RN Programs in Dallas, Texas with Degree Program Overviews

The Dallas area has three colleges that offer registered nursing programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for these schools, all within 25 miles of downtown Dallas, and make an informed education decision.

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Dallas Schools with Registered Nursing Degree Programs

Schools in Dallas offer several types of degree programs that can lead to licensing as a registered nurse (RN). This article examines three institutions that are no more than a half-hour from Dallas and looks at the RN programs they provide. It also includes a table of facts about each school, such as size, costs, percentage of applicants who are accepted and percentage of students who graduate on time.

  • El Centro College in downtown Dallas features an associate degree in nursing and offers a licensed vocational nurse to RN (LVN-RN) bridge program as well.
  • Brookhaven College is 14 miles from the Dallas city center and also offers an associate degree in nursing.
  • University of Texas at Arlington has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a RN-BSN program for practicing RNs who want to earn a bachelor's degree. This school is 22 miles from downtown.

El Centro College

El Centro College is part of the Dallas County Community College District and offers classroom-based and distance-learning programs. In addition to an RN program, the college offers an LVN-RN bridge program that allows students to transfer previously earned credits into the associate degree program. Admission requirements for both programs include recent immunizations, a physical exam, CPR certification, a background check and a drug screening. Completion of prerequisite coursework and an assessment test is required as well.

LVN-RN Advanced Placement Program

The LVN-RN program is for students who possess vocational nurse licensure and wish to earn an associate degree. Applicants are expected to have at least six months of LVN experience prior to admission. The first portion of this program is a bridge semester, which involves a 3-unit lecture series, 1-unit skills component and 1-unit clinical component. After the first semester, prospective nurses enter the final two semesters of the traditional associate degree in nursing program. Graduates are qualified to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Associate of Applied Sciences in Nursing

The nursing associate program at El Centro College is comprised of 72 units and can be completed in two years. Admission is based on a competitive points system, where points are awarded for meeting certain criteria. The curriculum covers human anatomy, introductory nursing and patient care techniques, among other topics. Four credit hours of clinical experience are scheduled for each semester and run concurrently with classroom instruction.

Brookhaven College

Brookhaven College is also part of the Dallas County Community College District, which offers degree and certificate programs for students who want to continue their education or pursue career opportunities. In order to gain admission to the nursing associate program, applicants must complete prerequisite coursework. Additional admission requirements include a placement exam, current immunizations, a physical exam, a background check, a drug screening and CPR certification.

Associate of Applied Sciences in Nursing

This 72-credit program at Brookhaven College combines lectures, skill labs and clinical experience. Courses include anatomy, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, microbiology, psychology and liberal arts classes. Rotations begin in the first semester and occur during day and evening hours. Students gain clinical experience in the maternity, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgical departments of Dallas-area hospitals.

University of Texas at Arlington

The College of Nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) features programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to nursing bachelor's degree programs, it offers graduate nursing programs, including a Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing Administration, Ph.D. in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students who enroll in the BSN program may pursue the degree online or on campus. All applicants need to take an assessment test, and certain prerequisites must be completed before students are allowed to take upper-division courses. The curriculum is the same for both programs, and all students participate in hospital-based clinical experiences. Additional experience is gained through UTA's Smart Hospital - a virtual laboratory that uses computer simulators to act as patients. Students are prepared to care for patients in nursing homes, hospitals, home health agencies and clinics.

RN-BSN Program

The RN-BSN program can also be completed on campus or online. Applicants to the program must have an associate degree or diploma in nursing and be currently employed as RNs. The program features upper-division nursing courses and covers topics in holistic care, health promotion, nursing research, nursing leadership and nursing management. Students are also required to complete a cooperative experience in a professional setting. Students in the online program can earn the degree in 13 months.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals should consider many factors when choosing a college. The following table presents information about these three schools and allows prospective students to easily compare them.

El Centro College Brookhaven College University of Texas at Arlington
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 12,028* 13,705* 33,439*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $1,350 in-district, $2,490 in-state, $3,960 out-of-state* $1,350 in-district, $2,490 in-state, $3,960 out-of-state* $8,878 in-state, $17,302 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 74%* 46%* 85%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions 69%*
Retention Rate (2011) 55% full-time, 45% part-time* 58% full-time, 44% part-time* 71% full-time, 50% part-time*
Graduation Rate (2011) 5% (19% transfer-out rate)* 7% (45% transfer-out rate)* 40% (1% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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