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Vocational Nursing Frequently Asked Questions

May I work while in school ?

Yes. However, no allowances in grade requirements, clinical performance or attendance policies will be made for working students. If you will have to work during the time you are in school, it is strongly advised that you take as many of the non-nursing courses as possible prior to starting the VN Program.

How much time will I need to study while I am in the nursing program?

You should plan to spend three hours each week studying for each semester credit hour. Example: While taking VNSG 1562 which is a 5 semester credit hour course, you should plan to spend 15 hours studying each week.

Do I get paid while in school at any time?


Is there any maximum age limit?


Do you accept male students?


When, where and how do I obtain my license?

When you have completed the program of study, proper forms will be sent to The
Texas Board of Nursing in Austin who in turn will test the applicant. On passing this “Board Exam” the State of Texas issues the Vocational Nurse License.

How do LVNs and RNs differ?

LVNs and RNs do many of the same fundamental patient care activities.  In addition, the RN has many advanced hours in complex patient care skills, evaluating health care needs, leadership, social, and physical sciences, and introduction to supervision and research concepts not presented at the LVN level.

What do LVNs do?

LVNs work in non-complex patient care areas under guidance of RNs and/or licensed physicians or dentists.   LVNs attend to personal hygiene needs, administer medications, chart and assist with meeting patient care needs.  Some employers will give the LVN additional training so they may assist with care in special areas (i.e., Intensive Care Units, Pediatrics, or O.B.).

What are my working hours and salary as an LVN likely to be?

LVNs are assigned like other health care workers to work 7-3, 3-11, 11-7 shifts or 12 hours shifts, periodic weekends and some holidays.  Specific work schedules are determined by the employer.  Salaries vary.  New graduate vocational nurses are currently starting at $15 - $18 per hour base pay in the Golden Triangle. Additional salary is received for working 3-11, 11-7, and weekends. 

When I complete the one year VN Program, how long will it take me to become an RN?

Based on the level of RN preparation desired (i.e., Associate Degree or Bachelor of Science Degree) one to four additional years will be required.  The Upward Mobility Nursing Program at Lamar Orange and Lamar-Port Arthur allows you to
Complete an associate degree program and take the NCLEX-RN in twelve months.

Do I get a degree when I am finished with the VN Program?

No.  When you have finished the degree of study, a Certificate of Completion is Issued.

May female students remain in their program if they are pregnant?

Yes, providing a written statement from a physician is submitted to the Program Director indicating the student may safely participate in all required semester activities.

Where do I find out about the refund policy, grievance procedure, and course descriptions?

Such information is available in the Lamar Orange catalog and/or the Lamar Orange Student Handbook.

How long will I be in class each day?

Plan for a 40 hour week Monday – Friday for the VN Program.