Best DNP Programs in Texas

Updated November 29, 2022

Choosing a quality school to attend to obtain a DNP degree is a very important decision. Texas has many great programs to get you off to the right start.
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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is the highest level available in the nursing field. There are other nursing degrees considered terminal, such as a Ph.D in Nursing, and a DNS (Doctor of Nursing Science) degree.

DNP programs in Texas focus on advanced clinical practice, whereas other terminal nursing degrees are associated with research, scholarly education, and specialty skills. This guide will help you find the best nursing programs in Texas that offer DNP degrees.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best DNP programs in Texas, making it easier to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about DNP programs, or go straight to our list of the best DNP programs in Texas.

How do DNP Programs Work?

The DNP program builds on master-level nursing curriculum. Most DNP programs in Texas require a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) as part of admission requirements, but there are some BSN-to-MSN bridge programs.

Programs often require around 33 to 43 credits and at least 500 clinical practice hours. Full-time master level nurses can usually complete the program in 18 months to two years, while it takes three years on average for part-time students. For BSN students, it takes three to six years on average for DNP bridge program completion.

Common course topics include statistics and data analysis, epidemiology and health promotion, nursing philosophy, and leadership and advanced clinical skills.

Featured Online DNP Programs

What To Look For in a Texas DNP Program

  1. 1

    Admission Requirements

    The admission requirements detail education level prerequisites, and whether nurses need to provide minimum graduate school admission test scores, such as the MAT or GRE tests. The admission requirements section will also include any course prerequisites and the minimum GPA required for admission.

  2. 2

    Program Curriculum

    There are 15 specialty areas to choose from at the doctoral level in nursing. Most institutions do not offer all 15 areas of practice. Before researching schools that offer DNP programs, select an area of practice, then ensure the institution offers your preferred practice area. Learn more about potential DNP specialties.

  3. 3

    Clinical Experience

    While most accredited DNP programs in Texas require 500 hours of clinical practice, the time spent performing clinical rotations can vary from program to program. Online students should check out where, geographically, the clinicals are scheduled.

    Some programs allow you to set up clinical practicums in your home state, others require clinicals near the campus, which involves travel time and expenses. Be sure to explore institutions that provide help with ‌scheduling clinical placements.

  4. 4

    Accreditation

    Accreditation is perhaps the most important factor when searching for DNP programs in Texas. Accreditation offers a guarantee that the program curriculum meets the criteria for certification for APRN and other certifications. Overall, accreditation equates to a quality education.

  5. 5

    Program Length

    Consider the program length, particularly if you are working, and/or have family, or other obligations. The longer the program, the higher the cost when factoring in living expenses, loss of earning potential while away from work, and other factors.

  6. 6

    School Graduate Rate

    The institution’s graduation rate informs prospective students of their chances of completing the program, based on the number of prior students who completed the program requirements.

Applying to a DNP Program in Texas

Once you have selected the DNP program you want to attend, submit your application. The application process includes several steps:

  1. Complete an admission application (often online)
  2. Submit letters of recommendation
  3. Submit official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  4. Submit a current resume
  5. Provide copies of RN license and professional certifications
  6. Provide a professional education statement and/or a personal essay
  7. Participate in a phone or in-person interview
  • Admission Materials

    A Bachelor of Science (BSN) or Master of Science (MSN) from an accredited nursing school, one year full-time RN job experience, a current and an unencumbered RN license.

  • GPA Requirement

    Minimum 3.0 GPA

  • Other Requirement

    Additional documents or proof of specific experience may be required, depending on the track/concentration selected.

Why Is DNP Program Accreditation Important?

A DNP program becomes accredited after passing a review of curriculum, instructors, and NCLEX-RN test pass rates. Accreditation of a DNP program in Texas has many benefits, including:

  • Assurance of the overall program quality
  • Earning transferable credits (school credits may not be transferable from non-accredited institutions)
  • Qualifying for financial aid (non-accredited programs may not qualify for federal student financial aid)
  • Gaining knowledge to pass certification tests, such as the APRN nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist certification exams (non-accredited courses may not provide the curriculum required to pass exams)
  • Qualifying for better job prospects (accredited program often result in opportunities for better jobs)

Paying for DNP Programs

Earning a DNP degree is a wise financial investment, but you may wonder how to pay for your DNP graduate degree. Many factors can affect ability to pay for DNP programs in Texas, including yearly income, program cost and length of program, tuition (i.e., private institutions, vs. in-state or out-of-state tuition) and travel expenses for distance students traveling to on-campus requirements.

Despite the cost of DNP programs in Texas, there are many financial aid programs available that can help you pay for your graduate nursing degree. Not all institutions offer the same financial aid programs; do your due diligence and check out what is available at each school you are considering. Examples of sources of financial aid include:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Private lenders' loans
  • Federal student loans and grants
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Nurse associations
  • Colleges and universities

Learn More About the Top DNP Programs Schools in Texas

Best DNP Programs in Texas

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Baylor College of Medicine's DNP in nurse anesthesia is one of the finest of its 20 doctoral programs. Degree candidates build advanced knowledge and skills in nurse anesthesia, readying them for the top career opportunities in their fields. Graduates with terminal degrees commonly pursue upper-management, academia, or field research.

Students enrolled in the nurse anesthesia program study advanced concepts, ideas, and frameworks in the subject. The opportunity to choose a concentration may also be available to enrollees who wish to specialize their coursework for a specific goal. The program usually culminates in students completing an original dissertation based on field research.

Experiential settings like clinics help enrollees in the nurse anesthesia doctoral program gain hands-on field experience. Another common component of doctoral programs is a practicum or internship in a real-world healthcare setting, such as a clinic or hospital. The programs help are great for helping candidates connect classroom learning to the workplace.

Baylor College of Medicine at a Glance:

Location: Houston, Texas

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Graduate Tuition In State: $23,220

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $23,220

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

Texas Christian University

  • Fort Worth, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students pursuing a doctoral degree have 26 different program options at Texas Christian University, including the excellent doctor of nursing practice. DNP-seekers gain advanced skills and knowledge, preparing them for top careers in the field. These positions often include upper management, academia, and research positions.

The curriculum for the doctoral program trains students in the most advanced discussions in nursing, emphasizing both practical and theoretical approaches to the field. Specific concentrations help many enrollees customize their study and prepare for specific career opportunities. A dissertation consisting of original research in the field is typically required to complete the doctoral program.

Work in clinics and other experiential settings help nursing doctoral degree-seekers gain hands-on experience. Supervised internships and practicum activities in healthcare settings such as hospitals provide further opportunities for learners to sharpen their skills. The experiential components required by the degree allow candidates opportunities to apply classroom learning to workplace settings.

Texas Christian University at a Glance:

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 47%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $30,780

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $30,780

Average Tuition
In-state
$49,160
Out-of-state
$49,160
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
47%
Students Enrolled
11,024
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

Texas Woman's University

  • Denton, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Texas Woman's University hosts a high-quality DNP program as one of its 23 doctoral degree opportunities. Candidates develop highly-specialized abilities and knowledge to prepare for top positions in their career fields. These positions often include upper management, academia, and research positions.

Students in the doctor of nursing practice program complete a curriculum that focuses on the theoretical and practical frameworks for understanding advanced ideas in the subject. Concentrations allow some degree-seekers to further contextualize their studies to a specific career goal. Doctoral candidates usually complete original research to complete a dissertation.

The doctoral-level nursing practice curriculum also includes hands-on clinical and experimental components. Practicum and internships in approved healthcare settings like hospitals are another common component of the program. Experiential components of the degree like these help candidates apply academic study to actual workplace situations.

Texas Woman's University at a Glance:

Location: Denton, Texas

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 93%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $4,973

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,569

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,430
Out-of-state
$15,559
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
15,886
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • San Antonio, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio offers 16 different doctoral opportunities, including a Ph.D. in nursing that ranks highly among similar offerings. Enrollees engage in intense study to develop specialized knowledge and skills in nursing, preparing them for top opportunities in the job market. Teaching in academia, research, and upper management are all potential avenues.

Doctoral degree-seekers complete a curriculum focused on the major frameworks, ideas, and themes in nursing. Enrollees may have the opportunity to choose a specific concentration, in order to prepare more directly for a certain career path. Doctoral candidates usually complete original research to complete a dissertation.

Nursing enrollees benefit from work in clinics and other experiential settings for hands-on experience. Learners may also receive approval to undertake practicum and internships in settings like hospitals. Experiential learning opportunities help candidates connect classroom learning to the workplace.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio at a Glance:

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $3,114

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $11,772

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,875
Out-of-state
$18,306
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,386
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Arlington, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Prospective doctoral students at The University of Texas at Arlington can choose from 25 programs, including the excellent Ph.D. in nursing program. Degree candidates build advanced knowledge and skills in nursing, readying them for the top career opportunities in their fields. Those who finish the program often go into positions in academia, research, or upper management.

Doctoral students study a curriculum in nursing that emphasizes advanced practical and theoretical frameworks for the subject. Enrollees may have the opportunity to prepare for specific career paths by customizing their studies through a concentration. Completing the program also requires that candidates contribute original research to the field through a written dissertation.

The doctoral program's hands-on experimental and clinical aspects help students gain an expertise of Nursing. Further real-world skills are developed through practicum and internships in settings like hospitals and clinics. Experiential components of the degree help candidates apply academic study to actual workplace situations.

The University of Texas at Arlington at a Glance:

Location: Arlington, Texas

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 83%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 24-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,474

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $21,206

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,624
Out-of-state
$25,713
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
48,635
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

The University of Texas at Austin

  • Austin, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students pursuing a doctoral degree have 94 different program options at The University of Texas at Austin, including the excellent doctor of nursing practice. Candidates gain a highly specialized set of skills and knowledge of nursing practice in order to prepare them to pursue the most important jobs in their field. Those who finish the program often go into positions in academia, research, or upper management.

Doctoral degree-seekers complete a curriculum focused on the major frameworks, ideas, and themes in nursing. Those who enroll in the program may also be able to specialize their studies further through the selection of a concentration. Doctoral programs typically culminate in candidates writing a dissertation based on new research.

The DNP program also builds hands-on skills through clinical and experimental degree requirements. Further real-world skills are developed through practicum and internships in settings like hospitals and clinics. These experiential learning activities help candidates apply classroom learning to professional practice.

The University of Texas at Austin at a Glance:

Location: Austin, Texas

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 32%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $11,998

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,966

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,824
Out-of-state
$38,326
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
32%
Students Enrolled
51,090
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Graduate students at The University of Texas at El Paso have access to 24 doctoral degree paths, including the popular doctor of nursing practice. Candidates gain a highly specialized set of skills and knowledge of nursing practice in order to prepare them to pursue the most important jobs in their fields. Graduates often choose roles in academia, research, and upper management.

Doctoral learners study a curriculum in nursing practice that emphasizes advanced practical and theoretical frameworks for the subject. Doctoral degree-seekers may be able to make their coursework more specific for a particular aspect of the field through a concentration. Completing the doctoral program usually requires candidates to complete a dissertation based on original research.

The DNP program requires hands-on experience in lab and clinical settings. The program also provides learners with opportunities for internships in approved healthcare facilities, including hospitals. Experiential components of the degree like these help candidates apply academic study to actual workplace situations.

The University of Texas at El Paso at a Glance:

Location: El Paso, Texas

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 100%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,497

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,766

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,193
Out-of-state
$22,556
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
25,177
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best DNP Programs in Texas

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

  • Belton, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor hosts a high-quality doctor of physical therapy as one of its doctoral degree opportunities. The physical therapy program prepares doctoral degree-seekers for top careers in their field by developing highly specialized knowledge and skills. Job opportunities for graduates commonly include academia, upper management, and research positions.

The curriculum for the doctoral program trains students in the most advanced discussions in physical therapy, emphasizing both practical and theoretical approaches to the field. Some degree-seekers are able to pursue a concentration, which helps them focus their studies to prepare for specific career goals. Doctoral students typically complete a dissertation, adding original research to their field.

Doctor of physical therapy enrollees benefit from work in clinics and other experiential settings for hands-on experience. Another important component learners experience is real-world training in healthcare environments like hospitals and clinics. These experiential practices help degree candidates bridge classroom learning with real workplace scenarios.

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor at a Glance:

Location: Belton, Texas

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Admission Rate: 87%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $16,830

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,830

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,620
Out-of-state
$25,620
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
3,846
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About DNP Programs in Texas


What can you do with a DNP in Texas?

Direct patient care affords graduates an opportunity to work in their chosen fields, including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists. Nurse practitioners can focus on a particular area of practice, such as acute care, family care, adult-gerontology, women’s health, and more.

Non-APRN career options include the fields of nurse leadership and administration (such as Directors of Nursing and Nurse Managers), Nurse Educators, and Public Health Nurses.

How much do nurses make in Texas?

The salary for graduate nurses in Texas varies depending on many factors, such as the area of practice, whether nurses are APRN certified, the workplace environment (e.g., clinics, acute care or urgent care settings, etc.).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for nurse practitioners in Texas is $117,890. Nurse Midwives earn around $85,030 annually and nurse anesthetists, the highest paid of all the APRNs, make $197,540 per year on average. Learn more about DNP graduate salaries.

Is now a good time to earn a DNP?

Yes. A DNP degree can elevate your salary potential, giving you an edge in the nursing job market. Some institutions are requiring a DNP for specific Certified Nurse Practitioner tracks, such as the Family Practice Nurse Practitioner certification.

The future of advanced practice is shifting from a master's level to a doctoral degree (DNP). As the number of nurses with DNP degrees increases, it's necessary to pursue a DNP to keep up with the competitiveness of the nursing job market.

How long does it take to earn a DNP in Texas?

The program length depends on how many credits are required, whether you have a BSN or an MSN degree when starting the DNP program, and the rate at which you complete the program (i.e., part-time, half-time or full-time). It can take between 18 months to three years.


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