Online Nurse
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Timon Kaple

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Timon Kaple, Ph.D., is a full-time writer and researcher. His work focuses on sociolinguistics, small-group folklore, the anthropology of sound, higher education, and student support services. He has experience as an ethnographer and enjoys conducting fieldwork and archival research.

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From pediatrics and women’s health to gerontology and psychiatric health, nurse practitioners today work in various high-level healthcare roles to serve many patient populations. As one of the most versatile nursing careers out there, the proper NP training and credentials can prepare you to work in several specializations.

Earning your degree through an online nurse practitioner school in Texas can help you meet state requirements more decisively and connect you to valuable professional resources before you graduate. The outlook for NPs in Texas looks promising, too. The state boasts the third-highest employment level for NPs in the U.S.

Explore the specifics of online nurse practitioner programs in Texas to see the type of training you’ll receive, learn how to recognize a good program, and discover what educational and licensure requirements you’ll need to become an NP in Texas.

Why Choose an Online Nurse Practitioner Program in Texas?

If you’re looking to advance your nursing career by becoming a nurse practitioner in Texas, earning your graduate degree online is a popular option. While you can choose to earn your NP degree online from a school outside of the state, earning it from a university in Texas may be the smarter choice, especially for current residents who are planning on continuing to work in the state. The benefits of earning your NP degree online in Texas, include:

  • Flexibility and affordability of online classesDepending on the school, residents can usually receive in-state tuition rates which are often quite a bit cheaper than non-resident or out-of-state rates. Additionally, online programs can offer busy students scheduling flexibility, which is crucial for students who are already working as RNs. Some schools offer classes asynchronously, which enables you to complete your coursework when you choose.
  • Access to local academic and professional supportAs a student in an online nurse practitioner program in Texas, you have the ability to take advantage of on-campus student resources and face-to-face professional networking opportunities. There’s a likelihood that you’ll be able to obtain clinical placements such as those available through the University of Texas System, which includes the world-renowned University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In general, NPs that are close to their academic and professional communities have a stronger foothold in the job market than their peers in outside locales. In-state online NP students are also more likely to seek out professors and advisors for academic and career support throughout the duration of their program and after graduation.
  • Confidence knowing the curriculum is designed to meet NP licensing requirements in TexasSome online programs only support licensure in one or a limited number of states. Earning your nurse practitioner degree online from a Texas university negates this issue. By earning your degree in-state, you can get some peace of mind knowing that your tuition dollars and time aren’t being wasted on requirements you don’t actually need to work in as a Texas NP. When it comes to qualifying to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you’ll have a much easier time meeting the requirements of the Texas Board of Nursing if you’re already a registered RN in Texas and complete an in-state degree program.
  • Shorter travel for on-campus residencies and other in-person requirementsCompared to out-of-state learners, you won’t have to travel too far to satisfy any on-campus obligations, including residencies, weekend intensives, or other in-person clinical requirements. Less travel means more time to spend on your studies, meet the demands of a part-time job, and take care of familial and social obligations. Additionally, you’ll save money by being close to campus and any university-affiliated healthcare facilities by commuting shorter distances.

Popular Types of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Texas

Universities in Texas have a robust offering of NP programs in both hybrid and fully-online formats that can lead to unique specializations in the field. There’s an academic route to becoming an NP for most online learners who are at different stages of their nursing education or careers. Here are some of the most common options currently available:

NP Degree Levels

To become a nurse practitioner, students of Texas online nursing programs typically complete either a master’s degree, doctorate degree, or post-master’s certificate.

Online MSN Programs in Texas

Online nurse practitioner programs in Texas typically offer three types of MSN degrees.


The RN-to-MSN is for students who already have an RN license and an associate degree (ADN).


The standard MSN, sometimes called a BSN-to-MSN, requires applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree and an RN license.


Direct-entry MSN programs are for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than nursing. While these direct-entry programs are less common in Texas, more schools may offer them in the future as they are becoming increasingly popular with online learners.

Online DNP Programs in Texas

There are two routes students can take to pursue a doctoral degree in nursing.


The standard DNP programs, often referred to as an MSN-to-DNP, is for students who have already earned a master’s degree in nursing.


The BSN-to-DNP program is for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students complete the coursework and training typically offered by a master’s program while completing other requirements for earning the DNP credential.

Online Post-Master’s Certificates in Texas

Post-master’s certificates online give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a specialized area after completion of an MSN degree. It is common for APRNs to gain some work experience after their master’s degree and then realize they enjoy working with a specific patient population. Post-master’s certificates help them further develop the skills they need to work in a niche area without having to commit the time to another graduate degree program.

Popular NP Specialization Options

Nurse practitioner schools in Texas with online programs will feature the same rigorous offerings as on-campus programs. Here’s a closer look at a few of the most popular specializations for NP students in the state:


Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP):

As advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), FNPs work with a broad community of patients, from infants to seniors, and focus on disease prevention and the promotion of good health practices.

  • FNPs typically perform physical exams, order and carry out diagnostic tests, and create recovery and treatment plans for patients.
  • They treat chronic and acute illnesses that would be classified as primary care needs.
  • FNPs work in private practices, colleges and universities, health centers, and hospitals.


Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP):

PNPs specialize in caring for young patients, from infants to young adults.

  • PNPs treat chronic and acute illnesses in this specialized population.
  • They conduct patient evaluations, monitor patient treatment plans and recovery, teach patients and their families about illness prevention, and prescribe medications.
  • These professionals may work in a private practice, hospital, or other relevant healthcare facility.


Adult-Gerontology Acute Care (AG-ACNP):

Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners work with older patients. They typically focus on improving the health outcomes and quality of life for patients who suffer from chronic illnesses or conditions.

  • AG-ACNPs provide a broad range of services for older patients, namely acute care management and disease prevention.
  • They can prescribe medication, coordinate patient care, assess and diagnose patients, order tests, and develop treatment plans.
  • These nurses may find themselves working in emergency rooms, intensive care units, and trauma units in hospitals.

Texas Online Nurse Practitioner School Spotlights

To help you get started on your search for an online nurse practitioner program, we’ve identified some of the top programs in Texas for 2020. These programs are accredited by the ACEN or CCNE and offer the affordability, flexible options, and accreditation students need from an NP program.

Texas Tech University School of Nursing


Located in Lubbock, Texas Tech University offers diverse graduate-level tracks for aspiring NPs and is widely known for its online nursing degrees. Remote learners can take advantage of the school of nursing’s hybrid course delivery for a mix of face-to-face and distance learning. Available degree programs at Texas Tech for aspiring NPs include:

  • MSN degrees in education, nursing informatics, and six specialty APRN studies programs, including acute care pediatric nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and nurse midwifery.
  • BSN-to-DNP programs in family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
  • Post-master’s family nurse practitioner.

Most of the nursing master’s programs at Texas Tech require 49-51 semester credits. Degrees that require in-person clinical hours may take longer than those that don’t, but most full-time learners complete their master’s degrees in two years of full-time study. Students in the BSN-to-DNP program need 74 credits for graduation, which takes about four years of full-time study to finish. The post-master’s program requires 45 credits over the span of six consecutive semesters.

Nursing applicants need to possess an unencumbered RN license and a BSN with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Applications should also include letters of reference and official transcripts. Prospective NP students are highly encouraged to submit documentation of prior work or volunteer experience in the field.

University of Texas Arlington


UTA is a public research institution with a variety of online nursing programs for BSN degree holders with an unencumbered RN license. Remote MSN students choose from specialized tracks in pediatric primary care nurse practitioner, pediatric acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. Depending on the track, remote learners finish their master’s program online in 29-36 months by completing 41-46 credits.

UTA students who already possess an MSN in one of these specialized tracks can earn an online post-master’s certificate in their designated area. Additionally, students who are RNs and want to pursue a master’s degree can apply to UTA’s RN-to-MSN family nurse practitioner program. The FNP track requires 75 credits and takes about 42 months to complete.

Students interested in pursuing a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree can do so in an accelerated remote program in as few as 22-27 months. Over the course of 36 required credits, DNP students develop the necessary evidence-based strategies and methods to prepare for successful leadership roles in clinical practice, healthcare consultancy, or policymaking. Required classes are 100% online and asynchronous. Courses include instruction in translational research, epidemiology, healthcare policy, and health systems. Learners also complete two six-credit practicums entirely online.

Baylor University

Baylor University

Baylor University is a private research institution in Waco, Texas. Founded in 1845, the school serves about 19,300 students. Its nursing program offers several online doctoral-level degree paths, including a BSN-to-DNP and an MSN-to-DNP. The school prides itself on providing clinical sites and preceptors (on-site role models) for all nursing students completing clinical rotations.

DNP students at Baylor choose between the executive nurse leadership track or a specialized practitioner track. The executive nurse leadership track is entirely online with no on-campus obligations, while the other tracks are hybrid, mostly online programs.

The school’s online DNP tracks include family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery, and pediatric nurse practitioner. The BSN-to-DNP requires 75 credits and takes about three years to complete. Baylor’s MSN-to-DNP takes 31-37 credits to graduate, which full-time learners complete in two years. Applicants for either the executive nurse leadership track or a specialized DNP track do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores for consideration. Prospective students need a master’s in a business/health-related degree such as an MSN, MHA, MPH, or MBA from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 or higher GPA and two years of leadership experience in a healthcare setting.

FAQs About Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Texas

Can I earn my nurse practitioner degree in Texas completely online?

For the most part, yes. There are MSN and DNP programs in Texas where you can complete all academic and some specialized training online. You will need to complete your program’s clinical hours and other hands-on learning requirements at an approved facility in-person, however.

I reside and hold my RN license in a different state, but I want to work in Texas after I graduate. Am I still eligible to enroll in an online NP program in Texas?

Yes, you can still apply to an online NP program in Texas even if you hold an out-of-state RN license. You will need to meet Texas’s licensure requirements before you can officially work in the state as an NP. To work as an NP in Texas, you will need to apply for Texas RN licensure using the nurse endorsement application. The endorsement is only for RNs who haven’t previously held Texas licensure. You can also check to see if your state is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which will save you some steps along the way.

I plan on working in a different state after graduating. Will my online Texas NP degree meet licensing requirements there?

It depends on the state. Your Texas NP degree and licensure is valid in about 25 other states through the Nurse Licensure Compact. You won’t have any trouble meeting the licensure requirements in other states included in the compact, which includes Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. This number of states is expected to grow, as there is pending legislation in several other states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

NP Certification and Licensing Requirements in Texas

It’s essential for NP students in Texas to thoroughly understand the specific certification and licensure requirements for the state before starting their NP studies. While becoming a nurse practitioner may be fairly similar from state-to-state, each will have its own specific requirements outlined by its Board of Nursing. Accredited online nurse practitioner programs in Texas are designed to prepare students to pursue certification and licensure as outlined by the Texas Board of Nursing. Keep these critical details in mind as you move forward.

Education and Training

To become an NP, you’ll need to earn an ADN or BSN degree and pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) exam.

Next, you’ll need to complete an advanced practice nursing education program at the graduate level. You’ll then earn an MSN or a DNP degree from an accredited school approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. If you hold an ADN degree, more education will be required to get you through the bachelor’s level and on to the graduate level. The board requires that nursing candidates complete their education in three main categories: pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and physical evaluation/assessment. In terms of clinical hours, online nurse practitioner programs in Texas require 500 supervised hours of direct patient care or client management in a healthcare setting.

National Certification

After you finish your graduate degree, you’ll need to earn national certification before you can work as an NP in Texas. You must apply for national certification within two years of finishing your degree program and required clinical hours. Depending on your specialty area, you will choose from five different certification boards to sit for their certification exam:

Not all of the boards offer the same types of certifications, so you’ll need to choose the one that best serves your professional goals. Certification prep courses are available to help you get ready to sit for these exams. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners recommends Fitzgerald Education Associations (FHEA), Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA), or Barkley & Associates to help you prepare.

Additional NP Licensing Requirements

When pursuing licensure in Texas, you’ll encounter requirements along the way. There’s a $100 fee for the standard NP license and $150 for those who will be writing prescriptions. When you take the NCLEX-RN exam, you’ll also have to pass a criminal background check and the 50-question Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam. Additionally, when you submit your APRN application for Texas licensure, you’ll need to meet a list of eligibility requirements.

Certification and License Renewal

Every two years, you will need to renew your license, which requires 20 hours of continuing education (CE) classes in your chosen area of expertise. If you have a license to write prescriptions for patients, you’ll need an additional four hours of CE to keep up with the latest in pharmacotherapeutics.

You can find CE courses to satisfy these requirements on the Texas Board of Nursing CE site. NPs must complete at least 400 practice hours during each renewal period to maintain their national certification. Whether you’re applying for a new license in Texas or to renew your existing license, you need to submit your online application at least 60 days before your current credentials expire.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners in Texas

While you’re looking at online nurse practitioner education options in Texas, it’s helpful to get a clear picture of your professional career prospects and earning potential. Explore the career outlook and salaries for NPs in the state.

Are nurse practitioners in high demand in Texas?

NPs are in demand and the job market in Texas looks bright. Texas boasts the third-highest employment level for NPs in the U.S. While the job growth rate for NPs across the country is about seven times higher than the average growth of all other occupations, the average growth rate is even higher in Texas. Larger metropolitan areas in the state like Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston offer some of the highest numbers for employment opportunities for NPs in the country. These stats are just behind New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.

Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners in Texas

Employment (2018) New Jobs (2018-2028) Job Growth Rate (2018-2028) Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)
Texas 12,460 3,970 31.90% 1,170
United States 189,100 53,300 28.20% 16,900

Source: Projections Central

How much do nurse practitioners make in Texas?

The median income for NPs in the state is $112,580, compared to the national annual wage for NPs at $109,820. NPs working in the Houston-The Woodlands-Arlington area make the highest salaries compared to other metro areas in the state, with the highest earners making about $171,180 per year. In the chart below, you can find the range of median earnings for NPs in Texas, major metro areas in the state, and across the U.S.

Annual Earnings for Nurse Practitioners in Texas

10th Percentile Median (50th Percentile) 90th Percentile
Texas $84,830 $112,580 $157,280
Austin-Round Rock, TX $86,120 $109,390 $131,040
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX $83,560 $111,190 $171,180
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX $88,420 $119,290 $160,370
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $86,780 $108,040 $140,040
United States $81,410 $109,820 $152,160

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019

Texas Nurse Practitioner Student and Professional Resources

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Texas ResourcesProspective and working NPs in Texas can consult the AANP’s Texas profile. Here you’ll find up to date information on nursing practice in the state, including CE requirements and authorizations. The site also includes links to relevant AANP contacts in the state, including the regional director and state representatives.
  • Online Resources and Scholarships for Nurse Practitioner StudentsEduMed’s site for NP students gives you easy access to some of the best scholarship opportunities, funding application advice, and student resources all in one place. We also include a section with online resources, student organizations, and professional associations for NP students so they can get the most out of their program and pave the way for their career.
  • Texas Nurse PractitionersFounded in 1989, TNP helps support prospective and current NPs in Texas by providing the latest updates in the field and for professionals working in the state. Members of TNP can attend an annual conference and take advantage of online resources like CE resources, webinars, student resources, and a member directory.
  • Reddit Nurse Practitioners and APRNsThe popular site Reddit hosts networks of communities built around users’ interests. Prospective and current NPs can take advantage of discussions that take place here with other users. They can also ask questions and leave comments of their own.
  • The Daily SeanAcute care nurse practitioner Sean P. Dent offers advice for students and working professionals through this popular YouTube channel. You’ll find tips on everything from communication skills in the workplace and “NP survival guides” to workplace safety and mental health.
  • Texas Nurses AssociationHere you can find relevant news and career-focused updates for all nursing professionals working in the state. Members of TNA can access an online career center, professional development and continuing education resources, and locate funding opportunities.