Accelerated Nursing Programs in Texas

texas nursing

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN, is a four-year college degree path that leads to a career in nursing. This four-year option can be obtained in a few ways. A student can start their education with a two-year associate degree in nursing, take the licensing exam to become a registered nurse, and then finish their education to get their BSN. These degrees are typically called RN-to-BSN programs. The second option is to go straight into a four-year college to get this degree, then become a registered nurse. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, you may look for an accelerated BSN, also sometimes called a Second Degree BSN. With any path you take, the BSN will lead to an increase in salary, allow for a specialized field, and open more hiring and advancement opportunities.

During the first two years in the BSN program, a student will typically focus on the prerequisite courses needed to begin the nursing portion of the program. After completing these courses, the student will start learning the information needed for their chosen specialties and nursing practices. Students will also take part in clinical rotations that will help them to use the skills that are learned in the classroom environment.

BSN Requirements for Texas

Before being admitted into a BSN program, potential applicants must have completed general education courses that have an emphasis on science, math, English, and other minor course requirements and have maintained 2.75 or better GPA at an accredited school. Students will then take and pass an exam given by the Health Education Systems Incorporated to assess the student’s likelihood in passing the National Nursing Exam (NCLEX-RN). Most schools will allow students to proclaim their intent to follow the nursing path during their freshman year and will guide students in this process.

Once students are enrolled in the BSN, and before completing the program, students will submit to an extensive background review process by the Board of Nursing. This background check will include fingerprinting, criminal checks, and more. There is a cost associated with these checks and the student will be expected to pay these costs. At the end of the program, the student will be required to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN.

The Texas Board of Nursing recognizes online BSN programs that are approved and accredited by other Boards of Nursing in other states, and you can check the Texas BON website to make sure the program you are looking at is accepted. RN to BSN programs do not meet this same scrutiny because students are already a licensed registered nurse.

Bachelor’s level RN salary information for Texas

In Texas, there are about 231,060 registered nurses as of May 2022, and the mean annual wage is $84,320, which is slightly lower than the national average salary of $89,010.

Most nurses work in general medical and surgical hospitals, then physician’s offices, home health care services, outpatient and skilled nursing facilities.

While salaries for BSN-educated nurses do tend to be higher, it also will depend on the specialization chosen and if you work in private or public health care facilities. Location is also a factor when determining the wage information pertaining to a specific field. A person who accepts employment in a small rural area is less likely to make as much money as a person working in a more populated urban area. The larger the facility can also have an impact.

Doctors and hospitals of larger facilities have more opportunities that allow them to accept a larger insurance base and obtain more funding from grants, tax breaks, and other government-sponsored resources. The medical field in Texas has a shortage of nurses and may offer incentives to those who are interested in this field.

Here’s a look at the projected nursing shortage to 2032 for Texas, where demand is not keeping up with supply (graduates).

Expected to be particularly hard-hit are areas in the Gulf Coast, North Texas, and Central Texas.

Largest employers of Nursing professionals for Texas

Nursing is in high demand in the Texas area. In fact, the Department of Labor expects a shortage of nurses in the next decade. This makes the nursing field more attracted to many. The largest employer of nursing professionals in Texas is hospitals. Texas is home to some of the largest hospitals and medical centers in the world. Top employers of nurses also include offices of physicians, outpatient care clinics, and home health providers. Here are some of the highest employers of registered nurses in Texas.

  • Baptist Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
  • Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX
  • Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
  • Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX
  • Medical City Dallas, Dallas, TX
  • John Sealy Hospital, Galveston, TX
  • Texas Health Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
  • Hendrick Medical Center, Abilene, TX

There are many employers of health professionals in Texas that are seeking highly qualified team members. Many times the universities will assist students in their career search.

Nursing Associations for Texas Nurses

There are many options for a nursing association in Texas. Many choose to join these organizations to give them a voice in decisions that involve their career including training, policies, and acknowledgment. There is a fee to join and continue membership in these organizations, but the membership can assist in resume building. Nurses’ associations also offer professional development to help inform healthcare providers in best practices, new laws or mandates, and gives them a chance to meet others in their field. Many nurses’ associations connect with other states to maximize networking practices.

Some of the associations in the Texas area include:

Texas Nurses Association
East Texas Nurse Practitioner Association
Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of GAPNA
Texas Clinical Nurse Specialists

There are many others to choose from. To determine which association to join, make sure to compare the trainings and events, locations, and membership fees.

Top Accelerated BSN Programs in Texas

1. Baylor University, Huston, TX

Online Accelerated BSN

Baylor University is in Huston and lies in the middle of the largest medical facility in the world. This location gives students and professor a chance to collaborate with the brightest minds of every culture. This opens the door to new revolutions in healthcare and a competitive learning environment for every student.

The Accelerated BSN takes one year to complete and is for Texas residents. The program helps with clinical placement support, and hands-on learning. You must take the HESI exam, have 52 pre-requisites and a 3.0 GPA with a 2.75 GPA in science classes to qualify for the program.

2. Texas A&M, Round Rock, TX

Second Degree BSN

The Texas A&M College of Nursing’s mission is to help fill the gap between supply and demand in the medical field of nursing. They offer the best in technological advancement with the use of virtual classrooms and hands-on learning.

The Second Degree BSN is approximately four semesters of coursework for students bringing in 59 requisite classes. Students must take the HESI exam and pass withT at least a score of 75 percent for admission to the program.

Texas A&M also has an RN-to-BSN program for students who already have an AND.

3. Texas Tech University

Accelerated Second Degree in Nursing

Texas Tech University as their main campus in Lubbock, TX, and other campuses across the state of Texas. With over 40,000 students and 200,000+ alumni, this robust group has been steeped in Texas tradition since its founding in 1923. To enroll in the Second Degree BSN, students must complete science prerequisite courses and have at least a 2.5 GPA in their previous BA or BS degree.

The Second-Degree BSN program at Texas Tech University gives students access to clinical education with coaches and nursing clinical faculty and can be done in the students’ own hometowns of Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Lubbock, and Permian Basin. The Second Degree BSN can be completed in as little as 12 months.

Texas Tech University also offers a Veteran to BSN program, an RN to BSN program and a traditional BSN program as well as advanced nursing degrees.

4. University of St. Thomas

Accelerated Nursing Program

University of St. Thomas offers a Basilian education to students from any background. There are three start dates a year for this Accelerated BSN program that is 100% online with skills and simulation labs for the clinical components.

You can use credits from your existing bachelor’s degree to graduate in as little as 12 months. With skills and simulation labs in Shenandoah and Sugarland, as well as the main campus in Houston you can complete clinical rotations with additional flexibility.

University of St. Thomas also offers a traditional BSN for freshman and transfer students, as well as advanced nursing degrees.

5. Concordia University Texas


Concordia University has a 16-month Accelerated BSN (ABSN) track that eliminates the need for a waitlist and gets students on the fast track to becoming an RN. The coursework is online, with hands-on labs and clinical rotations available at local healthcare facilities in Central Texas. There are three start dates a year: January, May and August, and Concordia will help you put together a competitive application and make sure you have your prerequisite courses completed.

To apply, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA in your prerequisite science courses, pre-nursing degree GPA of 3.0 for transfer students, second-degree students must have a conferred GPA of 3.0 and a TEAS score of at least 67 percent.

6. University of Houston

Second Degree BSN

The Second Degree BSN is an accelerated program offered face-to-face in Houston at the University of Houston. While many ABSN programs are online, this program offers the in-person version so it can be completed in only 12 months. The program is very intensive and teaches communication skills and critical thinking along with nursing practice.

Students must have completed the following prerequisite courses to apply: Statistics, Nutrition, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology and Psychology.

7. University of Texas at Arlington

Online BSN

The 51-credit Online BSN program is an accelerated program for students who are self-directed and ambitious. Course content is delivered online, but clinical rotations must be completed in-person at a clinical site in a Texas metropolitan area. Students must have at least 24 credit hours of transfer work to be eligible to apply, submit transcripts and official documents, and follow all other application requirements. Students must have at least a 2.75 GPA in their previous coursework, and at least at 58 percent on the TEAS.

UTA also offers nursing programs at the undergraduate, master’s and DNP levels, along with nursing certificates.

8. Texas Lutheran University

Accelerated BSN (2nd Degree Track)

Texas Lutheran University has a campus at New Braunfels and one in Houston, where students looking to work as a nurse can take courses for their accelerated BSN program, taught by nurse educators with Doctor of Nursing Practice credentials. TLU has vast career resources and a Lutheran education focus, although you do not have to be Lutheran to attend.

You must have at least a 3.0 GPA in your previous bachelor’s degree program, along with a 3.0 in your science prerequisites. The program should take four semesters if you go straight through.