Online Nursing Programs in Texas

Updated February 23, 2022

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.

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Comprehensive List of Online Nursing Schools in Texas

School Annual Tuition NCLEX Pass Rate Locations
# Abilene Christian University $36,300 89.39% Abilene
# Alvin Community College $3,938 92.41% Alvin
# Angelo State University $17,765 91.89% San Angelo
# Baptist Health System School of Health Professions $8,528 88.94% San Antonio
# Baylor University $47,364 94.55% Waco
# Blinn College $8,136 100.0% Brenham
# Chamberlain College of Nursing $19,638 88.32% Multiple Locations
# Concordia University - Texas $32,860 97.44% Austin
# Del Mar College $5,441 94.44% Corpus Christi
# Hardin-Simmons University $30,140 93.55% Abilene
# Houston Baptist University $33,450 83.17% Houston
# Howard College $5,420 100.0% Big Spring
# Lamar University $18,622 88.33% Beaumont
# Lubbock Christian University $23,330 Not Reported Lubbock
# McLennan Community College $3,990 87.04% Waco
# McMurry University $28,099 93.55% Abilene
# Midwestern State University $11,551 88.98% Wichita Falls
# North Central Texas College $7,080 91.57% Gainesville
# Northeast Texas Community College $6,269 Not Reported Mount Pleasant
# Panola College $4,368 89.55% Carthage
# Pima Medical Institute $11,506 76.83% Multiple Locations
# Prairie View A & M University $25,654 89.41% Prairie View
# Sam Houston State University $18,664 99.09% Huntsville
# Schreiner University $30,470 100.0% Kerrville
# Southwestern Adventist University $22,188 88.24% Keene
# St Philip's College $14,220 Not Reported San Antonio
# Stephen F. Austin State University $18,972 97.3% Nacogdoches
# Tarleton State University $17,621 89.19% Stephenville
# Texas A&M International University $18,666 97.06% Laredo
# Texas A&M University - Commerce $21,628 96.3% Commerce
# Texas A&M University-Central Texas $17,157 Not Reported Killeen
# Texas A&M University-College Station $38,602 99.26% College Station
# Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi $20,101 84.19% Corpus Christi
# Texas A&M University-Texarkana $20,025 100.0% Texarkana
# Texas Christian University $49,250 95.16% Fort Worth
# Texas State University $22,397 100.0% San Marcos
# Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center $19,511 96.04% Lubbock
# Texas Wesleyan University $31,816 Not Reported Fort Worth
# Texas Woman's University $18,055 95.7% Denton
# Trinity Valley Community College $5,970 90.32% Athens
# University of Houston $21,749 98.68% Houston
# University of Houston - Victoria $16,909 100.0% Victoria
# University of Mary Hardin-Baylor $29,700 95.92% Belton
# University of Phoenix $9,552 90.0% Nationwide
# University of St. Thomas - TX $31,460 88.57% Houston
# The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley $11,604 92.17% Edinburg
# The University of Texas at Arlington $28,129 94.38% Arlington
# The University of Texas at El Paso $24,524 97.63% El Paso
# The University of Texas at Tyler $22,752 91.75% Tyler
# The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio $12,984 97.99% San Antonio
# The University of Texas Medical Branch $17,427 98.67% Galveston
# The University of Texas Permian Basin $7,506 82.14% Odessa
# University of the Incarnate Word $32,576 100.0% San Antonio
# Wayland Baptist University $22,658 77.78% Plainview
# West Coast University $27,488 90.55% Multiple Locations
# West Texas A&M University $9,541 97.01% Canyon

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.

Are Online Nursing Programs Accredited?

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.

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