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Best Nursing Schools in Austin (Texas) – 2020


There are numerous hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities spread out across Austin, Texas. These include three primary healthcare systems - Seton Healthcare, St. David’s HealthCare, and Baylor Scott & White Health – which account for 21 of the area’s hospitals alone. The demand for nursing professionals ranging from nursing assistants to registered nurses, and even nurse practitioners continues to grow, which makes nursing an excellent career choice. Below, you can find information for the five best nursing schools in Austin to help you prepare for your future in this exciting industry.

What are the Best Nursing Schools in Austin for the 2020?


1. University of Texas at Austin

Why University of Texas at Austin?

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing is widely regarded as offering some of the very best nursing programs in Austin, and in many cases, even the nation. The school boasts an incredibly diverse student and faculty population, community-based clinics focused on providing healthcare to underserved parts of the area, incredibly lucrative collaborations, and cutting-edge research facilities that focus on improving healthcare throughout the entire lifespan.

You can find a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate programs at the University of Texas at Austin, whether you want to start your career right away with a bachelor’s degree or you’re ready to obtain the highest education possible and become a distinguished nursing professional – as well as anything in between. As a University of Texas at Austin student, you can learn from some of the very best faculty in the country, and as you learn, you can feel confident that you are doing your part for the community.

Undergraduate Programs: The University of Texas at Austin offers two different BSN tracks for aspiring and working RNs alike. These include the traditional BSN intended for high school graduates or individuals who do not have any nursing education and the ADN to BSN track for RNs who want to further their education beyond the associate degree level.

Graduate Programs: After completing your baccalaureate education, you can choose to pursue one of The University of Texas at Austin’s amazing graduate programs. The Alternate Entry MSN program is phenomenal if you have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing, but you can also choose the direct entry MSN, as well. You can also find Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD), and a unique alternate entry PhD program here.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
• Associate Degree in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ADN-BSN)
Graduate • Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing (AE-MSN)
• Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
• Alternate Entry Doctor of Philosophy (AE-PhD)
• Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
• Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


2. South University - Austin

Why South University - Austin?

South University at Austin is yet another excellent nursing college in Austin that strives to provide aspiring and existing nurses with the tools and support required to fulfill their career goals. It is a nonprofit educational institution focused on providing students with the highest quality education in a conveniently-delivered format.

The South University at Austin College of Nursing and Public Health is one of the only nursing schools in Austin to make a wide number of its courses and programs available to students online. Though you must still complete your clinicals in person, you can choose from dozens of partner medical facilities offering numerous opportunities in various specialties to suit your individual needs.

Undergraduate Programs: South University at Austin offers two different BSN programs to suit its students’ needs. These include the standard four-year BSN, which combines general education with core nursing courses, as well as the RN to BSN program designed specifically for RNs who already have associate degrees (ADNs). The latter allows you to bring your previous education with you, thereby shortening the length of time it takes to complete your BSN to two to three years.

Graduate Programs: If you aspire to grow beyond registered nursing and provide a different level of care as a nurse practitioner, you might also consider the MSN degree option offered through South University at Austin. It offers the family nurse practitioner (FNP) specialty and provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to take the next step in your career.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
• Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Graduate • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner


3. Concordia University Texas

Why Concordia University Texas?

The Concordia University Texas College of Nursing is one of the only Christian nursing schools in Austin. Its mission involves preparing students to become Christian leaders in their nursing practices and provide the best, safest, and highest quality care to patients in a wide range of settings. Though the campus is in Austin, Concordia University also provides remote learning throughout Texas, which is ideal for traveling students.

If you want to learn in a Christian atmosphere focused on compassion, vocation, courage, trust, and the development of a lifelong love of learning, Concordia University Texas is the school for you. You can even participate in CAN-DO Missions, which are short-term trips across the country to use their knowledge, expertise, and talents to serve others through volunteer work.

Undergraduate Programs: You can participate in one of three unique BSN programs at Concordia University depending on your individual needs. The traditional four-year BSN is ideal for high school graduates as well as those who do not have any previous degrees while the accelerated BSN is a great choice if you already have a baccalaureate education in another discipline. Finally, if you are an associate degree-educated RN, you can participate in the RN to BSN bridge program online to further your education, enhance your responsibilities, and improve your salary while making yourself a highly competitive RN in today’s workforce.

Graduate Programs: After you have earned your BSN degree, you may choose to go on to earn a graduate degree to take on new roles within the nursing profession. Again, Concordia University Texas offers three options. The first is the traditional MSN for BSN graduates, but you can also choose from one of two online RN to MSN programs depending on your previous education.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • Nursing BSN
• RN to BSN - Online
• Accelerated BSN
Graduate • Master of Science in Nursing
• RN to MSN - Online
• RN+ to MSN - Online


4. Western Governors University - Austin

Why Western Governors University - Austin?

Western Governors University (WGU) at Austin is another excellent choice for anyone who aspires to a profession in nursing as well as those who already work in the healthcare industry but want to take on additional roles and further their education. The WGU College of Health Professions Online offers flexibility and affordability to students who have busy schedules and who prefer studying online as opposed to traveling to campus.

WGU excels when it comes to helping students obtain higher education despite their busy schedules. Each of their programs combines online lecture-based learning with hands-on clinicals to provide a well-rounded experience. The best part about this nursing school in Austin is that you can learn at your very own pace, so if you need some extra time, you can have it – but if you finish it early, you can complete the program early, too.

Undergraduate Programs: Western Governors University offers two undergraduate programs from which you can choose. The first is the traditional prelicensure BSN, which is geared toward high school graduates and those who do not have any previous education in nursing. The second is the RN to BSN option, which is perfect for anyone who already has an associate degree in nursing, but who wants to obtain a baccalaureate degree for higher pay, more relevancy in the workforce, or even as a foundation for a graduate degree.

Graduate Programs: Graduate programs at WGU are all MSN degrees, but some have different focuses than others. The standard MSN is offered in a BSN-to-MSN or RN-to-BSN format, but you can also choose to specialize in leadership and management or nursing informatics with these MSN programs, as well. It’s all about suiting your individual needs and ensuring you have the tools to succeed.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • Nursing (RN-to-BSN Online) – B.S.
• Nursing (Prelicensure) – B.S.
Graduate • Nursing – Education (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.
• Nursing – Education (BSN-to-MSN) – M.S.
• Nursing – Leadership and Management (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.
• Nursing – Leadership and Management (BSN-to-MSN) – M.S.
• Nursing – Nursing Informatics (RN–to–MSN) – M.S.
• Nursing – Nursing Informatics (BSN-to-MSN) – M.S.


5. Austin Community College

Why Austin Community College?

Most community colleges across the nation only offer diplomas, certificates, and associate degrees, but Austin Community College is different. It has been approved by the Texas Board of Nursing to provide RN to BSN programs to its students in an incredibly accessible and affordable format, and it is one of only a handful of community colleges in the nation to offer it. In fact, the Austin Community College Nursing Program was named the Best of the Best among nursing programs in the area by the Austin American-Statesman in a community poll.

The goal of this nursing school in Austin is to provide the community with a full pathway to a nursing career to satisfy the area’s demand for RNs. This pathway is designed in such a way that it is fully accessible to everyone, whether they work full time, support a family, or have the time to commit themselves to full-time education. These programs are also amazing stepping stones for students who aspire to be leaders, educators, and researchers in the future.

Undergraduate Programs: ACC offers three undergraduate program options for aspiring and working nurses. These include the Vocational Nursing Certificate, which prepares you to work as an LVN in the state of Texas, the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), which gives you the education you need to become an RN, and the RN to BSN program, which helps you further your education so you can take on more responsibility and earn a higher salary – and perhaps even prepare for a graduate degree in the future.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • Associate Degree in Nursing (Mobility Track & Traditional Track)
• RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
• Vocational Nursing Certificate


How Many Nurses are Currently Employed in Austin?


There are 23,730 nursing professionals currently employed across the state of Texas. This includes 3,780 LVNs, 13,540 RNs, and 820 NPs. These professionals fill numerous rolls in the community, from caring for the elderly in nursing homes to providing lifesaving care in the city’s top trauma centers.

Occupation Employment
Certified Nursing Assistants 5,250
Licensed Vocational Nurses 3,780
Registered Nurses 13,540
Nurse Practitioners 820
Nurse Anesthetists N/A
Nurse Midwives N/A
Nurse Educators 340
Total Number of Nurses 23,730


Work Environment and Working Hours for Nurses in Austin


When you choose to become a nurse in Austin, there are numerous career options available to you, and each one will come with its own unique working environment and hours. Working in a doctors’ office is typically the least stressful option, and it often requires you to work only daytime hours through the week with very few nights, weekends, or holidays – if any at all.

On the other hand, if you choose to work in a hospital, particularly in a labor and delivery setting or even in an emergency room, you will be working in an environment that can go from relaxed to fast-paced and incredibly stressful in a matter of seconds. What’s more, these career paths will require you to work whenever you are needed, whether that means overnight hours, weekends, or holidays.

Which Austin Hospitals are Hiring the Most Number of Nurses?


Rank Hospital Name
1 Saint David's Medical Center
2 Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin
3 Saint David's North Austin Medical Center
4 Saint David's South Austin Medical Center
5 Ascension Seton Northwest
6 Heart Hospital of Austin
7 Ascension Seton Southwest
8 Arise Austin Medical Center
9 The Hospital at Westlake Medical Center
10 Northwest Hills Surgical Hospital


Which Austin Nursing Homes are Hiring the Most Number of Nurses?


Rank Nursing Home Name Location
1 Heritage Park Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center Austin
2 The Wesleyan at Scenic Georgetown
3 Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Duval Austin
4 Regent Care Center of San Marcos San Marcos
5 San Gabriel Rehabilitation and Care Center Round Rock
6 Estrella Oaks Rehabilitation and Care Center Georgetown
7 Park Manor Bee Cave Bee Cave
8 Stonebriar Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Austin
9 Trinity Care Center - Round Rock Round Rock
10 Monte Siesta Nursing and Rehabilitation LP Austin


What are the Major Reasons Behind the Strong Demand for Nurses in Austin?


While the nursing shortage hasn’t affected Austin in the same way it has affected other parts of the country, the demand still exists. A growing population across the city, and further growth expected over the next several years will continue to increase the demand for highly qualified and skilled healthcare professionals. Austin residents have access to better health insurance that allows them for more specialized care, as well, and this means more people are seeing their doctors and nurse practitioners for common illnesses and injuries than ever before. Nurses play critical roles in this care.

Cutting-edge research in fields like cancer, communicable disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain injury also takes place across Texas, and people come to places Like Methodist Hospital from around the country to receive treatment that may not be available to them elsewhere. Because of this, employers will continue to seek nurse aides, LVNs, RNs, and others to help provide the quality care that the residents of Austin have come to expect.

Starting Nurse Salary in Austin


Your salary as a nursing professional in your very first year will be much lower than the average across Austin, the state, and the nation. For example, an LVN who has just completed a nursing program can earn $37,300 in his or her first year, while an RN, who requires more education and has more responsibilities, can earn $56,665 in his or her first year.

Occupation Average Starting Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
CNA $11.18 $1,992 $23,250
LVN $17.94 $3,743 $37,300
RN $27.24 $4,953 $56,655
NP $41.04 $6,950 $85,355
CRNA N/A N/A N/A


Average Nurse Salary in Austin


CNA: CNAs work primarily in nursing homes and hospitals to assist LVNs and RNs in the provision of quality healthcare. They earn an average salary of $28,580 across the city of Austin.

LVN: The average annual LVN salary in Austin is $46,570 a year. LVNs also work in nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors’ offices to provide care to patients under a doctor’s supervision and guidance.

RN: The registered nurse salary in Austin is $70,260 a year on average. RNs earn more than LVNs due to having more responsibilities and higher educational requirements.

NP: Nurse practitioners earn an average of $103,410 a year in Austin, Texas. These individuals bridge the gap between RNs and physicians by diagnosing and planning treatment for illnesses and injuries with a high level of precision.

Occupation Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
CNA $13.74 $2,382 $28,580
LVN $22.39 $3,881 $46,570
RN $33.78 $5,855 $70,260
NP $49.72 $8,618 $103,410
CRNA N/A N/A N/A
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Salary with Experience


The two best ways to increase your salary as a nursing professional include gaining higher education and gaining experience in your field. This is evident when you compare a nurse’s starting salary to the salary he or she can earn with several years of experience. For example, an LVN in the first year can earn $37,300, but with 10 to 19 years of experience, this can increase to $54,640. These increases can be seen across the entire spectrum of nursing jobs.

Years of Experience Average Salary
CNA LVN RN NP CRNA
1-4 years $25,010 $40,900 $60,370 $90,090 N/A
5-9 years $28,370 $47,130 $70,020 $103,930 N/A
10-19 years $31,500 $54,640 $78,910 $119,540 N/A
20 years or more $36,390 $61,020 $91,660 $129,200 N/A


Average Nurse Salary in Austin Compared to Texas State


Nurses in Austin earn slightly less than the state average in every single profession except for CNAs. Nursing assistants in Austin earn 5.73% more than the state average of $27,030, which equals a $1,550 annual difference. Otherwise, nursing professionals earn anywhere from 0.89% to 6.89% less than the state average.

Occupation Austin Texas Difference
Number %
CAN $28,580 $27,030 $1,550 5.73%
LVN $46,570 $46,990 - $420 - 0.89%
RN $70,260 $72,890 - $2,630 - 3.61%
NP $103,410 $111,060 - $7,650 - 6.89%
CRNA N/A $158,510 N/A N/A
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Average Nurse Salary in Austin Compared to National


Salaries for nursing professionals in Austin, Texas are very slightly lower than the national average salaries, and these differences range from 1.02% in the case of LVNs to as high as 6.95% for RNs.

Occupation Austin National Difference
Number %
CNA $28,580 $29,580 - $1,000 - 3.38%
LVN $46,570 $47,050 - $480 - 1.02%
RN $70,260 $75,510 - $5,250 - 6.95%
NP $103,410 $110,030 - $6,620 - 6.02%
CRNA N/A $174,790 N/A N/A
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Salaries in Comparison to Other Closely Related Health Care Occupations in Austin


Of all the closely-related healthcare occupations in Austin, pharmacists earn the highest annual pay at $124,490. Nurse practitioners come in third on the list with their $103,410 annual salaries. Certified nursing assistants earn the least of all the related healthcare professions at $28,580, and this is just slightly less than medical assistants, who earn $33,760 a year on average in Austin.

Occupation Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
Pharmacist 1,410 $59.85 $10,374 $124,490
Physician Assistant 560 $51.94 $9,003 $108,030
Nurse Practitioner 820 $49.72 $8,618 $103,410
Physical Therapist 890 $43.16 $7,481 $89,770
Dental Hygienist 1,200 $39.41 $6,832 $81,980
Radiation Therapist 130 $39.36 $6,823 $81,870
Nursing Instructor and Teacher, Postsecondary 340 N/A $6,620 $79,440
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer 330 $36.25 $6,284 $75,410
Occupational Therapist 530 $35.95 $6,232 $74,780
Registered Nurse 13,540 $33.78 $5,855 $70,260
Physical Therapist Assistant 590 $31.47 $5,455 $65,460
Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician 440 $29.30 $5,078 $60,940
Radiologic Technologist 910 $28.62 $4,962 $59,540
Respiratory Therapist 730 $28.41 $4,925 $59,100
Dietitians and Nutritionist 400 $25.24 $4,374 $52,490
Surgical Technologist 860 $24.25 $4,203 $50,440
Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic 1,510 $22.41 $3,884 $46,610
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse 3,780 $22.39 $3,881 $46,570
Medical Assistant 4,480 $16.23 $2,813 $33,760
Certified Nursing Assistant 5,250 $13.74 $2,382 $28,580
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


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