Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the Associate Degree Nursing Program offices located?
The program is headquartered on the UTB/TSC main campus in Brownsville: Second Floor, Life and Health Sciences Building (LHSB 2.720A). The program also has faculty offices and classroom facilities at the Boggus Education Pavilion, Valley Baptist Medical Center, in Harlingen. Classes are taught in Brownsville and Harlingen.
To reach the Life and Health Sciences Building, you may approach the main campus in Brownsville via International Boulevard. Turn LEFT onto Jackson Street (it's the light just before the MacDonald's). Drive all the way down Jackson Street, almost to the dead end. You will see a left turn for 24th Street, and a RIGHT turn immediately opposite for the UTB parking lot. Turn RIGHT here, park in the parking lot. The brick building to your left as you take the sidewalk toward the campus is the Life and Health Sciences Building. The building is built in two sections: the first section you will pass is BIOLOGY. The Nursing department is on the second floor, in the second section of the building, farthest from the parking lot.
How can I find the Boggus Education Pavilion in Harlingen?
Go East on Ed Carey Drive to Valley Baptist Medical Center. Turn RIGHT at the big sign for EMERGENCY. The Boggus Education Pavilion is the first building on your LEFT-- it's a one-story structure with a large parking lot in front.
How long does it take to complete the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program?
The basic program can be completed in two years. Freshmen class for the Basic program is admitted once per year, in the fall semester. For example, a student can begin the program in Fall 2006 and complete it at the end of the Spring semester in 2008.
The Advanced Placement track for licensed vocational nurses (LVN's) can be completed in two semesters. LVN Transition classes are admitted twice per year, once in the fall semester, and once in the spring semester. For example, a student can begin the program in Fall 2006 and complete it at the end of the Spring 2007 semester. Alternately, a student can begin the program in Spring 2007 and complete it at the end of the Fall 2007 semester.
Does the program have evening or weekend classes?
The Associate Degree Program courses are customarily offered during the daytime, Monday thru Fridays. Occasionally a student may be enrolled in an evening or weekend theory or clinical course.
Can I work full time when I am in the ADN program?
Basic program students: The faculty recommends that, if it is at all possible, you do not work while you are in the program, due to the demanding schedule and study time needed to be successful. If you must work, we recommend that you do not work more than 16 hours per week. During the final semester, the faculty strongly recommends that you do not work.
LVN Advanced Placement students: If you are currently employed, the faculty recommends that you decrease your work hours to part-time, i.e. not more than 16 hours per week. During the final semester, the faculty strongly recommends that you do not work.
Can I take classes on a part-time basis while I am in the ADN program?
In preparation for the ADN program, students are encouraged to take some or all of the non-nursing courses required for their degree plan. These non-nursing courses can be done on a part-time basis. When students are admitted into the ADN program, they must follow the sequence of courses and progress through the program according to the curriculum outline. The total number of class hours a student will be taking while in the ADN program is determined by how many courses the student has already completed prior to being admitted into the program.
Are the ADN program classes available by distance?
Several theory courses are offered either partially or totally on the Web, meaning that students do all or a portion of the coursework on-line at times during the week that are most convenient to their schedules, with fewer required class meetings.
The LVN Transition track offers a web-based section for students who wish to take most of the theory coursework on-line.
Can I choose where I do my clinical experiences?
Based on the requirements of the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners, the ADN program faculty choose health care facilities that will provide nursing students with the richest and most varied clinical experiences. Students rotate through selected units and departments in various health care agencies throughout Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
Where can I get an application packet?
You may pick up an information packet and an application in the Nursing department office on the main campus in Brownsville, or in the Nursing Office at the Boggus Education Pavilion in Harlingen. Or you may download the information packet here: Basic Program and LVN-RN Advanced Placement.
What is the application deadline?
Applications for Fall admission are accepted beginning in January. The application deadline for Fall admission (Basic program and LVN Advanced Placement) is May 15th.
Applications for Spring admission are accepted beginning in August. The application deadline for Spring admission (LVN Advanced Placement) is December 15.
Do I have to pass a criminal background check to be accepted into the ADN program?
Health care facilities which have affiliation agreements with UTB/TSC for student clinical experiences stipulate that all students must be prescreened before being admitted to the clinical areas. This is the same screening that potential employees must undergo prior to employment at the facilities. Since May 1, 2005, all students who apply for admission to any Department of Nursing program must pass a criminal background check. The Nursing Department statement on criminal background checks is available here.
After you are granted provisional admission to the ADN program, you will be given further instructions concerning the procedure for the criminal background check. If you have further questions, you should see the director of the program.
When will I know whether or not I have been accepted into the ADN program?
Review of applications for Fall admission begins on May 15. You will be notified 3-4 weeks after the deadline regarding the status of your application.
Review of applications for Spring admission (LVN Advanced Placement) begins on December 15. You will be notified 3-4 weeks after the deadline regarding the status of your application.
When does the ADN program start?
The Basic program track starts in the Fall semester. During the preceding summer, you will be notified regarding dates for orientation, uniform ordering and other important information.
The LVN Advanced Placement track starts both in the Fall semester and the Spring semester. You will be notified regarding dates for orientation, uniform ordering and other important information.
When I am in the program, how many hours can I expect to be in school each week?
If you are a freshman basic student (meaning you are not a licensed vocational nurse returning to school for the Advanced Placement track), you can expect to be in class from 7am to 5pm, Monday thru Friday. Beginning LVN Advanced Placement students can expect to be in class approximately 17 hours per week (9 hours total class time, 8 hours of clinical). Be sure to figure at least 2 hours of study time for every hour of class time.
Are there other expenses in addition to tuition and books?
Nursing students are responsible for additional expenses that include uniforms, professional equipment, insurance, learning software, testing charges, and miscellaneous fees. A sample cost list for basic program students is available here. A sample cost list for LVN Advanced placement students is available here. Please note that these lists are based on costs as of the Fall 2005 semester and do not reflect new tuition increases, increases or decreases in number and cost of required texts and/or required fees. Costs and fees are subject to change without notice.
How can I find out about financial aid and scholarships?
The UTB/TSC Office of Student Financial Assistance is located in Tandy 206. Financial aid counselors are available to help you Mondays thru Fridays. Go to the Financial Assistance website for more information on phone numbers, office hours, available financial aid programs and online forms.
For students who have already been admitted into the ADN program: The ADN program staff has information on scholarships and grants offered by local health care facilities and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Nursing Scholarship Fund.
Can I get credit for courses I have taken at another college or university?
Courses completed at another college or university may fulfill some of the requirements in the ADN curriculum. To receive credit, your courses must meet certain standards and must have been taken within the time limits assigned by the ADN program. For information on Transcript Evaluations, click here.
To submit your transcripts for evaluation:
1. Request that your transcript(s) be sent DIRECTLY from any previous institutions to:
The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
Office of Admissions - Tandy Hall 115
80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, Texas 78520, 956-882-8200
Note: Transcripts that are hand-delivered or mailed by the student will not be accepted as official transcripts, and cannot be evaluated.
2. Once your transcripts have arrived at UTB/TSC, fill out a TRANSCRIPT EVALUATION REQUEST FORM at the Enrollment Office window in Tandy 115.
Note: Please allow sufficient time for your transcripts to be evaluated. Requests do take time to complete and are done in order by date received. The recommended time frame is one month before the evaluation is needed. This allows for any questions to be answered after the evaluation has been done and before it is needed to complete a degree plan or registration.
3. Request for transcript evaluation DEADLINE: Visit the Admissions Office in Tandy 115 or call 882-3892 for current information.
Note: Your evaluation will be considered UNOFFICIAL until you are currently enrolled in classes at UTB/TSC. If the evaluation you receive is marked 'UNOFFICIAL' in the upper right hand corner, please advise the transcript evaluator when you are enrolled so that your transfer work may be considered official and put into the computer system.
Please remember that it is the Students' responsibility to become familiar with the final deadlines for each semester.
Can I start the ADN program at UTB/TSC and then transfer my nursing credits to another school of nursing?
Although it is possible to start the nursing program and then transfer to another school of nursing, the transfer process is a difficult one. Every nursing program has unique requirements for coursework and for graduation. Credits earned at UTB-TSC may or may not fulfill the requirements of another institution. Admission to ADN programs is usually competitive and other institutions may have very limited seating for transfer students. Students who anticipate transferring to another institution to complete their degree are strongly advised to contact the institution they are interested in regarding their transfer policy.
Is it true that I must pass a standardized exam to graduate from the ADN program?
Students must attain the minimum passing score (900) on a standardized capstone exam to complete the requirements for passing RNSG 2121: Management of Client Care, a course that is taken in the last semester of the ADN program. This exam is developed and administered by a test publisher that specializes in achievement exams for nursing students.
Will I be an RN (registered nurse) when I graduate from the ADN program?
The ADN progam at UTB/TSC prepares the graduate to sit for the NCLEX-RN® (National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses) exam. To be licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Texas, you must graduate from an approved school of nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN®.
After I get my Associate Degree, can I continue to study for higher degrees in nursing? ADN graduates who have become licensed RNs can advance their education in nursing either at UTB/TSC or at other institutions offering advanced degrees in nursing. The UTB/TSC Department of Nursing offers its ADN graduates easy articulation into the Bachelor's Degree Completion Program, then on into the Master of Science in Nursing program. Doctoral degrees in nursing are offered at other institutions by commuting and distance education technologies.
More detailed information can be found in the current ADN Student Guide, which is available here for download.