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BSN Programs in Houston: Top Campus and Online Options

Position yourself for success in nursing through one of the many accredited online or in-person BSN programs in Houston. This guide profiles top nursing schools and helps you find the best program for your career goals.


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Are you a prospective college student looking into nursing programs for the first time? Maybe you’re already an RN or LVN nurse but want to take your education and career prospects to the next level. A BSN degree can help you develop the advanced skills needed for working in the healthcare industry. Whether you see yourself as a nurse in a physician’s office, nursing care facility, school, or hospital, an in-person or online BSN program in Houston can provide the knowledge needed to begin working in this in-demand and lucrative career.

This guide contains the information you need to find the best BSN programs in Houston. It highlights the top Houston BSN programs for 2021 and provides program, degree, financial aid, and salary information to help you discover the best nursing bachelor’s degree option for you.

Best Accredited BSN Programs in Houston

With all the options available for BSN degree-seekers in Houston, how do you know which one to choose? The nursing school and program profiles below identify the best accredited and state-approved BSN degrees. These schools have the highest quality of education, they’re affordable, and they have terrific student support services. Learn about some of the best nursing degree options and see who stands out in 2021.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

UTHealth is a public institution associated with the University of Texas System. The program serves approximately 5,200 medical, nursing, public health, and biomedical informatics students. UTHealth offers one of the best BSN programs in Houston through its Cizik School of Nursing.

Students must complete 60 credits over four semesters, and most do so in 15 months. The first three semesters consist of nursing theory classes, including child and adolescent healthcare, community and public health nursing, pathophysiology, and health assessment. The fourth semester includes the hands-on clinical requirements for the degree, like reproductive healthcare clinical, adult and older adult care clinical, and critical synthesis application.

Applicants for this fast-paced BSN must possess a 3.0 or higher GPA in 40-60 hours of nursing and science prerequisite courses. Applications require an application fee, official transcripts, and official HESI A2 exam scores taken within the last two years.

University of St. Thomas Houston

UST is a private Catholic institution with one of the top accelerated BSN programs in Houston. The program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and full-time learners can finish this program in as few as 12 months over three semesters. Students complete the program through a series of online courses, hands-on training scenarios in simulation labs on campus, and clinical rotations at designated healthcare facilities.

The program involves 58 credits of nursing courses, including health assessment, foundations of holistic nursing practice, and pathopharmacology. Many of UST’s BSN courses feature online, lab, and clinical components throughout the semester. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

In addition to having a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA from an accredited institution, incoming students must complete all prerequisite classes before enrolling. Additionally, applicants need an 80 or higher score on the HESI admission assessment exam.

Key Benefits of Earning a BSN Degree in Houston

Key benefits of earning a BSN degree in Houston include being prepared for the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse, a credential that opens up careers with higher salaries. Additionally, there are many great BSN programs in Houston for those already possessing a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing area. You can pursue a new degree path and get credit for many of the courses you’ve already completed, saving you time and money. Some programs also provide BSN upgrade opportunities for RNs with associates or diplomas.

Benefit #1

Higher Salaries

The annual mean wage for registered nurses in Houston is $81,350. Comparatively, nursing professionals in Houston without the RN credential, like those working as home health and personal care aides, make $20,410 per year. With a BSN degree, you can pursue a nursing career in a variety of healthcare settings and increase employment opportunities because of your specialized and diverse training

Benefit #2

A Quick Pathway for Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree-Holders

If you already possess a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, you can quickly earn your BSN in Houston through a program specially designed for you. Many of your general education classes and prerequisites will transfer to your Houston BSN to save you time and money. You’ll likely be able to complete a nursing curriculum, including coursework and clinicals, in as few as 12-18 months. The University of Houston, for example, offers a 12-month second-degree BSN program.

Benefit #3

Upgrade Opportunities for RNs with Associates or Diplomas

Even if you’re already an RN in Houston, there are great opportunities to upgrade to a BSN. Through programs specifically designed for you, you’ll find the flexibility and affordability working nursing professionals need on a tight schedule or budget. Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing in the greater Houston area, for example, offers a 12-month RN to BSN for those with an associate degree or diploma in nursing at about $314 per credit.

Program Checklist: Qualities to Look for in a BSN Program in Houston

As you search through your educational options for a BSN program in Houston, know the essential qualities to include. First, a quality program that provides the training and credentials you need to advance your career must be state-approved and nationally accredited. Second, a quality program produces students who do well on standardized tests and secure employment upon graduation. Lastly, your Houston BSN nursing program should offer the flexibility you need to have an enjoyable and fruitful learning experience.

State Approved and Nationally Accredited

Attending a BSN nursing program in Houston that’s approved by the state and has national accreditation assures that your hard-earned tuition dollars are well spent. A state-approved program prepares you for professional licensure standards in Texas and provides you with credentials future employers will acknowledge and value. Schools nationally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), offer quality instruction that meets high academic standards. View a list of approved BSN programs at the Texas Board of Nursing.

High Student Success Rates

Schools with a history of high NCLEX-RN pass rates are always a good sign. This shows that students are well-prepared and for pursuing successful careers upon graduation. You can view exam pass rates from the last five years by program on the Texas Board of Nursing site.

Flexibility and Format that Meets Your Needs

Online and hybrid BSN programs provide a high level of flexibility. However, an on-campus Houston BSN might be a better choice for your learning style. Whatever the case, think through what you need in terms of flexibility, including full- and part-time options, as well as which learning format best meets your needs.

Types of BSN Programs in Houston

Traditional BSN Programs

Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees are typically three- or four-year programs designed for students with no previous nursing experience or bachelor’s degrees. They are often programs of choice for learners entering college immediately after high school or for first-time college students of any age.

Examples of Houston Nursing Schools with This Program

University of Houston

Chamberlain University

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN programs are designed for learners without RN licenses but who already possess bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields. Upon completion of this program, you’ll have a bachelor’s degree and be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. Accelerated BSN programs are sometimes called second-degree BSN or ABSN programs.

Examples of Houston Nursing Schools with This Program

University of St. Thomas Houston

University of Houston

RN to BSN Programs

RN to BSN programs are designed for learners who already possess licensure as registered nurses but who want to pursue a bachelor’s level education. Many working nurses choose this path to improve their nursing skills, gain more in-depth knowledge of the field and position themselves for higher-level, more lucrative nursing roles.

Examples of Houston Nursing Schools with This Program

University of Houston

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

LPN to BSN Programs

LPN to BSN programs are for professionals working as LPNs or LVNs who want to further develop their nursing skills and knowledge in a bachelor’s program. Upon completion of this program, LPNs or LVNs are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to earn RN licensure.

Examples of Houston Nursing Schools with This Program

Sam Houston State University

Prairie View A&M University

Online BSN Programs in Houston

Remote Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in Houston are few, but more institutions are offering remote instruction options for BSN-seekers. Online BSNs are typically two or three semesters in length and designed for registered nurses who already have hands-on training and experience as a nurse but who want to bolster their education and credentials in a bachelor’s-level program.

Learn more about online BSN programs in Houston

Direct-Entry BSN Programs in Houston

Designed for motivated high school seniors with a strong desire to pursue nursing, direct-entry BSN programs in Houston provide an accelerated path to success. By allowing college freshmen to engage in nursing classes from their first semester, these competitive programs give aspiring nurses an early advantage in their academic and professional pursuits.

FAQs About BSN Programs in Houston

How long does it take to earn a BSN in Houston?

The duration of your BSN in Houston depends on the level of education you possess before you start. Full-time BSN learners without previous college education often spend four years completing their degrees, spending two years on general education and prerequisite courses before tackling the two years of nursing-specific requirements. The University of Houston’s traditional BSN, for example, takes four years to complete, but part-time learners can spend up to 6 years.

Accelerated BSN and RN to BSN programs are much quicker. These programs require previous college or nursing education experience. Since many previously earned credits transfer toward the new degree, the duration of a BSN program is often 12-16 months. These programs are rigorous programs covering a lot of nursing instruction in a short amount of time, so students typically need to be full-time.

How much does a BSN program in Houston cost?

The amount you may pay for a BSN program in Florida varies depending on the school you choose. For example, those who attend a public school can generally expect to pay a lot less for their tuition than those who attend a private one. The type of BSN program will also influence the cost since some degrees take longer to finish than others. To give you an idea of the cost for your BSN degree, we have included what three different schools charge their nursing students.

Houston Baptist University

Online RN-to-BSN

Total Credits: 29


Texas Woman’s University

Online RN-to-BSN

Total Credits: 32

$231/credit Texas resident; $640/credit non-resident

University of St. Thomas Houston

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Total Credits: 58


What are the admissions requirements for BSN nursing programs in Houston?

No matter which BSN program you choose, follow the school’s application requirements carefully. BSN programs in Houston tend to be competitive since most nursing programs use a cohort learning model and have limited space for hands-on training and clinical rotations.

Most BSN applications require official transcripts reflecting a competitive GPA and history of relevant coursework and nursing prerequisites. More specifically, most BSN programs in Houston require the following for application:

  • An unencumbered nursing license as a registered nurse in the U.S. (for RN-to-BSN programs)
  • Completed prerequisite courses in areas including nutrition, statistics, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology
  • Official transcripts with a 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) Admission Assessment Exam
  • Letters of recommendation or professional references (may be optional)
  • Background check and drug screen
  • Personal statement or essay (may be optional)
  • CPR certification (may be optional)

Where can I find financial aid to help pay for my BSN program in Houston?

Earning a bachelor’s degree is a significant financial hurdle for almost every student. Thankfully, most BSN programs in Houston provide many financial aid options. Scholarships and grants for nursing students, which provide free money you don’t have to repay, may be available through your school, professional organizations in Texas, private foundations, and more. You may also qualify for federal student loans, which usually offer better interest rates than private loans. Check out EduMed’s nursing scholarship guide for more information as well as its financial aid guide to learn more about making good financial decisions while you’re in school.

Inside Look at Online BSN Programs in Houston

Online BSN programs in Houston take advantage of the latest technologies to bring you affordable and convenient nursing training, and many BSN degrees are now offered in a hybrid format. You’ll complete academic bookwork remotely and clinical training in-person on campus or at an approved healthcare facility. This works well for adult learners looking for the scheduling flexibility of an online degree program while still having a hands-on learning component.

Though not many yet exist, BSN programs in Houston are increasingly being offered completely online. The Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth, for example, offers a 31-credit RN-to-BSN online program. Full- and part-time learners complete all classes remotely, including community health practice, management and leadership, and health assessment. Depending on the program and your previous education experience, you might still need to complete in-person clinical hours at an approved location. For more information on what to expect from online BSN programs in Houston, check out EduMed’s dedicated guide to online bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

Standout Online BSN Programs in Houston

University of Houston

A public research institution founded in 1927, UH today serves approximately 46,000 students. The school prides itself on offering a variety of undergraduate nursing programs, including its hybrid RN to BSN program. Incoming students with the appropriate credentials spend about a year finishing this program.

This RN to BSN program, which features online courses and in-person courses at UH’s Sugar Land campus just outside of downtown Houston, is designed to meet even the busiest of schedules. Learners complete academic bookwork online and participate in hands-on clinical classes in face-to-face environments.

Incoming students need an associate degree or nursing diploma from an accredited institution with a 2.5 or higher GPA and an unencumbered Texas RN license. UH also expects completion of all general education courses and program requirements, 33 credits total, before beginning the BSN nursing curriculum. Required nursing classes include nursing research, community health nursing, and informatics in healthcare.

Houston Baptist University

HBU is a private institution established in 1960. Located in Sharpstown, the school boasts approximately 4,000 students and offers one of the best online BSN programs in Houston.

Degree-seekers complete eight 100% online courses, 29 credits total, in a self-paced learning format. HBU describes its program as a no-lecture format emphasizing academic studies and written assignments that work well with asynchronous learning environments. Terms last only eight weeks, allowing learners to finish their degree more quickly.

Depending on the types of credits incoming students already possess, general education requirements at HBU may include rhetoric and public speaking, western civilization, math for critical thinking, and introduction to statistics in behavioral science. Clinical online courses and labs at HBU include mental health nursing, health lab assessment, adult health, and a core nursing competencies lab.

Incoming RN to BSN students need an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution with a 2.5 or higher GPA. Those eligible for admission but who have not passed the NCLEX-RN must do so within the first eight-week term to gain full admission to the program.

Texas Woman’s University

Established in 1901, TWU is a public, coeducational university with campuses in Denton, Dallas, and Houston. The school offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate programs, including a competitive online RN-to-BSN program at its Houston location.

This 100% online RN to BSN program allows RNs to continue working while completing their degree. Upper-division nursing classes are seven weeks long and include a survey of informatics in nursing and health, promoting wellness in the aging family, and nursing leadership and management. Students must complete 32 upper-level nursing credits through TWU.

Incoming RNs with a diploma or nursing associate degree need completed lower-level prerequisite classes for the BSN totaling 60 credit hours and a 2.0 or higher GPA. They must also have a least a C in previously completed coursework in chemistry, microbiology, physiology, and all nursing labs. RN to BSN students can begin in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Job Outlook & Salary Details for BSN Nurses in Houston

You probably have some questions about what to expect after graduation, especially regarding the job market and earning potential. So, how do you know if a Houston BSN program is a good choice for you? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to give you some clarity.

Are BSN nurses in high demand in Houston?

While the job market for RNs looks bright across much of the U.S., Texas especially needs BSN degree-holders. According to Projections Central, the available positions for registered nurses in Texas are projected to increase by 16.8% by 2028. That’s about 4.7% more than the average growth across the U.S. The demand for BSN degree-holders in the Houston area, however, is even higher. In fact, registered nurses in Houston can expect about a 23% growth in available positions by 2028. That’s more than five times the projected average growth of RN positions across the nation. According to Projections Central, between 2018 and 2028, there will be 16.1 percent job growth for nurses around the state, which amounts to a 30,530 increase in nursing positions. This is slightly higher than the national average, a projected 12.1 percent of jobs created in the country during this time—or an average of 210,400 new jobs annually.

Employment Projections for RNs in Houston

Employment (2018) New Jobs (2018-2028) Job Growth Rate (2018-2028) Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)
Gulf Coast WDA (Workforce Development Area) 54,969 12,628 23% N/A
Texas 216,210 36,210 16,8% 16,130
United States 3,059,800 371,500 12.1% 210,400

Sources: Projections Central; Texas LMI

How much do BSN nurses make in Houston?

Houston nursing professionals with a BSN make an excellent living. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that RNs in Houston make an annual mean wage of $81,350, or $8,050 more than the median annual wage for RNs across the U.S. The Texas Workforce Commission reports that the highest earners in the 90th percentile of RNs in Houston make approximately $103,738 per year, while those in the lower 10th percentile make $59,530. Compared to ADN or LVN professionals working as licensed professionals in Houston who make $48,340, you can expect to make at least about $12,000 more per year by earning a BSN degree.