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Best Nursing Schools in Texas

best nursing schools in texasThe Texas Department of State Health Services notes the growing need for well-qualified nursing. In many areas of the state, there is a shortage of nurses, leaving many health care facilities without the support patients critically need. The best nursing schools in texas are available to those who hope to meet these ever-increasing demands in a lucrative career field.

Finding a nurse practitioner program or RN to BSN program in Texas isn’t too challenging because there are numerous schools and universities available offering an online associates degree in nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing; however, it makes it more important for prospective nursing students to carefully consider their options.

Recommended Nursing Schools in Texas

Nursing Programs in Texas

The best nursing programs in Texas are widely available. In many cases, a student can start training and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing within a few years.  Accelerated nursing programs were created to help students finish promptly. Additionally, some online nursing programs in Texas allow students to learn at their pace while keeping their current employment.

Best Nursing School Programs in Texas 2017

School NameNCLEX-RN Pass RateLocation
The University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston99%Houston, TX
Texas State University - San Marcos98.98%San Marcos, TX
West Texas A&M University97.96%Canyon, TX
Texas A&M University Health and Science Center - School of Nursing97.75%Bryan, TX
Concordia University95.56%Austin, TX
University of Houston at Victoria95.45%Houston, TX
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston92.51%Galveston, TX
Baylor University91.53%Waco, TX
Angelo State University91.18%Austin, TX
Texas Women's University91.05%Dallas, TX

Nurse Licensing Requirements in Texas

Students who wish to work as a registered nurse in Texas need to obtain the education necessary to pass the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or the NCLEX. These programs assure that the individual has ample training and the ability to perform his or her job as necessary. The Texas Board of Nursing requires all students to maintain a “C” grade as well, and in light of licensing requirements it would be good to become familiar with a nurse job description also.

Employment Outlook and Salary

In Texas, the annual mean wage for a nurse practitioner is $102,070. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that, from 2012 through 2022, the demand for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses will grow by 25%, much faster than other occupations. More than 182,900 jobs will be added to the US in this field by 2022. Finding a nursing program in Texas can help individuals to gain the knowledge and expertise to compete in this lucrative career path.

Here are some income estimates to think about, courtesy of the BLS:

  • Certified Medical Assistant: $28,550 per year
  • Licensed Practical Nurse: $44,030 per year
  • Registered Nurse: $68,060 per year
  • Nurse Practitioner: $102,260 per year

Tuition for Texas Nursing Schools

The money you pay for tuition in Texas will depend on the type of degree you pursue, the type of school you go to, and the type of courses you take. If you are a student who does not come from Texas, you will likely pay more for school than someone already living in this state. Listed below are some tuition statistics to keep in mind, thanks to the College Board:

  • Public Two-Year College: $2,222 per year
  • Public Four-Year University: $8,522 per year
  • Private Four-Year University: $29,750 per year

Best Nursing Schools in Texas

We’ve ranked the top 25 nursing programs in Texas based on their NCLEX-RN pass rate, ability to help students to obtain a license, specialization options, and more. There are more RN schools, but we have only ranked the top ones.

Rank: 1

The University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston

If you research nursing schools in Houston, The University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston, offers a diverse number of nursing programs to students. It also provides unique programs including undergraduate, graduate, and DNP programs. It also offers Ph.D. programs and Nurse Anesthesia licensing. The school offers specializations ranging from primary care nursing to forensic nursing and emergency care. The school is also the home of the Texas Medical Center, which is one of the world’s most recognized medical and research centers. Students will have the ability to learn hands-on in this hospital environment. It also affords students with exceptional access to interdisciplinary and collaborative opportunities other schools do not have access to in many cases.

A few key things make the University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston, a standout school for nursing. It was the first school in the state to offer a DNP program. The nursing program in Houston has about 1050 students enrolled each year. It graduates about 290 nurses to undergraduate degrees every year and about 120 nurses with graduate degrees annually. Since the program’s founding, it has graduated more than 9,636 nurses.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours:
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply for entrance into the school with at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Students must have a background check and transcripts to apply.
  • Tuition: For residents entering undergraduate nursing programs, the cost is $5,370 per 30-hour semester approximately
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation

Rank: 2

Texas State University – San Marcos

Texas State University – San Marcos offers an exceptional nursing program. The St. David’s School of Nursing is a leader in advanced educational opportunities and comprehensive new program development. One of the key benefits to students attending this particular location is the intense and extensive use of simulation labs. This is particularly beneficial in the school’s Paramedic Training Program. Students are introduced to these labs early on to ensure they have comprehensive, hands-on experience in realistic environments.

The school recently opened a state-of-the-art nursing building to further its educational offerings in Round Rock. The new building provides virtual learning environments for critical care, home care, and many other scenarios. The educational program is aimed at creating a nurse that has a science and holistic based educational base. The school is very much diverse and offers a broad range of courses for students to select from for specialization. It also provides numerous remote connections to area medical centers and hospitals.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98.98%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 130 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students need to be admitted to the college, complete an application, obtain the required 18 credit hours of prerequisite credit, take the Test of Essential Academic Skills and apply directly to the school of nursing.
  • Tuition: For resident students entering the nursing program the tuition is $4271 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Board of Nursing, and Collegiate Nursing Education.

Rank: 3

West Texas A&M University

A high NCLEX-RN pass rate is only one of the benefits of the West Texas A&M University‘s nursing program. The school is consistently ranked as one of the Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report for its graduate program. Additionally, It was also recognized by Students for Profits for its Nonprofit Colleges Online Award for the Online BSN Programs in 2014. The school is very much student-focused, with numerous in-depth educational programs, experienced faculty, and outstanding leadership.

West Texas A&M University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs including MSN options such as the Comprehensive MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner, and RN to MSN. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides quality education to encourage excellence in clinical services to clients and patients. Specialized programs include athletic training, physical education, audiology, nursing, trauma care, and much more. The school is a larger facility with an undergraduate enrollment of about 1200 students each year. It also offers a graduate program with about 25 students each year. Overall, this school offers eight baccalaureate programs and five masters programs within the nursing school.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.96%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 130 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: For the department of nursing, students will need to gain entrance into the college, complete core curriculum and maintain a high GPA, and take science-based prerequisites before applying to the nursing program.
  • Tuition: For resident students the cost will be approximate $3,700 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education approved by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Rank: 4

Texas A&M University Health and Science Center – School of Nursing

Many factors help the Texas A&M University Health and Science Center – School of Nursing to stand out and to achieve high pass rates on nursing licensing exams. Among those benefits is the school’s leadership in the Texas Team Project in nursing. This school also is a student-focused facility. It seeks out enrollment of students who offer a diverse body of cultural and academic differences. Students will find the University is committed to providing exceptional quality of education by investing heavily in new sciences, research, and clinical education.

Numerous additional benefits are present from this particular school including its investment in cutting-edge classroom technologies and simulation. The school also offers virtual clinical learning activities and strives to teach students to be socially responsible and global citizens. Innovation is another key component of the educational track here. The Texas A&M University Health and Science Center – School of Nursing offers Traditional BSN, Second Degree BSN, RN to BSN and BSN to MSN tracks. It also provides MSN programs for Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education while offering an RN to MSN educational track.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.75%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 hours
  • Admission Requirements: After gaining acceptance into the University, students will then need to complete two years of curriculum in courses in physical sciences, humanities, and behavioral sciences before applying to the nursing program.
  • Tuition: Resident students will be paying $3275 per semester to attend school.
  • Accreditation:  Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Texas Board of Nursing

Rank: 5

Concordia University

Concordia University‘s nursing program is diverse and can be fast paced. Students learn in one of dozens or program options. The Accelerated BSN program is one of the best options for those who want to get into the field quickly. The school also offers an RN to BSN, LVN to RN, and Master of Science in Nursing. An essential component of the educational program is leadership training. Other innovative studies including resource management and quality improvement in the field. Also outstanding is its blending learning options. These allow students to learn on campus one or two days a week with supplemental online education. This allows students to go from an RN to BSN degree within 12 months or for two years part time.

The Concordia University nursing program focuses on caring, compassion, and competence, with a focus on preparing students for some of the most challenging of career paths. The school is known for having a quality nursing program with a very high level of focus on individual education of students. This faculty to student focus enables a high NCLEX-RN rating on a consistent basis.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.56%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: It is a four-year program
  • Admission Requirements: To enter into any of the programs, admission into the college and the completion of core curriculum hours is necessary. The program also requires a grade of “C” or higher and at least four units with labs in prerequisite training before acceptance into the nursing program.
  • Tuition: Resident tuition is $13950 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges and Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.

Rank: 6

University of Houston at Victoria

While the NCLEX-RN rate for the University of Houston at Victoria is 95.45%, many of its students pass with 100% on their first try. This is due to the school’s commitment to providing exceptional, core courses alongside leadership and independent learning opportunities. The school of nursing provides some of the best and cutting edge technology and tools for students to benefit from in their course of education. This includes numerous learning programs using the school’s simulation centers.

Key programs at the University of Houston at Victoria include the RN to BSN, Second Degree BSN, and MSN program. Many of these programs are newer, which means they contain the most up to date educational component. With a broad focus (and significant investment) into innovative technologies, the programs here help to teach students in a more aggressive, hands-on fashion to prepare them for intense work environments. An essential component of the school’s mission is not just to graduate nurses, but also to create leaders in the field. To help students during and after education, the school uses a variety of online communities, community groups, health care agency alumni and others to support students.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.45%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply to the University of Houston, complete all entrance requirements to do so, and gain access to the nursing application only after completing prerequisite hours of education in the fields of biology, humanities, and behavioral sciences. Graduate degree programs have additional requirements and an entrance exam.
  • Tuition: Resident tuition is about $3500 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 7

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is an internationally recognized program is known for producing high quality, but also highly professional nurses. The school has a long history of providing exceptional support to students. It is also the school with the first dedicated nursing program in the state. Since that time, it has produced thousands of qualified nurses working around the world. A critical focus from its foundation is the school’s commitment to innovation. It does this through a strong research-focused educational path that gives students great success beyond their education.

The school has a 91% graduation rate, which is one of the highest Academic Health Center graduation rates in the state. Many of its students find positions immediately after completing their education and when needed, the school provides employment support. Students spend a great deal of time working in clinical placement programs during their final years of education. Many remain in these programs pursuing full-time degrees after graduation.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.51%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: This course can be challenging to gain entrance to because of its recognized high-quality programs. Students will need to acquire admittance into the school and apply to the program after obtaining 40 of its 60 prerequisites. Additionally, students need to maintain a 2.75 GPA throughout their education.
  • Tuition: For residents it is approximately $16000 for the two-year program.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 8

Baylor University

Challenging, diverse, and one of the more advanced programs available in the state of Texas, the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing is a well-respected program for many reasons. The program provides students with the ability to provide an advanced level of education and training not just for a community focus but also to prep students for worldwide service in the field. This is a Christian community school with a strong association with professional practices, health care organizations, and global associations in the healthcare industry. To stand out, this school provides a high level of education in leadership training and melds its advanced science with a strong belief in faith and compassion.

The school is the largest Baptist university in the world and the oldest continuously operating university in the state of Texas. The Baylor University Medical Center is at the heart of the school at its downtown Dallas campus. This facility is cutting edge and provides students with access to spacious classrooms with multimedia learning, conferencing technology, and human patient simulators, along with an impressive computer lab. Also onsite is the Learning Resource Center, which provides a focus on research and educational development.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.53%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 131 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: To enter the BSN program, students will need to pass an entrance exam, meet minimum requirements, including 44 of the 66 prerequisite hours completed, and maintain a 3.0 GPA for all courses. Students will need to meet all requirements for the university admittance.
  • Tuition: Resident tuition is $28000 per semester.
  • Accreditation: The Baccalaureate, Master’s and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are approved by the Texas Board of Nurses.

Rank: 9

Angelo State University

Angelo State University may not be as large as other universities in Texas, but it does offer a diverse and competitive nursing program that delivers on positive licensing results. The school offers students some different educational tracks for the nursing program. The university’s program offerings including graduate and undergraduate education, programs designed to meet the needs of a global nursing workforce. This is due in part to the school’s commitment to providing person-centered nursing skills that aid in health restoration, health promotion and disease prevention at their heart.

Angelo State University provides students with experienced faculty that are leaders in the healthcare industry. It also supplies students with as much real world experience as is possible. One of the ways it does this is through the Nursing Department’s High-Fidelity Simulation Laboratory. This gives students the ability to practice the techniques and methods they use on mannequins. Additionally, the program works alongside numerous local healthcare facilities to provide clinical experience for nurses. This allows the highly trained team to interact with and learn with real people. It provides career planning opportunities and study abroad programs as well.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.18
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: To enter the BSN program, students need to gain entrance into the university first. Then, he or she must complete a set of prerequisite courses in the first few years of schooling before applying. Maintaining a “C” in all prerequisites and achieving a 2.5 GPA is necessary. Students also need to take the ACT or SAT, complete a criminal background and drug screening, and take the TEAS V nursing entrance assessment.
  • Tuition: Resident students will be paying $4200 per semester
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and Texas Board of Nursing

Rank: 10

Texas Women’s University

Texas Women’s University offers a large number of nursing offerings for students, but it also provides an intimate environment. Students can engage within the program at various campus locations including Dallas, Denton, and Houston, but also participate in the school’s numerous online and distance learning offerings. This diverse school offers students the ability to compete with excellent schools around the world but does not necessarily require the highest GPA to do so.

Students learn advanced nursing techniques, outstanding leadership skills, and advanced practice and scientific studies. They also have a strong focus on technological and societal adaptation to meet the ever growing changes within any community. The school offers Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Doctoral studies and numerous disciplines within this area. This actually provides students with the advanced education they need to compete in the nursing environment. To further enhance this goal of advanced studies, the school itself has a very strong research component focused on evidence-based clinical care. Students will participate in numerous programs in area hospitals and medical centers as well.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.05%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students will need to apply to the school with transcriptions and then work towards completing prerequisites before being admitted into the nursing program. A minimum of a “C” level grade in science courses is necessary. The College of Nursing also offers additional requirements based on the student’s course of study.
  • Tuition: Resident tuition is $4500 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 11

University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler offers a large number of nursing educational programs for students of all levels. The program offers several undergraduate program options. The school also offers one of the strongest Ph.D. programs in the nursing field to prep those at the highest level of nursing. Other key programs offered here include a Post-MSN Nurse Practitioner Certificate, MSN – Administration position and MSN and MBA combined program. What’s more, it also focuses on improving these courses on a routine basis to ensure students have some of the most diverse levels of education available to them in a constantly new experience.

Students appreciate the well-maintained campus that offers numerous state of the art labs and classrooms. Off-campus learning opportunities are available in the surrounding areas of Longview and Palestine, and distance learning is present as well. With a student to professor ratio of 17 to 1, the school is one of the smallest classroom sizes in a large university. Overall, the University of Texas at Tyler also ranks number three out of all academic institutions within the University of Texas system specifically for the number of students graduating on time. This is a fast-paced, state of the art school with a student focus. However, it does offer affordability options to make nursing more accessible to most students.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.23%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements:  Attending the University of Texas at Tyler requires students to first gain admission into the University of Texas and complete a set of prerequisite hours (40 credit hours) before applying to the nursing program. This includes two years of education.
  • Tuition: Resident tuition is $4300 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: 12

West Coast University

With the ability to complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program within 39 numbers from start to finish, West Coast University is one of the best options for students who are looking for a way to get into the workforce quickly. The program options are very flexible with many focused areas of study including pediatrics, medical-surgical nursing, community health, home care nursing, gerontology, and psychiatric and mental health. West Coast University also has a very strong continuing education program to help prep students to further their career even as they are working in the medical field. The school continues to support its graduates in job placement and other services as well.

A few key things help the West Coast University stand out as a leader in nursing in Texas. The curriculum focuses on teaching advanced nursing applications, but also teaches leadership, management skills, decision making, critical thinking, and how to handle moral and ethical questions. Students who leave the program can work in a variety of fields including in acute and long-term care facilities throughout the community.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.19%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: This is a 39-month program.
  • Admission Requirements: To enter the program, students must meet all qualitative admissions requirements for enrollment into the school. It is then necessary for students to complete prerequisite learning in science and math.
  • Tuition: $132,400
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

Rank: 13

Houston Baptist University

Diversity is at the heart of the Houston Baptist University School of Nursing and Allied Health. Students who enroll in this program are well versed for providing intense nursing support within the community. A key component of the school’s program is the Nursing and Kinesiology component, which brings a great deal of challenges, enthusiasm, and diligence to the school. About one-third of all students enrolled in the nursing programs will enroll in this specific area. It focuses on health improvement through mind, body, and spirit, which helps this program to stand out from many of the other nursing programs in Texas.

Additional degree options for students to consider include a BSN, BSN – Honors program, a Nursing RN to BSN program, and a 100 percent online Nursing RN to BSN program. This Christian focused school offers a large combination of opportunities for students to customize their education into one of many fields. The school has a high graduation rate as well as offers a low student to teacher ratio.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate:88.46%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours:125 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: To enter into the nursing programs, students need to apply directly to Houston Baptist University and its undergraduate programs or submit transcripts showing completion of the necessary prerequisites. Spots in the program can be limited and therefore, meeting minimal requirements of a “C” grade in courses may not be enough to qualify students for the nursing program.
  • Tuition: Resident tuition is $13975 per semester.
  • Accreditation: Baccalaureate Nursing Program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Rank: 14

University of the Incarnate Word

The University of the Incarnate Word Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions is a student-focused program. While it teaches a wide range of educational programs and does teach some of the most intense and advanced nursing program offerings. However, it also has a very strong leadership curriculum to develop nursing leaders within the community. Its diverse educational offerings extend much beyond traditional BSN programs. Students can focus their education in some areas including education.

The program prepares students for a wide range of opportunities. Students learn for the first few years on campus, but then become a key component of the community around them. They work with Reserve Officer Training Corps, various local hospitals and medical centers, and numerous community outreach centers. Students will spend a great deal of time not just learning nursing components, but also research and clinical, hands-on experience. The program includes a component of intensive clinical internships to prepare students to enter the healthcare industry.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.36%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 2-year or 4-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Individuals begin by applying for a Traditional BSN at the University. They will need to have a GPA of 2.5, complete a set of prerequisites including English, biology, anatomy and others, and pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills before enrollment into the nursing program is complete.
  • Tuition: $850 per credit hour or $12,950 per semester
  • Accreditation: Approval of the BSN program is through the Texas Board of Nursing. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Rank: 15

Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University’s Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences is a nationally recognized nursing program that produces some of the most diverse, well trained, and successful professionals. The school teaches students to be more than just a nurse but also a leader, a patient advocate, and a skilled professional. Students will spend the first year of their college education working to complete prerequisites, but unlike other schools, students can get into their nursing program by the second year. This provides students with access to community health agencies, hospitals, and schools in the community where they will begin to work and study.

Additional benefits of Texas Christian University include the automatic clinical placement into the program during the first year of education as long as the student maintains good grades, and the numerous specialty options available to students. Some of these including nursing in maternity, pediatrics, psychiatric care, and community health. This is a fast-paced learning environment. However, they have a low student to teacher ratio, a high-quality curriculum, and the cutting edge equipment and tools necessary to propel students into their career in nursing. This university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs with the most advanced nursing education built into the curriculum.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.34%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4-year bachelor program
  • Admission Requirements: Unlike other schools, students who apply to this program will be admitted into the nursing program at the end of their freshmen year if they meet specific requirements. This includes specific prerequisite classes, passage of the HESI Admission Assessment Exam and a good grade point average.
  • Tuition: $14,420 for 13 credit hours
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Rank: 16

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Scott and White College of Nursing provides a wide range of educational programs for those interested in learning to become a nurse. The school offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. It’s high NCLEX-RN exam pass rate has been consistently high for many years, showcasing the value and quality of education that the program offers students. The BSN program offered by the school has a liberal arts foundation and a high-level, advanced nursing curriculum that teaches students how to be true professionals in any nursing space.

Students gain a great deal of education in this program, but much of it comes from real world experiences. This is done through a state of the art health care lab and classroom setting as well as clinical labs in many area hospitals and medical facilities. A key focus of the educational program here is on creating lifetime learners. To do this, the university provides ongoing support and career support long after the student is graduated. It does this to ensure each graduate is given the most innovative opportunities and comprehensive educational options available. Nevertheless, it is flexible with part time and full-time tracks, distance learning options, and numerous simulated and clinical programs for real-world experience.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.98%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 124 minimum credit hours for BSN program
  • Admission Requirements: Students must first apply to the university and meet those admissions requirements before applying to the nursing program after maintaining a “C” grade on all prerequisite courses.
  • Tuition: $795 per undergraduate credit hour
  • Accreditation: The nursing program is approved by the Texas State Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the accreditation body for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

Rank: 17

Southwestern Adventist University

At the Southwestern Adventist University, students have the ability to choose the major that fits their specific needs within the nursing program. The school offers a four-year long Bachelor of Science degree in nursing as well as a BS Completion track for RN to BS and LVN to BS. The school has a long history of providing high-quality education, and it has consistently innovated and grown with technology. This is due in part because of the drive of the faculty to provide nurses with a continuously improving level of education in a more demanding, fast paced career field.

A few key things help individuals to do well in this program. The class size is small in most cases. The students have access to a full, state of the art simulation center that offers real world experiences. The faculty is experienced in the field and continuously learning as well.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.29%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: To be admitted, students need to meet all of the requirements to be enrolled at Southwestern Adventist University and then complete the steps necessary to apply to the nursing program. Students also need to complete 34 credit hours of prerequisites before getting into the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $19,296 for the first 2015 to 2016 year
  • Accreditation: The program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Rank: 18

Texas Tech University Health Science Center

The Texas Tech University Health Science Center is one of the leading educational programs in the state because of its diversity, dedication to providing students with exceptional education, and its reliable curriculum. It is also home to the Larry Combest Community Health and Wellness Center. This is a non-profit nurse-managed primary health care center that the school operates and many students will gain clinical experience in during their years of education here.

Texas Tech University Health Science Center is the only South Plains area school that offers students baccalaureate, masters and doctoral education in the same area. It also provides students with access to educational programs at numerous distance learning locations including those in Abilene, El Paso, and Lubbock. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program here is a four-year program, but students have options available to them for accelerated learning paths. Key learning programs include the Masters and Post Masters, DNP, VBSN, and RN to BSN programs.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85.28%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4 consecutive semesters for BSN
  • Admission Requirements: Students need to be admitted into the Texas Tech University first as an undergraduate or provide transcripts to accommodate transfers. Prerequisites and the completion of an entrance exam into the nursing program are required as well.
  • Tuition: Traditional BSN, 15 credit semester hours: $17,814
  • Accreditation: The program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Rank: 19

Lamar University at Beaumont

The Lamar University JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing is a smaller program that offers a great deal of individualized support to students. The school offers numerous nursing opportunities including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN track, MSN and MBA Dual Degree and other specializations. A few key things help this school to stand out including its focus on offering patient or client-centered care with a focus on holistic and multidimensional care. This is done using evidence-based practice as well as clinical judgment and clinical reasoning skills.

Lamar University also provides an in-depth education regarding developing a nurse to be a leader, a social force, and a professional. Not only do students work within the community and in real world simulation experiences during their education, but they also are active in the community and offer a variety of ways to give back. Online programs are also available.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84.67%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4-year program, or 1 month RN to BSN online
  • Admission Requirements: To gain acceptance into the BSN program, students will need to apply and be admitted to the university directly. Then, students will complete prerequisite education, an entrance exam, and a physical. A “C” grade is necessary for all prerequisite programs.
  • Tuition: 30 credit hours at $268 per credit hour for RN to BSN online program
  • Accreditation: The BSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs are fully accredited through 2017 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Rank: 20

University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso provides a fantastic opportunity for students. It’s top ratings in test scores is just one of the key benefits to going here. Students will be able to choose from a number of different educational paths including undergraduate and master degree programs. Once enrolled, students can learn both in classrooms as well as through online programs, depending on the courses taken. The curriculum itself is challenging and offers the most up to date educational components necessary for nurse leaders in the healthcare industry today.

A few key points to know about the University of Texas at El Paso. First, there are Hospital Days as a key component of the student’s experience. Simulated experiences occur during these days within a simulation lab. This provides students with a very high level of education in real world experiences. The school has a very diverse faculty and student base. It also has a high percentage of minority faculty. More so, students who want to get into the career field quickly can often obtain their beginning BSN program and complete it within 15 to 24 months or over 4 semesters.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84.58%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 15 to 24 months for the Traditional BSN program
  • Admission Requirements: Admission requirements include maintaining a “C” level grade in all prerequisite courses, testing into the program, and meeting the physical demands of the job.
  • Tuition: RN to BSN costs $9,000 for 30 credit hours
  • Accreditation: The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Rank: 21

Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University offers both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. The programs are challenging and designed to prepare nurses to engage in some of the most challenging careers. This is challenging both academically and clinically, but the faculty is very positive and outgoing specifically to help push students to be the best they can be. More than 1250 people have graduated from the program. Most students will enter into the nursing program traditionally by applying to the school first and then applying to the nursing program after completion of their educational requirements.

The school strives to provide a full curriculum and numerous clinical opportunities for students. Pre-nursing and nursing majors range widely to give students a wide range of opportunities to choose from to met their long term goals. The university’s master’s nursing programs are some of the most well respected in the state because of their diverse opportunities and innovative coursework.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84.40%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4-year program in most cases
  • Admission Requirements: Students enroll in the school directly and complete a pre-nursing curriculum during their first year. This includes prerequisites for their program track. Students must maintain at least a “C” level grade throughout all coursework.
  • Tuition: $4919 for 18 credit hours of education
  • Accreditation: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is fully accredited by the Texas Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate and masters programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Rank: 22

University of Texas at Pan American

The University of Texas at Pan American’s College of Health Sciences and Human Services is a diverse, well-designed program to quickly get high-quality students through the program and into the field. The focus of the program is to teach clinical skills with a focus on holistic nursing care. The program is very much a key component of the community, and many students will embark on clinical training within the local medical facilities and doctors offices.

The university has two main options for nursing. This includes the BSN program and the MSN program. The MSN program is available both as a traditional course of study but now also features a Family Practitioner track. The school teaches leadership along with professional nursing practical curriculums that offer modern techniques and technology.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.16%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 2 or 4-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students must meet the University of Texas admission requirements, maintain a 2.5 GPA on all prerequisites, complete all prerequisites and maintain a “C” average, and pass physical screenings and CPR training. Students will also need to take an entrance exam into the college of nursing.
  • Tuition: $13,669
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Rank: 23

Sam Houston State University

The Sam Houston State University School of Nursing is an excellent opportunity for students to learn in a small environment with exceptional faculty. The program offerings include a BSN, RN to BSN and LVN to BSN program. Over 38 percent of the faculty have a Ph.D. in nursing, and three of these faculty members are nurse practitioners. Additionally, the school has worked hard to develop a newer, more modern program that provides students with a hands-on learning experience like no other.

Numerous scholarships are available to students, especially for graduates who come back to the school to further their education. Students can learn on campus, or they can enroll in online learning programs to complete their degree faster.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.00%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 121 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students will need to apply to the Sam Houston State University as an undergraduate. They, they must take virtual or distance learning programs or complete 46 credit hours with at least a 3.0 GPA at the school. Students will need to then apply to the school of nursing and must take the TEAS V test with a minimum score of 64 to gain admittance.
  • Tuition: $3,773 per 13 credit hours a semester
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: 24

Schreiner University

Schreiner University is an excellent opportunity for students who are self-learners and who want to excel in a very specific and yet diverse education. The student can enroll in several of the school’s educational offerings including the traditional BSN. Most of the programs are designed to provide students with a wealth of experience in a hands-on environment. Students will attend area medical facilities and gain education and experience in hospitals or other healthcare providers.

The program offers students a wide range of access to the top of the line simulation equipment, experienced faculty, and exceptional coursework.  Though it can be somewhat difficult to gain entrance into the nursing program due to limited enrollment positions, doing so affords the student with many opportunities.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 79.17%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4 Semesters
  • Admission Requirements: Students can spend two years in general curriculum and apply to the nursing program after completing prerequisites.
  • Tuition: $258 per credit hour (numerous variations on course paths) Estimated BSN: $4,444
  • Accreditation: The University approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  It is also a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and holds accreditation by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its BSN program.

Rank: 25

Chamberlain College of Nursing

The Chamberlain College of Nursing offers three bachelor level nursing programs, an RN to BSN option, a master’s degree program, and a doctorate. With more than 125 years of experience providing high-quality education to the region, this school is well known for its nursing opportunities. More so, it offers ongoing enrollment with courses starting every eight weeks. This allows the student to enter into the workforce quickly and without a great deal of time spent on courses that are not beneficial to them.

There are a variety of reasons to select this school for nursing. It’s MSN program is ranked highly by the US News organization as one of the best in online graduate nursing programs for 2015. It also offers a large number of opportunities in clinical experiences. Students will be able to learn in a small setting, though, with access to their teachers on a regular basis. Another reason to attend is the SIMCARE Center, which provides incredible hands-on learning.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate:  78.26%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: The school offers a three-year BSN with no enrollment wait
  • Admission Requirements: A few key things to know here including the fact that the school offers a variety of educational options for enrollment. There is no wait list for enrollment and students start in the nursing program from the start.
  • Tuition: $87,665 for the three-year program.
  • Accreditation: The school holds accreditation by The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for its BSN program.

How We Created Our Ranking

We strive to provide you with the best information about RN schools and online nursing programs in Texas by focusing on the NCLEX-RN pass rate of each school. This information was provided directly from the Texas Board of Nursing for the year 2014 and is available to those looking for more information about any of the top nursing schools in Texas.

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