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Shorter LVN program approved at Central Texas College

Central Texas College nursing professor Louise Perry

Central Texas College nursing professor Louise Perry presents a student with their nursing pin during the fall 2021 licensed vocational nursing pinning ceremony. Central Texas College will offer a shorter, nine-month licensed vocational nursing program starting in the fall 2023 semester. Courtesy photo

Licensed vocational nursing students at Central Texas College will be able to complete the program in nine months rather than the current 12 months starting in the fall 2023 semester, CTC announced in a media release. The Texas Board of Nursing recently approved the curriculum change for the accredited school, which is headquartered near Killeen and has a site in Marble Falls.

The amendment shortens the LVN program to two semesters from three. 

“This revision is more in alignment with the state limit on the number of credit hours required for an associate degree of 60 semester credit hours,” said Susan Ramnarine-Singh, CTC nursing professor and programs director, in the media release. “Going to nine months also offers a more reasonable length for the traditional LVN program. While the program may be shorter, the instruction and class work will be just as stringent and challenging as the previous curriculum.”

The nine-month revision will allow students to enter the workforce and begin their healthcare career much earlier. 

“Since 2014, the LVN program has gone from 53 credits to the now 43 credit hours and from 12 months to two semesters for traditional day students,” Ramnarine-Singh said. “The Texas Board of Nursing has approved these changes over the years, not as a way to minimize education but to provide the same quality and rigor of learning in a manner which allows these nursing students to start applying their knowledge on the job much sooner.”

Admission to the LVN program will require the same grade-point average and nursing school entrance exam (HESI A-2 exam) requirements as the Associate Degree in Nursing program.

“Students must complete the HESI A2 examination, which must be taken no more than two years prior to the eligibility deadline date,” Ramnarine-Singh said. “In addition, students must also complete the two required prerequisites — Anatomy and Physiology I and Pharmacology for Health Professionals — while achieving a grade of ‘C’ or higher by the eligibility deadline date.”

Central Texas College’s LVN program culminates with a Certificate of Completion and enables the graduate to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse. It also prepares graduates for practical/vocational nursing practice in a variety of healthcare settings. 

“Our program is composed of classroom instruction and coordinated supervised clinical, hands-on experiences in patient care in local healthcare agencies,” Ramnarine-Singh said. “Through our state-of-the-art equipment and simulation hospital, students are exposed to many avenues of learning which best prepare them for a variety of healthcare careers whether in a hospital, physician’s office, lab, nursing care facility or as a home healthcare provider.”