Welcome to the Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) Program!




TSC Licensed Vocational Nursing


In alignment with the mission of Texas Southmost College, the mission of the Vocational Nursing (VN) program is to provide a high-quality vocational education program that is sensitive to the needs of TSC students and the community. The aim is to facilitate educational access and academic excellence through a learner-centered, success-oriented nursing program. The program educates the vocational nurse for entry into practice and facilitates articulation into higher levels of nursing education.

Graduates of the VN Program have the following employment opportunities: staff nurse, nursing home, adult day care, doctor’s office, and correctional facilities.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, graduates of the Vocational Nurse program will be able to:

  • Collaborate effectively with patients, families, healthcare teams, and community resources to provide holistic care
  • Assist in formulating a systematic problem-solving approach to deliver basic nursing care to patients and implement approaches within ethical-legal limitations
  • Assist in coordinating patient care as a member of the health care team within the organizational framework of a structured health care setting
  • Assume responsibility as a member of the nursing profession by demonstrating accountability for practice, promoting the practice of vocational nursing, and participating in health promotion

Program Overview

Since 1926, TSC has retained an extensive history of training and educating nurses who serve the community by providing the highest quality nursing care. This program of study and application packet is available online and includes a list of the prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to applying to the VN Program. A pre-entrance exam is required and is administered through the Texas Southmost College Testing Center.

The program is committed to providing high-quality nursing education for students while upholding TSC’s mission of “Transforming our Communities through Innovative Learning Opportunities.” TSC’s faculty and staff look forward to serving students at Texas Southmost College and being a part of their continued academic success.

The Vocational Nursing Program is affiliated with various hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

The Texas Board of Nursing accredits the Texas Southmost College Vocational Nursing Program. The Vocational Nursing Program also meets all technical standards of The Texas Workforce Commission.

The Vocational Nursing Program has established its admissions policies in accordance with institutional policy, the Texas Board of Nursing Minimum Standard, and program-based policies. Admission into the VN Program is selective and screened through a selection process. Applications will only be considered if the application and all required materials are received by the application deadline. Students should consult the TSC webpage or the Vocational Nursing Department for application deadlines for each semester.

Application deadlines will be strictly adhered to:

Fall Admission – May 31st
Spring Admission – September 30th

Candidates for admission are required to:

  1. Apply to TSC and meet the general TSC admission requirements (available in the TSC Office of the registrar). TSC Enrollment Checklist
  2. Complete the HESI A2 assessment test and the Critical Thinking exam. The HESI A2 entrance exam is a standardized exam to assess skill level in math, reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, biology, anatomy and physiology, and critical thinking to assess problem-solving, biases, ethical dilemmas, argument analysis, and data analysis.
  3. Testing is conducted on set dates. HESI exams may be taken twice per calendar year. If repeating the HESI entrance exams, a 30-day window is required between exams and a remediation packet must be completed before taking the repeat exam.
  4. Students are admitted to the TSC VN program on provisional status, pending completion of a physical exam, immunizations, and Texas BON fingerprinting/Background check.

Admission requirements include:

  1. Achieve a minimum of 75% on each of the HESI A2 sections (reading, math, grammar, vocabulary, biology, and anatomy and physiology) and a minimum of 600 on the critical thinking exam
  2. HESI entrance requirement must have been completed within 12 months of the application deadline
  3. Two letters of recommendation from a physician, professor, or employer/supervisor
  4. Completed application to the Vocational Nursing Program in its entirety. An application must be submitted for each application cycle. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be on file in the Admission and Records Office and VN office
  5. There are no required prerequisites


Criteria VN Applicants Points Total
HESI Points – Based on A2 test score for each of the following sections individually: Reading Comprehension, Math, Vocabulary, Grammar, Biology and Anatomy & Physiology

HESI exams may only be taken twice per calendar year and must be at least 30 days apart. If re-taking the HESI exams, the remediation packet is required before taking the 2nd HESI exam. 

  • 95% or higher = 5 pts.
  • 90% – 94% = 4 pts.
  • 85% – 89% = 3 pt.
  • 80% – 84% = 2 pt.
  • 75% – 79% = 1 pt.
HESI Points – Based on HESI Comprehensive test score

Passing Score = 75% on each section Overall Comprehensive Score = 75%

  • 95% or higher = 5 pts.
  • 90% – 94% = 4 pts.
  • 85% – 89% = 3 pt.
  • 80% – 84% = 2 pt.
  • 75% – 79% = 1 pt.
Critical Thinking

The passing Score on the Critical Thinking Exam is 600. HESI exam results are valid for 12 months.

  • 851 or higher = 5 pts,
  • 751 – 800 = 3 pts,
  • 600-750 = 1 pt
Bonus Points
Hold any health care certificate or license, excluding BLS or First Aid certificates
Maximum of 1 pt 1
Total Maximum Points 34

Applicants are notified of program acceptance decisions by email. Requirements after acceptance into the TSC ADN program are:

  1. Submit a document received from the Texas Board of Nursing indicating clearance following their background check (i.e., blue card or outcome letter)
  2. Mandatory attendance to the VN Program orientation at the scheduled day and time (this information is provided in the acceptance letter)
  3. Submit proof of immunizations, PPD (TB) test or chest x-ray (if the history of positive TB skin test), Pre-entrance Medical Form, current BLS. See the Immunization Record in the application. If immunizations cannot be completed by the enrollment date, students will need to re-apply for the following admission cycle (Hepatitis B takes six months to complete the series)
    NOTE: Students must have need proof of immunizations or titer to upload in the immunization document tracker before the first clinical day.
  4. Submit current proof of American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (CPR)
  5. Consent to both the Castle Branch background check and the Texas Board of Nursing criminal background check, which must be completed prior to admission
  6. Consent to a drug test at a time determined by the Program Director
  7. Provide a copy of health insurance and driver’s license prior to clinical rotations (these documents will be uploaded in Castle Branch following the mandatory orientation)

*All documents submitted become the property of the College upon receipt. All information contained in the application is to be true and correct. Any misrepresentation of the facts will make the applicant ineligible for admission.

Effective September 1, 2017, HB 1508, 85th Leg., R.S. (2017), amended Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code to add Subchapter E relating to notice to applicants to and enrollees in certain educational programs regarding the consequences of a criminal conviction on eligibility for an occupational license.

Pursuant to Chapter 53, Subchapter E, of the Texas Occupations Code, please be advised that Texas Southmost College offers programs that lead to an occupational license as defined under Texas Occupations Code 58.001. Licensing authorities may have guidelines concerning prior criminal convictions that would make an individual ineligible for the issuance of a given license. If you are enrolled in a program that may prepare an individual for an occupational license and/or if you later decide to change to a program that prepares you for an occupational license as defined under Texas Occupations Code 58.001, in accordance with state law, please be advised of the following:

  1. An individual who has been convicted of an offense may be ineligible for issuance of an occupational license upon completion of the educational program;
  2. Each licensing authority that may issue an occupational license to an individual who completes an educational program must establish guidelines that state the reasons a particular crime is considered to relate to a particular license and any other criterion that affects the decisions of the licensing authority.
  3. Local or county licensing authorities may issue additional guidelines related to criminal history. Applicants should contact their respective local or county licensing authority for more details.
  4. A person may request a criminal history evaluation letter regarding personal eligibility for a license issued by a licensing authority under Texas Occupations Code 53.102.

Note that the provisions of Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code relating to the consequences of criminal conviction do not apply to licenses granted by the Supreme Court of Texas, law enforcement officers (Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1701), emergency medical services personnel (Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 773), or persons licensed by the Texas Medical Board, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, the State Board of Dental Examiners, or the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners that have been convicted of a felony under Chapter 481 or 483 or Section 485.003 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. If you are seeking one of these licenses, please be aware that other law provisions may apply to the consequences of a criminal conviction.

All applicants to and enrollees of Texas Southmost College are encouraged to review all applicable eligibility requirements for the respective occupational license. Questions related to eligibility requirements should be directed to the applicable licensing authority.

Criteria for Admission to VN Program

  1. Meet general TSC admission requirements (available in the Office of Admission)
  2. Pre-entrance testing as required by the Texas Board of Nursing. The TSC VN Program requires successful completion of the following exams: T.S.I. (demonstrating college readiness) and VN Pre-Entrance Exam test (minimum cumulative score of 75%, minimum of 75% in each area, and a minimum of 600 on critical thinking exam).
  3. Application to the Vocational Nursing Program, completed in its entirety
  4. A complete Vocational Nursing Immunization record
  5. Mandatory attendance to the program orientation at the scheduled time and prior to starting classes
  6. Once accepted, registration for classes through the advising department
  7. Payment of all fees, tuition, and liability insurance premiums, which are the responsibility of the student
  8. Clear a criminal background (security clearance) check

*All documents submitted become the property of the College upon receipt. All information contained in the application must be accurate and correct. Any misrepresentation of the facts will make the applicant ineligible for admission.

Testing Requirements

  1. Individuals wishing to apply to the Licensed Vocational Nursing Program must take and pass the HESI Admission Assessment Exam. HESI Admission Assessment Exam Study Guides Study Guides are available online.
  2. To register for the VN Pre Entrance Exam, students must call the Testing Center at 956-295-3660 for information and to sign up for the test. Students should register early, as there are only 20 openings per test date. There is a $60 fee to take the exam. The Admission Assessment Exam may be taken twice during the calendar year; however, there is a 30-day waiting period between exams.
  3. Examinees must report to the computer lab assigned on their scheduled test date. Students MUST bring their TSC student ID card and one other form of ID to be admitted to the testing area for the Admission Assessment Exams.
  4. Results from the Admission Assessment Exam may be obtained from the TSC Testing Center on the day of the exam.


The HESI Admission Assessment Exam tests program applicants in three main academic areas – English language, math, and science – and two personal assessment areas. The examination is used in conjunction with other criteria for screening prospective applicants to the VN program.

English Language

  • Reading Comprehension
    This section consists of reading scenarios in order to measure reading comprehension, identifying the main idea, finding the meaning of words in context, comprehending passages, makeing logical inferences, etc.
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge
    This section consists of vocabulary terms that are commonly used in both general English-speaking settings and in healthcare fields.
  • Grammar
    This section measures knowledge of basic grammar, including parts of speech, important terms and their uses, common grammatical errors, etc.


  • Basic Math Skills
    This section focuses on math skills needed for health care fields, including basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, decimals, ratios and proportions, household measures, general math facts, etc.


  • Biology
    This section measures knowledge of biology basics, biological molecules, metabolism, cells, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, etc.
  • Chemistry
    This section focuses on concepts including chemical matter, chemical equations and reactions, the periodic table, atomic structure, nuclear chemistry, chemical bonding, etc.
  • Anatomy and Physiology
    This section measures knowledge of general terminology and anatomical structures and systems.

Critical Thinking

The critical thinking exam is a 25-item exam that ranges in score from 0-1000. The score represents the students’ abilities in or knowledge of:

  • Problem Solving
  • Biases and Ethical Dilemmas
  • Argument Analysis
  • Analysis of Data


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the prerequisites for the VN Program?

A. No prerequisite courses are required.

Q. Where can I take the VN Pre-Entrance Exam?

A. The VN Pre–Entrance Exam is administered by the Testing Center in the Oliveira Student Center.

Q. How can I prepare for the VN Pre–Entrance Exam?

A. You may purchase a HESI Admission Assessment Exam study guide called, HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review.

Q. When does the VN Program start?

A. There are two sessions each year, one in the spring, which starts in January, and one in the fall, which starts in August.

Q. How long is the VN program?

A. 12 months

Q. How many students do you accept?

A. The number varies by semester.

Q. When is the deadline to apply?

A. The deadline for the fall class is June 1, and for the spring class, it is November 1.

Q. What happens after I turn in my application?

A. All students who meet the minimum requirements are admitted into the program unless the number of applicants exceeds the spaces available. A competitive process is instituted when the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available. Each student will be given a date and time to be interviewed. When all interviews have been completed, all interview and application information will be compiled and reviewed by the Admissions Committee, who will decide which students are to be admitted into the VN Program.

Q. What is the estimated cost for the VN Program?

A. Estimated cost for tuition, books, and uniforms for the year is $11,000-$13,000.

Q. Is the VN Program a full-time program?

A. Students attend class five days per week, depending on the semester and class. Classes may start as early as 6:00 am or end as late as 7:00 pm. Weekly hours in classroom and/or clinicals average between 34-40 hours per week.


Acceptance into the nursing program is provisional based on the Texas Board of Nursing FBI criminal background check. Upon acceptance into the VN program, students will be instructed to complete the FAST pass process to obtain fingerprints, Texas DPS, and the FBI background check process. Students must follow the eligibility guidelines set by the Board of Nursing.

Texas Board of Nursing – Licensure Eligibility

If a student answers “yes” to any of the above questions, the student will need to complete a formal disclosure, a Declaratory Order, to the Board of Nursing. The Declaratory Order process permits the Board to decide on a petitioner’s eligibility for licensure before entering or completing a nursing program.