Best RN to BSN Programs in Texas (Online & Campus) – 2020 Rankings
If you are working as a registered nurse and you’re ready to take the next step in your education to satisfy the increasing demand for highly educated RNs, RN to BSN program in Texas is a great choice. These programs build upon what you learned in your ADN, allowing you to earn your BSN degree quickly – often at your own pace. Out of all the schools offering online, campus-based, and hybrid RN to BSN degrees in the state of TX, and we have ranked the top programs based on criteria such as academic quality, affordability and reputation.
Online RN to BSN Programs in Texas: What You Need to Know?
If you have already earned your ADN or diploma and you’re currently working as a registered nurse in Texas, an online RN to BSN program makes it much easier to take the next step in your education. Online programs are especially flexible, allowing you to take your RN to BSN courses in your own time, and many will allow you to determine for yourself how quickly you want to proceed.
Registered nurses in Texas often work long hours, so going back to school may seem incredibly difficult. For this reason, online RN to BSN programs in TX were designed to make obtaining your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree simpler and more affordable. Their flexibility allows you to take only the courses you need, and because many schools will allow you to progress at your own pace, it's easier to fit higher education into your busy schedule.
ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Texas Board of Nursing:
When deciding where to earn your degree in the state of Texas, it is vital to ensure that it is accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
(ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Texas Board of Nursing
. Each of these groups sets high standards in nursing education, and employers in Texas find that RNs who graduate from accredited BSN programs provide a higher level of patient care and experience better overall outcomes.
RN to BSN courses in TX are designed to build upon the courses you took during your diploma or ADN program and provide more specific and in-depth education. These courses will focus on informatics and research as they apply to the nursing field in TX, nursing leadership and management to aid in career advancement, and professional and ethical issues in the healthcare system.
| Sample Courses |
|Health Assessment, Community Health Practice for RNs, Community Health Project for RNs Clinical, Introduction to Applied Health Informatics, Issues in Professional Practice, Management and Leadership, Professional Nursing Practice, Research Critique and Utilization for RNs, Role Transition for RNs, and Synthesis for RNs |
Because you completed the clinical requirements for working as a licensed RN in Texas during your diploma or ADN program, you may or may not need to complete further clinical training as part of this program. Typically, you will not need to complete unpaid clinicals, but you should speak with your chosen school’s nursing program advisor for specific program requirements.
One of the benefits of RN to BSN degrees throughout TX is the ability to learn at a pace that works for you. On average, you can expect the program to take anywhere from 15 months to as long as three years depending on your unique situation and the school you choose.
Common Admission Requirements:
Different schools in Texas have different admission requirements for these programs, so it’s important to do your research. As an example, in order to enter the program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, you will need:
• Proof of completion of at least 60 hours of prerequisite courses, including eight hours of science prerequisite courses such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, and/or Microbiology;
• A 2.75 cumulative GPA (or higher) in those 60 hours of nursing prerequisites;
• A 3.0 cumulative GPA (or higher) in science prerequisites;
• A copy of your HESI A2 Entrance Exam score report;
• Your official transcript from any postsecondary school you attended;
• Up-to-date immunizations;
• Health Care Provider Basic Life Support CPR certification; and
• A clear drug screen and criminal background check.
How were the Best RN to BSN Programs Ranked?
|Programs Evaluated ||28 |
|Programs Ranked ||10 |
|Ranking Methodology || Click Here |
What are the 10 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Texas for 2020?
Program Overview: The RN to BSN program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s Cizik School of Nursing offers you the opportunity to study full time or part time. It is approved not only by the Texas Board of Nursing, but also by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Most students enroll in the three-semester program, but a two-semester option also exists if you are interested. It is 100% online, and while 60 prerequisite hours are required to graduate, you can apply as long as you have completed 40.
• Cizik School of Nursing offers an Early Decision Program for any student enrolled at Houston Community College or the Lone Star Community College. If you attend one of these two schools, you can be notified of your admission decision prior to the regular review cycle.
• The school provides an annual information session specifically for the RN to BSN option and dates are listed on the website
Program Overview: The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is one of the best medical research facilities in the state, and its online RN to BSN degree is a clear reflection of this. It focuses on the challenges RNs across Texas face, and thanks to its flexible format, you can access the online courses anywhere. The program requires 30 semester hours of study and can be completed in two or three semesters.
• The School of Nursing at TTUHSC is the only school in the western Texas offering BSN, MSN, and doctoral nursing degrees in a variety of formats.
• Students provide clinical care through the Combest Center, which gives free healthcare to high-risk and underserved populations.
• TTUHSC students are also given the opportunity to travel abroad to help solve healthcare challenges in a variety of underdeveloped and underserved countries.
Program Overview: The RN to BSN degree program at the University of Texas at Austin is a hybrid program that offers outstanding flexibility. You can choose from full-time or part-time enrollment to complete the general education prerequisites and the 12 upper division nursing courses required to graduate. You can expect to take one to two classes each week, and about one third of the upper division nursing courses are available online.
• The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing prioritizes its students by providing career services, a wellness center, and a variety of other student resources such as simulation and skills centers and access to the UT Nursing Library’s Nursing Resources and Research catalog.
• Karen Johnson, PhD, RN, and FSAHM, an associate professor at the UT School of Nursing, was recently selected to serve on the National Advisory Board for the Social Mission of Nursing Education Study.
Program Overview: The University of Texas at El Paso is home to one of the best online RN to BSN programs in Texas. The goal is to accommodate working nurses who are ready to transition into higher education to become more competitive in the job market and provide better patient care. You will attend all courses online and have access to one-on-one academic advisement, and while the program length is flexible, you can complete it in as little as 2.5 semesters.
• UT at El Paso takes a science-based approach to teaching and learning in order to facilitate strong, capable nurses in today’s increasingly challenging healthcare landscape.
• Each of the RN to BSN courses in the program provides specific information for the entire human lifespan, which is ideal if you are interested in specializing in pediatrics or gerontology.
Program Overview: You can pursue your RN to BSN degree at the University of Houston’s College of Nursing either online or on campus. The school’s primary goal involves opening up new career opportunities for working RNs through leadership and management readiness. Critical thinking, research, and analysis are key, and as part of the school’s mission to provide culturally and socially sensitive care to a diverse population, you will also learn to help patients discover and access cost-effective services specific to their needs.
• You can attend information sessions each fall specifically for the RN to BSN degree. To RSVP and obtain the pre-session checklist, visit the Information Sessions page
at the University of Houston website.
• University of Houston staff is regularly rewarded for their achievements. Recently, Patricia Schrader, who serves as the assistant clinical professor, won the 2018 Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses Clinical Practice Award.
Program Overview: Lamar University’s online RN to BSN degree track through the Joanne Gay Dishman School of Nursing is incredibly flexible, and if you are willing to commit to full-time study, you can complete it in as little as 13 months. Its courses focus on leadership and management, holistic healthcare, evidence-based nursing, and community nursing. Aside from accessing assignments and courses online, you will also be encouraged to participate in the online community via discussion boards.
• The program at Lamar University requires you to complete both practicum and Community Based Service Learning (CBSL) hours for a total of four courses. These practicums and learning experiences occur concurrently with lecture-based studies.
• The Joanne Gay Dishman School of Nursing’s staff include the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses recipients. The DAISY Foundation exists to promote morale in the workplace and recognize those nurses who go above and beyond for their patients.
Program Overview: Texas Woman’s University is a leading provider of online RN to BSN courses which are ideal in facilitating your busy schedule and life. Though some courses do require clinical components, you will complete these through your capstone project and class projects with a preceptor rather than an unpaid practicum. You will be able to complete the program at a pace that works best for you, as well. Texas Woman’s University is one of the few public universities in Texas and the country focused on teaching and learning from the female perspective, and it offers a family-oriented approach to education with family weekends and other events.
• Texas Woman’s University is ranked number one in the Dallas-Fort Worth area when it comes to its graduates earnings versus the overall cost of education.
• The school is ranked sixth in the nation in diversity.
Program Overview: The RN to BSN program at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi is by far one of the most popular online programs in the state. As a result, acceptance into the College of Nursing and Health Sciences is highly competitive and reserved for those who are high academic achievers. You can complete the program at your own pace, which is ideal if you are working full time, supporting a family, or both. Entry occurs in spring, summer, and fall each year, and you will also have access to outstanding academic advising to help ensure your success.
• The school was the very first in the nation to offer an accredited and 100% online BSN track in 2003, which is a testament to the Texas A&M University excellence.
• The College of Nursing and Health Sciences places a great deal of focus on providing ethical care to diverse populations.
Program Overview: West Texas A&M’s (WTAMU) online program is yet another exceptional opportunity for working RNs in Texas to further their education. You’ll be able to complete the program in its entirety in as little as one academic year, but you can also set your own pace and complete it on your own schedule. Semesters start in spring, summer, and fall, and thanks to the online nature of the program, you can begin your coursework prior to the start of each semester.
• The RN to BSN degree at WTAMU is nationally recognized. It was ranked as one of the best online programs in 2018 by US News and World Report, among others.
• Practicums are required, but you’ll be able to compete these with case studies and experiences based on what you learn throughout the program.
• This program is ideal if you plan to earn your MSN degree in the future.
Program Overview: The RN to BSN offered by Midwestern State University provides flexibility in terms of three start dates and online delivery of classes. This serves well for registered nurses who are keen on broadening their knowledge base without putting their current work assignments on hold. To earn your BSN, you are required to complete 27 credit hours, which can be done at a pace convenient to you. The curriculum starts with a transition course and progresses to include courses in evidence-based nursing practice, pathophysiology, ethics and healthcare, healthcare informatics, comprehensive health assessment, leadership in nursing, community health and ends with a capstone project.
For those interested in pursuing an MSN, the college offers specialty tracks in Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and APRN tracks. RN to BSN students who pass the review process are eligible to continue their graduate program after earning a BSN. This provides for a hassle-free transition to an advanced nursing degree.
Programs Currently on Hold or Discontinued
University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio
Program Overview: The campus-based RN to BSN program at University of the Incarnate Word’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions in San Antonio requires 120 credit hours total, and 28 of these are nursing requirements. Unlike some other schools, UIW gauges your nursing knowledge with your first course, called Professional Nursing Role. The number of credit hours you must complete in your program may vary based upon your performance in this course, and the program is broken into eight terms.
• Though you must complete all the general education requirements in order to graduate the program, you can start the nursing program before they are all completed.
• UIW works hard to assist students by facilitating individual degree plans based on completed general education and prerequisite courses.
• Students are also able to collaborate with the Reserve Officer Training Corps in one of several unique programs to earn credits and scholarships.
Latest on Texas’s Push Towards 80% BSN by 2020
The Institute of Medicine has challenged healthcare providers in all 50 states to have at least 80% of their RNs educated at the BSN level by 2020. Studies across the country have shown that BSN-educated nurses are able to promote better overall patient outcomes. At the start, this was quite the challenge, but in states like Texas, grants have been used to form groups and support working RNs. Texas APIN
, or Academic Progression in Nursing, is a group focused on increasing the number of baccalaureate nurses throughout the state, but it also focuses on enhancing diversity in the workforce and bringing more educated nurses to rural nursing facilities.
Through programs like APIN, RNs across Texas have gained access to numerous RN to BSN programs designed to make it easier, faster, and more affordable to receive their baccalaureate education. In 2011, only half of all RNs in the state had BSN degrees. Per the Texas Board of Nursing’s 2018 report
, more than half of all RNs now hold baccalaureate degrees in the nursing field.
Options to Fund Your RN to BSN in Texas
Though initiatives like the Texas APIN have made great strides in reducing the financial burden associated with returning to school, it can still be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are several opportunities for assistance.
Grants are available at both the federal and state level, and in order to apply for these, you will need to fill out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid
, or FAFSA. Grants covered under the FAFSA include the Federal Pell Grant and the Texas Public Educational Grant, which serves students who can demonstrate financial need. Finally, the Towards Excellence Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant offers academic high achievers with financial need the opportunity to attend university at no cost.
Student loans are yet another opportunity for those who need financial assistance. Government-backed loans
are available through the Sallie Mae website, but students who have an established credit history may also qualify for student loans through numerous private banks throughout Texas.
Scholarships are abundant throughout Texas and can be found from a variety of sources. In fact, many hospitals and healthcare centers throughout TX offer their own scholarships designed to entice their nurses to further their educations. Many of the universities in the state also offer scholarships that are school-specific. The License Plate Insignia Scholarship
, or LPI, is a state-funded scholarship funded through the purchase of license plates and the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation.
Employer Assistance Programs:
Finally, even if your employer does not offer a scholarship, it may offer an employer assistance program designed to help you pay for your education. In some cases, this may exist in the form of tuition reimbursement, and in other cases, your employer may pay for part or all of your education at a Texas university in exchange for your agreement to continue to work for the company or healthcare system for a specific period of time.
6 Potential Advantages of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Texas
Though satisfying the challenges set forth by the Institute of Medicine and becoming one of the leading states in the nation for BSN-educated RNs is certainly exciting, there are numerous other benefits associated with earning your BSN degree in Texas.
1. Expand Your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
One of the biggest advantages associated with going back to school and earning your BSN is the boost to your knowledge that reflects in your skills and abilities. The BSN curriculum goes beyond basic nursing skills and provides you with more specialized learning in leadership and management, age-specific nursing, and more through focused courses.
2. Salary Bump:
Of course, furthering your education can also make a difference to your salary. On average across the state of Texas, RNs who do not have BSN degrees earn roughly $70,270 each year on average. After completing their RN to BSN program, that increases to $76,740 a year – a difference of $6,200 annually.
| Texas |
|Before RN To BSN || After RN to BSN || How Much More Will I Earn |
| $70,270 || $76,470 || +$6,200 |
|(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) |
3. More Job Openings:
|Texas Area Wise Breakdown|
|Area||Before RN To BSN||After RN to BSN||How Much More Will I Earn|
|Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington||$72,710||$79,130||+$6,420|
|Austin, Round Rock||$66,940||$72,850||+$5,910|
|Beaumont, Port Arthur||$69,050||$75,150||+$6,100|
|College Station, Bryan||$66,680||$72,570||+$5,890|
|Houston, The Woodlands, Sugar Land||$76,750||$83,530||+$6,780|
|McAllen, Edinburg, Mission||$68,790||$74,860||+$6,070|
|San Antonio, New Braunfels||$66,120||$71,950||+$5,830|
|(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) |
Studies and research continue to prove that RNs who are educated at the BSN level provide better, more focused care that leads to better patient outcomes. As a result, Texas employers are far more inclined to hire BSN-educated nurses than their ADN-educated counterparts. In fact, there are nearly 3,000 more job openings available for RNs with BSN degrees each year than for those with ADN degrees, and this trend is expected to continue in Texas and elsewhere.
4. The Outlook is Brighter for a BSN Graduate:
| Texas Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement) |
| Annual Openings for BSN Graduates || 7,470 |
| Annual Openings for ADN Graduates || 4,680 |
| (Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org) |
If you’re like many workers across the state of Texas, job security is a huge concern. Fortunately for you, nurses are in high demand thanks to a continuing nursing shortage in Texas. When you earn your BSN degree, you will enjoy even more job security, as well. Between 2017 and 2027, the employment of RNs with ADN degrees is expected to rise by 25.98%. Conversely, growth among RNs with BSNs in Texas will reach a staggering 31.98%.
5. Career Advancement:
| 10 Year (2017-2027) Job Outlook |
| || Employment || New Job Growth |
| 2017 || 2027 || Number || % |
| BSN || 105,270 || 138,940 || 33,670 || 31.98% |
| ADN || 70,040 || 88,240 || 18,200 || 25.98% |
| (Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org) |
Though you may feel fulfilled for the rest of your life working as a registered nurse and caring for patients in a variety of Texas healthcare facilities, obtaining your BSN degree opens numerous doors and allows you to consider other possibilities. For example, you may decide to become a clinical research nurse, a charge nurse, a nurse educator at nearby community or technical colleges, or even the Director of Nursing at a prestigious TX hospital or clinic who is in charge of developing nursing protocols and ensuring positive patient outcome.
6. Post-RN to BSN Study Options:
| Advancement Opportunities |
| Charge Nurse || Director of Nursing |
| Chief Nursing Officer || Nurse Educator |
|Clinical Nurse Specialist ||Nurse Manager |
| Clinical Research Nurse || Nurse Supervisor |
Your BSN degree also serves as an excellent step toward a graduate degree, which can provide even more job security, a much higher salary, and more professional prestige in the state of Texas. After pursuing your BSN, for example, you may opt to move on to an MSN, or Master of Science in Nursing. You can earn it in two years and then work as a certified nurse midwife, a nurse practitioner, or a clinical nurse specialist earning up to $152,560 a year. If you are willing to study for another four to six years, you can earn your PhD or DNP degree and work as a dean in a nursing school, a senior policy analyst, a college professor, or an advance practice registered nurse earning up to $204,700 annually.
RN to BSN Programs in Nearby States
RN to BSN Programs in other States
Latest From Our Blog
| Type of Degree || Length || Roles and Responsibilities || Salary |
| Master’s Degree (MSN/MS) || Up to 2 years ||Administrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner|| $80,290 - $152,560 |
| Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree || 4 to 6 years || Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst || $88,319 - $204,700 |