CNA to LVN Programs Houston, TX

Your career as a certified nursing assistant is a blend of good days and bad. Helping patients who cannot help themselves is personally rewarding but is a messy business. Like nurses, CNAs work with patients to promote health and support recovery from disease. Unlike nurses, the scope of practice for nurse aides is very limited. For instance, a licensed vocational nurse may administer medication, start IVs, perform wound care, and direct the activities of a nurse aide. It is with the aim to broaden their scope of practice and get a boost in their salaries that many CNAs choose to enroll in CNA to LVN programs to prepare for licensure as a licensed vocational nurse. If you’re considering this pathway, your skills and background in healthcare will aid the transition to the new role. The transition/bridge program is ideal if you want to become a nurse without a substantial investment of time and money. The CNA-to-LVN program can be completed in one year or less, and the investment will pay off in personal, professional, and financial gains.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto College’s Technical Certificate Vocational Nursing program is open to certified nursing assistants who want to get their foot in the door as a nurse in the shortest possible time. The program includes lectures, skills training, and clinical experiences in various health care facilities. Students will complete 45 credit hours – some of which will be eligible for transfer to an associate degree in nursing program. They will attend 480 hours of lecture, 416 hours of lab, and 448 hours of nursing skills training and clinical experience in a health care setting. The program is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Board of Nursing. Course topics include anatomy and physiology I, essentials of medication administration, basic nursing skills, advanced nursing skills, medical surgical nursing, pharmacology, nutrition and diet therapy, mental health and mental illness. Other topics include gerontology, maternal-neonatal nursing, medical-surgical nursing, and leadership and professional development.

Admission criteria:

  • Must have graduated high school or have a GED
  • Pass a physical exam
  • Obtain a clear criminal background check – persons who has been convicted of a felony as relates to the responsibilities of a vocational nurse may be disqualified from obtaining a license
  • Obtain a clear urine drug screen
  • Submit a satisfactory physical exam report
  • Must have valid CPR certification – BLS for Health Care Providers from the American Heart Association
  • Maintain a minimum of 2.25 GPA on college-level coursework
  • Must have and maintain current CPR for Healthcare Providers

The cost of tuition is $1,290 per academic year. Additional costs for books, uniforms, fees, insurance, supplies, and nurse pack must be covered by the student.

  • Website:
  • Address: 9999 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77042
  • Phone: (713) 779-1110
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 97.83%

Lonestar College

The Vocational Nursing Level II certificate program at Lonestar College is open to certified nursing assistants seeking to advance their career in the field of nursing. Theory and practical instruction provide the skills students need to provide nursing care for patients in a variety of health care settings. The curriculum covers 48 credit hours. Course modules include Nutrition, Mental Illness, Basic Nursing Skills, Foundations of Nursing, Pharmacology, Gerontology, Nursing in Health and Illness, Maternal-Neonatal Nursing, and Leadership and Professional Development. The program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. Graduates will receive a Vocational Nursing Certificate and be eligible to apply to take the licensure exam to become a licensed vocational nurse. The full-time program runs for three semesters – one year. Admission to the program is competitive. Applicants are admitted based on scores determined by GPA and admission testing.

Admission criteria:

  • Meet the general admission requirements for admission LoneStar College
  • Submit official high school and college transcripts
  • Submit a quantitative Hep B Surface Antibody titer
  • Must have active CNA certification
  • Must demonstrate college readiness in reading, writing, and math
  • Complete the standardized nursing admission test – the cost is at the applicant’s expense
  • Complete BIOL 2404 with a grade C or higher
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher on all college-level courses
  • Must be physically and emotionally capable of meeting the program requirements
  • Complete a satisfactory FBI background check and social security number verification
  • Submit record of immunizations required by the DSHS – MMR, Varicella, Tdap, and Hepatitis C, TB testing
  • Personal health insurance is strongly recommended
  • Have valid CPR certification – BLS for Healthcare Providers

The average cost of completing the program is $2,700 for in-district students based on a completion time of one year. Books and supplies will cost an additional $2,550.

Houston Community College

Certified nursing assistants who enroll in the vocational nursing transition program at Houston Community College will build on their existing education and experience to prepare for practice as a licensed vocational nurse. Students will complete 39 credit hours – not including the prerequisite courses. Course content includes Nursing in Health and Illness, Vocational Nursing Concepts, Essentials of Medication Administration, Basic Nursing Skills, Maternal-Neonatal Nursing, Advanced Nursing Skills, and Mental Illness, Leadership and Professional Development, Pediatrics, and Clinical Experiences. Some of the courses may be delivered online. Students must complete the perquisite courses before applying to the program. These include learning framework, nutrition, and anatomy and physiology for allied health. Graduates will receive a practical nursing certificate and be eligible to take the NCLEX for Practical Nurses. The duration of the program is three semesters. New students are admitted int eh Spring and Fall semesters. Only five to 10 applicants are accepted per admission period.

Admission criteria:

  • Submit a free application for admission to HCC and become an HCC Eagle
  • Complete a Program Information Session online
  • Must have completed an approved CNA program and have current CNA state certification
  • Must be currently employed for at least 6 months in an acute/chronic care setting
  • Complete all the academic prerequisites – scan official transcripts and upload with online application
  • Download, complete, and submit the FERPA form
  • Complete HESI A2 exam and submit results with online application – must score 70% or higher on Anatomy and Physiology, Grammar, Math, Reading, Learning Style
  • Must complete immunization and other health requirements and upload documentations to the CastleBranch website by the stated deadlines
  • Obtain a clear criminal background check
  • Pass a drug screen – completed through CastleBranch
  • Complete the mandatory Program and Student Services Orientation
  • Must complete seasonal influenza

The total program cost of $4,207 includes tuition, books, uniforms, criminal background check, immunizations, physical exam, insurance, and supplies.

  • Website:
  • Address: 1900 Pressler St, #312, Houston, TX 77030
  • Phone: 713-718-7331
  • Fax: 713-718-7606
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

Bell Tech Career Institute, Inc

Certified nursing assistants may transition to a career as a vocational nurse by applying for advanced placement in the vocational nursing program at Bell Tech Career Institute. Classroom lectures and hands-on skills in the lab will build on the nurse aide’s prior education and experience and cover the medical surgical nursing, maternal neonatal nursing, mental illness, pediatric nursing, gerontological nursing, vocational nursing concepts, and leadership and professional development. Instructors will prepare students for success on the NCLEX-PN exam. Graduates will be eligible to apply to the Board of Nursing for approval to take the licensure exam. The duration of the program is 3 semesters. Classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a valid Texas Driver’s license or ID
  • Must provide an original social security card with the application
  • Must have a  high school diploma or GED
  • Submit a completed application and non-refundable application fee of $50
  • Take and pass the HESI A2 exam Math & English and score 75% in each criterion – the test is offered at Bell Tech for $65
  • Submit three letters of signed recommendation
  • Complete and submit an essay detailing goals, including why you are interested in becoming a nurse, volunteer work completed, activities over the past 5 years, and goals for the next 5 years.

Financial aid is available for eligible students.

  • Website:
  • Address: 12000 Richmond Ave – Suite 130, Houston, TX, USA 77082
  • Phone: 281-679-0541
  • Toll-Free: 877-723-BELL
  • Fax: 281-679-0524
  • Email:
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

Texas Health School

Certified nursing assistants can meet their educational and career goals of advancing to a role of a nurse by completing the CNA to LVN program at Texas Health School. Instructors will guide students based on their current experience and education and focus on areas that need development. There will be a heavy emphasis on hands-on training throughout the program. The curriculum covers a total of 1440 clock hours: 600 theory hours, 360 skill lab simulation hours, and 480 clinical hours. Course topics include vocational nursing concepts, anatomy and physiology for allied health, basic nursing skills, growth and development, essentials of medication administration, pharmacology, nutrition, medical surgical nursing, gerontology, maternal neonatal nursing, mental health and mental illness, and leadership and professional development, and NCLEX-PN review. Upon successful completion of the 55 semester credits, students will receive a Vocational Nursing Diploma and be eligible to apply to sit for the NCLEX for licensure as a vocational nurse. Day and evening schedules are offered.

Admission criteria:

  • Attend a mandatory VN program Information Session
  • Complete the THS application form
  • Take and pass the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE) with a minimum score of 17
  • Submit official high school transcript or GED equivalency
  • Complete a criminal background check through the Texas Department of Safety
  • Must be able to read, written and speak English effectively
  • Complete the VN Program Application Form
  • Take and pass the ATI TEAS test with an overall minimum score of 58% or a composite score of 63% or higher
  • Submit two Student Recommendation Forms completed by an employer or teacher
  • A current resume
  • An essay entitled “Why I Want to be a Nurse.”
  • Submit immunization records – MMR, Tdap, TB, Varicella, Meningitis, Influenza, and Hepatitis B
  • Submit a completed physical exam form – stamped by a licensed health care provider
  • Must have current health  insurance coverage
  • Must have current CPR certification – BLS/CPR card issued by BLS HealthCare Provider
  • Attend an interview with the Program Director
  • Obtain a clear background check and drug screen

Financial aid is available for eligible students.

The Vocational Nursing Institute, Inc

The Vocational Nursing Program at the Vocational Nursing Institute prepares certified nursing assistants as well as persons with no healthcare experience for entry-level employment as a vocational nurse. Classroom and clinical training will cover growth and development, vocational nursing concepts, pharmacology, medication administration, disease control and prevention, basic nursing skills, nutrition, geriatrics, medical-surgical nursing, disease control, maternal/neonatal nursing, mental health nursing, clinical practical training, and leadership and professional development. The curriculum includes a total of 1398 clock hours – 840 hours for clinical and lab and 558 for classroom instruction. Students must complete 65.59 credit hours to graduate from the program. Graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Day and evening schedules are available. Day classes meet Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be able to read, speak and write English
  • Must be in good health and able to bend, twist, and lift at least 50 pounds
  • Submit a report of a basic physical completed by a physician, NP, or PA – must indicate good health and meet the physical requirements of a licensed vocational nurse
  • Provide a copy of current immunizations from a physical, NP, or PA
  • Provide documentation of completing Hepatitis B series or signed declination form
  • Provide a Blue Card issued by the Texas Board of Nursing or an outcome letter within three months of enrollment
  • Completed a background check performed according to the school and BON guidelines
  • Submit a copy of high school diploma or GED
  • Complete the prerequisite courses with a grade C or better – Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology
  • Complete HESI testing including Reading Comprehension, Anatomy and Physiology, Basic Math, Grammar, Vocabulary, and General Knowledge. Obtain an overall score of 80% or better

The total estimated cost of the program is $25,500 and includes textbooks, CPR training, lab fees, clinical rotations, final exams, NCLEX review, ebooks, and background check. Students must purchase uniforms and supplies.

The College of Health Care Professions

The vocational nursing certificate program at The College of Health Care Professions prepares certified nursing assistants with the educational requirements to apply for licensure as a vocational nurse. Students will obtain both hard and soft skills instrumental for success in the industry. Apart from the technical skills, instructors will help students develop communication, active listening, empathy, and patient advocacy skills that will guide their practice. Course topics include Basic Nursing Skills, Vocational Nursing Concepts, Medication Administration for LVN Practice, Essentials of Medical Terminology, Pharmacology for Health Professions, Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health, Mental Health Nursing, Advanced Nursing Skills, Medical Surgical Nursing, Nutrition, Growth and Development, and Nursing Care of the Older Adult. Final semester courses include Nursing Care of Children, Nursing Care of Women and Newborns, Issues and Leadership for the LVN, VN Senior Capstone, and NCLEX Preparation. The duration of the program is 48 weeks.

Admission criteria:

  • Must be a high school graduate or completed GED
  • Must submit a record of up-to-date immunizations
  • Must submit a current physical exam report indicating good health
  • Must have current American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR certification
  • Complete a negative drug screen
  • Must possess a Texas Board of Nursing Blue Card, Operations Outcome Letter, Enforcement Outcome Letter, or Eligibility Order
  • Take and pass the ATI TEAS entrance exam with a minimum composite score of 61.7% or greater
  • Attend an interview with the Nursing Admissions Committee

Tuition and registration cost $17,350. Books and supplies are included in the cost.


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.