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    St. Philip’s College
  Aug 09, 2020
St. Philip’s College Schedule/Catalog 2014-2015 
St. Philip’s College Schedule/Catalog 2014-2015 [Archived Catalog]

Vocational Nursing

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The St. Philip’s College Vocational Nursing Program is committed to providing a quality-learning environment which fosters excellence in academic and technical achievement for students in pursuit of a nursing career. The Vocational Nursing Program supports the vision and mission of Alamo Colleges and aligns with its values.

To fulfill its mission, the Vocational Nursing Program will:

·         Promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills in clinical, lab and classroom settings

·         Promote entry-level competency, safety and compassion within the vocational nursing scope of practice


The Vocational Nursing Program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to award the Certificate of Completion in Vocational Nursing. The affordable one year program admits new students each fall and spring semester. The program is offered on the main campus in San Antonio either day or evening. The program is also offered in New Braunfels at the Central Texas Technology Center (CTTC) during the day only. To obtain the best learning experiences, students at either location may be required to attend class, lab, or clinical in San Antonio, New Braunfels and surrounding areas based upon class size, availability of clinical sites, etc.

Admission Requirements / Application Process:

The requirements for admission into the St. Philip’s College Vocational Nursing Program are in accordance with the Alamo Colleges admission policies, admission policies of the Vocational Nursing program and policies specified by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).

  1. Complete and submit your admission application to Alamo Colleges: . Click on the appropriate type of student you will be. You will then receive a series of e-mails with directions on how to log-in to your Alamo Colleges Education Services (ACES) account to view the “Start Here” Tab for next steps and required GO FAARR and TEST PREP modules if requested. 
    The St. Philip’s College school code is 003608.
    An active application is required to move forward with the application process for the nursing program.
    The apply Texas application is for admission to the college, not for admission to the nursing program. You will have to complete a separate application for the nursing program.

  2. After you complete the GO FAARR and TEST PREP modules, you will be eligible to take a college placement exam.
  3. All applicants must be pretested (Board of Nursing Rule 214.8-c4). No exceptions to pretest requirements will be granted to applicants with previous college credit or college degrees.
  4. After you complete the college placement test, bring your printed test scores to the nursing education department advisor. If your placement test scores meet, or exceed, the requirements in appendix A on pages 8-9, you may then pick up an application for the Vocational Nursing Program. The application must be picked up in person from the Nursing Education Department. Bring your photo ID and printed test scores in order to pick up an application.
  5. Complete the application packet. Completed application packet must be delivered in person to the St. Philip’s College Nursing Education Department. Mailed in applications will not be accepted. Proof of identification (photo ID and social security card) will be required when turning in application packet. The application will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness. Applicants requesting admission consideration into the New Braunfels extension campus must submit the application directly to the New Braunfels campus.
  6. Applicants who do not meet admission requirements based on low test scores will be required to meet with an academic advisor to discuss taking developmental courses such as English, Reading, and/or Math; or to discuss remediation and retesting prior to applying for admission into the nursing program. Applicants with prior college coursework and/or degrees will need to speak with the academic advisor to review transcripts and to discuss options regarding applications to the nursing program.
  7. Applicants must have a High School diploma or GED (must show official transcript) and be 18 years of age or older upon completion of the program. Individuals who have completed High School requirements in a foreign country must submit an official High School Transcript translated in English. For information regarding foreign transcript evaluation, contact the International Student Services Office at (210) 486-2876.
  8. Applicants must have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA, or the equivalent of a cumulative “C” average, in all college course work and/or high school.
  9. The following assessment tests will be accepted: ACT, SAT, TSI Assessment,Accuplacer, THEA, orCompass. Scores must be current (within 5 years). All scores must be from one test. Combination scores will not be accepted.
  10. *Note: St. Philip’s College only administers the TSI assessment. The Accuplacer test is only administered to those applicants who are already TSI compliant.
  11. Submit complete vocational nursing program application with required documents. See application process below. 

  12. A student enrolled in the Vocational Nursing Program MUST be able to meet the following standards:
    a. Use the senses of vision, hearing, speech and touch. Use of the senses enhances the nurse’s abilities to
        accurately observe the patient.
    b. Perform psychomotor movements that require coordination of gross and fine muscle movements and
        equilibrium. Good coordination is necessary for patient safety.
    c. Communicate orally and in writing as well as demonstrate behavior that indicates sensitivity to others.
        Nurses are required to function in highly compassionate areas where integrity, interpersonal skills and
        concern for others are all desirable personal qualities.
    d. Demonstrate stable emotional health and intellectual activities required to exercise sound judgment. The
        applicant must be flexible and able to adapt to change and stress.
    e. Demonstrate adequate decision-making and critical thinking skills.
    f. Demonstrate physical health necessary to perform strenuous activities related to patient care which
        includes moving and lifting (must be able to lift or move MORE than 50 pounds), standing, stooping,

    bending, and walking for prolonged periods of time.   
g. Provide nursing care to patients with all types of health problems, including communicable diseases such
    as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

  1. The following items must be submitted, along with the completed application, to the Vocational Nursing Program:
  1. Entrance Test Scores
  2. Transcripts:
    Submit 2 copies of official transcripts, including high school and college (if applicable). One copy of official transcript should be submitted to the Admissions Office (Records & Registration) and one official copy submitted with nursing program application. If college transcript indicates name of High School attended and graduation date, we do not have to have an official High School transcript. You MUST be a High School graduate or have GED Certificate with GED scores.
  3. Physical Examination Form (with business card of clinic performing the exam)
    A Physical examination by a licensed Physician, Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner must be submitted. The form is in the application packet.
  4. Immunization Record: Must include documentation of all required immunizations:

·   Tetanus (within 10 years),

·   MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) - 2 doses

·   Varicella (chickenpox) - 2 doses or documented evidence of disease

·   Hepatitis B - series of 3 vaccines

·   Hepatitis A - series of 2 vaccines

·   Meningococcal (meningitis) - required for students under age 22

·   Tuberculosis Skin Test (PPD) with negative result (within 1 year)
If history of positive PPD, Chest X-ray report confirming no active case of tuberculosis (within 2 years) will be required along with TB health questionnaire from healthcare provider

·   Serum titers confirming immunity are accepted for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR and Varicella

·   Seasonal vaccines are required by some clinical sites. You are encouraged to get immunized for Influenza during the flu season; however, you may have the option of not participating. Understand that if the facility allows, you may don an appropriate, and approved, mask during clinical rotations should you choose not to get immunized with the seasonal flu vaccine.

  1. CPR Card: Proof of current CPR certification in Basic Life Support for adult, child and infant.
    American Heart Association (Health Care Provider Course) or
    American Red Cross (Professional Rescuer Course)
    Internet CPR courses are NOT accepted.
  2. Health Insurance: Must show proof of health insurance for illness and injury and remain insured throughout the duration of enrollment in the Vocational Nursing Program. Health insurance may be purchased through Alamo Colleges.
  3. Reference Forms: Three (3) references from current or past employers, supervisors, counselors, teachers (references from family and friends will not be accepted). Reference forms are included in the application packet.
  4. Essay: 200 word essay on why you want to become a nurse, why you chose St. Philip’s College and what will contribute to your success in completing the nursing program. The essay must be typed, 12 font - Times New Roman.
  5. Photo ID (current driver license or passport)
  6. Social Security Card
  7. Proof of Drug Screen (instructions for drug screen process will be given when application is picked up). Applicants with a positive drug screen will not be admitted to the Vocational Nursing Program.
  1. Criminal Background Check: All applicants must pass a criminal background check completed by the Texas Board of Nursing before acceptance into the Vocational Nursing Program. Individuals who do not have a clear criminal background check must complete the Declaratory Order process with the Board of Nursing. The Declaratory Order Process permits the Board of Nursing to make decisions regarding an applicant’s eligibility for licensure prior to entering or completing a nursing program. The process typically takes a minimum of 2 months, but could take 6 months or longer.
    Texas Board of Nursing Contact Information:
    (512) 305-7400
  2. Individuals notified of acceptance into the Vocational Nursing Program must respond by the deadline date identified in the notification letter. Applicants who decline admission may re-apply at a later date and must meet all current program requirements at that time.
  3. Applications and documents submitted by applicants not accepted for admission or submitted by applicants that decline admission will be destroyed after thirty (30) days unless applicant notifies the Nursing Education Department that he/she wishes to pick up the application and documents.
  4. The admissions committee reviews all applications and conditional acceptance letters from the Program Director are mailed approximately 2 weeks after the application deadlines.



Although not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the following courses prior to admission, especially of the applicant plans to enroll in an RN program after completion of the VN program.

  • BIOL 2401 Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIOL 2402 Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIOL 1322 Nutrition
  • PSYC 2314 Developmental Psychology across the Lifespan
  • HITT 1305 Medical Terminology

Declaratory Orders:

A petition for Declaratory Order is a formal disclosure to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) of an outstanding ineligibility issue that may prevent an applicant from taking the NCLEX-PN examination upon completion of a nursing program. The Declaratory Order process permits the Board to make decisions regarding a petitioner’s eligibility for licensure prior to entering or completing a nursing program.   The eligibility process takes a minimum of 2 months but may take up to 6 months or more. For more information and the forms, contact the Texas Board of Nursing: BON web site:   phone: (512) 305-7400.
Students must have a clear criminal background check or clear declaratory order outcome letter from the Board of Nursing prior to entry into any clinical course in the vocational nursing program.

Curriculum / Competencies:

The curriculum covers fundamentals of vocational nursing, ethical and legal aspects of nursing practice, nutrition, gerontology, communication skills, body structure and function, administration of medications and solutions, medical and surgical nursing, obstetrical nursing, pediatric nursing, mental health nursing, and professional development. In addition to classroom study, the student will receive supervised laboratory and clinical experiences in local hospitals, long term care facilities and other health care facilities.

The vocational nursing program curriculum is based on the Differentiated Essential Competencies (DECs) of Graduates of Texas Vocational Nursing Programs. Competency is defined by the American Nurses Association as “an expected level of performance that integrates knowledge, skills, abilities and judgment.”

The entry level graduate of a VN program provides nursing care within a directed scope of practice under appropriate supervision. The vocational nurse uses a systematic problem-solving process in the care of multiple patients with predictable health care needs to provide individualized, goal-directed nursing care. The vocational nurse contributes to the plan of care by collaborating with interdisciplinary team members and with the patient’s family. The new graduate can readily integrate technical skills and use of computers into practice.

Vocational nursing represents the beginning level of the nursing practice continuum in the roles of Member of the Profession, Provider of Patient-Centered Care, Patient Safety Advocate, and Member of the Health Care Team.

Students who successfully complete the entire three semester program are awarded a Certificate of Completion and may apply to the Texas Board of Nursing for the National Certification Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).

Graduates are prepared to:

·         Demonstrate responsibility for continued competence in nursing practice, and develop insight through reflection, self-analysis, self-care, & lifelong learning. 

·         Provide safe, compassionate, basic nursing care to assigned patients with predictable health care needs through a supervised, directed scope of practice. 

·         Implement aspects of the plan of care within legal, ethical, and regulatory parameters and in consideration of patient factors.

·         Implement measures to promote quality and a safe environment for patients, self, and others. 

·         Communicate and collaborate with patients, their families, and the interdisciplinary health care team to assist in the planning, delivery, and coordination of patient-centered care to assigned patients. 

·         Demonstrate knowledge of the Texas Nursing Practice Act and the Texas Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations that emphasize safety, as well as all federal, state, and local government and accreditation organization safety requirements and standards.

Evaluation Criteria:

The minimal passing grade for the Vocational Nursing Program is 77%, which may be higher than other departments within St. Philip’s College. The Vocational Nursing Department has a higher standard because the safety of our clients is the most important part of our curriculum. We have also found that students who score 77% or higher are more likely to be successful passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN)

Grading Scale:
The grading system in the Vocational Nursing Program is different from other departments.
The grading system is:

A = 90 - 100
B = 84 - 89.99
C = 77 - 83.99
D = 70 - 76.99
F = 69.99 and under


Programs and Courses - Vocational Nursing


Vocational Nursing


Level II Certificate


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