The Best Texas Online Nurse Practitioner Programs and Requirements

By NurseJournal.org staff



Table of Contents


Registered nurses (RNs) seeking to expand their knowledge and training in the healthcare field and specialize in a specific practice area should consider becoming a nurse practitioner (NP). NPs focus on areas that include family practice, midwifery, and pediatric medicine.

Texas NPs provide direct patient care under physician supervision. Their duties include diagnosing and treating patients, prescribing medications, and advising patients about health management. NPs may also handle health administration and business tasks in finance, leadership, management, and policy.

NPs hold either a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). It can take 3-6 years to earn these degrees, but NPs typically command higher salaries and increased opportunities compared to RNs due to their advanced training and skills.

This page highlights the best nurse practitioner programs in Texas, including requirements and employment data. You can also browse additional information, including NP requirements in other states on this page.

Best Texas Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Rank University Degree Programs
1 The University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, Texas NP
2 Texas A&M University-College Station - College Station, Texas NP
3 The University of Texas at Arlington - Arlington, Texas NP
4 Midwestern State University - Wichita Falls, Texas NP
5 Stephen F. Austin State University - Nacogdoches, Texas NP
6 The University of Texas at Tyler - Tyler, Texas NP
7 Angelo State University - San Angelo, Texas NP
8 The University of Texas at El Paso - El Paso, Texas NP
9 Texas State University - San Marcos, Texas NP
10 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi, Texas NP

The University of Texas Medical Branch

The School of Nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch offers a part-time master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner track. Students can complete the majority of the program online with some on-campus requirements. Distance learners must visit campus for a total of 12 days over the course of seven semesters for an orientation, simulation experiences, and an advanced health assessment course.

The program also includes clinical practicum courses, during which students participate in supervised work experience onsite at healthcare facilities. The university organizes these experiences for students from the Galveston and Houston areas; learners who live farther away must find clinical locations within their own local area.

Campus Galveston, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition •   $848/credit hour for Texas residents
•   $1271/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of experience working as a nurse
Minimum Time Commitment Seven semesters, or about 28 months if students attend summer sessions
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Texas A&M University-College Station

Texas A&M at College Station offers a master's degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration for in-state distance learners.

While the majority of the program's coursework is available online, students must fulfill some requirements at Texas A&M's Bryan-College Station campus. These include a one-day orientation and 45 hours of clinical work for the advanced health assessment course. Master's candidates must also fulfill about 646 supervised clinical hours onsite.

Most full-time students complete the 48-credit program in around two years, including summer terms. Part-time students may graduate within three years.

Campus College Station, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $10,480/year
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA for last 60 credits of the degree
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of experience working as a nurse
•   Personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

The University of Texas at Arlington

Distance learners can complete UTA's 46-credit online master's degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration in 31-36 months. Courses last 5-13 weeks. According to UTA's nursing school, students can expect to spend about five hours each week for every one credit of coursework. Incoming students can also transfer in up to 10 credits.

In addition to required coursework, distance learners must complete 720 clinical experience hours at healthcare facilities. These include two 11-week clinical rotations and one 13-week clinical practicum.

Campus Arlington, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $654/credit
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA
•   Registered nursing license
•   Candidates with a GPA below 3.0 must submit GRE scores
Minimum Time Commitment 31 months
On-Campus Requirements No
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Midwestern State University

The 48-credit nursing master's program at Midwestern State University features a family nurse practitioner track that emphasizes care strategies across the human lifespan. The curriculum includes courses like diagnostic services/ambulatory procedures and population health in graduate nursing.

While distance learners can complete most of their coursework online, MSU expects master's candidates to attend on-campus immersion experiences during their clinical courses. Students fulfill most of their supervised clinical work at family practice facilities and complete some clinical hours at specialty clinics and urgent care or emergency room sites.

Campus Wichita Falls, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $609/credit
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA for last 60 credits of the degree
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of experience working as a nurse in general nursing
•   Admissions essay
Minimum Time Commitment Varies
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Stephen F. Austin State University

Nacogdoches-based SFA offers a majority-online family nurse practitioner master's program that focuses on caring for communities in medically underserved areas. Before students begin their clinical practicum courses, they must attend an orientation and a weeklong intensive seminar on campus.

Learners must complete 46 credits to graduate, although they can transfer in 6-12 credits. Students take 5-6 credits each semester, enrolling in courses like the politics of healthcare and contemporary healthcare ethics. The program also requires 720 clinical hours. SFA encourages students to fulfill the supervised work component in clinics and hospitals in underserved areas within their communities.

Campus Nacogdoches, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Tuition •   $424.50/credit for Texas residents
•   $544.50/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits of the degree
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of nursing experience
•   Three references
•   Personal essay
Minimum Time Commitment 33 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

The University of Texas at Tyler

UT Tyler offers a master's degree in nursing with a nurse practitioner specialization that includes both on-campus and online components. Students complete the bulk of their coursework online and attend on-campus classes 5-6 times each semester. Due to this requirement, the program works best for nursing students who live in or near Tyler.

All students must fulfill a 675-hour precepted clinical work requirement. These supervised clinical experiences largely occur in primary care settings. Full-time master's candidates who enroll in summer semesters generally graduate in two years. Part-time students may graduate in three years.

Campus Tyler, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition •   $445.40/credit for Texas residents
•   $916.50/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA for last 60 credits of the degree
•   Registered nursing license
•   Three references
•   Personal essay
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Angelo State University

ASU's online master's in nursing features a family nurse practitioner track with minimal on-campus requirements. However, all MSN candidates at ASU must reside in Texas, as students are required to complete their practicums in state.

The curriculum comprises 49 credits of coursework and clinical hours. Students must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate. Incoming students may be eligible to receive scholarships based on their undergraduate GPAs.

Campus San Angelo, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition $501/credit
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of nursing experience
•   Three references
•   Personal essay
Minimum Time Commitment Varies
On-Campus Requirements "Kept to a minimum"
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

The University of Texas at El Paso

UTEP developed its master's degree in nursing with a nurse practitioner concentration with working professionals in mind. During the program, master's candidates complete 46-49 credits over the course of two years. Courses last for seven weeks.

Distance learners take specialty classes during their final three semesters. These courses may require students to attend up to three on-campus lab experiences or simulations each semester.

Students must also complete 675-775 hours of clinical supervised work at a healthcare facility. UTEP notes that students may need to drive 200 miles to specific locations to fulfill this obligation.

Campus El Paso, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition •   $552/credit for Texas residents
•   $782/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing
•   Registered nursing license
•   Letter of intent
Minimum Time Commitment 24 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Texas State University

The master of science in nursing program with a family nurse practitioner concentration at Texas State University is a hybrid program. While students complete the majority of their coursework online, they must attend two on-campus weekend experiences each semester at St. David's School of Nursing in Round Rock.

Full-time students can graduate in five semesters, while part-time learners generally need eight semesters to finish their degree. The full program comprises 48 credits, about 10 of which are dedicated to practicum courses. Overall, students complete 660 supervised clinical hours at hospitals, clinics, and other locations.

Campus San Marcos, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition •   $757/credit for Texas residents
•   $1179/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing with minimum 3.0 GPA
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of experience working as a nurse
•   Three recommendations
•   Personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 21 months
On-Campus Requirements Yes
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Prospective family nurse practitioners can finish Texas A&M University's Corpus Christi's part-time master's degree in nursing in only three years. The university developed the program to allow students to work full time while studying. Candidates pursuing this online nurse practitioner program in Texas complete 49 credits in total. Students may transfer in up to 12 credits.

Distance learners take courses like advanced pharmacology, wellness and health promotion, and health assessment and differential diagnosis. The program also includes 630 clinical hours. Students must organize these supervised work experiences at a healthcare facility within their own area.

Campus Corpus Christi, Texas
Type Public
Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Tuition •   $818/credit for Texas residents
•   $1,300/credit for nonresidents
Admission Requirements •   Bachelor's degree in nursing
•   Registered nursing license
•   At least one year of experience working as a nurse
•   Three recommendations
•   Personal statement
Minimum Time Commitment 36 months
On-Campus Requirements No
Program MSN - Family nurse practitioner
School site Tuition | Financial Aid

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Texas

To become an NP in Texas, individuals must meet these requirements:

  • Earn a bachelor's degree in nursing, either an RN or a bachelor of science in nursing, at an accredited school. Most advanced NP programs require a bachelor's degree for admittance. Texas requires RN licensing prior to applying for the NP license.
  • Pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) examination to become an RN. The process includes passing a criminal background check and the Nursing Jurisprudence Exam.
  • Select a specialty focus area. The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies and the Texas Department of State Health Services project increased demand for NPs in geriatrics, acute care, and primary care. Each specialty maintains its own national certification requirements. Other potential specializations include pediatrics, family practice, psychiatric, mental health, women's health, neonatal, and surgical.
  • Earn an MSN or a DNP. Professionals who hold a master's in another field may pursue a post-master's certification program. At minimum, individuals need a master's degree from a nationally accredited or Texas Board of Nursing-approved program to become licensed.


    Individuals interested in higher-level positions, such as nurse mentoring, policymaking, and other leadership roles, may want to pursue a DNP. The state board requires that NP curriculum includes coursework in:

        • Advanced health assessment with related clinical experience that teaches data acquisition, diagnoses, and health management plans
        • Advanced pharmacotherapeutics, in which students learn to use drug therapy for treatment or health promotion
        • Advanced physiology or pathophysiology, which analyzes the relationship between healthy and non-healthy states throughout the human lifespan


    Learners should take clinical course content that prepares them for their specific focus area. Individuals need 500 hours of supervised practicum, internship, residency, or fellowship in a healthcare setting, at which they provide direct patient care and client management.

  • Apply for an advanced practice nursing license from the Texas Board of Nursing. The board offers four license types: nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist. Requirements include paying a $100 license fee or $150 for a license with authority to write prescriptions. Nurses also need national certification in their specialty focus area. Applicants must apply within two years of completing their advanced degree program or supervised training.

License renewal occurs every two years and requires 20 hours of continuing education in a specialty area. For licenses that include prescriptive authority, professionals must log an additional five hours in pharmacotherapeutics education. Renewal also requires 400 practice hours per renewal period and maintenance of national certification in a specialization.

The tables below outline the certification requirements for Texas' most in-demand specialty areas.


In-Demand Nursing Specialty Eligibility Requirements in Texas

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP)

Years of Experience: At least one year prior to applying to an advanced degree program

Clinical Hours Required: 500

Continuing Education: 75 hours minimum, including 25 hours of pharmacotherapeutics, plus one or more of the following: academic credit; presentations; project, publication, or research; preceptor hours; practice hours; volunteer service; and assessment

Other: Certification requires passing a computer-based test comprising 175 questions

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGACNP-BC)

Years of Experience: At least one year prior to applying to an advanced degree program

Clinical Hours Required: 500

Continuing Education: 75 hours minimum, including 25 hours of pharmacotherapeutics, plus one or more of the following: academic credit; presentations; project, publication, or research; preceptor hours; practice hours; volunteer service; and assessment

Other: Applicants must pass a 200-question exam

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification (AGPCNP-BC)

Years of Experience: At least one year prior to applying to an advanced degree program

Clinical Hours Required: 500

Continuing Education: 75 hours minimum, including 25 hours of pharmacotherapeutics, plus one or more of the following: academic credit; presentations; project, publication, or research; preceptor hours; practice hours; volunteer service; and assessment

Other: Applicants must pass a 175-question exam


Salary and Career Information

Texas NP salaries exceed the national rate, with the gap widening in the Brownsville-Harlingen metropolitan area. Other cities offering high salaries include the Woodlands-Sugar Land, College Station-Bryan, Midland, and Waco.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas ranks third in the country for highest employment levels of NPs. The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area ranks seventh among U.S. metropolitan areas in the same category. Among non-metro areas, Texas' Big Thicket region tops the list of highest-paying regions. The state's Coastal Plains region comes in fourth.

NP opportunities should continue to grow in Texas, as indicated by the 43.8% projected rate listed below, which also exceeds the national projected growth rate.

As the state's population ages, the in-demand specializations in gerontology should offer high salaries. Nationally, the specialty ranks sixth among the highest-paying NP careers.

RN vs. NP Salary and Projected Job Growth in Texas
  Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
Texas Mean Salary $72,890 $111,060
U.S. Mean Salary $75,510 $110,030
Texas Job Growth 24.1% 43.8%
U.S. Job Growth 14.8% 36.1%

Source: BLS, Projections Central


Texas Metropolitan Areas With the Highest Mean NP Wages
  Salary Employment
Brownsville - Harlingen, Texas $126,380 90
Houston - The Woodlands - Sugar Land, Texas $121,670 3,000
College Station - Bryan, Texas $120,160 50
Midland, Texas $117,520 120
Waco, Texas $117,500 140

Source: BLS