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Nursing at a Glance

What does a nurse do?

  • Registered nurses (RNs) administer medication, perform diagnostic tests, operate medical machinery, develop and carry out health-care plans and educate patients and the public
  • Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) care for patients under the direction of doctors and registered nurses, taking vital signs, giving injections and dressing wounds, assisting with personal hygiene, collecting lab samples and monitoring medication or treatment
  • Most nursing jobs are hands-on medical work that helps to diagnose and treat patients; there are exceptions

What is the career outlook?

  • Diverse job settings for both LVNs and RNs include hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, home health care, nursing care facilities and schools. Highest job growth expected in geriatric health-care services
  • Nationwide nursing shortage ensures high employability, especially for those with multiple specialties or certifications
  • Hours and conditions vary widely but may include 24-hour or night shifts, weekends and holidays. Part-time and shift work widely available
  • RNs: Job growth in Texas projected 33 percent through 2020, with median salaries $31.54 per hour or $65,600 annually*
    Dallas County: median salaries $32.73 per hour or $68,100 annually*
  • LVNs: Job growth in Texas projected 27 percent through 2020, with median salaries $20.11 per hour or $41,800 annually*
    Dallas County: median salaries $21.55 per hour or $44,800 annually*

Statistics are included only as guidelines and will vary with fluctuations in the economy and job market. More specific local hiring and salary information can be obtained at college information sessions.

Nursing Programs

Awards and coursework Brookhaven Cedar Valley El Centro Mountain View North Lake Credit hours Continuing Education contact hours
Associate Degree Nursing AAS XX60 
LVN to RN bridge option X 60 
Perioperative Nursing Enhanced Skills CertificateX15
Vocational Nursing Certificate X 51 
Continuing Education coursework for specific skills trainingXXX  varied
In order to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in the state of Texas, graduates of the program must write the Licensing Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN).   To work as a registered nurse in the state of Texas, graduates of the program must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).  Registered nurses in Texas are also required to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background screening. For more information, visit the Texas Board of Nursing website. 

Measures of effectiveness Brookhaven El Centro
Licensure exam pass rates for students attending**
Associate Degree Nursing students93%
Licensed Vocational Nursing studentsn/a100%
Employment rates for college graduates attending***
Associate Degree Nursing students94.55%96.95%
Licensed Vocational Nursing students n/a96.55%

What are the program prerequisites?

Following are the links to the current course catalog listing all of the prerequisites by college, courses included, and the length of the programs.

Other helpful links:

Who can help me decide which health science career is right for me?

Contact the Health Careers Resource Center.

What more do I need to know?

  • Acceptance to all Nursing programs is by a competitive selection process based on a weighted point system.
  • El Centro’s Associate Degree Nursing program has an extension campus at North Lake College.
  • Learn more about Nursing.

*America’s Career Infonet 2014 data for registered nurses and licensed and practical nurses
**Licensure Data Reporting System from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 2012-2013
***Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Perkins 2012-2013