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CNA to LVN Bridge Programs in San Antonio

If you’re a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) looking to climb the nursing ladder, you’ve probably heard about CNA to LVN bridge programs. But what exactly are they, and what other routes can you take to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)? Let’s break it down and see why this career move can be a significant step up for you.

Understanding CNA to LVN Bridge Programs

What is a CNA to LVN Bridge Program? A CNA to LVN bridge program is like a fast-track pathway designed specifically for CNAs who want to advance their careers. These programs recognize the skills and knowledge you’ve already gained as a CNA and build on them, allowing you to transition to an LVN role more quickly than starting from scratch.

How Does it Work? Typically, these programs are shorter than traditional LVN programs because they give you credit for your CNA experience. They focus on filling in the educational gaps and enhancing your clinical skills to meet the LVN standards. This means less time in the classroom and more time moving towards your goal!

LVN Programs in San Antonio

There are many options for CNAs to get their LVN degrees in and around San Antonio. Here are some of the top local programs.

St. Philip’s College

Address: 2222 N. Alamo St., San Antonio, TX 78215
Phone: (210) 486-2055
Email: [email protected]

The LVN program at St. Philip’s College is a comprehensive, full-time program extending over 12 months. It is designed to prepare students to work under the supervision of registered nurses and licensed physicians, focusing on patient safety and the provision of high-quality nursing care. The program is endorsed by the Texas Board of Nursing and meets the standards for vocational nursing education.

Educational and Training Opportunities

Held at the Health & Biosciences Institute within the college, the program encompasses a broad spectrum of nursing disciplines. The curriculum includes theoretical and practical components in medical and surgical nursing, pediatrics, mental health, and more. Students will gain hands-on experience through supervised laboratory and clinical exercises in various healthcare settings.

Program Structure

The program demands a commitment of 40 hours per week, encompassing both theoretical instruction and clinical practice from Monday to Friday. This rigorous structure ensures comprehensive training in vocational nursing.

Certification and Licensure

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). Passing this examination allows graduates to practice as Licensed Vocational Nurses.


As of June 15, 2023, the nursing program is under candidacy for initial accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). This candidacy is a testament to the program’s adherence to educational quality and standards.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students are required to apply for admission to St. Philip’s College, where they will be guided by an advisor to fulfill the program’s requirements. While there are no strict prerequisites, it is advisable to complete relevant courses such as Anatomy & Physiology and Nutrition beforehand. Additionally, applicants must pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) Exam.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the LVN program are stepping into a growing field with substantial demand, especially in the Greater San Antonio Area. The program prepares students for a range of employment opportunities within the healthcare sector, with competitive compensation.

Application Process

Interested candidates should review the program’s information packet and complete the application process as outlined. This includes submission of the TEAS test results and relevant documentation. The program offers admission for both spring and fall sessions.

Baptist Health Systems

Address: 8400 Datapoint Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: (877) 493-8238

The Baptist Health System School of Health Professions offers a comprehensive Diploma in Vocational Nursing program, designed to prepare students for entry-level vocational nursing practice. This program is focused on equipping students with the necessary skills to care for patients across their lifespan in various healthcare settings.

Program Information and Curriculum

The curriculum of the Vocational Nursing program at the Baptist Health System School of Health Professions is guided by the nursing theories of Patricia Benner, Dorothea Orem, and Jean Watson. These theories focus on the progression from novice to expert in nursing, emphasizing self-care, holistic care, and clinical decision-making.

Institutional Accreditation and Programmatic Approval

The program is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) and approved by the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON).

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Vocational Nursing program must achieve a minimum score of Proficient (58.7%) on the TEAS exam. The exam can be taken either in-person or remotely, with scores valid for up to two years from the application deadline.

Program Structure and Delivery

The Vocational Nursing program is a full-time, 12-month program spanning three semesters. It is delivered in a blended format, combining traditional classroom learning with virtual, synchronous e-instruction.

  • Lecture Schedule: Typically, lectures are held Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Clinical Schedule: Clinical sessions are generally one to two days a week, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Program Outcomes and Goals

Upon completion, graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science degree and are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The program boasts impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates, completion rates, and job placement rates for its graduates.


  • Online Availability: The program is not offered fully online; it utilizes a blended learning format.
  • Evening Schedule: Currently, there is no evening schedule for the program.
  • Program Cost: Detailed information on tuition and fees is available on the school’s website.
  • Program Duration: The program can be completed in one year.

The Vocational Nursing program at the Baptist Health System School of Health Professions represents an excellent opportunity for individuals seeking a career in nursing. With its robust curriculum, experienced faculty, and strong focus on student outcomes, it prepares graduates for a successful career in the dynamic field of nursing.

Galen College of Nursing

Address: 7411 John Smith Dr #1400, San Antonio, TX 78229
Phone: (210) 485-2222
Email: [email protected]

Galen College of Nursing’s San Antonio campus stands out as a premier institution for nursing education. Recognized as a 2023 National League for Nursing (NLN) Center of Excellence, the campus offers a modern clinical learning environment and advanced simulation labs to prepare students for successful nursing careers and the NCLEX® examination.

Program Highlights

  • Focused on Nursing: Galen College of Nursing is solely dedicated to nursing education, offering several pathways into the nursing profession.
  • Comprehensive Support: The college provides extensive student services to assist learners at every step of their educational journey.
  • Advanced Facilities: Equipped with modern clinical learning environments and simulation labs for an immersive learning experience.

Nursing Programs Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): A 36-month program designed to maximize nursing skills and earning potential.
  • LPN/LVN to ADN Bridge: Tailored for LPNs or LVNs, this program allows transition to Registered Nurse status in as little as 18 months.
  • Vocational Nursing: The fastest route to becoming an LVN, this program can be completed in just 12 months.

Campus Information

  • Location: 7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 900, San Antonio, Texas 78229
  • Admissions Contact: (210) 485-2222
  • Main Campus Phone: (210) 733-3056

Admissions Requirements

  • General Requirements: High school graduate or equivalent, effective communication in English.
  • Qualifying Entrance Exam Scores: ACT (19), SAT (1025), Multilevel PAX (81), ATI TEAS (54.7), or equivalent scores on other qualifying examinations.

Tuition and Fees

  • Tuition: Approximately $23,400
  • Additional Costs: Include books, registration fee, background fee, uniform & supplies, physical exam, etc.

Financial Aid and Cost Estimation

  • Net Price Calculator: Available to assist in early financial planning stages.
  • Financial Aid Options: Eligible students may access a range of funding, including Title IV programs, nursing student loans, and grants.

Galen College of Nursing’s San Antonio campus provides a nurturing and well-equipped environment for aspiring nurses. The range of programs offered caters to both newcomers to nursing and those looking to advance their careers. With its dedication to excellence in nursing education, the campus is a prime choice for those pursuing a career in vocational nursing.

Other Routes to Becoming an LVN

Traditional LVN Programs: These are standard vocational nursing programs open to anyone, regardless of prior healthcare experience. As a CNA, you’ll already have a leg up in understanding patient care, which can be a huge advantage in these programs.

Part-Time or Evening LVN Programs: Perfect for those who are working as CNAs and can’t commit to a full-time program. These options offer flexibility, allowing you to balance work and study.

The Benefits of Making the Move

1. Increased Responsibility and Scope of Practice: LVNs have a broader scope of practice than CNAs, including administering medication and performing certain treatments.

2. Higher Earning Potential: Generally, LVNs earn more than CNAs and that holds true in San Antonio. This bump in pay can significantly impact your financial well-being. The data below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the pay difference quite clearly, with LVNs making nearly $20,000 more than CNAs in the region.

Avg. HourlyAvg. Annually# Employed

3. More Career Opportunities: As an LVN, you’ll have access to different healthcare settings and specialties. It opens doors to diverse work environments like hospitals, clinics, and specialized care centers.

4. A Stepping Stone for Further Nursing Education: Becoming an LVN can be a stepping stone to even more advanced nursing roles, like Registered Nurse (RN). Many RN programs offer LVN to RN bridge options.

5. Personal Growth and Satisfaction: Advancing your nursing education and skills not only boosts your career prospects but also brings a sense of personal achievement and the opportunity to make a more significant impact on patient care.

Wrapping Up

Making the jump from CNA to LVN is a smart move for those looking to expand their nursing skills, earn a better salary, and open up new career opportunities. Whether you choose a bridge program or another educational path, you’re taking a step towards a more advanced role in the rewarding field of nursing. Remember, each step you take in your nursing journey not only enhances your career prospects but also deepens the impact you can make in the lives of your patients. So go ahead, take that leap and see where your nursing journey takes you next!

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