Guide to Campus and Online BSN Programs in Texas

Find in-person and online accredited BSN nursing programs in Texas that can help you become a first-time nurse or improve your earnings power and career prospects as a current nurse.

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Last Updated: 05/07/2021
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As the demand for healthcare services continues rising across Texas and the rest of the country, Texas nursing schools are stepping up to meet the need for highly qualified registered nurses through their bachelor’s degree nursing programs. If you’re interested in becoming an BSN educated nurse in Texas, this guide is for you, whether you’re a current LVN or RN ready for more responsibilities and higher salary potential or you’re looking to become a registered nurse without any previous nursing experience. Keep reading to find top accredited BSN nursing programs in Texas near you, understand what to look for in a quality program, and learn more about nursing employment and salary trends in Texas.

Best Accredited BSN Programs in Texas

The number of Texas BSN programs makes it convenient for students to find the right program for them. To help in your nursing school search, we’ve identified three top-rated, state-approved BSN programs in Texas. These stand out in terms of affordability, learning options, and educational quality. Each school below is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and stands out for Texas BSN programs in 2021.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio offers two BSN programs through their UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Traditional Track is designed for students who are not registered nurses but who have completed two years of a bachelor’s degree, including general education and prerequisite credits. This program allows students to obtain their degrees in just 22 months. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Accelerated Track allows students to earn a nursing degree in 15 months. This program is for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree but who are not registered nurses.

With more than 100 nursing scholarships available, both programs are among the best and most affordable BSN programs in the state. They also boast some of the best NCLEX-RN passage rates in Texas with a passage rate for first-time test takers exceeding 98%.

University of Texas at Tyler 

The University of Texas at Tyler has two Nursing BSN Degree programs and both result in a BSN degree. One track is for students who are already registered nurses while the other is for students who do not possess their RN credentials.

The Nursing BSN Degree track for non-RNs provides the entire curriculum at the Longview or Palestine campuses. Students complete clinicals at approved facilities close to the home campus. Hands-on training also comes through state-of-the-art simulation labs while under the supervision of highly experienced RN preceptors (i.e., clinical nurse instructors). Students receive top-notch training with an NCLEX-RN first-time passage rate well above the national average.


The Nursing RN-BSN Track requires incoming students to already be RNs, and the curriculum is entirely online. While no campus visits are needed, a limited amount of clinical experience is required to graduate. Students choose between part-time and full-time study with full-time students graduating in just one year.

Texas Tech University 

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in nursing have four undergraduate nursing programs to choose from at Texas Tech University. All of them are part of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, which was selected as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing.

The Traditional BSN track is for those who have neither RN licensing nor a bachelor’s degree. The RN to BSN program is for RNs who want a BSN but currently have an ADN degree. The Second Degree program is for non-nurses who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to switch careers. Lastly, the Veteran to BSN program is designed for students with prior medical experience obtained through military service.

Regardless of track, students are trained by some of the best faculty and preceptors from any of the BSN programs in Texas, as evidenced by a first-time NCLEX-RN passage rate of 95%. Students also have access to excellent career and academic services like the Students SUCCESS Program.

Key Benefits of Earning a BSN Degree in Texas

A BSN is not required to become a registered nurse in Texas. In fact, many RNs often only have an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Generally speaking, it takes roughly half the time to earn an ADN as it does a BSN. So why spend the extra money and time to earn a BSN? Consider the following key benefits.

Benefit #1

Greater Potential for Professional Growth

Most entry-level registered nurse positions accept applicants with either a bachelor’s or associate degree in nursing. However, if a registered nurse aspires to advance into an RN position with supervisory responsibilities or wants to eventually teach future nurses in academia, a BSN makes the process easier and faster.

Benefit #2

Become a Highly Sought-After Professional

Most states have a dire shortage of registered nurses, and many nursing students receive multiple job offers before graduation. Additionally, most states have reciprocity agreements with other states that allow a relatively seamless transition in nursing practice when moving from one state to another.

Benefit #3

Make a Difference by Helping Others

Nursing jobs are in demand, pay well, and provide almost guaranteed opportunities to improve people’s lives. BSN program graduates don’t necessarily need to start working directly with patients in a hospital once they’re done with their training. However, the opportunity is there for the taking.

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

The demand for registered nurses in Texas is among the highest of all 50 states. To help meet this demand, there are many accredited and board-approved traditional and online BSN programs available in Texas. Look for certain program characteristics when choosing the right one.

State Approved and Nationally Accredited

The point of earning a Texas BSN is to become a registered nurse in Texas. This required licensing is administered by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) and requires a degree from an accredited nursing program approved by BON. The two major accrediting bodies for BSN programs in Texas are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). A list of BON-approved nursing programs can be found on the Education Dashboard section of the Texas BON website.

High NCLEX-RN Passage Rate

As a rough rule of thumb, the better a nursing program is at training future nurses, the higher its NCLEX-RN passage rate for first-time test-takers. This is an important metric because someone can graduate from nursing school with a perfect GPA, but they cannot become an RN without passing the NCLEX-RN.

Robust Financial Aid Offerings

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 Texas

Traditional BSN

The traditional BSN program is for students with no prior nursing training or post-secondary academic experience. It usually takes four years or eight semesters of full-time study. The first two years are usually spent completing prerequisites and general education credits, and the nursing curriculum takes about two additional years to complete.

Examples of Texas Nursing Schools with This Program

University of Texas at Austin

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Accelerated BSN

The accelerated BSN program results in a BSN in two years or less. To finish this quickly, incoming students usually need a previous bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. This academic pathway is a perfect choice for professionals seeking a new career as an RN.

Examples of Texas Nursing Schools with This Program

Texas Lutheran University

University of Houston

RN to BSN

The RN to BSN academic track allows current registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Most students start with an associate degree in nursing and want to obtain a bachelor’s degree with access to greater opportunities for professional advancement, especially in terms of leadership.

Examples of Texas Nursing Schools with This Program

Prairie View A&M University

South Texas College

LVN to BSN Programs

This program is for those who already have bachelor’s degrees and are licensed practical nurses (LPN) but want to become RNs. This program is ideal for students who wish to continue working as LPNs while earning their degrees.

Examples of Texas Nursing Schools with This Program

Sam Houston State University

Tarleton State University

Online BSN Programs in Texas

Any accredited BSN program requires certain hands-on requirements in the form of supervised practicums or clinicals. However, there are also plenty of classroom curriculum requirements that can easily be completed through distance learning. Hybrid programs are becoming more popular as they allow students to earn the necessary training while offering the flexibility to complete the classroom requirements from home and at a time most convenient for them.

Learn more about online BSN programs in Texas

FAQs About BSN Programs in Texas

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

Earning a nursing degree from one of the many BSN programs in Texas can take one to four years, depending on prior work experience, educational background, and course load. For instance, in an accelerated BSN program where the student is already an RN or already has a bachelor’s degree, graduating in one year is possible. However, someone straight out of high school enrolled in a traditional BSN program and attending class full-time can take four years to graduate.

How much does a BSN program in Texas cost?

The cost of a BSN program in Texas depends on a host of factors, including whether you’re attending full-time or part-time and your educational and professional background before enrollment. Other variables include how much financial aid you obtain and whether you’re attending a traditional or online program. Below is a list of some traditional and online Texas-based BSN programs to give you an idea of what to expect to pay in tuition.

University of St. Thomas Houston

Second Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Total Credits: 58

$450.00/credit

Texas A&M University

Traditional BSN Program

Total Credits: 120

$400.00/credit (in-state) and $1,298.73 (out-of-state)

University of Texas at Arlington

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Online

Total Credits: 51

$350.00/credit

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

The admissions requirements for a BSN nursing program in Texas vary depending on the type of program, but most include the following:

  • Online application and fee
  • Official high school and/or college transcripts showing completion of prerequisite courses
  • Test scores (could be SAT or ACT scores but may also include a TEAS score)

Other requirements may include proof of status as a registered nurse in good standing for RN to BSN programs and proof of prior bachelor’s degree for accelerated or BSN-as-a-second-degree programs. Some programs, not including RN to BSN, may require proof of CNA training before the first day of class.

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

Earning a BSN is one of the surest ways to enter this in-demand field with excellent pay. Before those paychecks start, though, many students need financial assistance through scholarships, grants, and student loans. Many scholarships and grants come from private organizations and the nursing programs themselves. Student loans usually come from the federal government, but there are several student loan repayment programs in Texas aimed at health professionals who agree to work in underserved areas. To learn more, visit our nursing scholarship guide and financial aid guide.

Inside Look at Online BSN Programs in Texas

Nursing is an inherently hands-on profession, so online BSN programs in Texas are not fully online. Instead, some are hybrid programs that allow students to complete classwork online but still require in-person clinicals. During clinicals, nursing students work with patients in a medical setting, such as a local hospital, while under the supervision of an experienced nurse and nurse preceptor (i.e., a clinical nurse instructor). Before working in an actual clinical setting, students spend time practicing their skills in simulation labs on or close to campus.

Learn More About Online BSN Programs in Texas

Standout Online BSN Programs in Texas

Concordia University Texas 

At Concordia University Texas, prospective nursing students can enroll in a 16-month accelerated hybrid BSN program. This program does not require any medical experience; however, at least 60 prior college credits are needed before entry to graduate in the anticipated time frame. To provide the highest quality nursing training in the most flexible manner possible, the 63 credit curriculum is broken down into three components.

The first component is classroom training, which is delivered online. This coursework is the same as what traditional nursing students complete with the same overall time frame. The second component is the hands-on simulations and is completed in-person at the Concordia University Texas learning site in Austin. Third are the clinical rotations, which students complete at a partner hospital. This learning format is very effective with an NCLEX-RN passage rate as high as 100%.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) has three undergraduate nursing programs available. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Second Degree Accelerated Option Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs follow the traditional learning model with students attending class on campus. Students interested in learning online will appreciate the RN to BSN online program. Consisting of 27 credits, this accelerated program allows most students to graduate in one year. For added flexibility, classes last just seven weeks.

Because students are already licensed registered nurses, much of the curriculum covers high-level concepts like leadership, management, and organizational concepts and theories. Specific courses include Professional Mobility, Issues in Nursing, Leadership in Nursing, Research, and Community Health.

Job Outlook & Salary Details for BSN Nurses in Texas

Prospective nursing students often wonder about job security and earning potential. The following section answers common questions related to employment projections and salary potential for BSN nurses in Texas.

Are BSN nurses in high demand in Texas?

The job market for registered nurses in the United States is rapidly growing, and the market in Texas is even stronger. Graduates of BSN programs in Texas can expect to have success in seeking post-graduate employment. What’s most astounding about the associated data is not that tremendous growth for RNs but the fact that despite this massive growth, the RN deficiency in Texas is still expected to expand. For example, according to Nursing Workforce Reports from the Texas Health and Human Service Texas will need 348,883 RNs by 2032 but will only have 291,782.

Employment Projections for RNs in Texas

Employment (2018)New Jobs (2018-2028)Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)
Texas216,21036,21016,8%16,130
United States3,059,800371,50012.1%210,400

Sources: Projections Central

How much do BSN nurses make in Texas?

Given the extremely strong demand for RNs in Texas, the overall salary potential is promising. According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a BSN RN in Texas is $81,709. While this is lower than the national average of $86,790, it’s higher than neighboring states like Oklahoma ($72,312), Louisiana ($75,003), and New Mexico ($73,233).

A BSN-prepared RN can earn more than an ADN-trained RN. Even though starting salaries are similar, the earnings potential is greater for a BSN since the additional academic training makes it easier to move into a specialization or advance into a supervisory position.