Vocational Nursing

This Selective Program has a competitive entry selection process based on a competitive point system. Application requirements are included in the description below.

Vocational Nursing


The Vocational Nursing Program (VN) is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON).  Upon completion of this one year program, the graduate will be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN).  After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).  The Texas Nursing Practice Act (NPA) defines the legal scope of practice for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs).  The LVN scope of practice is a directed scope of practice and requires appropriate supervision of a registered nurse, advanced practice nurse, physician assistant, physician, dentist, or podiatrist.  

The program prepares the graduate to provide compassionate patient-centered care, to be a patient safety advocate, and to be a member of the health care team in various health care settings. This intensive three semester program offers classroom instruction and related clinical practice in the four basic areas of nursing care: adults, mothers and newborns, children, and the elderly. Graduates of this program will have a wide array of opportunities for providing nursing care for patients in structured health care settings. Patients cared for by Vocational Nurses typically are experiencing common, well-defined health problems with predictable outcomes. Students seeking entry in the Vocational Nursing program must file a program specific application and complete additional admission procedures as required. (Please see a VN advisor for specific criteria, courses and procedures).

Application Requirements

All applicants must:

  1. Participate in the required Prospective Student Information Session. For the session schedule, access the information online at http://nah.southtexascollege.edu or contact the Vocational Nursing Program at 956-872-3135 or 956-447-6632.
  2. Be admitted to the college as a high school graduate or GED equivalent.
  3. Meet TSI College Readiness Standards, or meet TSI exemption standards.
  4. Achieve a HESI A2 Admission Assessment exam test score of 70% or higher in English Language Composite, Science (Anatomy & Physiology only) and Math.  HESI Exam test scores must be current within two years.
  5. Earn a " B" or better in the following: VNSG 1420 Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health or both BIOL 2401 Anatomy and Physiology I AND BIOL 2402 Anatomy and Physiology II.
  6. Pass a criminal background check, 10-panel drug screen through approved providers, and complete all required immunizations including Hepatitis B series before beginning of nursing clinical courses. For more information contact the NAH Clinical Affairs Specialist at 872-3022.
  7. Meet Technical Standards as stated by the Program.
  8. Submit a completed Program application by stated deadline. For more information contact Vocational Nursing Program at 956-872-3135 or 956-447-6632 or access the information online at http://nah.southtexascollege.edu.

Competitive Entry Selection Process

The VN Program selection process is based on Point System evaluation. The selection criteria are used to assess the applicant's acceptance points. Points are given for the following selection criteria: VN program prerequisite courses, Prerequisite G. P. A., and other optional items listed in the Application Form. A maximum acceptance point is calculated for each application period based on the qualified applicant pool and the number of slots available. Maximum acceptance points may vary for each application period. Due to program size limitations, a number of applicants who meet the program additional requirements may not be admitted to the program. Qualified applications with total points above acceptance score will be admitted and applicants with total points below the acceptance score will be denied. Applicants with total points equal to the acceptance score will be designated as alternates. Should any of the admitted applicants decline admission, an alternate will be offered admissions to the program. A random draw of alternate applicants with the total points equal to the acceptance score will be used as necessary.

A new applicant pool is established for each admission period. Applicants who were not admitted for the current application period must re-apply to be considered for a later application period

NOTE: Please see program webpage for additional information regarding the application process at

Graduation Requirements

To earn a certificate in Vocational Nursing, a student must meet college graduation requirements and complete all coursework as prescribed in the degree plan with a minimum grade of “C.”

Licensure of Persons with Criminal Convictions

Nurse Practice Act for the State of Texas (Senate Bill 1058) made criminal background checks mandatory for students accepted for enrollment in a nursing education program and permits the Board of Nursing (BON or Board) to initiate declaratory orders for eligibility proceedings based on positive criminal background checks; made permanent the Board’s authority to impose deferred disciplinary action; clarified that action may be taken against a nurse’s license based on action taken by a division of the United States Military; authorized the BON, in conjunction with a disciplinary action, to require a nurse to abstain from use of alcohol and drugs and submit to random drug testing; provided for limited non-disclosure of disciplinary proceedings that result in a Board order requiring the nurse to participate in a Board-approved peer assistance program to address a problem that the nurse is experiencing with mental illness or chemical dependency; as well as making other changes relating to disciplinary action taken by the Board.

The STC Board of Trustees approved Board Policy #3337 on July 15, 2004 for all students participating in any Nursing and Allied Health clinical program meet established program standards for professional practice established by the Dean of Nursing and Allied Health. This policy is implemented to ensure compliance with health care agency standards and state licensing regulations. This policy is being implemented to ensure uniform compliance with healthcare agency and state licensing regulations. Students having questions about this rule should see the Clinical Affairs Specialists or the VN Program Chair. All consultations are confidential.

Chair, Pamela Bond, RN, MBA, Education Director, Rio Grande Regional Hospital
Elma Lopez, RN, Starr County Memorial Hospital
Katherine Dassler, MSN, RN, Chief Nurse Executive, Rio Grande Regional Hospital
Mary Thomas, RN, Education, Mission Regional Medical Center
Candi Constantine, MSN, RN, F.A.C.H.E., CCRN, CEN, Systems CNO, South Texas Health System
Pat Palomo, RN, MSN, Nurse Educator, Valley Baptist Hospital
Cat Domain, Chief Nurse Executive, Edinburg Regional Hospital
Romero Valades, Administrator, Presidente Home Care


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
VNSG 1420
Anatomy and Physiology for Allied Health
or Anatomy and Physiology I and Anatomy and Physiology II
VNSG 1500 Nursing in Health & Illness I 5
VNSG 1304 Foundations of Nursing 3
VNSG 1323 Basic Nursing Skills 3
VNSG 1160 Clinical I - A 1
VNSG 1161 Clinical I - B 1
VNSG 1327 Essentials of Medication Administration 3
HPRS 1106 Essentials of Medical Terminology 1
 Credit Hours21-25
Second Semester
VNSG 1509 Nursing in Health and Illness II 5
VNSG 1162 Clinical II - A 1
VNSG 2331 Advanced Nursing Skills 3
VNSG 1230 Maternal-Neonatal Nursing 2
VNSG 1234 Pediatrics 2
VNSG 1261 Clinical II - B 2
 Credit Hours15
Summer Session I
VNSG 2510 Nursing in Health and Illness III 1 5
VNSG 1105 NCLEX-PN Review 1 1
VNSG 1362 Clinical III 1 3
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours45-49 Credit Hours

CAPSTONE: Successfully passing VNSG 2510 Nursing in Health and Illness III, VNSG 1105 NCLEX-PN Review and VNSG 1362 Clinical III