Nursing and Health Care > Nursing > Vocational Nursing

Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN)

Certificate, Level II (Gainful Employment Information)

El Centro College’s Vocational Nursing program features a 12-month curriculum leading to a Level II certificate.

Graduates may take the Licensing Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in order to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) in Texas.

entry wage for vocational nurses
Projected job growth through 2026
months to earn this certificate (minimum)
cost of in-county tuition to earn this certificate

Courses are completed in two 16-week academic semesters and two five-week summer semesters.

The program includes classroom and laboratory work on campus as well as clinical experience at various area health care facilities.

Students will need to plan two to three hours of studying and preparation time weekly for each class and/or clinical experience.

The demands of nursing courses are such that students may not be able to work full time while enrolled in these courses. Courses are offered during daytime hours only.

The program’s clinical experience requires that students be physically able to care for sick patients. This involves lifting, moving, bathing and transferring patients into and out of bed. Students will be exposed to patients with infectious diseases.

Career Information

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.

Not sure about the difference between registered nurses (RNs), vocational nurses (LVNs) and nursing assistants (CNAs)? Read more about careers in nursing.

Where is this certificate offered?

Map of locations

Nursing Programs

Looking for info about nursing careers? As an additional resource, the Dallas County Community College District offers general career and pathways overview for nursing.

Acceptance to the Vocational Nursing program is via a competitive selection process based on grade point average of prerequisite courses.

See the curriculum, required classes, and prerequisites for this program in the DCCCD catalog

Students who complete the program receive a Vocational Nursing certificate and are eligible to take the Licensing Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN) in order to become licensed vocational nurse (LVN) within the guidelines set by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Find out more about information sessions and download the information packet for Vocational Nursing.

Are you ready to begin your career in nursing?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started in the LVN program?

The best place for you to start is the LVN information packet, which details all requirements to be accepted into the program.

Attend an information session. Get upcoming session dates:

  • Online
  • In person at the Health Occupations Admission Office on the first floor of the Center for Allied Health and Nursing in the Paramount Building, located in the West End of Downtown Dallas at 301 North Market Street. Please note that this building is located one block northwest of the main El Centro campus.
  • By calling 972-860-5000

What are the sections required on the HESI test?

We require a minimum score of 70 to 75 on the five sections of the HESI A2 entrance exam.

What about IV certification?

Our program does not currently have a stand-alone IV certification class; it is taught in the nursing programs.

What about VN refresher courses?

VN refresher courses are not included in our credit program. Check each semester’s Continuing Education schedule, or call the El Centro Continuing Education division 214-860-2147 to see if one is offered in the semester you are looking for.

What are expected hours? Are night classes and weekend clinicals available?

Our clinicals at present are on weekdays during daytime hours, and do not include night and weekend hours. Some of the institutions which offer these additional hours are much more costly than ours.

What about transferring other college credit into El Centro’s VN program?

Please check with an El Centro allied health advisor. Any educational experience you have had would need to be evaluated by our district education specialists; they will request the course numbers and catalog descriptions of the courses you wish to transfer.

This may be easier done in person. You can reach our education specialist at 972-860-5003. Please note that in many cases, students have to complete our entire curriculum of classes due to the vast difference from other curriculums.

Can I complete prerequisites in summer and still apply for Fall?

No. The deadline for applying to our program with complete qualified applications is May 31 each year before the coming fall semester. You must have prerequisites completed with a 3.0 GPA before applying to the program.

What if I’ve been out of nursing practice for many years or am coming from another state?

It may be as simple as a refresher with appropriate documentation of your completed program and transcript or perhaps taking a full program and the board exam for Texas. Please check with an El Centro allied health advisor.