When you consider the consistent shortage of nurses nationwide and combine that fact with the strain Covid-19 has placed on the U.S. healthcare system, the need for nursing professionals is more pressing than ever. Texas is home to 10 percent of all community hospitals in the nation, which adds up to over 500 facilities caring for patients throughout the state. As you can imagine, the need for licensed nursing professionals in Texas is especially high.
As the need for nurses continues to grow, access to affordable, fast, and effective education is critical to bring new nursing professionals into the fold. Community and junior colleges in Texas are helping to meet this need by training students to be RNs in only about two years through associate nursing degree (ADN) programs. From Houston to El Paso, Texas is home to dozens of ADN programs. And some even offer online classwork in addition to in-person clinical training.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of online ADN programs in Texas, explore top-rated schools, and find a list of programs approved by the Texas Board of Nursing.
Best Online ADN Programs in Texas for 2022
Below, we’ve identified two of the best ADN programs in Texas that offer some of their coursework online. These colleges score high marks in affordability, flexibility, accreditation, and student support. Both programs highlighted below also hold approval from the Texas Board of Nursing and maintain high NCLEX-RN pass rates.
Blinn College District
Designed to prepare students to work as registered nurses, Blinn College District’s (BCD) two-year ADN program offers the academic rigor, hands-on training, and clinical experience needed to excel as a registered nurse. BCD’s program holds approval from the Texas Board of Nursing and is accredited by the ACEN. Blinn College maintains a 98% pass rate for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.
From general education courses in humanities and the arts to advanced nursing courses focused on leadership and management, Blinn’s ADN program is 60 credits in length and typically takes two years to complete. While the majority of coursework is completed in person, some general education and nursing theory classes are available as hybrid or online options. Starting in the program’s second semester, some weekend clinicals are available to help accommodate student schedules.
This is a competitive, sought after program, and priority admission is given to students who have completed the necessary prerequisite courses by the time of application. Most admitted students have a GPA of at least 3.0 and pass the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment.
South Texas College
South Texas College’s ADN program is dedicated to preparing students with the essential skills needed to become a safe and competent healthcare worker. After completing the program, students have an 88% NCLEX-RN pass rate and the program boasts a 95% job placement rate. In addition to the traditional ADN track, South Texas College offers an LVN-to-RN transition option as well as an EMT/paramedic-to-RN track.
After finishing 13 credits of required prerequisite work, you can expect to complete this program in two years as a full-time student. The degree requires completion of 60 credits, with coursework covering topics spanning from the foundations of nursing practice to advanced topics in adult health. Clinical work plays an important role in any nursing program, and STC is no exception. South Texas College students must also dedicate a semester to mental health and complex medical surgery skills development.
As a selective program, STC uses a points system to determine eligibility for pre-admission. GPA in prerequisite courses and Health Education Systems, Inc (HESI) test scores weigh heavily in program acceptance, and students must pass a math/dosage proficiency test with a 100% score prior to enrolling in the program.
ADN Programs Approved by the Texas Board of Nursing
In the following table, you’ll find a complete list of ADN programs, including partially-online options, that have been approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. We’ve also included NCLEX-RN pass rates for each school. The higher the pass rate, the more you can be confident your ADN program will do a good job preparing you for licensure.
|School Name||City||NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2019)|
|Alvin Community College||Alvin, TX||94%|
|Amarillo College||Amarillo, TX||96%|
|Angelina College||Lufkin, TX||88%|
|Austin Community College||Austin, TX||93%|
|Baptist Health System School of Health Professions||San Antonio, TX||93%|
|Blinn College||Bryan, TX||98%|
|Brazosport College||Lake Jackson, TX||74%|
|Brookhaven College||Dallas, TX||94%|
|Central Texas College||Killeen, TX||96%|
|Cisco College||Abilene, TX||70%|
|Clarendon College||Pampa, TX||89%|
|Coastal Bend College||Beeville, TX||81%|
|College of the Mainland||Texas City, TX||84%|
|Collin College||McKinney, TX||89%|
|Dallas Nursing Institute||Richardson, TX||62%|
|Del Mar College||Corpus Christi, TX||93%|
|El Centro College||Dallas, TX||92%|
|El Paso Community College||El Paso, TX||94%|
|Galen College of Nursing||San Antonio, TX||92%|
|Galveston College||Galveston, TX||87%|
|Grayson College||Denison, TX||88%|
|Hill College||Hillsboro, TX||87%|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||89%|
|Howard College – Big Springs||Big Spring, TX||97%|
|Howard College – San Angelo||San Angelo, TX||94%|
|Kilgore College||Kilgore, TX||88%|
|Lamar State College-Orange||Orange, TX||95%|
|Lamar State College-Port Arthur||Port Arthur, TX||100%|
|Laredo College||Laredo, TX||100%|
|Lee College||Baytown, TX||88%|
|Lone Star College CyFair||Cypress, TX||Data Not Available|
|Lone Star College Kingwood||Kingwood, TX||Data Not Available|
|Lone Star College Montgomery||Conroe, TX||Data Not Available|
|Lone Star College North Harris||Houston, TX||Data Not Available|
|Lone Star College Tomball||Tomball, TX||Data Not Available|
|McLennan Community College||Waco, TX||88%|
|Midland College||Midland, TX||90%|
|Mountain View College||Dallas, TX||95%|
|Navarro College||Waxahachie, TX||88%|
|North Central Texas College||Gainesville, TX||91%|
|Northeast Texas Community College||Mount Pleasant, TX||74%|
|Odessa College||Odessa, TX||93%|
|Panola College||Carthage, TX||95%|
|Paris Junior College||Paris, TX||85%|
|Ranger College||Early, TX||78%|
|San Antonio College||San Antonio, TX||83%|
|San Jacinto College Central||Pasadena, TX||Data Not Available|
|San Jacinto College South||Houston, TX||Data Not Available|
|South Plains College||Levelland, TX||88%|
|South Texas College||McAllen, TX||88%|
|Southwest Texas Jr College||Del Rio, TX||Data Not Available|
|Southwest University El Paso||El Paso, TX||Data Not Available|
|St. Philip’s College||San Antonio, TX||76%|
|Tarrant County College||Fort Worth, TX||87%|
|Temple College||Temple, TX||93%|
|Texarkana College||Texarkana, TX||86%|
|Texas State Technical College Harlingen||Harlingen, TX||Data Not Available|
|Texas State Technical College West Texas||Sweetwater, TX||Data Not Available|
|The College of Health Care Professions||Houston, TX||66%|
|Trinity Valley Community College||Kaufman, TX||90%|
|Tyler Junior College||Tyler, TX||91%|
|Vernon College||Vernon, TX||86%|
|Victoria College||Victoria, TX||94%|
|Tyler Junior College||Tyler, TX||91%|
|Weatherford College||Weatherford, TX||92%|
|Wharton County Junior College||Wharton, TX||92%|
Source: Texas Board of Nursing; Latest Data Available as of October 2020
Can I Really Earn My ADN Degree Online in Texas?
While most ADN programs in Texas are campus-based, some offer general education courses that can be completed online. As colleges confront the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19, hybrid and online coursework options for healthcare degrees will continue to expand. This increase in online education has the potential to become a more permanent option as health and safety concerns persist.
ADN coursework covers a wide range of topics from the prerequisite general education courses to specialized nursing classes and clinical work. In many programs, at least some foundational classes can be completed online, but in-person classes and hands-on clinical hours are required and essential to your nursing education. Supervised clinical hours take place at medical sites approved by your school and are often located nearby campus. Learn more about the intricacies of online and hybrid nursing degrees on EduMed’s main page covering online ADN programs.
6 Reasons to Choose Online ADN Programs in Texas
Earning an ADN degree can provide a quick and practical degree option for those interested in a nursing career. There are several compelling reasons why an ADN degree could be a good fit for you.
Fast way to become a licensed RN in Texas
While earning a BSN degree can help pave the way for access to managerial positions and eventual pursuit of a master’s degree, it takes twice as long to earn as the ADN. Earning a traditional BSN degree typically takes a student at least four years of full-time study to complete, while completing an ADN degree can take as little as two years. As is commonly the case for associate RN programs, North Central Texas College’s ADN program consists of 60 credits as opposed to the minimum 120 credits typically required for a bachelor’s degree. The ADN is for those who want to earn an RN license and enter the workforce quickly. ADN graduates have the option to return to school later to obtain their bachelor’s RN degree.
Tuition costs can play an important role when choosing your academic path toward professional nursing. An ADN degree costs considerably less than a bachelor’s degree because it’s a shorter program and associate degree programs are often offered by two-year schools where the cost per credit is often cheaper than a four-year institution. For example, Amarillo College’s ADN tuition is roughly half that of Texas A&M’s four-year nursing program. After factoring in two additional years of study, additional fees, and other costs associated with being in college, the price difference can be staggering. An ADN program in Texas can offer an effective way of keeping costs low while getting to work quickly.
Flexibility and convenience of online classes
The option to take some classes online enables flexibility when managing your schedule. This is especially important for working students. For certified nursing aides, licensed vocational nurses, and other healthcare professionals pursuing an ADN in Texas, online coursework can make a world of difference when attempting to balance work, school, and personal obligations. Asynchronous options are often available, which enable the student to interact with course content on their own schedule.
Higher earning potential and more professional responsibility for RNs vs. other entry-level nursing careers in Texas
ADN programs offer graduates higher earning potential, an expanded level of professional responsibility, and more career opportunities. Wage differences between RNs, licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), and certified nursing aides (CNAs) are notable. An associate degree and accompanying RN licensure can enhance your earning potential based on your increased academic training.
In addition to the economic benefits, RNs acquire the knowledge and skill set they need to work as hands-on and confident contributors in a variety of medical settings, making decisions and working alongside other healthcare professionals while delivering excellent patient care. LVNs and CNAs also play a vital role in healthcare settings, but the added education and training completed by registered nurses leads to higher pay and more responsibility.
|Nursing Career||Median Hourly Wage in Texas||Median Annual Wage in Texas|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$37.17||$77,330|
|Certified Nursing Aide (CNA)||$14.14||$29,420|
|Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)||$23.33||$48,520|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
Opportunity to advance your nursing education in the future
Even if your main reason for completing an ADN is to start working as a registered nurse as soon as possible, the degree also opens up additional academic opportunities. Just as an LVN program can lead to an ADN degree with additional education, the RN associate degree offers a clear path to a bachelor’s degree down the road. Many colleges and universities offer ADN-to-BSN programs specifically tailored for the working RN. Additionally, some institutions also offer ADN-to-MSN programs, allowing for an accelerated path to a master’s degree in nursing.
Continued demand for registered nurses in Texas
The demand for nurses in Texas continues to rise as the supply of working professionals in nursing remains relatively static. Texas is far from alone in this shortage. The state has implemented initiatives to broaden access to nursing programs, incentivize Doctor of Nursing (DNP) programs, and encourage diversity to more closely reflect the state’s demographics, but room for growth still exists. The Texas Department of State Health Services predicts a supply deficit in excess of 57,000 nurses by 2032. You can rest assured that Texas needs nurses.
Check out our main guide to online Texas nursing programs for even more RN salary and job outlook information.
3 Criteria for Choosing a Quality Online ADN Program in Texas
Selecting the right online Texas ADN program to fit your aspirations and goals is critical and can play a huge role in influencing your career as an RN. Considering program specifics like location, cost, and teacher-to-student ratio can play a significant part in your decision making. While program-specific details can help you make your choice, the following three criteria help ensure you find a quality program.
Approved by the Texas Board of Nurses
The Texas Board of Nursing strongly suggests that prospective students pay close attention to the credentials of a program before enrolling. Make sure any school you’re looking at holds approval from the Texas Board of Nursing. While the vast majority of ADN programs in Texas are board approved, if your program isn’t, you won’t be able to secure the necessary licensure to become a practicing RN in Texas. You can find a list of approved Texas ADN schools further down on this page.
Accredited by the ACEN or CCNE
Enroll in an ADN program that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. These nationally recognized accrediting bodies validate the quality and integrity of nursing programs in Texas and other states. These organizations set standards and evaluate nursing programs, making sure your education stays current with the field’s ever-evolving standards.
High NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rates
Considering a potential ADN program’s NCLEX-RN exam pass rates provides a quick and easy way to assess the quality of education it provides. The NCLEX-RN exam is your last step to securing an RN license and getting to work. If a program has a high pass rate, there’s a good chance the program helps provide students the tools needed to succeed. See the table at the bottom of the page for exam pass rates of Texas ADN programs.
Related Early-Career Nursing Programs in Texas
ADN programs focused on preparing future RNs are not the only paths to a nursing career. Online certified nursing aide (CNA) and licensed vocational nurse (LVN) programs can provide an even quicker, less expensive way to start your nursing career.
- Online CNA Classes in Texas Vital to almost any healthcare facility, CNAs tackle responsibilities that span from critical administrative tasks to the day-to-day work of caring for patients. As these programs exist online, students have the flexibility needed to successfully balance personal, professional, and academic responsibilities.
- Online LVN Programs in Texas Effective patient care serves as the cornerstone of the medical field and LVNs are vital to its success. Similar to ADN programs, the curriculum includes both traditional coursework and mandatory clinical hours. LVN programs typically take 18 months from start to finish, culminating with the NCLEX-PN national licensure exam.