Texas, the largest state in the contiguous United States, is chock full of things to do. There’s the Alamo, the Haunted Austin Walking History Tour, and the Dallas/Fort Worth cattle drive sculpture. If food is your thing, visit one of the many foodie tours including the Guided Chocolate tour in Dallas. Yeehaw!
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
- Licensing information
- Steps for renewing a Texas nursing license
- Continuing education requirements
- Job & salary outlook for nurses in Texas
- Top hospitals in Texas
- Nursing organizations & associations in Texas
- Basic steps for licensing and certification
- Contact information
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Texas whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Texas from another state. For more information visit the Texas licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
- NCLEX exam: $200
- Application fee: $100
- Fingerprint processing fee: $39.75
Licensing fees by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
- Application fee: $186 (RN/LPN); $150 (APRN w/ Rx authority)
- Fingerprint processing fee: $39.75
License renewal fees:
- Application fee: $68 (RN); $45 (LPN); $54 (APRN, Rx authority = $50)
Additionally, Texas is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
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Steps for renewing a Texas nursing license
- Verify the status of your license
Visit the Verification page to confirm your license.
- Complete your Texas nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires
You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
- Go to the Texas Board of Nursing to request a license renewal
Visit the Renewal Information for more information. Texas is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in Texas unless you are declaring Texas as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
RN/LVN: Renewal period every 2 years
- complete 20 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) in the nurse’s area of practice; OR
- demonstrate the achievement, maintenance, or renewal of a Board-approved national nursing certification in the nurse’s area of practice
APRN: Renewal period every 2 years
- complete 20 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) in the nurse’s area of practice appropriate to the advanced practice role and population focus area recognized by the Board; OR
- demonstrate the achievement, maintenance, or renewal of a Board-approved national nursing certification in the nurse’s area of practice; AND
- meet the applicable targeted continuing education requirements
Job & salary outlook for nurses in Texas
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean wage is $76,800.
We can help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Texas is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Texas ]
Top hospitals in Texas
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Texas will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
- Houston Methodist Hospital – Houston, TX: This hospital is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is ranked No. 16 on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll. It is nationally ranked in 10 adult specialties and rated high performing in 17 adult procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#15 in the nation)
- Diabetes & Endocrinology (#16 in the nation)
- Cancer (#23 in the nation)
- UT Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas, TX: is nationally ranked in 9 adult specialties and rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 14 procedures and conditions. It is a general medical and surgical facility. Some specialties include:
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#11 in the nation)
- Rehabilitation (#17 in the nation)
- Neurology & Neurosurgery (#19 in the nation)
- Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center – Houston, TX: This hospital is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 13 procedures and conditions. Some specialties include:
- Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#13 in the nation)
- Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (#24 in the nation)
- Cancer (#25 in the nation)
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations & associations in Texas
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Texas:
Texas Nurses Association: The mission of the association is “empowering Texas nurses to advance the profession.”
Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists: The mission of this association is “advancing patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia.”
Texas Emergency Nurses Association: The mission of this association is “to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
[ Looking for more support? Get free, personalized career guidance from experienced RNs. ]
Texas Board of Nursing
Phone: (512) 305-7400
Fax: (512) 305-7401
Austin, TX 78701-3944
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