Becoming licensed in Texas as LVN

  1. Hi all,

    I was a RPN (registered practical nurse) in Ontario Canada. I now live in Texas. I am told by the board of LVN's that they do not accept any international training. Does anyone know if there is a way around this?

    My second problem is that I would really really like to become a RN. I would love to be able to take the LVN-ADN transition program. But I don't qualify for this as I don't hold a Texas LVN license. I tried contacting a couple of colleges to see about challenging their exams for LVN or taking some courses at their school in order to qualify for a Texas LVN license. They are telling me they do not accept transfer credits and I would have to start from scratch.

    I really want to get back into nursing (I really miss it) but I really am hoping that I don't have to start out in school learning how to give bed baths again!

    Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have for me.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Brownms46
    I have sent you a pm...and I hope it helps...
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Wow...here we are in a nursing shortage and my state won't accept a Canadian LVN????? Makes zero sense to me.....especially when we are importing thousands of foreign trained RN's and THAT seems to be just fine and dandy with everyone...

    Are you not allowed to challenge the state board LVN exam?? That seems ridiculous to me.

    If you can't, my advice is to check out your local 2 year ADN RN program...it will be very easy for you....or if you are not near a local program, check out Excelsior college ADN distance ed program, because your LVN experience should count towards clinical experience with them. Respiratory therapists and paramedics do well in their program in my experience, as do LVN's.

    You could get a job at a hospital say as a monitor tech, or unit secretary, and get the hospital to help with tuition reimbursement as you go through your schooling....most hospitals do this now.

    Good luck to you, and welcome to Texas! It's a great place! :roll
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jun 13, '02
  5. by   Gomer
    Possibly LVN training in Canada isn't the same as LVN training in the US and that may be the reason for the Board's refusal. (Just a guess)

    I agree with the above comments...why not just go back to school and get the RN degree?
  6. by   charte
    Hi,

    I want to go back to get my RN. At this point I am being told I would have to start the RN program in the first year. I can't get into the LVN-ADN program as I'm not licensed in Texas. If I have to I will, I would just rather not start nursing school at the very beginning.

    As for LVN training in Canada versus Texas LVN training I did have my transcript sent to a director of a Texas LVN program. She even went out of her way and offered to supervise an internship for me and allow me to write her schools exams. However she could not officially claim me as a graduate as school policy states a student must attend six months full time. This director felt that my training was more intense (then Texas training) and combined with my work experience she couldn't understand the boards take on this situation.

    I have looked into Excelsior College as a way of obtaining my ADN. They do accept my previous Canadian training. The only thing I am worried about is the fact that I am not working right now and getting no clinical experience. And because of this I might have a problem passing the two day clinical exam that I would have to take.

    I am frustrated (as you can tell) because I don't want to have to start from the beginning. Texas does accept RN training from Canada. The ironic thing is that if I do get my ADN down here if I go back to Canada I will be in the same boat as they would not accept ADN training for RN's up there.

    I appreciate any suggestions or if anyone has been in the same situation in Texas as me and what they did to overcome this obstacle.
  7. by   biscuit_007
    charte,
    I am a graduate of the program at excelsior and let me tell you one thing, you can pass the clinical. Yes, it was rather difficult and yes, it was very stressfull. But if I can do it anyone can do it. I would suggest taking the clinical workshop they offer. It all but assured me of passing as the instructors take the time to tell you exactly what is expected of you. Go for it! At this point I cannot see what you have to lose.
  8. by   joyflnoyz
    **VERY** sore subject with me!

    The LVN board of TX is extremely difficult to work with, seems like they are on a "power trip"

    I'm back in Michigan without husband and kids, cuz the position to me was "You haven't worked as a nurse in 5 years, so you either 1)go back to school and start over again or 2) go back to MI and work for a year. They wouldn't accept a refresher course, my taking boards and treating me as a new grad, a preceptorship, "probation" or anything else.

    Michigan <my original license state> said "Take boards again..if you pass we know you meet at least the minimal standards necessary" I took them 20 years after my original licensing, and passed on the 1st try! Tried again with Texass, same response.
    Couldn't do the LVN to RN program either.. need an active *texass* license

    I really wish I could convince my husband to move back to Michigan..I have really soured on anything
    to do with Texas, and I DON'T want to go back there.
  9. by   Medic2RN
    I don't understand why it's so difficult to get any type of credit in Texas when you have previous degrees/certifications/experience. I looked into various schools in my area and they wouldn't accept anything - they said I would have to start all over again (equivalent to a fresh high school grad) to get my RN, which means retaking non-core requirements. I see the consequences of the nursing shortage when I bring a patient into the ER - Has anyone told the nursing schools that there is a shortage? I don't advocate lowering requirements for an RN in any way, but don't make me take a Psych 101 class when I have a BS in psychology! It doesn't make sense to me. I keep running into brick walls, perhaps I'll just go on to graduate school ~ ironically, it seems to be a heck of a lot easier!
  10. by   mattsmom81
    I did run into a similar problem when I first came to Texas, when I checked into getting my BSN (I'm a diploma RN). The nursing schools here would not accept ANYTHING from my diploma school either and wanted me to redo the whole program. They are loosening up a bit now and willing to give SOME credits, but they prefer to make their big bucks and make us all redo everything, I'm sure...LOL!.

    I agree with Biscuit ; have heard the same from many EMT's, LVN's and RT's who go the Excelsior route...if you take the review you'll do fine. You can also work as a PCT or NA to keep your foot in nursing in the meantime. A PCT is kinda between CNA and an LVN in pay and duties here in the US. You may be able to negotiate a higher wage with your nursing experience (just keep quiet about that to your peers, tho...LOL!) Facilities are very short staffed and you can use that to your advantage.....

    Have you checked out working with your Canadian license as a traveler in the US? I know RN's can do this...

    I remember a few Canadian RN's telling me the differences in LVN and RN programs in your counntry...it is more a progression of education in Canada. It's NOT that way here, LVN's get the same types of info RN's do, but at a more BASIC level and it is not progressive in that you can 'get credit' towards an RN program, unfortunately. I was an LVN before I was an RN and it sure did make the RN program much easier for me.

    Good luck whatever you decide! I wish the BON's would become just a tad more nurse friendly during the nursing shortage....maybe we should write our congressmen??
  11. by   charte
    I have thought of working as a NA while taking the ADN Excelsior program. THe only problem is right now I do not have work authorization in the US. I am on my husbands work visa as a dependent which means I'm not legally able to work in the US. But his company just told us this week that they are going to sponsor us for a Green Card! So this means by the fall I should be able to work. Which really is perfect timing.

    Does anyone know if Texas RN board accepts Excelsior College training? Want to make sure of that before I start taking the courses.

    Thanks.
  12. by   Gomer
    If you are Canadian you don't need a work visa or green card. You are allowed to work under the Free Trade Agreement. All you have to do is get a job and a letter of employment (stating your are FT, date of hire, and wage). But you do have to recross the border.

    Yes, do work as a NA...and go back to school..get that RN degree you wont be sorry!
  13. by   charte
    Hi,

    Being Canadian does not make it that much easier for me to get authorization to work in the US. I don't think most Americans realize this. Yes there are NAFTA visa (TN visa) you can get IF you qualify for them. RN is one of the fields on this list.....however this list is very limited and LVN's do not qualify. The NAFTA list is limited with very specific qualifications for the jobs listed. My husband is on a TN visa right now. I'm a TD visa. We have been to a immigration lawyer and right now the only way I could work here is to go back to school for something on the NAFTA list (most fields education isn't enough....most require some work experience) or for us to be sponsored for a Green Card.

    Unfortunately being Canadian really isn't a big advantage for getting work authorization in the US.

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