Becoming a Nurse in Texas
With the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies projecting a labor shortage for nurses through 2032, there are plenty of job opportunities for graduates of online nursing programs in Texas. Online nursing schools in Texas can be attended by students from all around the state and support all types of nursing. The Texas State Board of Nursing, which is part of the Department of State Health Services, oversees nursing certification, licensure, and continuing education requirements for graduates of nursing degrees — all of which are required to pursue a nursing career in Texas.
Nursing Degrees by State
How To Become a CNA In Texas
Applicants must first complete a nurse aide training program to become a CNA in Texas. The Texas Health and Human Services department provides a listing of eligible accredited online nursing programs in Texas 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.
Even if students haven't completed one of the many nursing programs in Texas online, they still have the opportunity to work in the state. 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.
Employment Outcomes for CNAs in Texas
CNAs work primarily in hospitals and nursing facilities helping patients with everyday tasks, such as eating, exercising, and maintaining hygiene. Nursing assistants in Texasearn median annual wages of $29,420, which is slightly lower than the national average of $30,310. Graduates of the best nursing schools in Texas may be able to earn up to $37,710, which is what the top 10% of nursing assistants earn. Nevertheless, becoming a CNA remains a solid option as these jobs are expected to grow by 5% on a national scale through 2031.
CNA Certification Renewals
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.
How To Become an LVN In Texas
Aspiring LVNs are required to graduate from an approved training program, which includes Texas online nursing programs, before applying for licensure. Upon graduation, they should request that their school directly send the Texas Board of Nursing a notification of their degree completion. 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. Even graduates of the best online nursing schools in Texas are still required to pass the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence and NCLEX-LN, or the National Council Licensure Examination, exams to obtain their license.
A prospective LVN must pass the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence and NCLEX-LN exams to obtain their license.
Employment Outcomes for LVNs in Texas
LVNs in Texas earn a median annual salary of roughly $48,070 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 6% nationwide through 2031, and Texas currently employs the second highest number of LVNs in the country.
LVN License Renewals
Texas LVNs renew their credentials every two years after completing continuing education requirements, which include 20 contact hours. Renewals cost $45, and applications must be submitted a month before the license expiration date in order to avoid late fees.
How To Become an RN In Texas
To become a registered nurse, candidates must graduate from an approved school of nursing program, which includes online RN programs in Texas. After graduation, the school sends an affidavit of graduation directly to the Texas Board of Nursing. 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. Upon graduation from one of the online RN programs in Texas, and once the board approves an application, the candidate must then 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.
Employment Outcomes for RNs in Texas
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates of online RN programs in Texas can expect to see a 6% increase nationally in RN jobs through 2031. These healthcare workers — who earn a median annual salary of $77,600 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.
RN License Renewals
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 $68 renewal fee every two years.
How To Become an 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 the nursing board of Texas. 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.
Employment Outcomes for APRNs in Texas
APRNs can work as family nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives, to name a few options. They typically specialize in a particular practice, such as neonatal care, pediatric health, or mental health.
While they can work in hospitals, APRNs most often take positions in physician offices and clinics. The nationwide demand for these healthcare professionals is projected to grow substantially by 40% through 2031, and nurse practitioners can earn a median annual salary of roughly $120,680 in Texas.
APRN License Renewals
Renewal for Texas APRNs happens every two years. The fee is $50, and licensees must maintain national certification in order to keep their APRN license active for the next renewal period.
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.
Several organizations accredit online nursing programs, the primary body for which is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Additionally, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is a national body that evaluates bachelor's degrees and graduate programs in the field.
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 it's the quickest educational path to becoming a CNA, LVN, or RN in Texas. Depending on an individual's chosen career path, they 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.
How Many Nursing Schools Are in Texas?
Texas has an impressive number of online nursing schools. There are 56 in total which span across all areas of the state, including major cities — such as San Antonio, Houston, and Austin — as well as smaller locales, like Odessa, Corpus Christi, and Abilene.
How Long Is a Nursing Program in Texas?
The length of a nursing program largely depends on the type of program a student is attending. A BSN usually takes four years. However, the program will certainly be shortened if a student has previously completed an ADN. A CNA, on the other hand, can be finished in as little as 12 weeks.
How Much Does it Cost to Take the NCLEX in Texas?
According to the Texas Board of Nursing, the NCLEX exam costs $200, and it must be completed 30 days prior to graduation. Students can take a practice exam on the NCLEX website to prepare for the final test.