6 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Texas – 2024


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

You don’t need a BSN to get a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree in Texas. Graduates of RN-to-MSN programs in Texas are in high demand throughout the Lone Star State as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, and nurse executives and make an average annual salary of $120,850. If you only have an associate degree and have been wondering how best to get ahead in your nursing career, RN-to-MSN degree programs are a great option because they reduce the time you will take to earn an advanced degree. Want to find out more? The list below of the 6 best RN-to-MSN programs in Texas for 2024 is the ideal place to start.


WHAT ARE THE BEST RN-TO-MSN PROGRAMS IN TEXAS (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 6 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Texas (Online & Campus).)

1. University of Texas at Austin - Austin


Specialties Offered: Adult - Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Leadership in Diverse Settings


Program Details: The University of Texas at Austin not only offers one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Texas but also provides a wide range of specialization options. In the clinical roles, the school offers four specializations, including adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist, family health, pediatrics, and psychiatric mental health. Alternatively, if you prefer non-clinical roles, then you can choose to complete your RN to MSN training in nursing leadership.

Regardless of the RN to MSN track you choose, you’ll graduate within 1.5 or 2 years, provided you enroll full-time. The RN to MSN in a clinical focus area requires the completion of around 49 credits. Whereas, if you choose the non-clinical track, you’ll require completing 39 credits.

All the RN to MSN tracks, regardless of clinical or non-clinical specializations, start with the core and advanced practice courses, including quality & safety in healthcare, applications of healthcare research, health policy, planning & evaluation, clinical pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced health assessment. While the courses related to the clinical roles emphasize healthcare management, the leadership track covers topics such as health informatics, leadership & management of complex healthcare environments, project planning, and the foundations of nursing education.

Admission Requirements: If you are interested in applying for any of the RN to MSN tracks at the University of Texas at Austin, you must have an accredited BSN or ADN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. This RN-to-MSN program in Texas also requires you to submit three recommendation letters, a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae, and a copy of your RN license which is valid in Texas.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential University of Texas at Austin RN-to-MSN Students

• University of Texas at Austin consistently ranks among the U.S. News & World Report’s best online MSN programs in the nation.
• University of Texas at Austin engages in path-breaking research to improve health outcomes across the lifespan. As an RN to MSN student, you can participate in research projects based on your interests and professional goals.
• University of Texas at Austin maintains several community-based clinics that allow RN to MSN students to explore service learning opportunities, focusing on the underserved and vulnerable populations.
• University of Texas at Austin maintains several collaborative partnerships that open up meaningful learning opportunities for RN to MSN students.


2. The University of Texas - Arlington


Specialties Offered: Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator, and Family Nurse Practitioner


Program Details: The University of Texas’s RN to MSN prepares you for two indirect patient care roles of nursing administration and nursing education as well as for advanced primary care. Counted among the best RN-to-MSN programs in Texas, here, you can complete your RN-to-MSN training through a 100% online coursework. Moreover, the program is offered in an accelerated format of five and ten-week courses.

Regardless of whether you choose nursing administration, nursing education, or family health as your area of focus, you’ll be equipped with employable skills that can be immediately applied to the workplace.

All three RN to MSN tracks start with MSN core courses that cover topics such as holistic health assessment, health promotion, health policy & legal aspects of professional nursing, nursing research, nursing leadership & management and healthcare of vulnerable populations across the lifespan.

While the administration track emphasizes nursing informatics, nursing management, financial management, nursing leadership, and nursing and healthcare policy, the nursing education specialization teaches you concepts in curriculum development & evaluation, teaching & learning theories & strategies, and simulation application in nursing. On the other hand, the family NP track prepares you for the healthcare management of individuals and patients across their lifespans.

Admission Requirements: To apply to this RN-to-MSN program in Texas, you must foremost have an active and unencumbered RN license. Additionally, you’ll be required to have completed your BSN from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. To complete the application, you must submit your official transcripts, a resume, a personal goal statement, and letters of recommendation.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential The University of Texas RN-to-MSN Students

• The University of Texas offers you a tuition guarantee, wherein you can lock the tuition rate of your RN to MSN program.
• As an RN to MSN student at the University of Texas, you’ll be able to access the resources of one of the nation’s largest public schools of nursing.
• The University of Texas’s RN to MSN program starts multiple times a year, allowing you to start with your graduate nursing education when it is convenient.


3. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi


Specialties Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner, Leadership in Nursing Systems, and Nurse Educator


Program Details: If you are a nurse in Texas who is ready for career advancement, then Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi prepares you for three desirables roles of family health, nursing leadership, and nursing education. By building on your BSN knowledge, this RN to MSN program expands on it to make you an evidence-based practitioner.

Regardless of the RN to MSN track you enroll in, you’ll complete the program on a part-time basis, so that you can continue with your full-time job. The family health track comprises 49 credits, whereas the leadership specialization costs 40 credits. On the other hand, if you complete the RN to MSN program in nursing education, you’ll require earning 37 credits. All the RN to MSN tracks comprises core courses, covering topics such as science in nursing, research methods, health policy & cultural diversity, and an introduction to advanced practice role development.

While the family health track prepares you for the primary care of patients of all age groups, the leadership specialization focuses on human capital management, nursing informatics, healthcare financial management, organizational design, quality & outcomes management, and health economics & policy. On the other hand, the nursing education specialization teaches you nursing curriculum planning & development, assessment, measurement & evaluation, and instructional strategies.

Admission Requirements: As one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Texas, the program’s admission process is competitive, so you must highlight all the abilities that present you as a promising student. To qualify, you must have a BSN with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, your RN license must be current and unencumbered. To complete the application requirements, you must submit a current resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, and all your official transcripts.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi RN-to-MSN Students

• Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s online MSN programs rank among the best in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report.
• Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers one of the largest MSN programs in Texas.
• Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s RN to MSN is taught by expert faculty members who leave no stone unturned to ensure you leave the school with a positive academic outcome.


4. Lamar University - Beaumont


Specialties Offered: Nursing Administration and Nursing Education


Program Details: If you are aspiring to play leadership roles in nursing, then Lamar University’s RN to MSN program can prepare you for this coveted career move. One of the popular online RN-to-MSN programs in Texas, to accommodate the needs of working students the program is offered 100% online. Here, based on your interests, you can enroll either in nursing administration or the nursing education track. Regardless of the track you choose, upon completion of the program, you’ll earn two degrees of BSN and an MSN.

The RN to MSN program starts with MSN core courses covering topics such as theoretical foundations, nursing research, advanced nursing issues & health policy, and evidence-based practice. If you choose the administration track, you’ll learn about population health, business principles for nurse leaders, planning & organizing healthcare delivery, health informatics, and management of healthcare delivery. On the other hand, the nursing education specialization focuses on advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology, learning & teaching theories, curriculum design, and measurement & evaluation.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for admission, you must have an associate degree or nursing diploma and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, your RN license must be current and unencumbered in Texas. Further, you must submit your official transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Lamar University RN-to-MSN Students

• Because Lamar University’s RN to MSN combines the two degrees of BSN and MSN, you’ll take nine credits lesser than if you’d take both these programs separately, saving tuition dollars and time.
• Lamar University’s RN-to-MSN program is not only 100% online but also quite affordable compared to other online RN-to-MSN programs in Texas.
• Lamar University offers excellent support for military service members, so if you are from a defense background, you’ll be able to make a smooth transition to student life by accessing military benefits.


5. The University of St. Thomas in Houston - Houston, TX


Specialties Offered: Nursing Education, Healthcare & Nursing Simulation, and Nursing Leadership


Program Details: The University of St. Thomas in Houston’s RN to MSN program may be the right choice for you if you are aspiring to become a leader. By completing your graduate nursing education from this school, you’ll not only be able to advance your career but you’ll also greatly increase your earning potential. Here, you can choose from three RN to MSN tracks, including nursing education, health care & nursing simulation, and nursing leadership.

The RN to MSN coursework, regardless of the track, comprises 52 credits. All the RN to MSN tracks include RN to MSN bridge courses, MSN core courses, and specialty-related courses. While the RN to MSN in nursing education prepares you to impact the future nursing workforce, the healthcare & nursing simulation specialization focuses on the use of simulation technology to improve patient care. On the other hand, the RN to MSN leadership emphasizes transformational leadership to improve health outcomes.

All three RN to MSN tracks, in addition to specialty-related courses, cover topics such as holistic nursing, advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, clinical pharmacotherapeutics, evidence-based practice, nursing ethics, law & policy, community dynamics in healthcare, and quality, safety & information management.

Admission Requirements: To gain admission into this RN-to-MSN program in Texas, you must have an accredited associate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Your completed application must also include a personal essay, a current resume, and a copy of your valid and unencumbered RN license in Texas.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential The University of St. Thomas in Houston RN-to-MSN Students

• The University of St. Thomas in Houston’s RN-to-MSN program combines the convenience of online classes with rigorous simulation practice at the state of art Center for Science & Health Professions.
• The University of St. Thomas in Houston emphasizes clinical training, ensuring RN to MSN students leave with solid clinical skills. The school’s proximity to prominent hospitals and healthcare centers, including the Texas Medical Center, proves to be an advantage for students to explore diverse experiential learning opportunities.
• The University of St. Thomas in Houston supports your academic and professional success by offering a host of student-friendly services through its Graduate Nursing Student Success Center. As an RN to MSN student, you’ll be able to access several services, including tutoring, academic advising, peer mentorship, etc.


6. University of the Incarnate Word - San Antonio


Specialties Offered: Nursing Leadership


Program Details: The University of the Incarnate Word offers one of the sought-after RN-to-MSN programs in Texas that prepares you for nursing leadership in barely any time. With the majority of courses offered online and only very few campus visits required, you can earn your MSN while continuing to work. The program, leading to certification in nursing leadership, comprises 31 credits and takes six semesters to complete.

This accelerated RN to MSN program in nursing leadership starts in May each year. The program covers topics such as nursing leadership theory, nursing research, informatics, and population health. You’ll also obtain skills in nursing leadership by taking courses in resource management, program development & evaluation, healthcare economics & financial management, health policy, and organizational leadership. As a graduate of this program, you’ll be prepared to improve health at the systems level.

Admission Requirements: To be considered for this RN-to-MSN program in Texas, you must have an associate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, the school requires you to possess an unencumbered and active RN license in Texas. Besides, it is preferred that you have at least one year of nursing work experience.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential University of the Incarnate Word RN-to-MSN Students

• University of the Incarnate Word’s RN-to-MSN program offers a reduced tuition rate so that you can graduate without breaking the bank.
• The University of the Incarnate Word offers several merit-based and need-based scholarships and funding opportunities that you can avail of to make your RN to MSN education even more affordable.
• University of the Incarnate Word school of nursing offers global exposure through its study abroad options, As an RN to MSN student, if you desire a global outlook, you can explore learning opportunities in countries such as Mexica, India, China, and South Africa.


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