Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Texas

16 Min Read Published June 11, 2024
City skyline of downtown city in Texas

To become a nurse in Texas, the best course of action is to earn a nursing degree from a local school. Earning a degree from an accredited Texas school will satisfy any prerequisites you’ll need to become a registered nurse (RN) in the Lone Star State. But not all nursing schools are the same, and you’ll want to pick the right school for you. That's why we've rounded up the best nursing schools in Texas to help you decide.

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Top 10 Nursing Schools in Texas

This is a panel-reviewed selection based on several factors, including,

Our selection panel includes 5 Registered Nurses with over 55 years of combined nursing experience and 8 nursing degrees.

  • Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, CNS
  • Tyler Faust, MSN, RN
  • Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN
  • Kathleen Gaines, MSN, RN, BA, CBC
  • Leah Helmbrecht, BSN, RN

Because nursing careers take different forms, the top 10 Texas nursing schools are ranked in no particular order.

In-State Tuition
$11,698 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$41,070 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Based in Central Texas, the University of Texas at Austin emphasizes helping the local community. This philosophy is grounded in its nursing programs, and many nurses continue working in these communities.

This university offers two BSN pathways, a traditional 4-year degree and an internal transfer BSN, for UT Austin students who want to switch to nursing. Since UT Austin's nursing school is highly competitive, students should also apply to a few backup schools.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 1%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $544
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,900
Contact Information:
  • Address: 110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $64,593

 

In-State Tuition
$35,614 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$35,614 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Schreiner University is a private school founded on Presbyterian values. While the school was founded in 1923, Schreiner has only recently started seeing huge growth. The nursing school and the BSN degree are both relatively young and don’t have many graduates.

However, nursing students who have earned their degrees from Schreiner boast a high NCLEX pass rate and good job placement. The annual tuition is high, but many students earn some type of financial aid to help keep costs low.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 10%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,600
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,600
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2100 Memorial Blvd, Kerrville, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 62%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $69,338

 

In-State Tuition
$53,890 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$53,890 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Texas Christian University is a private school with a strong educational background. The university's high standards warrant equally high tuition rates, which may be worth it to prospective nurses who want to attend one of the best nursing schools in Texas.

BSN students start clinicals in their sophomore year, providing them with plenty of experience by graduation. The university also offers an accelerated BSN for aspiring nurses with bachelor’s degrees in another field. The ABSN is 19 months and ranks as one of the top second-degree programs in the country.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 2%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,280
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $2,280
Contact Information:
  • Address: 2800 S University Dr, Fort Worth, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $66,737

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

In-State Tuition
$4,913 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$15,299 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Texas A&M is the largest university in the nation, and its nursing school is proportionately sized. Not only is Texas A&M home to one of the best ABSN programs in Texas, but it also offers a traditional BSN and RN to BSN pathway.

One cool part about the BSN is that students can earn it year-round, taking courses in the winter and summer. This reduces the time required to complete the degree, so graduates can start their nursing career in less than four years.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 25%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $205
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $637
Contact Information:
  • Address: 6300 Ocean Dr., Corpus Christi, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $62,422

>> Related: Top RN to BSN Programs in Texas

In-State Tuition
$9,206 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$26,778 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

Based in the northern part of the state, the University of Texas at Arlington* has over 40,000 students enrolled. This includes their distance learners, some of whom complete their BSN online. This online program has an even lower tuition for in-state students than what’s listed, although nursing students must complete their clinicals in person.

For traditional students, Arlington offers a four-year BSN or RN-BSN. No matter your option, this is an affordable nursing degree for Texas residents. 

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 81%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 31%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $366
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $987
Contact Information:
  • Address: 701 S. Nedderman Dr., Arlington, TX
  • Website*
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $72,515

 

In-State Tuition
$5,616 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$15,408 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Despite its name, TWU welcomes applicants of all genders, not just women. The university is highly regarded for its research in areas like women's health and patient outcomes, making it an enticing school for graduate nursing students.

The university offers traditional full and part-time BSN degrees, as well as an online RN-to-BSN bridge. Graduate students can select from several MSN and doctorate programs to advance their nursing careers.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 40%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $234
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $642
Contact Information:
  • Address: 304 Administration Dr, Denton, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $65,924

 

In-State Tuition
$7,394 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$23,232 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The University of Texas at Tyler is another excellent school in the University of Texas public system. Students can attend UT Tyler's undergraduate nursing program at its distance sites in Longview or Texas, expanding its statewide reach.

UT Tyler offers undergraduate nursing students a traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, and concurrent ADN-BSN degree. Graduate students can select from several MSN and DNP options, including nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and administrative nursing degrees.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 29%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $367
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $852
Contact Information:
  • Address: 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 61%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $59,904

 

In-State Tuition
$31,724 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$31,724 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Named for the patron saint of universities and students, the University of St. Thomas has established itself as a top private school in Texas. Located in Houston, nursing students can take advantage of the urban setting and some of the state's top hospitals for clinical experiences. The city is also a great place to find a job after graduation. 

Undergraduate nursing students without a prior degree can attend the traditional BSN program. Alternatively, those with a bachelor's degree in another field can attend the ABSN program and complete it in just 12 months.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 16%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,133
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,133
Contact Information:
  • Address: 3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $63,997

 

In-State Tuition
$40,300 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$40,300 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
Yes

Abilene Christian University, or ACU, opened its current campus 90 years ago. The BSN curriculum structure is meant to create servant-leaders in the community, a great basis for nurses who might want to attend graduate school at some point.

The university offers an on-campus BSN and an online BSN. Students in nursing programs can participate in mission trips and volunteer opportunities around the world.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 30%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,675
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1,675
Contact Information:
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $58,522

 

In-State Tuition
$29,400 per year
Out-of-State Tuition
$29,400 per year
Accreditation
CCNE
Online?
No

The University of Mary Hardin–Baylor is the oldest continuous college in Texas. Most nursing students at UMHB are enrolled in the BSN program, although MSN and Doctor of Education in Nursing programs are also available. Future nursing students who live in Texas can find a more affordable education at a state school, but the high NCLEX pass rate is hard to ignore.

School Information:
  • Public or Private? Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 96%
  • Percent Enrolled Online: 4%
Tuition:
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $980
  • Out-of-State Tuition Per Credit Hour: $980
Contact Information:
  • Address: 900 College St, Belton, TX
  • Website
School Success:
  • Retention Rate: 64%
  • Median Earnings 2 Years After Completing a BSN: $61,643

 

Texas Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 

  • Texas employs 231,060 nurses, making it the second-highest employer for nurses in the nation.

  • The annual registered nurse salary in Texas was $84,320 in 2022, just above the national average.

While it isn’t the highest-paying state for nurses, Texas is one of the largest employers for nurses. However, Texas is a relatively affordable state, and the average home price is well below the national average. Money can go much further in Texas than it can in other high-employment states like California or New York.

Texas is also home to large, urban areas and some of the nation’s most famous hospitals. Nurses can gain valuable experience, and many choose to continue their education and specialize in their careers to find higher-paying positions.

Next Steps

You’ve found schools you’re interested in and are ready to start applying. But before applying, you should spend more time researching each school to make sure it’s a good fit. College is a huge, timely, and expensive life decision, and picking the right school can set you up for the rest of your life.

Here are the next steps:

  • Contact each school’s admissions offices. Admissions offices are an excellent resource, and they can answer any questions you might have about the nursing program, the school, and everything in between.

  • Find out what the nursing school requirements are. Applying to a school and applying to a nursing program are two very different things. Nursing programs usually have stricter requirements; for example, a college may require a 2.5 GPA while a nursing program at that school would require a 3.0 GPA. 

Check what the requirements are so you don’t end up at a school where you aren’t eligible to earn a BSN.

  • Submit your application(s). Even if you know what school you want to go to, you should always apply to more than one school. Most college applications will require the following:

  • High school transcript (GPA)

  • ACT and/or SAT scores

  • College entrance essay(s)

  • Letter(s) of recommendation

Some universities might require additional information, such as volunteer experience and/or extracurricular activities you’ve participated in.

If at any point you feel confused or lost, contact an admissions representative. Their job is to help you through the application process. 

Important Considerations When Comparing Schools

Super low tuition is tempting, but picking the cheapest school isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. That being said, you should always take factors like tuition into account. 

Additional factors you should look at when comparing schools include:

  • Annual tuition and total program cost (these can be different)
  • Acceptance rate (both for the school and the nursing program)
  • Length of the program
  • Benefits of each specific nursing program
  • Distance from home (will you have to commute or live on campus?)
  • Distance from hospitals (will you have to commute for clinicals?)
  • Scholarships or grants offered by the school
  • Accreditation (regional and national)

Why you should care about the nursing program’s accreditation  

You might not know much about accreditation, but it’s critical when looking at nursing schools. If a school doesn’t have the right accreditation, you won’t be eligible to take the NCLEX and become a registered nurse. Also, finding a job could prove to be much more difficult.

The two nursing accreditation organizations to look for are

If a school is accredited by one of these institutions, then its nursing program adheres to strict national standards.

Getting a Nursing License in Texas

Texas is part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), so becoming an RN in Texas means you’re also eligible to work as a nurse in 41 other states.

To become an RN, you’ll need to:

  • Take and pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Apply to become a nurse in Texas

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Wilkes University

The R.N. to M.S.N program is for registered nurses with associate degrees who want to become nurse practitioners. It focuses on advanced clinical skills, professionalism and evidence-based practice. Our integrated exam preparation courses provide dedicated study resources, leading to impressive passing rates consistently above the national average and graduate success.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

FAQs

  • What is the number one nursing school in the state of Texas? 

  • Is nursing good in Texas? 

    • Texas is a great state to work as a nurse, with relatively high wages and a low cost of living. Additionally, it’s a great state to train as a nurse, with many teaching hospitals and nursing programs for students.
  • How long is RN school in Texas?

    • ADN programs take around 2-3 years while BSN programs take around 4-5 years in Texas. Accelerated programs can take around 1-2 years. 
  • What is the fastest way to become a nurse in Texas? 

    • If you have a Bachelor’s in another field, you can take an accelerated nursing program in as little as one year in Texas. If you don’t have a Bachelor’s, however, an ADN program may be completed in 2-3 years. 
  • How much does it cost to go to nursing school in Texas? 

    •  Cost varies by school and program,  but you can expect to spend between $10,000 and $40,000 a year for nursing programs in Texas. 
  • What prerequisites do I need for nursing in Texas?

    • Each school sets its own prereqs, but in general, expect good grades in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and microbiology to be required for any nursing program.

With over 200,000 nurses, Texas is a top employer for nurses, including recent grads. Thanks to the many renowned hospitals in the area, BSN graduates should have no trouble finding a position in Texas. There are plenty of excellent public and private schools to choose from, and Texas residents can take advantage of low annual tuition at public schools. Once you become an RN, you’ll be eligible to work as a nurse in 41 states!

Earn Your Nursing Degree Online
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References:

Angelina Walker
Angelina Walker
Director of Nursing Content and Social Media

Angelina has her finger on the pulse of everything nursing. Whether it's a trending news topic, valuable resource or, heartfelt story, Angelina is an expert at producing content that nurses love to read. She specializes in warmly engaging with the nursing community and exponentially growing our social presence.

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