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Nursing Programs in El Paso, TX with Course and Degree Overviews

Research nursing degrees in El Paso, TX, which currently has two public colleges offering programs within 10 miles of the city center. Read an overview of courses, admission information and program requirements for these El Paso schools to decide which one is right for you.

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El Paso Nursing Schools

To become a nurse in Texas, one must complete a state-approved training program and earn licensure by passing either the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or the NCLEX for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). In El Paso, Texas, there are only a few not-for-profit school options that prepare aspiring nurses for these credentialing exams. Explore the courses and training required by two colleges, and then get additional facts and figures about the institutions by reviewing the included table.

  • The University of Texas at El Paso, located roughly two miles from the downtown area, offers nursing bachelor's and master's degrees as well as a doctoral program in nursing practice.
  • Situated around nine miles from the central part of the city, El Paso Community College has a vocational nursing certificate program and a nursing associate's degree program. The school also offers associate's-level degree options for those who already work as licensed vocational nurses or paramedics.

University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a public university offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. UTEP's School of Nursing was the city's first nursing school and today offers nursing degree programs to almost 700 students each year. The programs have competitive and limited admissions, and nursing students have the choice between traditional and fast-track programs.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) have several options for completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The traditional BSN takes approximately four years to complete. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and decision-making skills related to nursing. UTEP also offers a fast-track option that allows students who have already earned a bachelor's degree in another subject to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing in 12 months. To be eligible for this program, students must have a bachelor's degree in another field from an accredited school, 28 hours of science prerequisites, 10 hours of nursing prerequisites and an adequate score on TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills).

UTEP also offers an online option for current registered nurses (RNs) who want to upgrade their credential to a bachelor's degree. Courses are professional in nature; registered nurses can complete this program with as few as 30 credits. Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited nursing program with a GPA of at least 2.0 and have current licensure as a registered nurse.

Master of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science in Nursing is an online program requiring the completion of 33-49 credit hours. Students can choose a specialization in nursing education, nurse practitioner or nursing systems management. Nurse practitioner students can further specialize in acute care for adults or in primary care for pediatric patients or families. Coursework for all programs includes nursing theories and processes, research methods, health law, advanced health assessment, pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics. Additional courses vary according to each student's specialization. Didactic courses are 100% online, but students must attend a mandatory orientation. To be eligible for this program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree and a current RN license in good standing. Students with an associate's degree may be accepted after completing required undergraduate coursework.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Those holding master's degrees in nursing may enroll in this graduate program, which prepares registered nurses to teach others in the field. Students must complete courses in project planning and development, bioethics, chronic illness, advanced diagnostics and health information systems. The curriculum blends online and on-campus courses. Students in this program must have three letters of reference and national or board certification as nurse practitioners.

El Paso Community College

El Paso Community College is a public institution that offers academic programs and courses that can be completed on campus or online. The school offers both certificate and associate's degree programs, with several options for aspiring nurses or current nurses interested in advancing their education.

Vocational Nursing Certificate of Completion

This nursing program combines classroom education and clinical work to prepare students to become vocational nurses, also called practical nurses. Vocational nurses work in hospitals, doctors' offices and clinics to perform routine care under supervision of registered nurses or physicians. The program consists of two semesters plus a summer session. Students may complete a prerequisite semester prior to starting the program. Graduates may take the NCLEX-PN to become licensed practical or vocational nurses.

Associate of Applied Science - Nursing

This 2-year program provides students with the required classroom and clinical education needed to begin a career in nursing. Students learn the basics of professional nursing care, such as effective communication and patient care management. Graduates may take the NCLEX-RN. Program applicants must complete prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, precalculus, college algebra, geometry and pharmacology with a grade of at least a 'C'. Additionally, each applicant must show proof of a physical examination, current immunizations, and CPR for Healthcare Provider and First Aid certification. Admitted students are required to complete orientations, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) training, drug screenings and background checks.

Associate of Applied Science - Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse

This 2-year bridge program augments vocational nursing training and prepares vocational nurses to take the registered nursing exam. Students complete courses in dosage calculations for nursing, foundations for nursing practice, mental health nursing, clinical-registered nursing and transition to professional nursing. Students must complete the prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, microorganisms and disease, precalculus, college algebra and geometry (or introductory mathematics for business and social science), human growth and development, psychology and pharmacology.

Associate of Applied Science - Paramedic (Nursing Option)

This 2-year program is designed for students who are already trained and licensed as paramedics. This associate's degree program prepares paramedics to take the NCLEX-RN for licensure as registered nurses. To be awarded the associate's degree, prospective paramedics must meet all program requirements, including being licensed as a paramedic in Texas.

Comparison of Schools

Use the table below to easily compare the profiled colleges across many factors that may impact your education decision. Get specifics on costs, student enrollment and graduation rates, among others.

University of Texas at El Paso El Paso Community College
School Type 4-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2011) 22,640* 30,723*
Campus Setting Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $7,214 in-state; $17,814 out-of-state* $1,966 in-state; $3,646 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2011) 83%* 81%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) 100%*N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2011) 75% for full-time students*68% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 37%* 10%*

Source: *NCES, College Navigator.

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