How to Become an LPN in Texas
Those who hope to qualify for registered nurse careers in the future often start by becoming licensed practical nurses (LPNs), otherwise known as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs).
LPNs in TX must complete an approved training course and pass the necessary competency exams in order to obtain their license and qualify for LPN jobs in Texas.
Education and Training
Completing an accredited training course is the first step for those wondering how to become an LPN in Texas. If you’re currently working as a CNA, medical assistant, patient care tech, or EMT, your employer may offer resources to help you find accredited LPN programs at various Texas trade schools and community colleges. You can also find state-approved LPN courses through the following agencies:
- The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
- The Southern Association of Colleges Schools Commissions on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The Texas Board of Nursing
LPN School in Texas
All accredited LPN schools in TX must provide a comprehensive curriculum with theory and hands-on components. Programs typically include at least 558 theory hours through classroom instruction and 840 clinical hours in medical simulation labs and local clinics.
LPN training courses cover all the basics of healthcare and nursing, including physical, biological, social, and behavioral nursing sciences like:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Fundamental Nursing Skills and Patient Care
- Human Growth and Development
- Biology and Microbiology
- Mental Health and Emotional Wellness
- Basic Nutrition
- Infection Control Protocols
- Patient Privacy and Ethics in Healthcare
LPN Clinical Hours
Hands-on training for LPNs in TX takes place in two separate locations. First, students practice the skills they’ve learned in class on mannequins in the campus’ medical simulation lab. Once you’ve perfected those skills, you must participate in an externship and complete clinical rotations at a local hospital or clinic.
Schools generally teach aspiring LPNs how to apply these principles to all patients, whether they’re adults, children, elderly people, mothers and their newborns, or people with physical or intellectual disabilities.
Those hoping to specialize in a particular area of the medical field might consider taking externships in facilities that offer the following fields of practice:
- Urgent Care
- Labor and Delivery
- Long-Term Care
- Correctional and Behavioral Health
- Hospice and Palliative Care
How Long is LPN School in TX?
Most Texas LPN or LVN programs take at least one year to complete, though some schools offer part-time course schedules that allow students to earn their diplomas in about 18 months. If you plan to specialize in a specific field of medicine, you may need to enroll in an associate’s degree program, which takes at least two years to complete.
TX LPN Program Costs
LPN school tuition rates vary across different institutions. Depending on where they enroll, LPNs in TX might pay anywhere from $2,000 to $34,000 to complete a certificate or diploma program. Tuition costs for a two-year LPN degree typically range between $6,500 and $49,000.
Texas LPN Requirements
In addition to completing an accredited training program, you must pass two exams before you can obtain an LPN license in TX, namely:
- TheTexas Board of Nursing’s Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam
- The National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN)
Nurse Jurisprudence Examination
You’ll need to take the Nurse Jurisprudence Exam first to ensure you meet the state’s competency standards for LPNs in TX. Take the following steps to prepare for your online State Boards exam:
- Check the state’s licensure eligibility requirements to ensure you are qualified to take the exam.
- Create an account on the State Board’s Nursing Portal
- Submit an online exam application form and an affidavit of graduation from your program.
- Pay the necessary application fee.
- Submit fingerprints to Morpho Trust (IdentoGo) to complete FBI and Department of Public Safety (DPS) background checks
- After 15 business days, follow the instructions on your account to log in for the Jurisprudence Exam.
Once you pass the state’s competency test, the Texas Board of Nursing will send you an email verifying your eligibility to take the NCLEX-PN. Within five days of passing this exam, you’ll need to verify your license on the state’s Board of Nursing License Verification website. You may then print your verification as proof of license and begin applying for LPN jobs in Texas.
LPN Salaries in TX
Most people know that the average LPN salary in Texas varies across different workplaces. However, the area you live in may influence your wages as well. Take a look at the list below to learn about the average annual earnings for LPNs in various Texas cities.
- Houston $52,961
- Waco $48,503
- Amarillo $47,045
- Dallas $53,820
- San Antonio $51,335
- El Paso $45,387
- Austin $52,804
LPNs who find jobs in private-practice clinics and research hospitals typically make more than those who work in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Experienced LPNs in TX might earn closer to $60,000 per year or more, especially if they work in a specific field of medicine.
What Do They Do?
Texas LPNs/LVNs perform focused, compassionate care for patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. LPNs ensure each patient’s comfort and encourage positive health outcomes by performing basic nursing tasks like:
- Helping patients bathe, groom, dress, and feed themselves
- Performing wound care and changing bandages
- Administering medications
- Comforting patients before and after procedures
- Inserting and removing catheters
- Collecting fluid samples for laboratory testing
- Monitoring patients’ vital signs
- Relaying changes in a patient’s condition to other nursing staff
Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show a predicted six-percent increase in the demand for LPN jobs in the United States between 2021 and 2031. LPNs in TX may have even more employment opportunities as experienced LPNs move on to RN and BSN careers. Qualified professionals can take advantage of this projected growth by finding well-paying LPN jobs in Texas.