Austin Community College (ACC) approved a new degree in Vocational Nursing to prepare students for entry-level positions in vocational nursing.
The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is structured to provide a flexible, affordable pathway for students who complete a Level II Vocational Nursing Certificate to continue on their path and earn an associate degree. The new program includes 17 hours of core curriculum courses that - combined with the certificate courses - total the 60 hours required for an associate degree. The change creates an opportunity for all students to apply for and receive full financial aid instead of the current prorated amount.
“We saw a gap in our programs for students who wanted to pursue a career in nursing, but needed a different approach,” says Pat Recek, ACC Health Sciences dean. “Through this program, students can earn a certificate and begin working in the field while they work toward their associate degree.”
The program includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning experiences. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the national licensure examination to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).
The demand continues to grow for nurses, with nearly 1,700 jobs posted in the past year, according to Examination Management Services, Inc. data. Demand is expected to rise by almost 20 percent in the next five years.
The college’s LVN program is ranked among the top in the state and is one of two programs out of 95 in Texas accredited by the national accrediting organization, Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
The new degree program will now be submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for approval.