School of Registered Nursing


J Suarez
G Goosen
R Lira

Jesus Suarez
Allied Health and Human 
Services Division Chair
(830) 591-7364

Dr. Geraldine Goosen
Program Director/Instructor
(830) 591-4163
Rolando Lira
(830) 703-1583 
A De Los Santos
D Kuenstler
V Valle

Alicia De Los Santos
(830) 703-1508

Donna Kuenstler
(830) 703-1585
Virginia Valle
(830) 591-7273
C Dean

Chassity Dean
Administrative Assistant/At-Risk Grant Coordinator
(830) 591-7386 

Alexandra Maldonado
Administrative Assistant
(830) 591-7311   

Adjunct Instructors

  Scott Adams
  Daniel Ibarra
  Cheryl Rabe  
  Anna Antu
  Jeanne Leake
  Kathleen Rosen
  Wilma Carbonel-Mason
  Juan Martinez
  Shannon Schaid
  Mary Edwards
  Edith Martinez   Melissa Serrano
  Dawnie Espinoza
  Maria Martinez
  Alma Rodriguez  
  Rebecca Fernandez
  Norma Martinez
  Tara Vets  
  Raquel Flores
  Meljun Perez
  David Vasquez
  Holly Hill
  Rosa Perez


This program is designed to provide: dynamic, interactive classroom information; simulation experiences to enhance clinical capabilities; simulation scenarios to evaluate clinical expertise; and supervised clinical experiences to complete the Associate Degree Nursing Curriculum requirements necessary to become a Registered Nurse (RN).  This program is designed to prepare graduates to practice in a complex and ever-changing health care environment.  Preparation for practice will be concept-based theoretical knowledge followed by structured, supervised clinical practice.  This educational process will develop the student as an active participant and through the use of innovative teaching approaches, foster a safe, collaborative, and interactive educational environment.

The Differential Essential Competencies (DECs) of Graduates of Texas Nursing Programs included in the Texas Nurse Practice Act and professional standards of care in nursing will provide the guidelines for the development of clinical reasoning, clinical judgment, ethical reasoning, and therapeutic communication skills.  Designated curriculum, integrated with global issues and pathophysiological concepts, will ensure that graduates will be able to actively participate in society as educated, culturally astute and socially responsible individuals.  Functioning within a multidisciplinary health care team requires diversity and compassion in traditional and/or non-traditional health care environments serving clients across the life span.

The program leads to an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Degree and can be completed in two calendar years.  Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to apply to write the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Program Objectives/Outcomes

Upon completion of this registered nursing program, the graduate will function within the roles and responsibilities of the Associate Degree nurse and be able to: 

  1. Implement the standards of care as designated by the Board of Nursing for the State of Texas in a variety of health care settings.
  2. Utilize critical reasoning, evidence-based practice and cultural diversity knowledge and skill when assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating patient care across the life-span.
  3. Engage in continuous improvement of cognitive, psychomotor and psychotherapeutic abilities necessary to comprehensively assess and provide safe and effective nursing care.
  4. Demonstrate caring behaviors and utilize teaching strategies that promote wellness, a healthy life style and recovery from illness.
  5. Communicate and work effectively with patients, family members and the multidisciplinary health care team.
  6. Demonstrate ethical and legal principles as a member of the multi-disciplinary health care team.
  7. Maintain competence upon becoming a Registered Nurse through self-evaluation, peer review and continued education.
  8. Continue to develop as an accountable and responsible member of the nursing profession.


Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  The SWTJC Associate Degree Nursing Program is an approved school of nursing under the Texas Board of Nursing and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Approval from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) will be sought when eligibility requirements utilizing the concept-based curriculum are met.

Admission Requirements

The Application Process.  Due to the complexity of the admission process, there are essentially two steps that must be completed.  The first step is the application process and the second step is the admission process.  To apply to the Associate Degree Nursing Program the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Fulfill admission requirements for and be admitted to Southwest Texas Junior College.  This includes assessment and placement in basic courses as guided by the TSI.
  2. The applicant must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 for specific pre-requisites that include BIOL 2401 Anatomy & Physiology I, 2402 Anatomy & Physiology II, and BIOL 2420 Microbiology. Completion of three program prerequisite courses with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 (4.0 scale) or higher on those specific courses must be met to apply to the Associate Degree Nursing Program.  Acquired grades below a C on prerequisites will not be accepted.  If the applicant has taken all of the supportive courses required for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, grades from each course will be included in the cumulative GPA.
  3. Required courses for the AAS degree include:
         BIOL 1308 Introduction to Biology (Until Fall 2015)
         BIOL 2401 Anatomy & Physiology I
         BIOL 2402 Anatomy & Physiology II
         BIOL 2420 Microbiology
         ENGL 1301 Composition I
         PSYC 2314 Human Growth & Development
         PHIL 2306 Ethics 
  4. If any of the science courses are over 5 years old, at the time of applying, it is required that the applicant take NURS 1311 Nursing Pathophysiology.
  5. Successful completion of the TEAS 5 examination by the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) with a recommended Adjusted Individual Total Score of 70.  Scores that comprise the benchmark for the following TEAS 5 categories are compiled by ATI and reflect the national mean.
    1. Reading-70
    2. Math-69
    3. Science-54
    4. English (Grammar)-64
  6. To successfully complete the application process, results from the TEAS 5 examination must be available by the Friday prior to Spring Break. This examination will be scheduled and administered through the Administrative Assistant of the Associate Degree Nursing Program.  Payment instructions and scheduling for this examination is included in the packet.
  7. Official copies of all transcripts must be on file at the Southwest Texas College Admissions and Records Office with an unofficial copy forwarded to the nursing program office.


The Admission Process

After the application process is completed, the applicant will be processed for admission to the Associate Degree Nursing Program according to the following guidelines:

  1. Complete or be enrolled in prerequisite courses identified in the degree plan and have information on file in the ADN (AASN) office prior to August 1st, if the applicant plans to attend nursing classes during the fall semester. 
  2. Complete and return the “Application for Admission” form no later than April 1st.
  3. Submit three (3) letters of reference by April 15th.  Forms are attached to the application forms that must be forwarded to references selected by the applicant.  (Prefer one reference from a supervisor if the student has been employed after graduation from high school).
  4. Letters of reference will only be accepted when received by United States Postal Service or hand delivered by the referencing individual.
  5. Complete an interview with the assigned faculty advisor prior to May 1st.
  6. The Point System will be reviewed and completed during the personal interview.
  7. The Texas Board of Nursing (TBON) requires English proficiency of all individuals admitted to the nursing program.  Southwest Texas Junior College Associate Degree Nursing Program uses the Weaver Instructional System (Weaver) assessment to determine the reading level of each applicant.  However, the level of reading will not affect entry into the program unless the applicant fails to complete required Weaver activities by the designated date.  If Weaver assessment determines applicant is not reading at the 14th grade level, applicant will be required to complete reading comprehension and vocabulary lessons to reach the required 14th grade level by August 1st.  All applicants will also be required to complete the medical terminology activities prior to August 1st.   Applicants will not be allowed to register in the nursing program until the Weaver activities are completed.  If there are additional concerns identified by the faculty regarding the applicant’s reading ability, the applicant may be required to take the TOEFL as designated by the TBON in the guidelines for education.  Information about the TOEFL may be obtained from the website: or by calling 1-800-468-6335.
  8. A criminal background investigation is required for all SWTJC Nursing Students prior to final admission into the nursing program.  The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), which accredits healthcare facilities in the United States, enforced background screening on September, 2004 and has set requirements mandating that students in healthcare fields must now complete the same background check as hospital employees. Consistent with this requirement, the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON) must approve the applicant before they are allowed to enter the nursing program. Upon application to the Nursing Program, the applicant's personal data will be submitted to the TBON so a criminal background check can be performed.  A copy of all correspondence received from the TBON must be submitted to the ADN office to be filed in the student's record.  If the student has not received clearance from the TBON, communication with the TBON will be required from the student to determine the potential status of the student prior to the first day of class. Each student is responsible for payment of the background check which is approximately $30.00.  Payment should be made directly to the Texas Board of Nursing upon notification from the Board.
  9. Licensure Eligibility
    The Texas Board of Nursing (TBON) has identified certain circumstances that may render a potential candidate ineligible for licensure as a Registered Nurse. The TBON provides individuals with the opportunity to petition for a Declaratory Order as to their eligibility in accordance with Article 301.257 of the Nursing Practice Act.  The TBON website,, contains eligibility questions and the declaratory order. In addition, each applicant must review the following documents in the TBON Rules and Regulations:

                            213.27 Good Professional Conduct

                            213.28 Licensure of Persons with Criminal Offenses

                            213.29 Criteria and Procedure Regarding Intemperate Use and Lack of Fitness in Eligibility                         and Disciplinary Matters

                            213.30 Declaratory Order of Eligibility for Licensure

    To review this information online, go to From the homepage, scroll down to “Nursing Law and Rules” located on left side of page. Then click on “Rules and Regulations.” From that page, click “BON Rules and Regulations.” This will lead you to a page entitled “Texas Administrative Code”.   Scroll down this page and click on Chapter 213.  The signed Licensure Eligibility form that verifies you meet eligible requirements designated by the BON must be in your student file in the Associate Degree Nursing Office.

    If you are required to answer “yes” to any of the following questions, please submit a request for a Declaratory Order Petition to the Board of Nursing for the State of Texas (Depending on your individual circumstance, processing your petition may take 6 to 24 months, or longer, after you provide all required documentation):

    1. Have you ever been cited or charged with any violation of the law?
    2. Do you have any criminal charges pending, including unresolved arrests?
    3. Have you been convicted; placed on community supervision, whether or not adjudged guilty; sentenced to serve jail or prison time or granted pre-trial diversion; or plead guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to any crime in any state, territory or country; or received a court order, whether or not a sentence was imposed, including any pending criminal charges or unresolved arrest whether or not on appeal (excluding minor Class C traffic violation)?  This includes expunged offenses and deferred adjudications with or without a finding of guilt.  Please note that DUI’s (driving under the influence), DWI’s (driving while intoxicated), and PI’s (public intoxication) must be reported and are not considered minor traffic violationsOne time minor in possession (MIP) or minor in consumption (MIC) does not need to be disclosed; therefore, you may answer “No.”  If you have two or more MIPs or MICs, you must answer “Yes.” 
    4. Have you been the subject of a court–martial; Article 15 violation, or received any form of military judgment/punishment/action?
    5. Has any licensing authority refused to issue you a license or ever revoked, annulled, cancelled, accepted surrender of, suspended, placed on probation, refused to renew a professional license or certificate held by you now previously, or ever fined, censured, reprimanded or otherwise disciplined you?
    6. In the past five (5) years, have you been addicted to or treated for the use of alcohol or any other drug.
    7. In the past five (5) years, have you been diagnosed with or treated or hospitalized for schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder? 

    You must begin the Declaratory Order (DO) Petition immediately if you answered any of the above with a “yes”.  This process is part of the criminal background check.  If you are required to submit a DO and do not do so at the time of application, the Texas Board of Nursing will notify you requesting you submit a Declaratory Order. 

  10. Current CPR certification from the American Heart Association class “C” for Health Care Providers.  A current CPR card must be obtained before the applicant will be allowed in the clinical area.
  11. Evidence of mental and physical health as documented in a physician examination completed within 30 days of acceptance to the program. 
  12. Evidence of all immunizations or acceptable titer levels, in writing, as required by the Texas Department of Health (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, (MMR); Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTap); Varicella; Meningitis; and Hepatitis “B” series). 
  13. Written evidence of negative Tuberculin screen or negative chest x-ray.  Documentation must be current, within 12 months. 
  14. Negative drug urine screen documented within 30 days of notification of acceptance.
  15. Purchase of the approved school uniform, logo, lab coat and laboratory supplies as required.
  16. Health insurance coverage prior to the beginning of clinical experiences.  Such insurance must be maintained for the duration of enrollment in the nursing program.  A break in enrollment of health insurance will result in the student’s inability to attend required clinical experience. Evidence of health insurance must be in your file 3 weeks prior to scheduled clinical activities.  Health insurance may be obtained through companies that have provided information to the College Student Services or the National Student Nurses Association.
  17. Basic computer skills must be evident by a course grade or ability to demonstrate computer competence.
  18. It is required that the student have a computer and continuous access to the Internet.
  19. Students are required to carry liability insurance throughout the program.  The fee for this insurance is included in the admission fees.

Documentation for the above requirements must be submitted by August 1st.  Applicants will be registered for classes when all data have been received in the Associate Degree Nursing Office.

Program of Study

School of Registered Nursing Program of Study

Registered Nursing Resources

2014 - 2016 Associate of Applied Science in Nursing Degree Student Handbook

SWTJC Student Handbook


Occupational Profiles