RN Schools in Texas with Course and Program Overviews

Research RN programs in Texas, which currently has more than 90 colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

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Essential Information

Aspiring RNs in Texas can choose from associate's or bachelor's degree programs that prepare them for licensure exams. Associate's degree programs are available in traditional formats combining coursework and clinical experiences or in accelerated formats designed for licensed vocational nurses or other healthcare professionals. Bachelor's degree programs are found at 4-year colleges and universities, with some featuring online courses or accelerated options for practicing RNs. Both degree levels require students to meet certain admission requirements, such as completing prerequisite courses or showing proof of immunizations.

Career Requirements

To become a registered nurse (RN) students must earn a diploma, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree from an approved nursing program. After graduation, aspiring RNs are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and complete state-mandated requirements to become licensed. Below are short overviews of the 10 largest schools in Texas offering RN programs.


Austin Community College District

Austin-based Austin Community College District offers more than 235 degree programs, including its associate degree program in nursing. Aspiring RNs have two choices, including a 71-credit traditional program and a 62-credit mobility track. The mobility track is an accelerated program designed for students who are already licensed in occupations such as licensed vocational nursing (LVN), radiology, dental hygiene and occupational therapy, among others. Both programs prepare students for taking the NCLEX-RN. Courses typically include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and nursing theory, as well as clinical nursing experiences. Before applying to the nursing program students must have a physical examination, verify their tuberculosis status and submit to a criminal background check.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $2,340 (in-district),*
    $7,200 (in-state),*
    $9,720 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year; public; large city

El Paso Community College

Students in the 72-credit nursing program at El Paso Community College in El Paso can expect to take courses such as medication dosage calculations, nursing theory, mental health nursing, maternal and newborn nursing and a class in licensure preparation. The curriculum also includes clinical experience and general education courses in computer science and English composition. The college offers options for students who transfer to a 4-year college to pursue a bachelor's degree, including a '2+2' option that guarantees students will enter a 4-year college with junior-level status.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,966 (in-state),*
    $3,646 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year; public; large city

Houston Community College

Before entering the nursing program at Houston Community College in Houston, students need to complete prerequisite courses in biology, anatomy and physiology, English composition and psychology. Additionally, before students can start clinical rotations, they must submit proof of health insurance, proof of CPR certification, submit to a physical exam, provide proof of immunizations, and pass a criminal background check. After completing the associate's degree program, students can take the NCLEX-RN exam and pursue licensure to begin working, or take advantage of the college's transfer option with the University of Houston-Victoria, which allows students to go on to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,627 (in-district),*
    $3,355 (in-state),*
    $3,751 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year; public; large city

Lone Star College System

Some of the pre-admission requirements of the nursing program at Lone Star College System, based in The Woodlands, include a clear criminal history, hepatitis B and bacterial meningitis immunizations, social security number verification and the completion of program prerequisites such as biology, psychology, English and sociology. The associate's degree program offered at the CyFair campus combines classroom lectures with clinical experiences in block format, dividing the curriculum into specific areas of care such as adult health or children and families. A traditional nursing curriculum is also offered at the Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris and Tomball campuses.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,408 (in-district),*
    $3,088 (in-state),*
    $3,448 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year; public; small suburb

San Jacinto Community College

Pasadena-based San Jacinto Community College offers an associate's degree program in nursing that prepares students for taking the NCLEX-RN exam and beginning work as an RN. Students can expect to take classes on campus and gain hands-on experience while completing clinicals at area hospitals and agencies, including the Texas Medical Center. The college also offers programs for LVN or paramedics who want to become an RN. Students can expect to take learn about taking health assessments, clinical nursing theory, pharmacology, adult health concepts and more.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,312 (in-district),*
    $2,296 (in-state),*
    $3,496 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year; public; large suburb

South Texas College

McAllen-based South Texas College offers a flexible degree program with daytime, afternoon and Internet courses available. To be eligible for the program, students must pass an FBI and Department of Public Safety background check, pass a drug screen, provide proof of immunizations and tuberculosis testing, and complete all prerequisite courses, including introduction to nursing. To progress through the program, students must maintain grades of 'C' or better in all courses, including non-nursing courses and pre-requisite classes. In addition to a traditional associate's degree program, South Texas College also offers options for LVNs and paramedics who wish to earn a degree as an RN.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $5,160 (in-district),*
    $6,045 (in-state),*
    $7,170 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year; public; midsize city

Tarrant County College District

Tarrant County College District's associate's degree nursing program is offered through its healthcare professional division on the Trinity River Campus East in Fort Worth. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and begin working or transfer to a 4-year institution to earn a bachelor's degree. Typical courses include nursing skills, complex health concepts, mental health nursing, women and newborn nursing care, and pediatric nursing, among others. Students also complete several clinicals, which give them valuable hands-on experience in child and family care and other nursing areas. Some courses, including foundations for nursing practice, can be taken online.

  • Program Offered: Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,296 (in-district),*
    $1,994 (in-state),*
    $4,512 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year; public; large city

Texas State University - San Marcos

St David's School of Nursing at Texas State University - San Marcos, located in Round Rock, features a 25,000-square-foot simulation lab. The lab's offerings include 4 rooms with 5-10 beds, a health assessment room with 6 open exam rooms, a home care unit, simulated private medical offices and 2 simulation rooms with observation windows. Students in this bachelor's degree nursing program must complete pre-nursing requirements such as biology, college algebra, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, microbiology, college writing and history. Nursing students can expect to begin taking nursing courses in their junior year. Typical classes include health assessments, nursing care essentials, pharmacology, psychiatric nursing care and acute nursing care, among others. In addition to its bachelor's degree program, the university also offers a master's degree program for aspiring family nurse practitioners.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $7,732 (in-state),*
    $16,858 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year; public; fringe town

University of Texas at Arlington

The bachelor's degree program the University of Texas at Arlington offers several options for aspiring RNs, including a traditional degree program and an RN-to-BSN program for RNs who already have an associate's degree or a diploma. Students may pursue their degree by attending classes on-campus or online. Students in the on-campus degree program complete clinicals at the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex. Students in the online program complete clinicals at the DFW metroplex, Houston metroplex or other locations. Acceptance into the nursing program is competitive, with only 120 students admitted annually. To be eligible for the program, students must complete at least 12 hours of natural science classes, complete the HESI A2 test with an overall score of 300 or higher and a math score of at least 65. Admission to the program is based on ranking scores, which are calculated according to student's GPAs in lower-division classes. The university also offers a master's degree program, Doctor of Nursing Practice program and a Ph.D. program.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Master of Science in Nursing,
    Doctor of Nursing Practice,
    Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $8,878 (in-state),*
    $17,302 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year; public; large city

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin offers a traditional bachelor's degree program in nursing as well as a program for nurses with an associate's degree who wish to earn a bachelor's degree. The university's bachelor's degree program gives students a solid foundation of theory and nursing practice, preparing students to take the NCLEX-RN exam and/or go on to pursue post-graduate studies. The university also has a master's degree program and a PhD program for nurses who want to pursue specialties. The School of Nursing's Career Services office gives students access to volunteer opportunities, student nursing jobs, job fairs and other recruiting events, and job opportunities after graduation. Career Services also offers students access to resume and interviewing skills workshops and resources.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
    Master of Science in Nursing,
    Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012): $9,790 (in-state),*
    $33,128 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year; public; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting RN Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)
Austin Community College District 2-year; public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $2,340 (in-district),*
$7,200 (in-state),*
$9,720 (out-of-state)*
El Paso Community College 2-year; public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $1,966 (in-state),*
$3,646 (out-of-state)*
Houston Community College 2-year; public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $1,627 (in-district),*
$3,355 (in-state),*
$3,751 (out-of-state)*
Lone Star College System 2-year; public; small suburb Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $1,408 (in-district),*
$3,088 (in-state),*
$3,448 (out-of-state)*
San Jacinto Community College 2-year; public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $1,312 (in-district),*
$2,296 (in-state),*
$3,496 (out-of-state)*
South Texas College 4-year; public; midsize city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $5,160 (in-district),*
$6,045 (in-state),*
$7,170 (out-of-state)*
Tarrant County College District 2-year; public; large city Associate of Applied Science in Nursing $1,296 (in-district),*
$1,994 (in-state),*
$4,512 (out-of-state)*
Texas State University - San Marcos 4-year; public; fringe town Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner
$7,732 (in-state),*
$16,858 (out-of-state)*
The University of Texas at Arlington 4-year; public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
$8,878 (in-state),*
$17,302 (out-of-state)*
The University of Texas at Austin 4-year; public; large city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing
$9,790 (in-state),*
$33,128 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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