Nursing schools in Texas offer a wide variety of education programs and training options for both aspiring nurses and current nurses looking to advance their careers. The state of Texas actually has over 200 approved nursing programs, ranging from the certificate to doctoral level.
According to Texas Board of Nursing, all practicing licensed nurses must have completed a state-approved educational program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) or a different exam as prescribed by the board. Individuals looking to join the state’s ever expanding healthcare industry as a nurse may choose to become Licensed Practice Nurses (LPNs)/Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs). LPNs/LVNs usually only need a certificate to meet the nurse education requirements, while RNs need at least an associate’s degree or a diploma.
Aspiring nurses may earn a certificate in vocational/practical nursing or an associate’s degree as a general nurse in as little as 2 years. A number of nursing programs are designed as transition or bridge programs, which allow currently certified nurses to advance their careers or earn a particular specialization. All nursing programs typically include a practical component, such as internships or clinical experiences.
Below is a list of top 10 nursing schools in Texas. Some of the best nursing schools, according to U.S. News.
1. University of Texas – Austin
Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin offers AND-to-BSN program, BSN, MSN, Alternate Entry MSN, Ph.D. in Nursing, and Alternate Entry Ph.D. in nursing programs. Many of these programs are very flexible, and are designed specifically for working nurses with a busy schedule. The “Alternate-Entry” degree options are meant for students holding degrees in other fields. The school admits over 1100 students into various nursing education programs and has a faculty and staff totaling 250 – which translates to an excellent student to staff ratio of 5:1. About 60% of students are undergraduates, and doctoral candidates make up roughly 4% of students. Approximately 40% of the student body consists of minority students and nine out of ten nursing students are female. In 2005, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing labeled UT School of Nursing as the best nursing school for men. UT Austin was ranked 13th among the nation’s best public schools on a U.S. News & World Report survey for 2013. The graduation rate of the students of the school who qualify the licensure program is 81%.
Tuition is $11,572 for in-state students and $21,155 for out-of-state students per year.
2. University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston
Founded in 1972, the School of Nursing at UTHealth offers both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, including a BSN, an MSN, a DNP and a PhD in nursing. The programs are flexible and some can be completed both on part-time and full-time basis. The school is associated with one the largest, if not the largest, medical centers in the world – the Texas Medical Center, offering both research and clinical practice opportunities to its students. Its graduate nursing programs were ranked No. 21 on the U.S. News & World Report’s best graduate nursing programs for 2013. According to the Texas Board of Nursing, students in nursing programs at this school had a pass rate of about 98% for the national nurse licensing examination in 2009. The UTHealth School of Nursing enrolls about 310 undergraduate students and approximately 150 graduate students each year. Currently, the school has more than 1,031 students enrolled. It graduates an average of 290 nursing professionals with undergraduate degrees and 120 nursing professionals with graduate degrees annually. Since its inception in 1972, UTHealth School of Nursing has awarded over 9,630 nursing degrees to its graduates.
The tuition fees for in-state students and out-of-state students for the undergraduate courses are $232 and $875 per credit respectively.
3. University Of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston
The School of Nursing at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, formerly referred to as the John Sealy Hospital Training School for Nurses, offers a BSN with three tracks – BSN traditional, RN-BSN track and Accelerated BSN, a Masters Nursing Program, a Nursing PhD program, a Clinical Nurse Leader Master’s degree, and a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The UTMB School of Nursing ranks No.15 on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Nursing Programs. All of its graduate-level nursing courses are offered online, but some have a few on-campus classes per year. The DNP program is taught completely online. Online classes are convenient for any schedule of a working nurse, and are usually recorded and archived so that students can access lecture material at their own convenience. Over 95% of graduate students are already employed when they first enroll. The school enrolls approximately 200 students into its different nursing programs, and has a student to professor ratio of 17 to 1.
Tuition is $285 per credit (in-state), and $639 per credit (out-of-state)
4. University Of Texas – Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing offers a traditional BSN, an accelerated BSN, an RN-to-BSN program, MSN, a Post Masters in Nursing, PhD in Nursing and a DNP. Many of these courses, including accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN program and post-master’s certificates, feature online and web-enhanced courses that allow students to meet the challenges of combining school and work. In 2015, the UT Arlington College of Nursing was ranked No. 31 on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Programs, moving up 34 spots from the previous year. The school has over 800 BSN students currently enrolled. Around 260 students begin the BSN upper-division program (both campus-based and online Academic Partnership BSN) in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and selected sites outside the campus twice a year. The entire College of Nursing has over 7,500 nursing students currently enrolled. Its graduation rate and first-time pass rate on the RN licensing exam is over 90%. Over 97% of the school’s new RN graduates find employment before or shortly after graduation. The school’s Nurse Practitioner (NP) program graduates have a 98-100% pass rate on national certification examination. Student to faculty ratio at the University of Texas at Arlington is 23:1.
Tuition is $9,728 per year for in-state students and $16,100 per year for out-of-state students.
5. Baylor University
The Louis Herrington School of Nursing at Baylor University offers a BSN, an MSN and, a post-master’s nursing certificate and a DNP, as well as continuing education and faith-based nursing opportunities. The school is cutting-edge, providing students with access to spacious classrooms and the latest learning technologies including multimedia learning, state-of-the-art computer lab, conferencing technology, and human patient simulators. Its Master’s degree program was ranked No. 64 in the 2013 listing of America’s Best Graduate Schools from US News & World Report. The Louis Herrington School of Nursing boasts of an NCLEX-RN pass rate of 91.53%. There are approximately 260 students currently enrolled in the nursing major on the Dallas campus. But the entire Baylor University has a student population of more than 13,290 students. It offers a student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and has an average class size of 27 students and a freshman retention rate of 85.5%.
Tuition is $1,437 per credit
6. Texas Christian University
The Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers a traditional BSN, an accelerated BSN, an MSN and a DNP. These programs feature innovative curricula, a low student/teacher ratio, and cutting edge equipment and tools that have seen it achieve a remarkable NCLEX-RN pass rate of 86.34%. Students wishing to join the BSN program will spend the first year trying to complete prerequisites, but they can get into their nursing program by the second year. In 2014, TCU was ranked No. 82 on the list of the Best National Universities by US News & World Report. The Harris College is home to over 805 undergraduate nursing students, 255 graduate students, 63 full-time faculty, 19 staff, and numerous part-time field and clinical faculty.
Tuition is $1,340 per credit
7. Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing offers a four-year BSN program, an RN-to-BSN program, MSN programs, RN-to-MS, post baccalaureate RN-to-MS, post MS certificate, PhD in nursing, and a DNP. Students can engage within the programs at different campus locations, which include: Houston, Denton and Dallas. A number of programs are available online, including RN – BSN program, masters programs and doctoral programs, and offered in a combination of in-person and online courses. This allows working and travelling nursing professionals the greater flexibility that they need to earn higher credentials and still be able to meet family and work responsibilities. About 130 students per campus are enrolled into the traditional undergraduate program two times a year in both the Fall and Spring semesters. The Weekend/Evening program admits about 30 students each year, starting each Fall semester. Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing has an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate of 91.05%. Being a public university, it charges extremely low amounts as tuition and fees.
Tuition is $233 per credit for in-state students and $595 per credit for out-of-state students.
8. University Of Texas – El Paso
The School of Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso offers pre-nursing programs, traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-BSN track, MSN degrees, RN-to-MSN program, graduate certificate programs, a post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate, a DNP program, and a PhD in interdisciplinary health sciences. Once enrolled, students can learn both online and in classrooms, depending on the courses taken. The programs’ curricula are challenging, providing the most up-to-date educational components necessary for nurse leaders in the health care industry. UTEP School of Nursing has an excellent NCLEX-RN pass rate, at 84.58%. In 2013, UTEP was ranked No. 7 in Washington Monthly’s College Rankings based on research, social mobility and community service, as well as “true public interest “. The university has an acceptance rate of 100%, and a student body of 19,696 undergrads. Its student-population ratio stands at 21:1.
Tuition is $419 per credit for in-state students and $815 per credit for out-of-state students.
9. Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
The Texas A&M University Health and Science Center – School of Nursing offers traditional BSN, second degree BSN, an RN-to-BSN, BSN-to-MSN, a comprehensive MSN and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program, and an accelerated RN-to-MSN program. All the nursing programs are fully approved and accredited. The school provides exceptional quality of nursing education by investing heavily on research, new sciences and clinical education. This is evident in the school’s high pass rates on nursing programs, with the current NCLEX-RN pass rate being 97.75%. In 2015, the Master of Science in nursing program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi was ranked No. 10 on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Program rankings. The university’s undergraduate population and acceptance rate currently stand at 44,072 students and 69.5%, respectively. Its student/faculty ratio is 25:1.
Tuition is $372 per credit for in-state students and $734 per credit for out-of-state students.
10. University of the Incarnate Word
The School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Incarnate Word offers traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN and DNP programs. The generic nursing degree at the school is designed for both direct admission high school graduates and regular admission students who have already completed a specific number of prerequisite courses. As a faith-based nursing school, UIW School of Nursing has some of the most intense and advanced programs featuring a very strong leadership curriculum with key components of community nursing and intensive clinical internships to prepare students to become nursing leaders within the community. In 2013, the University of the Incarnate Word was ranked No. 64 on the US News and World Report’s list of the Best Graduate Schools. The university has an undergraduate class of 6,491 students, a student/faculty ratio of 14:1, and an undergraduate acceptance rate of 93.1%.
Tuition is quite reasonable, and currently stands at $815 per credit.
List of Accredited Nursing Schools in Texas
According to U.S. Department of Education
Address: 2149 Hickory Street
Abilene, TX 79601
McMurry University (Shelton)
Address: 2149 Hickory Street
Abilene, TX 79601
Texas A&M International University
Address: 5201 University Boulevard
Laredo, TX 78041
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Address: 3601 Fourth Street
Lubbock, TX 79430
University of Houston – Victoria
Address: 3007 N Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901
University of Texas – Brownsville
Address: 80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, TX 78520
University of Texas – Pan American
Address: 1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, TX 78540
University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio
Address: 7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
West Texas A&M University
Address: Killgore Research Center, Rm. 102
Canyon, TX 79016