20 Best Nursing Schools in Texas – 2024 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Two factors have increased the demand for trained professional nurses in Texas: a rapidly aging population plus a rise in the number of Lone Star State residents who are grappling with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, and dementia. Despite the fact, that nearly 200,000 Texans are currently employed as nurses, the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies projects there will be a need for 60,000 additional nurses in TX by the year 2030. Whether you’re interested in becoming a leader in the nursing profession, helping underserved populations achieve health care equity, or being a great bedside RN, attending one of the accredited nursing schools in Texas listed on this page will prepare you for a rewarding career. And you also need to know that if you’re already a Texas resident, you can anticipate tuition savings if you enroll at a community college or university that’s partially subsidized by Texas state funds.


What Types of Degree Programs are being offered by Nursing Schools in Texas?

Texas nursing schools offer five different undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The costs you incur will depend upon how long your program is, and whether-or-not you’re a Texas resident as community colleges, and public universities in Texas give TX residents a tuition break. Nursing education costs range between $2,560 and $58,880 on tuition, books, supplies, and fees if you’re training to become an LVN at a two-year state program to $16,270 to $122,990 if you’re completing a four-year nursing baccalaureate at a public or private university in the Lone Star State.

Type of Program Program Length Program Cost What Can I Become?
Certificate or Diploma 12 to 18 Months$2,560 - $29,790 LVN or CNA
Associate Degree (ADN) 2 years$4,160 - $58,880 LVN or RN
Baccalaureate Degree (BSN) 4 years$16,270 - $122,990 RN
Master’s Degree (MSN/MS) 2 years$8,770 - $82,770 APRN certified as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Certified Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree 4 to 6 years$13,080 - $122,370 APRN or Nurse Educator

What are the Pros and Cons of Online Nursing Education in Texas?

If you’re juggling multiple personal and work obligations, and you want to enter the nursing profession, an online nursing school in TX can offer you the flexibility you need. Most online nursing programs in the Lone Star State don’t impose class credit minimums, so you can take as few or as many classes as you like and proceed at your own pace. Online courses are often less costly than campus classes, and innovative web-based technologies allow you to participate in classes on a real-time basis. Those are the pluses.

It’s likely you won’t experience the same feeling of Esprit de corps that you’ll have when you’re sitting in an actual classroom, and this can make staying on task difficult at times. Tracking down the high-tech simulation labs and clinical rotations at facilities that are local to you may also present challenges. These experiences play an important role in your nursing education, and your online university will support you. Nevertheless, you will have to be proactive here.


(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Texas State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Texas offering BSN programs.)

1. Baylor University, Dallas

About Louise Herrington School of Nursing: If nursing is not just a job for you but also a calling, then Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing may be just the learning environment you’ve been looking for. The School consistently ranks among the top nursing colleges in Texas and is particularly celebrated for its midwifery program. Founded in 1909 as a diploma program for nurses who planned to work at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, the School began granting baccalaureate degrees in 1952, making it one of the oldest BSN programs in the country. Baylor is a Baptist institution, and nursing is taught from a Christian perspective as exemplified by the School’s motto: Learn. Lead. Serve

The school of nursing is located in the heart of Dallas’s bustling downtown, right across the street from the Baylor University Medical Center complex. Its four-story building boasts a state-of-the-art simulation environment, affectionately known to faculty and students as the “Sim Lab.” The Sim Lab allows nurses at all levels of expertise from novice to professional to practice and perfect new skills before using them in a clinical capacity.

Financial Aid: Sixty-one scholarships are specially earmarked for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Louise Herrington School of Nursing. These scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Additionally, the state of Texas offers a Tuition Equalization grant to qualified residents, and students may be eligible for federal Pell and Supplemental Educational Opportunity grants upon completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

2. Texas Christian University, Ft Worth

About Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences: Are you interested in global health issues? Do you believe the nursing profession has the potential to improve health outcomes for populations in all parts of the world? Harris College is a prominent nursing school in Texas that offers unique study abroad courses that give you up-close and personal looks at health care practices and policies in countries like Italy, Chile and Argentina. While Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences accepts students of all religious denominations, Christianity provides the foundation upon which much of the College’s teaching philosophy is based.

The college is located on campus in the Annie Richardson Bass Building, which features lecture halls with dual projection capabilities engineered into the walls so that students can actually interact with the multimedia presentations they watch. The Bass Building also has a high-tech lab with spaces designed to simulate med/surg, labor and delivery, pediatric, ICU and ER units. As part of their clinical training students will have the opportunity to hone their new skills further at hospitals, community agencies, clinics and schools throughout the greater Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.

Financial Aid: A significant number of the University’s endowed scholarships are specifically designated for the support of nursing students. More information about these scholarships may be obtained from the University’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Qualified Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences may also be eligible for Texas Christian University grants, federal Pell Grants, federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants and the state of Texas’s own Tuition Equalization Grants.

3. University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

About Cizik School of Nursing: Collaboration is the name of the game at the Cizik School of Nursing; so, it’s hardly surprising that the School shares space with a medical school, a dentistry school and a school of public health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in downtown Houston. The School of Nursing and Student Community Center, which is an eight-story building with 20,000 square feet of classrooms, simulation labs and research facilities, has won numerous awards for its innovative “green” architectural design.

One of the oldest nursing schools in Texas, it was founded in 1890 as a hospital training program. “U.S. News and World Report” ranks its master’s nursing program number one in Texas’s Gulf Coast region and its Nurse Anesthesia program among the top ten in the entire U.S. Cizik School of Nursing maintains clinical affiliations with Houston Methodist Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center and Texas Children’s Hospital as well as with community outpatient clinics, neighborhood health centers, city and county health departments and other health care providers throughout greater Houston.

Financial Aid: Twenty-three endowed scholarships and traineeships are available to undergraduate and graduate students at Cizik School of Nursing. Students pursuing the Pacesetter BSN curriculum may also be eligible for scholarships awarded to aspiring nurses within that track. Students applying for other types of financial aid such as federal Pell Grants and federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

4. University of Texas, Austin

About University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing: The School of Nursing at University of Texas’s Austin campus offers one of the best nursing degrees in TX as well as one of the best in the nation, according to “U.S. News and World Report.” The school first began teaching nursing classes in 1960 and expanded these offerings into a full four-year BSN program in 1969. The school sponsors two clinics: A Family Wellness Center that provides more than 10,000 appointments every year to low-income men, women and children in Austin and Travis Counties, and a Children’s Wellness Center that provides primary health care for 3,000 children and families in Del Valle, TX. These two centers, which provide students with clinical experiences, are also instrumental to the School of Nursing’s many federally funded research projects.

A five-story building on the southeast edge of the campus houses the nursing school along with the St. David’s Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations and the Cain Center for Nursing Research. The school’s Simulation Lab is designed to resemble a hospital ward with hospital beds, over-bed tables, IV poles, simulated oxygen and suction, and other hospital-related equipment.

Financial Aid: Qualified nursing students are eligible to apply for more than 60 endowed scholarships, which are awarded on the basis of need and merit. Students must complete the School of Nursing Scholarship Application form for consideration; the deadline for submission is March 24. Students may also be eligible for federal and state grants for which they will need to fill out and submit a FAFSA form.

5. Texas Woman's University, Denton

About TWU’s College of Nursing: Although Texas Woman’s University has been admitting male students since 1972, it’s still the largest institution of higher education in the U.S. that focuses primarily on the educational needs of women. The College of Nursing on the Denton campus occupies a floor of the Arts and Sciences building. Nursing undergraduate students spend their freshman and sophomore years completing lower division prerequisites at the university’s Denton campus before transferring to either Houston or Dallas for their final two years. In Houston, they’ll become affiliated with the Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing, which is housed in the Texas Medical Center; in Dallas, they’ll train under the auspices of the T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences.

The university’s nursing school is affiliated with the Center for Global Nursing, and nursing students have the opportunity to pursue research and other types of collaborative experiences with nursing students from Peru, Korea, the Netherlands and other parts of the world. The school’s curriculum also offers nursing education abroad electives in the UK, the Netherlands, Peru and Vietnam.

Financial Aid: More than 50 scholarships are available to nursing students at Texas Woman’s University. Students can apply by creating a Pioneer Portal Account on the university’s website and navigating to the TWU Pioneer Scholarship System. You can apply for scholarships before you’re formally accepted into the university. Out-of-state students who are awarded more than $1,000 in academic scholarship funds may be eligible to pay university tuition at the TX resident rate.

6. University of Texas, Arlington

About College of Nursing and Health Innovation: The College of Nursing and Health Innovation at the University of Texas in Arlington graduates more BSN students than any other nursing school in TX. Despite its size, however, this nursing school is committed to personalized learning, and faculty members function both as mentors and as teachers. Students learn basic nursing skills in a “Smart Hospital” environment that’s set up with its own Emergency Department, ICU, Labor and Delivery suite, pediatric unit, Neonatal ICU and adult medical/surgical beds; “patients” are life-sized, computerized models that have been programmed to respond in realistic ways. Once they have mastered necessary skills, students pursue experiential learning opportunities in hospitals, community health clinics and schools throughout the Arlington and Dallas/Fort Worth areas.

The college is a nationally recognized nursing research center and sponsors a number of specialized nursing research projects at the Center for Research and Scholarship, the Center for Hispanic Studies in Nursing and Health, the Rural Health Outreach Program and the Center for Healthy Living and Longevity. Nursing research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health as well as from private foundations.

Financial Aid: The College of Nursing recently transitioned to a centralized scholarship system called the Mav ScholarShop. Students logging on to this database will be able to review details and application deadlines for 63 discrete nursing scholarships. Additionally, student nurses can apply for federal and state grant support by filling out and submitting the FAFSA form.

7. Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi

About College of Nursing and Health Sciences: Want to go to nursing school in paradise? Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, is the only university in the U.S. that’s located on its own lush, semitropical island. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences makes a special effort to reach out to high-potential students from groups that have been historically under-represented in the provision of health care. The college also has an innovative eLine Military Program that’s specially designed for the needs of individuals who gained prior medical experience and training through their service in the military.

The Nursing College shares Island Hall with the College of Education’s kinesiology program. In a simulated hospital ward on the third floor, students get a hands-on introduction to the clinical skills they’ll use in their subsequent nursing practice. Students will have the opportunity to hone these skills further when they participate in clinical rotations at hospitals, ambulatory care centers and community health agencies throughout the Corpus Christi area. Students also have the option of doing a clinical elective at the university’s Soltis Research Center in Costa Rica.

Financial Aid: The university awards 30 scholarships to nursing students each year. Scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence as well as more specific criteria such as county of residence or field of interest. The deadline for most scholarship applications is March 1. The Office of Student Financial Assistance can also help you apply for other types funding resources such as federal Pell grants and Texas State Tuition Equalization grants.

8. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock

About Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing: Are you serious about confronting risk factors that, when left ignored, too often result in chronic diseases? Then the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing may be right for you. The school is affiliated with the Larry Combest Community Health & Wellness Clinic, which is a federally qualified health center that specializes in the management of chronic diseases like obesity, hypertension and diabetes that may have behavioral components. The Combest Clinic serves families throughout Lubbock and surrounding areas.

The School of Nursing at the Lubbock campus was founded in 1979 in response to critical nursing shortages throughout the western part of Texas. Its clinical coach training model provides a fast track for military veterans who want to translate their frontline medic experience into a nursing degree. The school’s interprofessional, multimodality simulation center gives students a safe way to acquire and practice the clinical skills they will need for success when they move on to clinical placements in hospitals, community clinics and other health care environments in Lubbock and the surrounding areas.

Financial Aid: Students must file an enrollment questionnaire with the Office of Financial Aid and submit a FAFSA form before they will be considered for scholarships. The FAFSA form may also help you qualify for other federal, state or university financial aid as well as for outside scholarships.

9. UTMB (University of Texas Medical Branch), Galveston

About the UTMB School of Nursing: The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston is the site of the Lone Star State’s oldest medical school. Its School of Nursing is one of the oldest in the southwest, too, having been established in 1890 as the John Sealy Hospital Training School for Nurses. The Galveston campus houses the John Sealy Hospital as well as the newer, $438-million Jennie Sealy Hospital, both of which are part of UTMB’s Level 1 trauma system. This gives aspiring nurses plenty of opportunities to seek clinical experiences that will challenge them and help them develop first-class, patient-centered skills.

Classrooms and simulation labs are located in the School of Nursing and Rebecca Sealy Buildings on campus. Nursing students practice skills side by side with other student health care providers, thereby laying the foundations for the interdisciplinary teamwork that will sustain aspiring nurses throughout their professional careers. The School of Nursing is also a noted research center; its research facilities include the Sealy Center on Aging, the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and the Institute for Translational Sciences.

Financial Aid: More than 90 scholarship awards are available to UTMB’s nursing students. While some of these are awarded upon the demonstration of academic excellence, some are based upon financial need, whereas others may include more specific stipulations—for example: residence in a particular Texas county. Other types of financial aid are also available, and UTMB’s Financial Aid staff is very proactive in helping students fill out the FAFSA forms, which are necessary prerequisites for federal grants.

10. Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls

About Wilson School of Nursing: Have you set your heart on attending nursing school in Texas even though you didn’t grow up there? According to “U.S. News and World Report,” the Wilson School of Nursing at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls has one of the least expensive out-of-state tuition rates in the nation. Midwestern State University is the only public liberal arts university in TX, and the Wilson School of Nursing uses a variety of teaching methodologies in the nursing education it provides that build upon this liberal arts foundation.

Graduates of this school will be taught a holistic approach to nursing care that focuses on identifying the complex physiological, psychosocial, political and economic factors that often affect an individual’s health status. Learners acquire new skills in the J.S. Bridwell Regional Simulation Center, which is a 13,000-square-foot facility equipped with a practice hospital environment and lifelike manikins. The Simulation Center is staffed by nurse educators with master’s degrees. A new Health Sciences and Human Services Building is set to open in the fall of 2019.

Financial Aid: The Wilson School awards a number of scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. The Student Affairs Committee meets each spring to review applications; scholarship candidates are selected primarily on the grounds of academic performance. Interested students must fill out the online scholarship application and submit it between January 1 and March 1. Students may also be eligible for needs-based federal and state financial aid; this will be determined by the information contained in the FAFSA forms they submit.


(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Texas State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Texas offering ADN programs.)

1) Laredo Community College - Laredo

Laredo Community College is one of the nursing schools in Texas that offers aspiring registered nurses with two options to complete an associate degree in nursing. The traditional track is open to students with no prior healthcare experience, whereas if you are a licensed LVN, paramedic, or healthcare care professional with direct patient care experience you can enter-into the bridge program. The bridge program builds upon your past professional knowledge, allowing you to complete it in four semesters as against the five semesters for the traditional track. Regardless of the track you enter, the program includes clinical experiences and prepares you for the NCLEX-RN.

2) Howard College - Big Spring

With a rich experience of 50 years in nursing education, Howard College has been offering its RN program in Texas since 1976 and has over the years established strong connections with hospitals and clinics in the Big Spring, San Angelo, and surrounding areas. This benefits students as they are provided with varied opportunities for clinical experiences. Not only that, the college facilities an easy transfer to four-year colleges due to its agreements with major universities in the state of Texas. You are eligible for this associate degree if you hold an active CNA license. The program spans across two years, with the second year mainly comprising online didactic sessions.

3) Amarillo College - Amarillo

Completing an associate degree in Nursing at Amarillo College, a public community college prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN exam and thereafter practice entry-level nursing at community clinics and hospitals. This program has been an offering since 1970 and is ably supported by a dedicated faculty, and exceptional lab and classroom facilities. The program is offered to non-nursing students as a traditional track and to current LVNs as a transition program. While the traditional option requires 5 semesters to complete the transition track can be completed in just 3 semesters.

4) Blinn College - Brenham

Becoming an RN in Texas can be a prudent career move as there is an increasing demand for caregivers to cater to health needs of the state’s huge population. Blinn College realizes this potential and prepares professional nurses with its two-year associate degree in a traditional and LVN to RN bridge format. The college stays committed to student success and provides them with ample practice experiences at its state of art simulation lab, after which they work on real-time patients during clinical rotations. While the traditional track requires attending three to four classes per week and is more demanding in terms of class schedule and study time, the bridge program offers some flexibility with classes held mostly on Fridays and clinicals approximately two days a week.

5) Lone Star College - Kingwood, Montgomery, and Tomball

If you find a calling in caring for the sick, then Lone Star College’s two-year associate in nursing can be considered. You can enter this program either as a new student or as a licensed LVN or paramedic professional. The curriculum requires completing 60 credits panning over four semesters. Before you start the first semester, you must complete prerequisite courses in human anatomy, physiology, and English composition. To hone professional skills, towards the end of the coursework, you will complete a five-credit capstone course. Should you plan to enter a four-year college later, you can easily transfer your credits, as Lone Star has transfer agreements with twelve major colleges and universities across the state.

6) Alvin Community College - Alvin

You can start your career as a nurse or advance it with Alvin Community College’s ADN program that comes in a traditional as well as LVN to ADN transition format. While the former takes two years, the latter is completed on an accelerated pace in one year as some credits from your LVN coursework are transferred towards this degree. The program helps you function as an efficient member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team by teaching nursing concepts, patient care & safety, and ethics of nursing practice. Clinical experiences at various sites throughout the Houston-Galveston region and the Texas Medical Center form an integral part of your overall learning experience.

7) Austin Community College - Austin

A career as a registered nurse can be fulfilling in terms of helping the sick feel better as well as rewarding, salary-wise. Austin Community College offers two options if you are keen on becoming an entry-level RN. This two-year nursing program in TX is offered as a traditional and mobility track. The mobility track can be pursued by licensed LPNs and some specific health care professionals. The program is a combination of on-campus and online classes, lab exercises, and extensive clinical experiences. The RN coursework mainly centers on core nursing courses such as foundation of nursing practice, concepts of adult health & mental health, nursing care of the childbearing woman & family, and leadership & management in nursing.

8) Brookhaven College - Farmers Branch

Nursing education at Brookhaven is offered at an accelerated pace through its RN program that can be completed in just 16 consecutive months. The program is offered twice a year in fall and spring and admits a total of 100 students in both these cohorts. To begin with, the college requires you to complete pre-requisite courses in anatomy and physiology. Upon graduation, you can take the licensure exam and thereafter practice as a registered nurse. Additionally, if you plan to study further, you can simultaneously earn a BSN by concurrently enrolling at the partnering Texas Tech School of Nursing El Paso’s online BSN program.

9) Panola College - Carthage

If you are browsing through nursing schools in Texas, then Panola College prepares you as caring and competent registered nurse with its ADN program. It is offered in two options, the traditional format for students with no prior healthcare or nursing experience and the bridge program for licensed LPN’s who are keen on advancing their nursing career. The traditional coursework is mainly delivered on-campus, while the bridge track requires taking some classes online. The 60-credit hour coursework focuses on teaching your core nursing competencies to perform as a professional nurse, such as providing patient-centric care, advocating for patient safety, and efficiently collaborating with a healthcare team.

10) Mountain View College – Dallas

Mountain View College, a part of the DCCCD network, offers a full-time ADN program that combines clinical experience with theory. The program is rigorous in nature, with a combination of didactic classes and extensive clinical rotations. With an impetus on honing bedside skills, you start with wide-ranging clinical experiences at area hospitals from the first the semester itself. This 60 credit RN curriculum spans across five semesters and requires you to complete all courses with a minimum grade “C” or higher. As a graduate of this program, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN and start your nursing career as a registered nurse.


Career Options in Texas Post-Completion of My Nursing Education

One of the best things about a nursing degree is that it can be used professionally in many different ways, depending upon whether you prefer to be on the front line of patient care, whether you see yourself supervising and supporting a nursing staff, or whether there’s a specialty like midwifery or anesthesiology you particularly enjoy. Read on to find out more about seven dynamic career paths that will open up to you post completion of a Texas nursing program.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Requirements to work as a CNA in TX: The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) under the aegis of Texas Health and Human Services sets the specific guidelines under which CNAs work in the Lone Star State. Certification is required, and you can attain certification in several ways: You can either take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination after completing a state-approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP), or you can transfer your out-of-state CNA certification by filling out a reciprocity application. CNAs must be at least 18 years old, have a clean criminal background check, be up to date with all current immunizations, test negative for TB exposure and be CPR-certified. The record of CNAs who are certified to provide care at long-term facilities throughout TX is maintained by the Nurse Aide Registry under the auspices of DADS.

Salary: On average, CNAs in the Lone Star State earn $12.99 per hour, which amounts to approximately $27,030 annually. CNAs in Houston, which is the largest city in TX, make $28,460 a year on average.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $9.79 - $17.57 $1,700 - $3,050 $20,360 - $36,540
Average $12.99 $2,250 $27,030
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
1,771 10,989 12,760
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Employment Outlook: Demand for CNAs in Texas is predicted to grow by nearly 20 percent by 2026. The main driver will be the explosive growth of the Lone Star State’s aging population, which will increase the need for CNAs in long-term care facilities.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
89,850 107,560 17,710 19.71%
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN)

Requirements to work as an LVN in TX: The Texas Board of Nursing oversees the credentialing of LVNs in the Lone Star State. The Board does not specify the LVN scope of practice, but typically LVNs are-allowed-to perform many of the same duties that RNs perform so long as they are supervised by an RN or advanced practice nurse, a physician’s assistant or a physician. Licensure entails passing the state’s NCLEX-PN examination upon completion of an accredited vocational nursing course. LVNs must also pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence exam with a score of 75 percent or higher to ensure that they are familiar with the Texas Nursing Practice Act and the Texas Board of Nursing Rules and Regulations. In order to maintain your license, you’ll be required to take 20 contact hours of continuing education every two years.

Salary: Texas LVNs can make nearly $50,000 a year if they work in high-demand urban markets such as Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. The average LVN salary is $22.59 per hour or $46,990 annually.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $16.58 - $29.53 $2,870 - $5,120 $34,490 - $61,420
Average $22.59 $3,920 $46,990
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
1,360 5,480 6,840
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Employment Outlook: In Texas, the demand for LVNs continues to be high because LVNs are a cost-effective solution to the provision of quality care. While LVNs may be in the process of being phased out in hospital settings, they continue to be sought after in long-term care facilities and outpatient settings. In fact, TX is one of the states with the highest levels of LVN employment.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
71,430 85,030 13,600 19.04%
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Registered Nurse (RN)

Requirements to work as an RN in TX: In TX, RNs practice under the auspices of the Texas Board of Nursing. Licensure depends upon passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX - RN) after graduating from one of the 110 professional nursing programs in Texas that are approved by the Board of Nursing. Additionally, TX RNs must pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence exam, which requires answering three-quarters of the questions correctly. RNs who practice in one of the states that participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact may also practice in TX. RN licenses must be renewed every two years; renewal requires 20 hours of continuing education credits.

Salary: The average hourly wage for an RN working in TX is $35.04 an hour or approximately $72,890 a year. In high-demand metropolitan centers, RNs are likely to make somewhat more: RNs working in Houston average a little under $80,200 annually.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $25.28 - $47.20 $4,380 - $8,180 $52,590 - $98,170
Average $35.04 $6,070 $72,890
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
5,083 11,897 16,980
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Employment Outlook: While demand for RNs nationally is expected to grow by 15 percent by 2026, the demand for nurses in the Lone Star State is projected to grow by 25 percent. Texas will need more than 50,000 additional RNs if the health care needs of the state are to be met. This is primarily due to the state’s changing demographics as Baby Boomers age. Many RNs themselves are also Baby Boomers, and when they retire, they will leave a void.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
210,780 261,610 50,830 24.12%
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Requirements to work as an NP in TX: Nurse practitioners are mid-level health care providers who are qualified to treat certain medical conditions without physician oversight. NPs are graduates of master’s degree programs or Ph.D. programs. In TX, an NP’s scope of practice is broadly defined and can include the ability to diagnose illnesses, provide treatments and even prescribe medications so long as that’s done under the auspices of a collaborating physician. Like other Advanced Practice RNs (APRNs), nurse practitioners are certified according to their specialties: Family nurse practitioners may seek certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners while pediatric nurse practitioners may seek certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. For the most part, Texas law does not allow NPs to practice independently; they can only practice when written, signed agreements exist with a supervising physician.

Salary: On average, NPs in TX make $53.39 an hour or $111,060 a year. There is some variation in NP salaries across the state: NPs in Houston, for example, earn a little more than $121,500 a year.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $39.66 - $72.94 $6,870 - $12,640 $82,490 - $151,720
Average $53.39 $9,260 $111,060
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
397 533 930
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Employment Outlook: In 2016, there were fewer than 10,000 NPs in the Lone Star State. While the demand for NPs is projected to grow by more than 40 percent by 2026, this still leaves TX with fewer than 15,000 NPs. You can expect the demand for these professionals to soar if Texas follows the lead of many other states and allows NPs to function as truly independent practitioners.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
9,060 13,030 3,970 43.82%
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Requirements to work as a CRNA in TX: CRNAs are advanced practice nurses who administer anesthesia for surgery and other medical treatments. In order to practice as a CRNA in TX, you must possess a BSN and a valid RN license; you must have at least one year of work experience in a critical care unit; and you must successfully complete an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program and the National Certification Examination (NCE) which is offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). CRNAs do not need to be directly supervised by physicians. They are overseen by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Salary: The average yearly salary of a CRNA in the state of Texas is a little more than $158,000. In Houston, the Lone Star State’s largest city, the average earnings of a CRNA is $162,070.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $46.29 - $98.97 $8,020 - $17,160 $96,270 - $205,860
Average $76.21 $13,210 $158,510
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
125 255 380
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Employment Outlook: In 2016, there were 125 CRNAs in the Lone Star State. The need for these practitioners is expected to increase by 26% by 2026. CRNAs have the great advantage of being relatively low-cost substitutes in the economic sense for far more costly physician anesthetists.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
4,850 6,100 1,250 25.77%
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Requirements to work as a CNM in TX: Certified Nurse Midwives preside over births and provide antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum care. In Texas, they practice under the authority of the Texas Board of Nursing. To become a CNM in the Lone Star State, you must earn a master’s degree or Ph.D. in nurse-midwifery by enrolling in a graduate program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). Upon graduation, students must pass the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) exam in order to practice.

Salary: CNMs in TX make anywhere between $32.43 - $58.35 an hour. In Dallas/Fort Worth, the average CNM salary is nearly $82,300 a year while in Houston, it is slightly more than $97,000 annually.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $32.43 - $58.35 $5,620 - $10,110 $67,440 - $121,360
Average $41.30 $7,160 $85,900
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Nurse Educator (NE)

Requirements to work as a NE in TX: If you’re interested in becoming a nurse educator, the first step is getting the advanced degree you need to teach. Your degree will need to be at least an MSN, though many nurse educators hold doctoral-level degrees like a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.). While certification is not currently required for nurse educators, it’s highly recommended to be competitive. Nurse educators can earn certification from the National League for Nursing (NLN) by taking the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam.

Salary: NEs are no exception to the rule that people in the teaching professions are not paid commensurately with other professionals. The average salary for NEs ranges from $58,560 in Corpus Christi to nearly $83,000 in Houston.

Type Hourly Monthly Annual
Range $13.48 - $53.09 $2,340 - $9,200 $28,040 - $110,420
Average $34.51 $5,980 $71,780
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Annual Job Openings

New Replacement Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
139 401 540
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Employment Outlook: As the need for nurses escalates, the need for qualified individuals who can educate those nurses will also escalate: The demand for NEs is expected to increase by well over 30% percent by 2026.

Employment Employment Growth, 2016-26
2016 2026 Number Percent
4,720 6,110 1,390 29.45%
(Source: careeronestop.org)

Which Hospitals in Texas Employ the Highest Number of Nurses?

It should come as no surprise that the Texas hospitals that employ the highest number of nurses are in high-population-density metropolitan areas like Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio. Hospitals in these places are more likely to deal with critically ill patients who need a lower ratio of nurse-to-patient care. These hospitals tend to pay higher wages to their nursing staffs, in part to offset the increased stress that comes from working with critically ill patients. The wage scale increases with nurse seniority: If they stay at one workplace, most nurses can expect a steady increase in salary between one and three percent a year the longer they work.

Urban hospitals also tend to offer sterling benefit packages to attract and retain nurses. Benefits frequently include comprehensive health care plans that includes dental, vision and pharmaceutical coverage; retirement savings plans; both short-term and long-term disability options; and basic and supplemental life insurance options. Large urban hospitals typically offer more educational opportunities for nurses, too; these range from inservices on new drugs and procedures to tuition reimbursement or even student loan repayment.

Rank Hospital Name Location
1 Methodist Hospital San Antonio
2 Baptist Medical Center San Antonio
3 Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital Houston
4 Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center Houston
5 Houston Methodist Hospital Houston
6 Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas Dallas
7 South Texas Health System Edinburg Edinburg
8 Parkland Hospital Dallas
9 Ben Taub General Hospital Houston
10 The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Houston

Which Nursing Homes in Texas Employ the Highest Number of Nurses?

Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are distributed throughout TX. Nurses who work in these settings tend to act as supervisors for the CNAs and LVNs who do the majority of the hands-on care. Nurses may be responsible for administering certain medications and for making sure that the care delivered is-in-compliance with Texas state regulations. Nurses may also be responsible for writing reports that document compliance.

Rank Nursing Home Name Location
1 Texhoma Christian Care Center Inc. Wichita Falls
2 Normandy Terrace Nursing & Rehabilitation Center San Antonio
3 Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, Inc. Houston
4 The Village at Richardson Richardson
5 Diversicare of Lake Highlands Dallas
6 Trinity Healthcare Residence Fort Worth
7 Golden Acres Living and Rehabilitation Center Dallas
8 Williamsburg Village Healthcare Campus Desoto
9 West Side Campus of Care White Settlement
10 Alamo Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center San Antonio

Metro Area Wise Average Salary Data for all the 7 Major Nursing Careers

As noted above, nurses tend to earn higher salaries in the Lone Star State’s big cities with Houston—where the average RN salary is $80,160—leading the pack. In Texarkana—a city whose population is only 38,000—nurses make nearly $22,000 a year less than they do in Houston.

Abilene $25,160 $40,590 $63,510 $88,930 $164,210
Amarillo $27,990 $45,950 $66,250 $102,040 $59,640
Austin-Round Rock $28,580 $46,570 $70,260 $103,410 $79,440
Beaumont-Port Arthur $28,250 $40,860 $69,820 $114,280
Brownsville-Harlingen $23,520 $46,320 $73,310 $126,380 $83,890
College Station-Bryan $26,870 $44,950 $68,630 $120,160
Corpus Christi $26,480 $47,300 $64,170 $106,210 $58,560
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington $27,780 $50,770 $74,140 $106,610 $164,210 $82,240 $68,260
El Paso $25,380 $47,430 $70,440 $107,160 $62,190
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land $28,460 $48,720 $80,160 $121,670 $162,070 $97,370 $82,900
Killeen-Temple $26,920 $44,870 $70,100 $106,820 $158,360 $64,800
Laredo $25,730 $53,170 $67,370 $117,400
Longview $24,510 $47,510 $62,960 $105,210
Lubbock $27,330 $46,360 $70,390 $113,020
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission $23,350 $46,410 $71,010 $107,880 $63,270
Midland $28,570 $48,810 $62,950 $117,520
Odessa $28,130 $44,310 $65,190 $111,000 $68,840
San Angelo $26,740 $45,060 $66,540 $111,200
San Antonio-New Braunfels $26,940 $45,210 $72,270 $100,860
Sherman-Denison $26,350 $46,150 $66,770
Texarkana $24,000 $37,970 $58,080 $111,080
Tyler $24,670 $44,790 $60,460 $108,970 $188,720
Victoria $28,400 $38,950 $63,880
Waco $26,810 $46,640 $64,900 $117,500
Wichita Falls $22,630 $38,860 $66,750 $113,480 $102,430
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Metro Area Wise Employment Figures for all the 7 Major Nursing Careers

Big cities like Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio are likely to have more ill and critically ill individuals than smaller cities like Midland, Laredo and Wichita Falls. It stands to reason that health care facilities in these places employ more nursing staff.

Abilene 980 1,650 100
Amarillo 930 860 2,950 110 110
Austin-Round Rock 5,250 3,780 13,540 820 340
Beaumont-Port Arthur 980 1,400 2,880 150
Brownsville-Harlingen 1,170 1,120 2,060 90
College Station-Bryan 730 470 1,910 50
Corpus Christi 1,430 1,200 3,630 140 170
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 22,970 16,760 59,730 3,300 1,620 790
El Paso 2,260 2,010 5,690 390 150
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 18,080 14,240 53,250 3,000 2,020 70 590
Killeen-Temple 1,100 1,770 3,360 230 150 90
Laredo 690 450 1,270 100
Longview 1,050 810 1,830 120
Lubbock 1,630 1,630 3,680 250
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 2,410 2,010 4,800 290 40
Midland 630 370 1,160 120
Odessa 480 350 1,190 30 80
San Angelo 520 450 990 50
San Antonio-New Braunfels 7,890 6,170 18,160 1,360
Sherman-Denison 580 540 1,630
Texarkana 880 670 1,530 50
Tyler 1,670 1,160 3,860 140 120
Victoria 350 570 1,330
Waco 1,150 780 2,280 140
Wichita Falls 560 1,090 1,280 110
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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