas State Board of Nursing (BON) codifies and enforces these requirements.
Find and complete an accredited RN education program approved by the Texas BON. This can take 1-3 years to complete, depending on how many prerequisites you need to complete and how many credits are required by your program. An LVN to RN program will sharpen your nursing skills as you complete the academic courses and required clinical rotation hours vital to career development. An accredited and state-approved program will prepare you for later licensure exams and extend resources that will help you begin to develop the professional networks necessary for future employment.
Criminal Background Check and Fingerprinting
The Texas BON requires that all RN candidates submit to a criminal background check and provide fingerprints to aid in that investigation. This step ensures that new RNs meet the necessary eligibility requirements and have a clean record. BON uses a private contractor with the Department of Public Safety for all fingerprinting services. Fingerprints must be submitted each time a license is renewed and the licensee is responsible for any required fees.
Nurse Licensing Exams
New RNs in the U.S. must successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) before they can obtain licensure. This exam measures readiness for practice and assesses key areas of competency like clinical reasoning, care management, and health promotion. In Texas, prospective licensees must also pass the Nursing Jurisprudence exam. Administered by BON, this exam verifies knowledge of state-specific nursing rules and regulations.
Once the first three steps are complete, you can submit a license application and all supporting documents using BON’s new paperless nursing portal. You will use that same portal to renew your active RN license every two years. Applications for renewal must be submitted within 60 days of active licensure expiration. BON normally sends out postcard reminders to licensees well in advance of the deadline.
To maintain active licensure, RNs in Texas must participate in continuing education and additional competency experiences. BON stipulates that all credentialed RNs must either complete 20 contact hours of approved continuing education within their licensing period or provide proof of a BON-approved national nursing certificate obtained within the same period. These experiences ensure that your skills and technical knowledge are up to date with the most recent developments in nursing practice.
LVN vs RN Earnings and Employment Trends in Texas
As you consider making the move from LVN to RN, you should know what your future career prospects and potential earnings could look like as an RN. Learn about potential increases in earnings and the Texas job market landscape when you go from LVN to RN.
How much more can I make going from an LVN to RN in Texas?
Becoming an RN can lead to a significant pay bump for LVNs. Median annual earnings for RNs in Texas are more than 50% higher than LVN earnings. RNs in most metropolitan areas throughout Texas report wages similar to the state’s median annual earnings, with the greater Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas showing minor increases due to higher demand in those areas.
|LVN Median Annual Earnings||RN Median Annual Earnings||Annual Earnings Increase|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX||$50,710||$78,070||+$27,200|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||$51,280||$75,440||+$26,790|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$51,160||$79,190||+$28,070|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX||$49,350||$77,630||+$28,280|
|El Paso, TX||$45,910||$63,840||+$17,930|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
What’s the job market like for registered nurses in Texas vs. licensed vocational nurses?
The job outlook for RNs in Texas is as favorable as the earnings. There are more RN positions available than LVN positions in Texas, and job growth is projected nearly 7% higher for RNs. These realities track with and exceed the national RN job outlook, which is already higher than the projected rate for all occupations nationwide. According to the latest BLS estimates, Texas has the second-highest employment level for RNs, second only to California. Similar data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows that demand for RNs will soon eclipse the number of available candidates. Overall, this signals a positive job outlook for future RNs.
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs (2018-2028)||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