Best Nursing Schools in Texas
In 1904, professional nursing became formally recognized in Texas as the result of the passing of the first Nursing Practice Act (NPA). The NPA regulates nursing education, licensure, and practice and has been updated many times to reflect changes in the ever-evolving healthcare industry.
Thanks to that original NPA, nurses in the Lone Star state can be found enjoying rewarding careers in various environments, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient clinics and patient homes. Many of them take great pride in making a positive difference in the lives of patients. If you are interested in joining their ranks, then read on to learn more about the process of becoming a nurse in Texas.
Top 10 Nursing Schools in Texas
NursingDegrees.com has used data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to create two separate rankings of the best nursing schools in Texas — one for undergraduate students and another one for graduate students.
Our rankings are intended to assist prospective nurses in finding accredited schools that can teach them the skills and knowledge used in nursing. As such, we have analyzed U.S. nursing schools on criteria such as tuition and fees, retention rate, number of programs offered, availability of tuition plans and more in order to make our rankings as accurate as possible. Learn more about our ranking methodology at the bottom of this page.
Nursing Accreditation In Texas
If a nursing school is accredited, it has undergone a rigorous review and evaluation process by one or multiple organizations. Accredited nursing schools in Texas have been found to meet certain standards of quality, and accreditation is a stamp of approval recognizing this accomplishment.
Selecting an accredited nursing school is important for many reasons. Many financial aid offers are only valid for accredited schools, and it is usually easier to transfer credits from one accredited school to another. It is also much preferable to have an accredited education on your resume, once it comes time to look for a job!
In case the Texas nursing school you hope to attend isn’t on our site, make sure you check that the school is accredited by one (or more) of the following major nursing school accreditation agencies in Texas:
- Texas Board of Nursing (BON)
- Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing (ACEN)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Texas Nursing Licensure
To become licensed vocational nurses, also known as LVNs, in Texas, students must graduate from a one-year diploma or certificate program and pass the NCLEX-PN. Those who hope to become registered nurses, or RNs, are required to complete a two-year associate’s degree program or a four-year bachelor’s degree program and pass the NCLEX-RN.
Nurses who wish to take their careers to the next level and become nurse practitioners (NPs) must first become registered nurses. Then they must earn several years of work experience, earn their master’s degree in nursing, and apply to the Texas Board of Nursing for their advanced practice nursing license.
Please be aware that requirements for nursing, especially advanced nursing, can change over time. It’s wise to check with the Texas Board of Nursing to make sure you are fulfilling all of the most up-to-date requirements for your nursing career.
Texas Nursing Organizations
There are several nursing organizations in Texas that can be beneficial to both nursing students and working nurses. Let’s take a closer look at some of these Texas nursing organizations.
Texas Nurses Association (TNA):
TNA was founded in 1907 and is both the largest and oldest nursing association in Texas as of July 2018. Its purpose is to empower nurses to come together and advance excellence in nursing.
Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP):
Since its inception in 1989, TNP has helped advance, support and promote the role of nurse practitioners. The organization’s stated goal is to improve patient access to quality healthcare.
Houston Area Nurse Practitioners (HANP):
Founded in 1995, HANP is a resource for nurse practitioners who live and/or work in the greater Houston area. This organization offers opportunities for education, networking, legislative awareness and professional collaboration.
Gulf Coast Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GCGAPNA):
GCGAPNA is an association for advanced practice nurses working in the field of gerontology. It strives to promote high healthcare standards for older adults through advanced gerontological nursing practice, education and research.
Texas-Specific Continuing Education
In Texas, both LVNs and RNs must complete 20 continuing education hours every two years in their area of practice in order to maintain their licensure. 20 continuing education hours is also required for NPs. However, NPs are also required to have completed five additional hours in pharmacotherapeutics within the preceding two years if they have Prescriptive Authority.
Hospitals in Texas
1) Methodist Hospital (San Antonio): Methodist Hospital was established as the first hospital in the South Texas Medical Center in 1963. It boasts a plethora of specialties, including cancer care, bone marrow transplants, cardiology, gynecology, maternity care, neurosciences, emergency medicine and orthopedics.
2) Baptist Medical Center (San Antonio): Since 1903, Baptist Medical Center has been providing healthcare for patients all across the San Antonio and the South Texas region. The center features five acute care hospitals and focuses on improving each and every patient’s well-being.
3) Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital (Houston): Situated in the heart of Southwest Houston, Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital has been caring for families since 1977. It was named among the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, an annual study that evaluates hospitals on patient care, operational efficiency and financial stability.
- Texas Board of Nursing, Accessed June 2018, https://www.bon.texas.gov/history.asp
- Nurse.com, Accessed June 2018, https://www.nurse.com/state-nurse-ce-requirements/texas
- American Hospital Directory, Accessed June 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
- Nurse Journal, Accessed June 2018, https://nursejournal.org/licensing/texas-nursing-requirements/