Patient Care Assistant

This program is a Selective Program. Application requirements are included in the description below.

Patient Care Assistant


This is a 16 credit hour certificate program that offers classroom instruction and related clinical practice in the basic nursing care of adults, children, infants and the elderly. The need for qualified patient care assistants in long-term care is growing at a tremendous rate. The philosophy of care for residents in these facilities has changed from one of custodial care to an implementation of restorative care in which the resident is assisted to reach an optimal potential for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This care can only be provided by knowledgeable and educated staff. After successful completion of the Texas Department of Aging Nurse Aide Competency Examination, students will focus on acute care and specialized patient care. Entry-level skills in phlebotomy, EKG, and monitor technician are included. Students are prepared to work the many fields available to them such as home health, hospitals, nursing homes, hospice agencies, doctors’ offices, and clinics.

After successful completion of all course requirements students are eligible to take the National Center for Competency Testing examination for Patient Care Technician. STC provides the National Healthcareer Association certification examinations for Patient Care Technician, Phlebotomist and EKG technician.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. All applicants must meet general admission requirements to South Texas College.
  2. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale for all courses completed at STC
  3. Pass a criminal background check, 10-panel drug screen through approved providers, and complete all required immunizations including Hepatitis B series.
  4. Submit a completed program application.

Program Application

Please contact the PCA Program office at 956-872-3049 for additional information or appointment with program faculty.

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

Graduation Requirements

To earn the Patient Care Assistant Certificate, a student must meet all college graduation requirements and complete all coursework as prescribed in the degree plan with a minimum grade of 78%.

Teresa Johnson, Education Coordinator, McAllen Medical Center
Sergio Peña, Director, Career & Technical Education Mission CISD
Libby Smith, BSN, RN Director of Nursing McAllen Heart Hospital
(Pending), LVN Staff Nurse Current and Former PTCA Student
Juan C. Aguirre, Assoc Dean Cont, Prof & Wkf Ed

Patient Care Assistant Certificate


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
NURA 1401 Nurse Aide for Health Care 4
NURA 1160 Clinical I 1
NUPC 1320 Patient Care Technician/Assistant 3
PLAB 1323 Phlebotomy 3
ECRD 1211 Electrocardiography 2
NUPC 1360 CAPSTONE: Clinical II 3
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours16 Credit Hours