San Jacinto College expanding nursing program to meet high demand

04.03.2014 | By Rob Vanya

San Jacinto College nursing students (from left) Amy Langley, Ashley Mackie, and Angela Zito collaborate on a class project in a simulated nursing program lab. The College will extend the Central Campus Associate Degree Nursing program to the North Campus, providing expanded allied health training options. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.



Central Campus Associate Degree Nursing to be extended to the North Campus


To help meet a high demand in the Houston area for nurses, the San Jacinto College North Campus will offer Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) as an extension of the College’s existing ADN program, which operates at the Central Campus. The North Campus ADN program will start in the Fall 2014 semester, and the application period is now open through May 1.

Students will be able to graduate from the ADN program in five semesters, which will qualify them to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses. The North Campus will continue to offer a three-semester Vocational Nursing (VN) program in addition to the new ADN program. Registered Nurses (graduates of the ADN program) receive more advanced training and typically can qualify for higher skilled nursing positions that generally offer greater earning capacity.

There will be an information session on Tuesday, April 15 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., in room 1081 of the North Campus allied health and natural science building. Those attending the session can learn about program prerequisites.

The North Campus program will operate as an extension of Central Campus ADN program, using the same curriculum and clinical training procedures. Dr. Veronica Jammer, associate degree nursing department chair at the San Jacinto College Central Campus, will serve as department chair at the North Campus also. Rhonda Bell, North Campus VN program director, will serve as ADN-RN program coordinator at the North Campus.

Bell says extending the ADN program to the North Campus is good news for students and the community. “We have been working on launching an associate degree registered nursing program at the North Campus for several years in order to better serve our diverse community,” she commented. “Students in this geographical area need to have the opportunity to advance their education and be prepared to care for the diverse population of our area.”

Bell adds that it’s helpful to offer training options for students who want to become either Vocational Nurses or Registered Nurses. “Our VN program is a one-year program leading to a technical certificate,” she said. “Many choose the VN route due to family obligations, or perhaps because they want quick earning power, or perhaps as a way of finding out if nursing is the right choice for a career path. The ADN program, on the other hand, is a five-semester associate degree program that leads to RN positions for those typically who want to advance in the nursing profession.”

RNs can obtain positions in acute care settings, long-term acute care settings, rehabilitation care settings, clinics (private and community), schools, and many other medical care environments. “The pay for RNs is generally higher, due to the autonomous role of an RN and increased educational preparedness,” Bell commented.

San Jacinto College student Telicia Allen was certainly glad to learn that the Central Campus’ ADN program would be extended to the North Campus. “I was just about to apply to attend the ADN program at Central when I found out that it would soon be available at the North Campus,” said Allen, who lives in Sterling Green, which is close to the North Campus. Allen now plans to earn an associate nursing degree at the North Campus in 2016 en route to possibly earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Texas Woman’s University.

Allen owned and operated a daycare center for several years after graduating from North Shore High School, but wants to resume her education in order to better provide for her family.

“It was time for a career change, and I am really interested in nursing and understand there is high demand for nurses in the area,” she commented. “My dream job would be to work as a nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital.”

There is indeed a critical need for nurses in the greater Houston area. According to a recent report from, “Houston is struggling with an ongoing nursing shortage of 4,000 to 5,000 full-time Registered Nursing positions.” A recent report from the Texas Board of Nursing stated that approximately 5,000 hospital beds will be added to the Houston market in the near future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly pay for Registered Nurses is $31.48, and the average annual salary is $65,470. The average hourly pay for Vocational Nurses is $19.97, and the average annual salary is $41,540.

Graduates of the San Jacinto College nursing program have two options to continue their education through partnerships with the University of Houston-Clear Lake and Western Governor’s University. Both institutions offer a pathway to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).


About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

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