Jun 14, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Vocational Nursing Program, Certificate

Note: A criminal background clearance is required before acceptance into this program and a drug screening may be required. Prior to submitting an application, an applicant with a criminal history must have a cleared Declaratory Order letter from the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). Information is available at http://bon.state.tx.us/olv/pdfs/DOapp.pdf. Please be aware that this may take a year or longer and Howard College has no control over the process. Plan accordingly in order to meet the application deadline of the program for which you are applying.

The Vocational Nursing Program is a twelve (12) month certificate program that offers college credit. The program is designed to prepare students to perform direct patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse and/or physician. Students are prepared for upward mobility in a nursing career. The program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Upon completion, students may make application to take the NCLEX-PN (State Board Examination) to become Licensed Vocational Nurses.

Students may complete the Vocational Nursing Program in one year and continue a second year for completion of the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Admission and selection criteria can be obtained by requesting an application from the Department of Nursing, Howard College, 1001 Birdwell Lane, Big Spring, TX 79720.

Admission Criteria Specific to the Vocational Nursing Program

Prior to actual admission in the Vocational Nursing Program, applicant must successfully complete the required support courses with a final grade of “C” or above. If enrolled in these courses in summer, applicant must furnish proof of enrollment. The minimum grade required for a “C” is a 78 in the nursing program.

All applicants to the Howard College Vocational Nursing Program who have met the requirements for admission to the college will be evaluated according to the criteria specified. Each applicant will be ranked on the basis of total points. Students will be admitted to the program according to ranking and point status. Should two or more applicants achieve the same number of points, date of receipt of application will be the determining factor for admission. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all required documents and to make all appointments and pay all fees for testing.


Students seeking pre-testing for the LVN program can contact the Testing and Tutoring Center at each campus to schedule the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS®) test.  The exam can be taken once every 30 days. It may not be taken more than three times per admission cycle. After exam scores are evaluated by the counseling staff, the student may be advised to take preparatory course work in various skills that are designed to enhance success in the program.

A minimum of one (1) point must be attained in each section of the TEAS® to qualify for selection/admission into the program. The scores from the TEAS® are valid for up to 5 years prior to the Fall semester in which they are seeking admission into the Vocational Nursing program.

Texas Success Initiative Assessment

The Vocational Nursing Program itself is a Texas Success Initiative (TSI) - Waived program; however, applicants will be asked to take the TSI Reading exam in order to take Prerequisite academic courses.

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed nursing application form for admission submitted to the Vocational Nursing Program (Big Spring or San Angelo).  Deadlines may vary by program site.  Contact the Nursing Department at the respective site for deadline information.
  2. Copy of CNA (Certified Nurse’s Aide) certificate.
  3. An official transcript from each college/university attended (to show proof of Prerequisite courses). Please send to the Attention of the Nursing Department. (Not required in San Angelo if on file with the Business Office.)
  4. Results of the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS®) examination (administered by the Testing and Tutoring Center).
  5. Proof of Hepatitis B #1 and #2 shots prior to application deadline. (Proof of all required immunizations needed prior to submitting application in San Angelo.)

Additional admission requirements may be required by program sites.  Students should contact the Nursing Department at the respective site for detailed information regarding admission requirements. 

Following completion of the admission requirements by the designated deadline, the applicant will be considered for the selection pool. An applicant’s file is not complete until all of the admission requirements have been completed. Applicants are responsible for keeping their files updated with current addresses and phone numbers.

Final approval of acceptance into the nursing program requires that prior to the first class day students will have:

  1. A physical examination (completed after June 1 of the year of admission);
  2. Applicant must provide proof of immunizations required by the Texas Health Department, Rule 97.4. Additional immunizations may be required by some facilities;
  3. Current CPR certification or American Heart Course for Health Care Providers with AED (Automatic External Defibrillators);
  4. Current CNA (Texas Certified Nurse Aide) Certificate.

Health Insurance

Students enrolled in the Nursing Program are required to purchase health insurance prior to the beginning of clinical experiences and to maintain such insurance for the duration of their enrollment, if not covered by a family member.

Fall and Spring Terms

Written approval must be obtained from the Chair of the program before the student can register for nursing courses. The nursing student will then register on the announced registration date. Registration after the announced date will be considered late registration and an appropriate fee will be charged.  The sequence of course offerings may vary depending on the availability of clinical sites.  Students will be notified of the required schedule of courses each term.

*Co-requisite courses - Courses marked with * are considered co-requisite courses. Please see Howard College Nursing Student Policies regarding co-requisite courses and Progression of Students/Continuation of Students within the nursing program. A “C” or above is required in all nursing and support courses to progress to the next term.

Gainful Employment

The US Department of Education requires colleges to disclose a variety of information for any financial aid eligible program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” Howard College is committed to creating an educated workforce by offering occupational programs that lead to gainful employment.

Gainful Employment Information for Vocational Nursing Program, Certificate