Nursing Schools in Texas
Degree-seekers interested in exploring Texas nursing schools can review this page to learn more about the opportunities available to them in the state. Readers can explore what types of nursing programs they can enroll in, state licensing requirements, and career and salary prospects in the field. They can also find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about nursing in Texas.
Texas boasts high employment numbers for nurses, offering a variety of lucrative opportunities for graduates. The schools listed in the rankings below include those with bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs offered on campus. We use our own methodology to determine these rankings, taking into account several factors that students should consider when choosing a program for their needs.
The Top Nursing Schools in Texas for 2020
|1||Texas A&M University||College Station, TX|
|2||University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX|
|3||Texas Christian University||Fort Worth, TX|
|4||Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX|
|5||The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio||San Antonio, TX|
|6||The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston||Houston, TX|
|7||The University of Texas Medical Branch||Galveston, TX|
|8||Baylor University||Waco, TX|
|9||University of Houston||Houston, TX|
|10||University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio, TX|
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Texas
How long does it take to get a Texas nursing license?The time commitment to earn licensure in Texas depends on the educational pathway candidates follow. To become a registered nurse (RN), students can earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Students can complete an ADN and become an RN in about two years, while BSN students pursue their degree and RN licensure for four years.
How do I renew my nursing license in Texas?To renew an RN license in Texas, candidates must complete 20 contact hours of continuing education credits during each two-year renewal period. Once they complete their required hours, they must complete a renewal application and pay the application fee.
Does a Texas nursing license transfer to other states?Texas participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). This compact allows nurses in one state to practice in other states that belong to the NLC without needing to pursue separate licenses. States that do not belong to the NLC do not honor a Texas nursing license.
Can a nurse practitioner write prescriptions in Texas?There are two key limitations for nurse practitioners in Texas with regard to prescriptive authority. Professionals must follow specific procedures and understand certain limitations when prescribing controlled substances and prescriptive authority should be delegated by a physician, including a written document prescribed by law.
Are Texas nurses unionized?There are unionized nurses in Texas. Some of the main organizations these nurses belong to include National Nurses United and Texas Nurses Association. Members of these organizations follow unique guidelines and enjoy membership benefits.
How Do I Become a Nurse in Texas?
Nurse candidates in Texas should determine the nursing practice level they want to pursue to determine the specific requirements they need to meet. To become a licensed vocational nurse, learners only need to complete a year-long diploma or certificate program and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. RN candidates should compete either a two-year ADN or a four-year BSN and complete the NCLEX-RN exam to earn their RN license.
Students interested in becoming advanced practice nurses must earn a master’s degree from a board-approved, nationally accredited program. The state requires students at this level to complete coursework in physical evaluation/assessment, pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology. The board recognizes the following specializations for advanced practice nurses:
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Certified nurse midwife
- Certified nurse practitioner
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist
Types of Nursing Programs in Texas
ADN programs prepare learners for entry-level nursing roles as registered nurses. RN licensing criteria require candidates to earn an ADN or BSN. During their associate program, degree-seekers focus on building their knowledge and skills at a foundational level. Most students complete their program requirements in about two years, although some institutions offer accelerated or online formats that allow enrollees to satisfy their requirements in less than the standard two years.
At the bachelor’s level, nursing students typically take about four years to earn their degree. Some institutions offer bridge programs or accelerated formats that allow learners to graduate in closer to two years. The curriculum explores adult care, mental health, and pharmacology. BSN graduates can complete the NCLEX-RN exam to earn their RN license and begin entry-level roles in settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities.
RNs who want to expand their career opportunities, increase their earnings, and build upon their theoretical knowledge of healthcare can enroll in MSN programs. MSN students prepare for advanced practice nursing opportunities in occupations like nurse practitioner. At the master’s level, degree-seekers can focus on providing care to a particular patient population, pursuing concentrations in women’s health, gerontology, or pediatrics. Master’s students typically take about two years to complete their program, although bridge programs and accelerated options can allow them to earn their degree sooner.
While many employers currently require advanced practice nurses to hold a master’s degree, DNP degrees may become the standard across healthcare settings. These programs expose learners to higher scientific practice and knowledge, enabling them to provide the highest quality of care to patients of all ages. DNP students can consider bridge programs to accelerate their degree. At the doctoral level, learners can experience varying program lengths, typically 3-6 years.
Texas Nursing Licensure Requirements
The Texas Board of Nursing regulates nursing licensure in the state, maintaining standards and procedures for obtaining and renewing licenses. Licensing requirements differ depending on the level of education. The nursing board issues licenses to candidates who complete approved nursing education programs through examination and, in some cases, by endorsement.
All nurses in the state must renew their licenses on a biennial basis by completing a specified amount of continuing education requirements. The board also provides licensure to qualified registered nurses who earn a graduate degree in nursing and want to pursue advanced practice opportunities. Texas nurses follow the Nursing Practice Act, following standards for nursing education and practice.
To become an RN, candidates should hold an ADN or BSN. The state requires APRN candidates to complete an MSN or DNP. At the advanced practice level, nurses can explore licensing opportunities as clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners.
Job and Salary Outlook for Nurses in Texas
In Texas, registered nurses enjoy the second-highest employment levels for the occupation in the nation, with 218,090 registered nurses working in the state. These professionals earn annual mean wages of about $74,540, with the highest-paying opportunities offered in the business support services industry.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) most often work within physicians’ offices. The state boasts the third-highest employment levels in the U.S. for NPs with 13,620 employed, earning an annual mean wage of $115,440. Only New York and California boast higher employment levels. These nurses experience the highest paying opportunities within the community food and housing, emergency, and other relief services industries.
Top Nursing Schools in Texas
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