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Best Nursing Schools in Houston (Texas) – 2020


Nursing is one of the most popular professions in the country thanks to its excellent pay and job security. In the Houston, Texas area, this still holds true. Lucrative employers like Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist Hospital, and the MD Anderson Cancer Center are always looking to hire outstanding nurses to provide patient care. If you are considering this popular career choice, you can learn more about some of the best nursing schools in Houston below. With this information, you can make better choices about your education and your future.

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


1. University of St. Thomas

Why University of St. Thomas?

The University of St. Thomas’s Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing focuses primarily on holistic nursing, which involves healing each patient’s body, mind, and spirit rather than focusing only on the body. This holistic approach is evident in the school’s approach to learning; you will learn to make good decisions quickly, and you will also learn excellent written and oral communication skills, which can save patients’ lives.

The University of St. Thomas is known for its high-tech Center for Science and Health Professions, which will give you access to large study spaces, today’s best labs, and innovative equipment, all of which will provide you with one of the best hands-on learning experiences the city has to offer. It is one of the most popular nursing programs in Houston for these reasons, and it is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or CCNE.

Undergraduate Programs: The BSN undergraduate program at the University of St. Thomas is a standard four-year program that mixes the core curriculum with various courses specific to the nursing profession. If you are looking for BSN programs in Houston that teach you to treat the whole patient – including body, mind, and spirit – this one is a great choice.

Graduate Programs: You might also choose to earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree at the University of St. Thomas, which builds on the courses taught during the BSN program and focuses on leadership, research, and education. The DNP program takes about three years for baccalaureate degree holders, but space is extremely limited, which makes admission competitive.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • BSN
Graduate • DNP


2. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Why University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston?

The Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center is another popular nursing school in Houston. It offers a wide variety of programs designed to provide each aspiring nurse with the precise education he or she needs to achieve his or her career goals. Each of these programs combines core curriculum with nursing-specific courses and practicums held in some of the region’s most prestigious medical facilities. When you complete one of these programs, you can feel confident that you are prepared to think, act, and make critical nursing decisions in any setting.

Undergraduate Programs: The Pacesetter BSN program is one of the most popular nursing programs at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. It is a fast-paced program that will allow you to complete it in as little as 15 months. The first three semesters contain the core nursing courses, and the fourth consists of intensive clinical experiences. If you are an RN with an associate degree, you can also choose the school’s RN to BSN program.

Graduate Programs: This is one of the best nursing schools in Houston when it comes to graduate programs, as well. There are several from which to choose, depending on your ultimate career goals. If you choose to pursue the MSN degree, for example, you will choose from one of six clinical tracks, which include options like psychiatry and mental health or nursing leadership and administration. You might also choose to obtain your DNP or even Ph.D. in nursing.

Complete List of Programs Offered

Undergraduate • Pacesetter BSN
• RN-BSN
Graduate • RN-MSN in Leadership and Administration
• RN-FNP
• MSN
• Post-Master’s Certificate
• BSN to DNP - Nurse Anesthesia
• BSN to DNP - Nurse Practitioner
• DNP
• PhD


3. Houston Baptist University

Why Houston Baptist University?

Though Houston Baptist University (HBU) builds its foundation on the Baptist Christian faith, anyone is encouraged to apply and complete a nursing program here. The programs focus on creating the best healthcare delivery for individual patients, families, and entire communities. This nursing school in Houston will place you into a closely-knit cohort, and you will progress through the program with these individuals as you build friendships and professional relationships. You can even participate in the Nursing Student Association at HBU.

The small and incredibly personal classes are designed to make the rigorous curriculum more digestible for students, and because of the exceptional faculty, those who graduate HBU nursing programs are among some of the most respected nurses in the Houston area. In fact, you could even be given opportunities in some of the world’s best hospitals thanks to the school’s reputation.

Undergraduate Programs: Houston Baptist University offers on-campus traditional and honors BSN programs; the latter provides you with the education you need to prepare you for an MSN degree. If you already have an associate degree and you are working as an RN, you can take advantage of HBU’s RN to BSN program online and learn on your own schedule.

Graduate Programs: Houston Baptist University offers a Master of Science in Nursing. What’s more, because many of its students are already working as baccalaureate-educated RNs, nurse supervisors, research nurses, and more, HBU offers this as a hybrid program. This means you will attend some courses on campus and complete others online. Students who have already entered the workforce certainly appreciate this flexibility.

Complete List of Programs Offered


Undergraduate • Nursing - BSN (On Campus)
• Nursing - Honors BSN (On Campus)
• RN to BSN (Online)
Graduate • Master of Science in Nursing - MSN (Hybrid)


4. University of Houston – Downtown

Why University of Houston - Downtown?

The University of Houston Downtown (UHD) Campus is yet another excellent choice. The school combines classroom learning with clinical experience, allowing you to learn from some of the best medical professionals in the area in both lecture and hands-on settings. You will participate in your clinicals at the renowned Texas Medical Center and in various other facilities throughout the community to better understand your role as an RN.

UHD trains nurses for a wide variety of careers, as well. You may go on to work as an RN in a hospital, nursing home, or doctor’s office, but you might also choose to go into nursing management, education, or community service at the local or even national level.

Undergraduate Programs: The University of Houston Downtown offers an RN to BSN program, which is designed especially for nurses who already have associate degrees but who want to further their education. This RN to BSN option was specifically created to provide you with a strong foundation for other degrees in the future, whether you choose to pursue an MSN and become a family nurse practitioner or go on to earn a doctorate degree and become a college professor or researcher. It only takes 33 hours to complete your education, and thanks to the flexible class schedule and location near the medical center, it is a very convenient program – especially for those who are already working as LVNs or RNs nearby.

Complete List of Programs Offered


Undergraduate • RN to BSN


How Many Nurses are Currently Employed in Houston?


In total, there are 91,250 nurses in Houston, including 53,250 registered nurses, 14,240 licensed vocational nurses, 3,000 nurse practitioners, and more.

Occupation Employment
Certified Nursing Assistants 18,080
Licensed Vocational Nurses 14,240
Registered Nurses 53,250
Nurse Practitioners 3,000
Nurse Anesthetists 2,020
Nurse Midwives 70
Nurse Educators 590
Total Number of Nurses 91,250
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Work Environment and Working Hours for Nurses in Houston


Nursing can be a very demanding and stressful career, especially in certain settings. To put this in perspective, if you choose to work in a trauma center or emergency room setting, these are very fast-paced, high-stress environments that require quick thinking and action to save lives. Many medical facilities – including places like hospitals and nursing homes – are open year-round, too. This means that you may work weekends, holidays, and even overnight hours.

On the other hand, you could choose to work in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic that is only open during the daytime hours through the week. These types of settings are far less stressful and give you more predictability in your schedule. Almost all nurses in Houston work full-time hours, though some may work only part-time, especially in home health. Keep these things in mind when you decide to become a nurse in Houston.

Which Houston Hospitals are Hiring the Most Number of Nurses?


Houston is home to some of the best hospitals in not only Texas, but also the entire country. The best hospitals in the city include the Memorial Hermann network, which consists of the Southwest and Texas Medical Center campuses. It is the largest not-for-profit health system in the state, and it is incredibly well-known for its e-visits that allow patients to meet with doctors and/or nurses via the internet and receive a care plan in as little as 30 minutes.

Other outstanding hospitals in Texas hiring many nurses include Houston Methodist Hospital, Ben Taub General Hospital, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the latter of which is a leader in cancer research and saves countless lives every year. Some of the best clinical trials in all of Texas take place here, and the nurses and nurse practitioners employed by the facility experience incredible fulfillment and job security.

Rank Hospital Name
1 Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital
2 Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center
3 Houston Methodist Hospital
4 Ben Taub General Hospital
5 The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
6 CHI Saint Luke's Health-Baylor Saint Luke's Medical Center
7 Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center
8 Saint Joseph Medical Center
9 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
10 HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest


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


Nursing homes are also major employers of nurses across Houston. Some of the biggest and best include the Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, Inc., which is a not-for-profit and non-sectarian facility that provides long-term care for the elderly. Aside from traditional nursing services, residents have access to various other services, including kosher meals, social and religious programs, and much more.

Rank Nursing Home Name Location
1 Seven Acres Jewish Senior Care Services, Inc. Houston
2 The Vosswood Nursing Center Houston
3 Harbourview Care Center Inc. League City
4 The Woodlands Healthcare Center The Woodlands
5 Ashford Gardens Houston
6 Briarwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Houston
7 Brookhollow Heights Transitional Care Center Houston
8 Spring Branch Transitional Care Center Houston
9 The Courtyards at Pasadena Pasadena
10 Regent Care Center of Kingwood Kingwood


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


Houston is home to some of Texas’s best and biggest hospitals, and people come from across the country to receive care at places like the MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is a leading oncology research facility. With every passing year, new advances in medicine – especially in cancer treatment – continue to bring in patients who are looking for the best possible treatments to live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

It is also important to remember that Houston residents are gaining wider access to affordable health insurance plans, and this means they can go to doctors and hospitals for treatment more frequently than they have in the past. With every new patient seeking care for an ailment or injury, more nurses will be required to provide treatment and promote positive outcomes.

Starting Nurse Salary in Houston


The starting salary for nurses across Houston depends primarily on your degree and your credentials. For example, while brand-new Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in the city earn only $10.34 an hour, or roughly $21,500 a year, newly-licensed RNs earn almost triple this amount at $30.26 an hour or $62,950 a year.

Occupation Average Starting Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual

CNA

$10.34 $1,790 $21,500

LVN

$18.65 $3,230 $38,790

RN

$30.26 $5,250 $62,950

NP

$38.59 $6,690 $80,275

CRNA

$66.66 $11,550 $138,645


Average Nurse Salary in Houston


CNA: The average annual salary for CNAs in Houston is $13.68 an hour, which is equal to $28,460 a year. Houston-area CNAs provide necessary support for nurses and other healthcare professionals in hospitals, nursing homes, and other settings.

LVN: A licensed vocational nurse earns slightly less than an RN, but more than a CNA. The average annual LVN salary in Houston is $48,720. LVNs in Houston have fewer responsibilities than RNs, and they require less education to become licensed. However, many of the more lucrative Houston employers prefer to hire RNs with higher education, meaning LVN positions are on the decline in the city.

RN: The registered nurse salary in Houston is quite lucrative. On average, registered nurses earn $62,950 a year – in line with the national average household income. In order to promote better patient outcomes, some of the highest-paying medical facilities in Houston almost exclusively hire RNs, which means they not only earn a higher salary, but they also have more job opportunities in the local area.

NP: Nurse practitioners are in high demand across Houston as they fill in crucial healthcare gaps. When patients choose to see a nurse practitioner, who provides many of the same services as a doctor, this reduces doctors’ patient loads and allows them to focus on providing better care rather than more care. NPs in Houston earn an average annual income of $80,275.

CRNA: Finally, as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or CRNA, you can earn the highest salaries out of all the nursing professions in Houston at $138,645 a year, which is equal to $66.66 an hour or $11,550 a month. Many of Houston’s local hospitals and clinics offer cutting-edge surgeries that drive the demand (and higher pay) for CRNAs.

Occupation Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
CNA $13.68 $2,370 $28,460
LVN $23.42 $4,060 $48,720
RN $38.54 $6,680 $80,160
NP $58.50 $10,140 $121,670
CRNA $77.92 $13,510 $162,070


Nurse Salary with Experience


Experienced nurses in Houston earn an excellent living, and the more experience they gain – particularly when they gain that experience in some of the best hospitals in the region, such as Houston Methodist Hospital – the more they can earn. As an example, with 20 or more years of experience, an RN can go from a $68,010 starting salary to an annual average of $102,180.

Years of Experience Average Salary
CNA LVN RN NP CRNA
1-4 years $22,810 $42,440 $68,010 $97,290 143,540
5-9 years $27,300 $47,870 $79,760 $116,280 158,850
10-19 years $32,800 $55,250 $93,390 $138,050 180,170
20 years or more $39,400 $62,510 $102,180 $161,050 203,680


Average Nurse Salary in Houston Compared to Texas State


Nurses in Houston earn anywhere from 2.25% to 9.97% more than nurses across the state of Texas collectively. Registered nurses and nurse practitioners, especially, earn more than their statewide counterparts.

Occupation Houston Texas Difference
Number %
CNA $28,460 $27,030 $1,430 5.29%
LVN $48,720 $46,990 $1,730 3.68%
RN $80,160 $72,890 $7,270 9.97%
NP $121,670 $111,060 $10,610 9.55%
CRNA $162,070 $158,510 $3,560 2.25%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Average Nurse Salary in Houston Compared to National


Some nurses, such as CRNAs, earn significantly less than the national average for their occupations. However, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and licensed vocational nurses earn more than the national average.

Occupation Houston Texas Difference
Number %
CNA $28,460 $27,030 $1,430 5.29%
LVN $48,720 $46,990 $1,730 3.68%
RN $80,160 $72,890 $7,270 9.97%
NP $121,670 $111,060 $10,610 9.55%
CRNA $162,070 $158,510 $3,560 2.25%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


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


Of all the closely related healthcare occupations across the city of Houston, CRNAs earn the most. On the other hand, CNAs earn a great deal less than those in other similar occupations.

Occupation Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
Nurse Anesthetist 2,020 $77.92 $13,510 $162,070
Physician Assistant 1,980 $60.07 $10,410 $124,950
Pharmacist 5,550 $60.03 $10,410 $124,860
Nurse Practitioner 3,000 $58.50 $10,140 $121,670
Nurse Midwife 70 $46.81 $8,110 $97,370
Physical Therapist 2,980 $44.72 $7,750 $93,010
Occupational Therapist 1,880 $42.65 $7,390 $88,700
Radiation Therapist 650 $41.74 $7,230 $86,810
Nursing Instructor and Teacher, Postsecondary 590 $39.86 $6,910 $82,900
Registered Nurse 53,250 $38.54 $6,680 $80,160
Physical Therapist Assistant 1,250 $36.09 $6,260 $75,080
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer 1,540 $34.87 $6,040 $72,530
Dental Hygienist 2,780 $33.65 $5,830 $70,000
Radiologic Technologist 4,230 $30.94 $5,360 $64,350
Respiratory Therapist 2,530 $29.24 $5,070 $60,810
Dietitian and Nutritionist 1,310 $28.49 $4,940 $59,270
Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician 1,600 $27.11 $4,700 $56,380
Surgical Technologist 2,960 $25.67 $4,450 $53,390
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse 14,240 $23.42 $4,060 $48,720
Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic 4,360 $17.26 $2,990 $35,910
Medical Assistant 13,260 $15.58 $2,700 $32,400
Certified Nursing Assistant 18,080 $13.68 $2,370 $28,460
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


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