How to Become an LPN in Texas
Nursing continues to be an up and coming profession and the opportunities continue to expand. Licensed practical nurses (LPN) make up 28% of the nursing workforce in Texas. Through the year 2020 nursing opportunities will increase by 22 to 24% and for Texas that means about 55,000 new nursing jobs.
The average LPN salary in Texas is $41,000 with an entry level salary of $28,000 and a top salary of about $75,000. Nursing salaries will vary depending on the type of facility where employed and geographic location. LPNs tend to earn a higher salary in metropolitan areas than other areas. Salary increases throughout an LPN career will sometimes be directly proportional to the LPNs longevity on the job, continued education beyond what may be required for license renewal and level of responsibility. As the population ages and requires more healthcare LPNs certified in geriatric health will be in more demand and command somewhat higher salaries.
The field of nursing is regulated by the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON), including approval of LPN programs. The educational process to become an LPN in Texas is relatively short. LPN candidates are required to complete an accredited and approved LPN program. Such a program takes 8 to 12 months to complete. The programs must include class work and clinical training and students must pass both phases with a grade of “C” or higher to graduate from the program.
Classes include nursing skills, maternal, newborn, pediatric and geriatric studies, pharmacology, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, surgical nursing procedures and microbiology. Clinical training will introduce students to hands on, real patient care at a local healthcare facility and allow students to experience patient care throughout a variety of departments.
The State of Texas requires LPNs to be licensed according to state law and TBON mandates. LPN graduates are required to pass the National Council for Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Texas is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. That means once LPNs are licensed in their home state, they have the ability to work as an LPN in other Compact States without going through the exam process. Licensed Students are urged to register for the exam about a month prior to graduation. The exam administrator is Pearson Vue. The application to test is submitted to the TBON and includes a background check appl9ication and a fingerprint card. The application can be filled out online or by paper copy via postal mail. The Board of Nursing will review the application and if complete they will issue the applicant authorization to test (ATT). The student will forward the ATT to Pearson VUE and make an appointment to take the NCLEX-PN. There are several testing sites around the state and the applicant can choose the site most convenient. On the day of the exam, the student will be required to present identification and the ATT to be admitted to the exam room.
The TBON will notify the student within 48 to 72 hours of taking the exam. If the student passes the exam they will receive an LPN number and if the student does not pass they will be provided with the necessary information to retake the exam. The TBON no longer issues a paper license to LPNs. All license information is available for each LPN on the TBON website. While the student goes through the exam process, they will be granted a temporary licensure to allow students to work before receiving their LPN.
LPNs are required to renew their license every two years and must complete 20 hours of continuing education during those two years. The hours can be completed online or through live presentations. The purpose of requiring such hours is to make sure LPNs remain current with the requirements of nursing and the improvement of skills.
LPNs may renew their license online and are prohibited from renewing their license more than two months in advance and may renew their license up to 90 days past the expiration date. The LPN must fill out and submit the required information to the TBON. Once the renewal transaction has been updated, the LPN will receive an email notification and the TBON will update their license verification for that LPN.
LPNs find employment at a variety of facilities include nursing homes, assisted care centers, hospitals, clinics, occupational health centers, correctional and educational facilities and doctors offices. LPNs may also work for visiting nurse and hospice organizations, blood banks and temporary staffing companies. For LPNs who would rather not work in a medical facility may find employment reviewing medical claims for insurance companies.
LPNs handle a variety of duties that will vary depending on where the LPN works. Typical LPN duties include basic bedside care, distributing medication, implementing patient care plans, monitoring vital signs, dressing wounds and changing bandages, monitoring patient progress, providing information to patient families and preparing patients for release to other healthcare or rehabilitative facilities or home.
LPN Schools in Texas
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List of 95 Approved TX Practical Nursing Schools
ALVIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
3110 Mustang Rd
Alvin, TX 77511
P.O. Box 447
Amarillo, TX 79178
3210 Dyer St
El Paso, TX 79930
ANGELINA COLLEGE AT LUFKIN – MEEP
P.O. Box 1768
Lufkin, TX 75902
ANGELINA COLLEGE AT LUFKIN – TRADITIONAL
P.O. Box 1768
Lufkin, TX 75902
ARMY PRACTICAL NURSE PROGRAM – PHASE I
3490 Forage Ave
JBSA Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
3401 Webberville Road
Austin, TX 78702
BAPTIST HEALTH SYSTEM
8400 Datapoint Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229
BELL TECH CAREER INSTITUTE
12000 Richmond, Suite 130
Houston, TX 77082
902 College Avenue
Brenham, TX 77833
Texas A&M HSC, Bldg I-Suite #2500
8441 State Highway 47
Bryan, TX 77807
500 College Drive
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
CAREER POINT COLLEGE
4522 Fredericksburg Rd, Suite A-18
San Antonio, TX 78201
CENTRAL TEXAS COLLEGE AT KILLEEN
P.O. Box 1800
Killeen, TX 76540
CEPHAS CENTER FOR HEALTH SCIENCES
4563 South Westmoreland Road
Dallas, TX 75237
717 East Industrial Blvd
Abilene, TX 79602
CLARENDON COLLEGE – PAMPA CENTER
1601 West Kentucky Ave
Pampa, TX 79065
COASTAL BEND COLLEGE
3800 Charco Road
Beeville, TX 78102