CNA to LVN Programs Dallas, TX

Working as a CNA may be very rewarding, but you don’t have to remain in this entry-level position. There are many other branches of nursing that offer better salaries, added responsibility, and opportunities for job growth. Many registered nurses and administrators started out as CNAs. Some of them started with a registered nursing program to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing and work their way up. If you don’t have the time and money to invest in a two or four-year program, you can enroll in a CNA-to-LVN bridge program and become a vocational nurse in one year or less. As a licensed vocational nurse, you can easily double or triple your CNA salary and take a leading role in patient care. Even better are the opportunities to continue building on your education to move further up the nursing career ladder.

El Centro College

Certified nursing assistants can apply for advanced placement in the Vocational Nursing Certificate program at El Centro College. The coursework includes instruction in the classroom, lab, and at healthcare facilities in the community and emphasizes direct nursing care to acute and chronically ill patients with predictable outcomes in various health care settings. The curriculum is fast-paced and comprehensive, so full-time employment is not recommended. Students will need to attend all classes and commit extra time for study and preparation to succeed in the program. Areas of study include Basic Nursing Skills, Nursing in Health and Illness II, Foundations of Nursing, Human Anatomy and Physiology II, Pharmacology for Health Professions, Maternal/Neonatal Nursing, Pediatric, and Licensed Vocational Nursing Clinical. The clinical rotations are scheduled at various health care facilities and required 100 percent attendance. Rotations may be scheduled in the daytime, evening, or weekends. Students are responsible to getting to and from the clinical sites. A minimum of 43 credit hours must be completed to graduate from the program. Graduates of will receive a Certificate of Completion and are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN for Texas licensure. Applicants must meet TSI standards and course prerequisites as part of the competitive admissions process. The class size is limited to 30 persons with each cycle.

Admission criteria:

  • Attend an information session – online or in-person
  • Submit HESI scores – must have a minimum score of 80 on the five sections and taken within the past two years
  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 before the application deadline – Human Anatomy and Physiology, Composition I, and General Psychology
  • Must be admitted to Dallas County Community College as a degree-seeking student
  • Complete the Texas Success Initiative requirements
  • Submit a completed application to the Vocational Nursing program
  • Must have a high school diploma or GED
  • Meet the health requirements – physical exam, negative TB test, and immunization
  • Must have and maintain current CPR certification throughout the program
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges previously attended
  • Certified nursing assistants must have current certification in good standing
  • Must have and maintain personal healthcare insurance coverage
  • Pass a criminal background check and drug screen

The estimated cost of attendance is $7,350 for Dallas County residents. Out-of-county residents pay $9,400. The total cost includes uniforms, textbooks, tuition, fees, name tag, and supplies. Financial aid is available for eligible students.

The Chicago School

Certified nursing assistants may enroll in the Vocational Nursing Program at The Chicago School and prepare for a career where they provide general nursing care to patients in long-term care facilities, doctor’s offices, rehabilitation centers, home health care agencies, specialty hospitals, correctional facilities, and more. The VN curriculum includes 1,408 instructional hours including time in the classroom (568), lab (208 hours), and clinical facility (632 hours). The certificate program requires completion of 51 credit hours. Areas of study include Medical Surgical Nursing I, Medical Surgical Nursing II, Medical Surgical Nursing III, Anatomy and Physiology for Nurses, Fundamentals of Nursing, Obstetrical Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Pharmacology, State Board of Exam Review, and Professional Development. Students will participate in direct patient care experiences under the supervision of experienced faculty during the scheduled rotations are local health care facilities. Graduates will be eligible to apply to take the NCLEX to become a practical nurse.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 17 years old to apply to the program
  • Submit ACT (minimum composite score of 19) or SAT scores (minimum composite score of 1350) with the application for admission
  • Take and pass the Vocational Nursing Admission Assessment HESI A2 exam with a minimum score of 80 on the Reading Comprehension and 75 on Math
  • Submit proof of high school graduation or equivalency – a high school diploma, transcript, or GED
  • Apply for admission to TCS and pay the non-refundable application fee of $100
  • Complete the essay requirements – points will be awarded
  • Complete an acceptable drug screen
  • Must meet the Texas Board of Nursing criteria on the background check
  • Request official college transcripts to be sent to the school’s Record’s Department
  • Must present a valid Blue Card or Outcomes letter from the Board of Nursing
  • Must complete immunization requirements including a negative TB test, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Tdap, MMR, and seasonal flu shot
  • Must have and maintain CPR certification throughout the program – Healthcare Provider BLS card

Tuition and fees cost approximately $12,524 per year. Books, supplies, uniforms, and admission requirements must be added to the total cost of attendance.

Navarro College

Certified Nursing Assistants must complete 52 credit hours to receive a Vocational Nursing Certificate at Navarro College. The vocational nursing curriculum includes on-campus coursework and clinical experiences at local health care agencies. Course topics include Health Science, Basic Nursing Skills, Pharmacology, Essentials of Medication Administration, Vocational Nursing Concepts, Growth and Development, Medical Surgical Nursing, Pediatrics, Maternal Neonatal Nursing, Advanced Nursing Skills, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Professional Development, Special Topics in Practical Nursing, and Clinical. Graduates will be eligible to apply to take the NCLEX for Vocational Nurses. The duration of the program is 12 months. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission to the program is competitive and applicants will be ranked according to the test scores, health care certification, and completion of non-required college courses.

Admission criteria:

  • Apply for admission to Navarro College. Admission to Navarro College does not guarantee admission to the LVN program
  • Take the TEAS test and score at or above the national mean for the reading section – 59.9
  • Attend a nursing information session
  • Submit documentation of current certification as a nurse aide
  • Submit immunization documents including TB, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Varicella
  • Submit official college transcripts
  • Must have current American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR (BLS)
  • Must register and pay for a urine drug screen to be administered randomly
  • Must have clearance (criminal history background check) from the Texas Board of Nursing by the first day of clinical
  • Must have current health insurance

The total estimated program cost is $10,506 for in-district students. It includes tuition, program fees, textbooks, immunizations, supplies, and background check.

Concorde Career College

The vocational nursing program at Concorde Career College is open to certified nursing assistants seeking to prepare for a career as a vocational nurse. They will add to their skills and abilities to provide nursing care to patients in hospitals and residents in long-term care facilities. Nursing education will take place int eh classroom and clinical settings and includes the development of problem solving and decision-making skills based on knowledge acquired, psychomotor skills and values. There will be an emphasis on the provision of safe, competent nursing care to patients of all age groups who are experiencing common compromises in their health with predictable outcomes. The curriculum covers 1,319 contact hours or 52 semester credits. Course modules are Foundations of Nursing, College Mathematics, Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Introduction to Medical-Surgical Nursing, Family Health Nursing, Transition to Practice, and Clinical Practice. Graduates will receive a Vocational Nursing Diploma and be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN for a state license. Candidates who pass the exam and meet the Board of Nursing’s requirements can use the LVN credential. The duration of the program is 52 weeks for full-time students.

Admission criteria:

  • Attend a personal interview and tour of the campus before applying to the program
  • Submit a completed application for admission and sign the Enrollment Agreement
  • Take the Online Readiness Assessment – if enrolling in the hybrid option
  • Must have graduated from high school or have a GED equivalent
  • Must be at least 18 years old at the start of the clinical rotations
  • Must have current CNA certification for credit
  • Must be in good physical health as indicated by a signed reported from a licensed physician
  • Complete the immunization requirements
  • Obtain a score of 17 or above on the Wonderlic SLE or 70 on the HESI A2
  • Must pass a criminal background check and drug screen

The program cost of $33,319 includes the application fee, books, and tuition.

  • Website:
  • Address: 12606 Greenville Ave., Suite 130, Dallas, TX 75243
  • Phone: 469-221-3400
  • Fax: 469-221-3480
  • Toll-free: 1-800-693-7010
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 81.35%

North Central Texas College

North Central Texas College’s state approved vocational nursing program prepares nursing assistants for entry-level practice as a licensed vocational nurse. Theory and practical instruction emphasize sound decision-making based on knowledge of scientific principles and the use of technical skills in various health care settings. The program is available in a traditional, online, or hybrid formats. All students will participate in the clinical practice where they will apply the theory and skills of nursing in the application of direct care under the supervision of a registered nurse.  Graduates will receive a Vocational Nursing Certificate and be eligible to apply to sit for the NCLEX for Vocational Nurses. The duration of the program is 12 months.

Admission criteria:

  • Apply for admission to NCTC
  • Attend a Nursing Information Session before applying to the VN program
  • Submit a completed application to the VN program
  • Submit an official high school transcript or proof of GED certification
  • Take an entrance exam and achieve satisfactory scores
  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better
  • Show proof of Major Medical Insurance or Accidental Injury Medical Insurance before rotations commence at the clinical sites
  • Provide proof of immunizations – Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Influenza, negative TB test
  • Complete a criminal background check prior to acceptance
  • Submit to a urine drug screen at the start of the initial semester and during level 3 of the program

Tuition costs $100 per credit hour for in-district students and $190 for in-state students. Apart from the basic tuition, students will incur additional costs for lab fees, supplies, standardized tests, malpractice insurance, nursing textbook. The approximate cost for the entire program including additional expenses is $6,800 to $9,500.





Crystal G

Crystal is a certified Registered Nurse (RN) with a passion for writing about nursing education. Through her articles, Crystal shares insights and tips to help fellow nurses enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in the field. With a focus on practical advice and relevant topics, Crystal's writing is a valuable resource for nursing professionals seeking to advance their careers.