Online Nursing Programs in Texas
Students can pursue online nursing programs in Texas at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Our comprehensive list below includes schools that offer fully remote and hybrid nursing programs, along with annual tuition and pass rates for the NCLEX exam. Passing this exam is required by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), which issues over 27,000 licenses annually and regulates the state's 350,000-strong nursing workforce. As a compact state, Texas issues a license that allows nurses to work in 38 other jurisdictions and states. Continue reading to learn about the state's licensing requirements for licensed vocational nurses (LVN), registered nurses (RN), advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), and certified nursing assistants (CNA), as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in Texas
Becoming a Nurse in Texas
With the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies projecting a labor shortage in the industry through 2032, there are plenty of job opportunities for nurses in the state. Nursing schools in Texas are therefore abundant and have campuses in several locations. As mentioned above, the Texas BON, which is part of the Department of State Health Services, oversees certification, licensure, and continuing education requirements in the state — all of which are required to pursue a nursing career in Texas.
To learn more about online nursing programs in other states, explore our Nursing Degrees by State hub.
How to Become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in Texas
Applicants must first complete a state-approved nurse aide training program to become a CNA in Texas. The Texas Health and Human Services department provides a listing of eligible programs for the CNA career path. Next, candidates must pass a competency evaluation program examination, which they have three attempts to clear before having to retake coursework.
Candidates must pass a competency evaluation program examination, which they have three attempts to clear before having to retake coursework.
Aspiring CNAs may also be placed on the Texas Nurse Aide Registry via a waiver acknowledging relevant previous experience or reciprocity agreements with other compact states. Unlike other Texas nursing licenses, CNAs don't have specific expiration dates on their certificates. However, they are required to contact the Nurse Aide Registry every two years to verify employment.
CNAs work primarily in hospitals and nursing facilities, helping patients with everyday tasks, such as eating, exercising, and maintaining hygiene. Nursing assistants in Texas earn median annual wages of $28,240, which is slightly lower than the national average of $30,850. Nevertheless, becoming a CNA remains a solid option as these jobs are expected to grow by 8% on a national scale through 2030.
How to Become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in Texas
Aspiring LVNs are required to graduate from an approved training program before applying for licensure. Once they complete an appropriate nursing degree program, they should request that their school directly send the BON a notification of their graduation. All applicants pay a $100 fee and undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process. After submitting their application materials, graduates should receive authorization to test. A prospective LVN must pass the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence and NCLEX-LN exams to obtain their license.
A prospective LVN must pass the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence and NCLEX-LN exams to obtain their license.
Texas LVNs renew their credentials every two years after completing continuing education requirements, which include 20 contact hours. Renewals cost $42, and applications must be submitted a month before the license expiration date in order to avoid late fees.
LVNs in Texas earn a median annual salary of roughly $47,760 helping medical professionals, such as physicians, deliver care in hospitals, private health clinics, and ambulatory service settings. This role may involve monitoring individuals, performing tests, and administering medication. LVN positions are expected to grow by 9% nationwide through 2030, and Texas currently employs the second highest number of LVNs in the country.
How to Become a Registered Nurse (RN) in Texas
To become an RN, candidates must graduate from an approved school of nursing program in Texas. After graduation, the school sends an affidavit of graduation directly to the Texas BON. Aspiring RNs can then submit an application along with a $100 fee. A criminal background check is also required in addition to a passing grade for the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam. Once the board approves an application, the candidate must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
In addition to a passing grade for the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam ... the candidate must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Texas RNs must renew their license every two years to continue practicing, which involves completing 20 contact hours of nursing education in the RN's area of practice. In addition to completing these continuing education requirements, registered nurses must pay a $65 renewal fee every two years.
According to the BLS, the number of RN positions is expected to increase by 9% nationally through 2030. These healthcare workers — who earn a median annual salary of $75,320 in Texas — perform a range of healthcare tasks. A majority of RNs work in hospitals, which involves conducting medical tests, administering treatments prescribed by doctors, and monitoring patients' health.
A career in nursing can take many pathways. For more information about potential careers in this field, visit our guides on becoming a nurse anesthetist, travel nurse, pediatric nurse, or neonatal nurse.
How to Become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Texas
APRN applicants need an RN license from Texas or a state that participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact. Applicants must also finish a graduate-level APRN educational program — such as a master's in nursing (MSN) — that has been approved by BON. Lastly, an applicant must be nationally certified in the role and population focus area that matches their program.
After meeting these requirements, aspiring APRNs must complete at least 400 hours in an advanced nursing practice role within two years of completing their education as well as a minimum of 20 contact hours. When applying for this Texas nursing license, applicants must submit a $100 fee, or it could cost $150 if they wish to receive prescriptive authority.
Aspiring APRNs must complete at least 400 hours in an advanced nursing practice role within two years of completing their education as well as a minimum of 20 contact hours.
Renewal for Texas APRNs happens every two years. The fee is $115, and licensees must maintain national certification in order to keep their APRN license active for the next renewal period.
APRNs can work as family nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives, and typically specialize in a particular practice, such as neonatal care, pediatric health, or mental health, to name a few. While they can work in hospitals, APRNs more often take positions in physician offices and clinics. The nationwide demand for these healthcare professionals is projected to grow substantially by 45% through 2030, and nurse practitioners can earn a median annual salary of roughly $113,800 in Texas.
FAQs About Online Nursing Programs in Texas
Can You Get a Nursing Degree Online in Texas?
With many schools offering distance learning programs, Texas students can get a hybrid or online degree in nursing. While both of these program options offer online courses, each requires that nursing students complete clinical hours in-person at a hospital or other relevant healthcare setting. Nevertheless, online programs may be ideal for individuals who work or have other commitments, as they allow part-time and self-paced learning.
Can You Finish an Online BSN in Two Years?
It is possible to achieve a BSN degree in two years or less. For instance, some Texas schools offer accelerated nursing programs. Students with a non-nursing background may already meet certain prerequisites, allowing them to finish additional degree requirements in as little as 16 months. Graduates with an ADN can also enroll in an online RN to BSN program, which typically lasts one year and allows students to take classes while working as a nurse.
What Is the Fastest Way to Become a Nurse in Texas?
Earning a state-approved associate degree in nursing (ADN) takes roughly two years and is the quickest educational path to becoming a CNA, LVN, or RN in Texas. Depending on an individual's chosen career path, they will also need to pass the relevant National Council of State Boards of Nursing exam, gain clinical experience, and apply for state licensure. This entire process can take two to four years — though nursing graduates should note that some employers may require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or a master's degree in the field for positions in administration or nurse education.