Updated: May 3, 2017

Martha Elizabeth Rogers, born in Dallas, Texas (1914), was a nurse, professor, writer and more. While she wrote a handful of books, she might be best known for her nursing theory, the Science of Unitary Human Beings. One of the components of her theory is that the role of nurses is to encourage the health of others.

If this concept appeals to you, then you might find nursing to be a satisfying career.

Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to increase by 16% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

BLS data also shows that the number of registered nurses in Texas is about 198,650 – which is 2nd place after California (data valid as of May 2015). The hourly mean wage for registered nurses working in the state of Texas is $33.60 ($69,890/ year).

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has an initiative recommending that at least 80% of Registered Nurses in the United States hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020, from the 40% rate that existed at the beginning of the initiative.

What are the most affordable nursing degrees in Texas?

If you are interested in pursuing a career in nursing, or want to upgrade your nursing education, a list of the 10 most affordable bachelor’s degrees in nursing is published later in this article. The 10 colleges profiled are filtered from the 44 that appear in the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) database as offering such programs. Although the data is the most recent that NCES published, note that some undergrad nursing programs in Texas have since been suspended or terminated, and some colleges have closed. The programs listed in this article, however, have been verified as still active at time of publication.

1

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Average Tuition: $5,250

Program Website

university-of-texas-of-the-permian-basin

Nursing programs at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) are offered through the College of Nursing. UTPB is a member of the University of Texas (UT) System, with institutional accreditation granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). UTPB boasts state-of-the art science labs, and the campus is in a locale that is sunny most of the year — ideal for studying outside or watching a number of college sporting events. The university has achieved ranking in college lists published by both Washington Monthly and U.S. News and World Report.

UTPB offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with three completion paths. The first is a generic (full 4-year) track for new students. The remaining two tracks are both RN-to-BSN-based, designed for students who are licensed registered nurses and have an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. One of these tracks takes place on campus while the other is 100% online.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • RN to BSN (Campus Based)
  • RN to BSN (Online)

UTPB’s nursing programs are competitive for seats. The generic track is suited to students new to nursing. After completion of the program, they are eligible to write the NCLEX-RN licensing exam for registered nurse status. The RN tracks are ideal for working nurses, with the online version offering even more flexibility for students with extra obligations in life. (Note: RN-track students can choose either the on-campus or online option, but not a combination.) Campus-based RN-track students meet one weekend per month (Fri, Sat) on campus or a designated clinical location, with other coursework and activities available in a Web-enhanced mode.

The BSN degree requires 120-124 credits. Students taking the generic track complete 55 credits of upper-division nursing courses across the final four semesters. Both RN to BSN tracks require 31 credits of nursing courses, in addition to other requirements — some partially met from credits granted for associate’s degree or diploma course work. The online RN to BSN track offers the added benefit of 8-week courses and multiple start dates, allowing students to complete their BSN within a minimum 12 months. See UTPB website for specific details about course requirements.

Sample courses include:

  • Transcultural Nursing
  • Management Concepts
  • Nursing Research and Quality Improvement Science
  • Clinical Leadership
  • Multicultural Public Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Odessa, Texas.

2

University of Houston-Victoria

Average Tuition: $5,762

Program Website

University of Houston Victoria

University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) offers nursing programs through their School of Education, Health Professions, and Human Development (SEHPHD). UHV is a member institution of the University of Houston System. It receives institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and nursing program accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university has been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, with a 29% Hispanic undergraduate enrollment. UHV is also a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). As well, it has a designation as a military-friendly school.

UHV offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This is a degree completion program for licensed registered nurses (RN) seeking to complete a bachelor’s nursing degree. The program is offered online. No associate’s nursing program is available at UHV, so this must be completed elsewhere.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • RN to BSN online

Included in the list of expected outcomes for this program are: the ability to integrate multi-disciplinary knowledge towards the goal of providing care to individual, families, and communities; cultural senstitivity; ability to inquire and analyze when apply care techologies; leadership and safety; promotion of risk reduction; ethics and legal consideration; advocacy and more.

The BSN degree at UHV requires a total of 120 credits. Admitted students will receive credits (up to 36 credits) toward that total for the nursing coursework they have completed for the associate’s degree or diploma, and for RN licensure. Additional credits may apply for completed lower-division, non-nursing coursework. For the RN-BSN portion, 30 credits of upper-division needs to be completed to receive the BSN, plus any outstanding course requirements. Note: some RN-BSN students may be eligible for nursing scholarships, whether studying full- or part-time.

Sample courses include:

  • Transition to the BSN Role
  • Foundations of Comprehensive Pathophysiology in Nursing
  • Ethics in Healthcare
  • Introduction to Evidence Based Practice
  • Leadership Roles

Campus or HQ: Victoria, Texas.

3

Texas A & M University-Central Texas

Average Tuition: $5,814

Program Website

texas_am_university_central_texas

Nursing programs at Texas A&M University-Central Texas (TAMUCT) are offered by the Department of Nursing, which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. TAMUCT is a member of the Texas A&M University System. Institutional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The undergrad nursing program is additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

TAMUCT offers one Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree as a completion program. Eligible students must be licensed registered nurses with either an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. The program is 100% online, and students can choose full- or part-time study as suits their schedule.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This BSN program is designed for “working professionals,” with courses offered online for additional convenience. Classes are kept small (20 students), and while the courses are online, students can meet with faculty as necessary. Areas of focus include acute care settings, outpatient services, public health, gerontology and more. Potential career opporunities for graduates include: Case Manager; Hospice Care Nurse; Manager/ Head Nurse; Nurse Educator; Nursing Home Director; Staff Nurse; Traveling Nurse. Graduates of this program might also choose to pursue advanced studies in nursing, particularly in research or education.

A total of 120 credits are required to obtain the TAMUCT BSN degree. Students receive 30 transfer credits for their associate’s degree or diploma, and licensure, and must complete additional upper-division nursing courses – amongst other requirements – to earn their BSN. Practicums are integrated into assignments, allowing for real-world experience simultaneous to learning See website for specific course category breakdowns.

Sample courses include:

  • Professional Transition and Informatics
  • Nursing Research in Evidence Based Practice
  • Nursing Care of the Individual and Families
  • Nursing Care of the Older Adult
  • Nursing Leadership

Campus or HQ: Killeen, Texas.

4

Texas A & M University-Commerce

Average Tuition: $6,202

Program Website

Texas A&M Commerce

Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC) houses the Nursing Department and relevant academic programs within their College of Education and Human Services (CEHS). TAMUC is the second-largest member institution of the Texas A&M University System. It receives institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergrad nursing programs are further accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university offers “leading-edge technology in state-of-the-art facilities,” which includes a new multi-million dollar science building.” To keep tuition affordable, financial aid and scholarships total over $75M yearly. The campus is one hour north of the bustling Dallas metroplex.

TAMUC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with two completion paths. One track is a pre-licensure BSN for new nursing students. The other track is for currently licensed registered nurses seeking to upgrade either an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing to a bachelor’s degree.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Pre-licensure BSN
  • RN to BSN

The BSN program at TAMUC seeks to train professional nurses who “promote quality of life from birth to death.” Courses are taught by faculty, who have a reputation for mentoring students. Students in the pre-licensure track will be eligible to write the NCLEX-RN registered nursing licensing exam after graduation. Students in either track will also be prepared for advanced degrees in nursing, should they choose to pursue those. Applications for the pre-licensure track are due by late May, while applications for the RN to BSN track are accepted at any time.

The BSN degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. As placement for the TAMUC pre-licensure BSN track is competitive, students will be expected to have completed 54-55 credits of required non-nursing and nursing support courses before applying. This track has one start date yearly (Fall). The RN to BSN track also requires 120 credits in total, with some granted (up to 39 credits advanced placement) for coursework completed in an associate’s degree or diploma. An additional credits of upper-division nursing courses are required, as well as any necessary courses to reach 120 credits.

Sample courses include:

  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Principles of Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology
  • GLB/ Therapeutic Communication
  • Nursing Care of Parents/ Newborns

Campus or HQ: Commerce, Texas.

5

Texas A & M University-Texarkana

Average Tuition: $6,411

Program Website

texas-am-texarkana

Texas A & M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) offers nursing programs through their Department of Nursing, which is part of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Part of the Texas A&M University System, TAMUT is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Additionally, bachelor’s nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

TAMUT, which is part of one of the largest university systems in the USA, serves a four-state area. The BSN nursing program is promoted as being the first of its kind in the Texarkana region and consists of a traditional four-year track, plus a two-year RN to BSN track, which is a degree-completion program. For the latter, students must be currently licensed registered nurses holding an associate’s degree in nursing. Up to 30 credits will be granted towards the BSN.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • BSN (Traditional Track)
  • RN to BSN

For the traditional track, students will initially be Pre-Nursing majors before they can be accepted into the BSN program. Upon successful completion, they are prepared to sit for the NCLEX registered nursing licensing exam. For the RN to BSN track, students will build on their existing knowledge, as well as develop skills and abilities in community health, evidenced-based practice, health care policy, leaderships and more. The department points out that the program is competitive, so apply on time.

The traditional-track BSN requires a total of 120 credits, with 61 credits completed in two years of lower-division pre-nursing courses, followed by 51 credits in two years of upper-division nursing courses. Program faculty are nurse educators with experience in specialities such as critical care, emergency nursing and women’s health.

Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
  • Fundamentals of Nursing Practice
  • Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Adult Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Texarkana, Texas.

6

Tarleton State University

Average Tuition: $6,630

Program Website

Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University (TSU) is part of the public Texas A&M University System. Nursing programs are offered through the Department of Nursing, which is hosted by the College of Health Sciences and Human Services. The bachelor’s of nursing programs are accredited by the Texas Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Institutional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The university boasts a “state of the art Nursing Building” as one of several features at the Stephenville campus.

TSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with three completion paths. One is a traditional, 4-year, pre-licensure track intended for new Nursing students. Next is an LPN to BSN track intended for students licensed as Practice Nurses. A third option is the RN to BSN track for currently licensed RNs holding an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. However, TSU also invites such students to apply for the RN to MSN program.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Traditional/ Pre-licensure)
  • LVN to BSN
  • RN to BSN

The Department of Nursing at TSU celebrated its 40th anniversary in late 2016 and have developed the curriculum and student experience over that time. BSN students learn through a combination of coursework and hands-on opportunities. Experience opportunities include: clinical, community-based, disaster training, service-based, simulation, study-abroad. NCLEX licensing exam pass rates are nearly 91%. RN track courses (Fort Worth campus) are a combination of hybrid or blended learning. The TSU BSN program is competitive for preadmission. Graduates might pursue careers such as: Community Health Nurse; Flight Nurse; Hospital Nurse; Occupational Health Nurse; Pediatric Nurse; School Nurse; Travel Nurse.

The BSN degree at Tarleton requires a total of 120 credits. In the traditional track, students take pre-nursing lower division courses before applying to the BSN program. For both this track and the LVN to BSN track,successful completion results in a BS Nursing degree, and students are prepared for the NCLEX professional licensing exam for Registered Nurses. For the RN to BSN track, students will have completed 59 credits of general education courses. Note that this latter track is available only at the Fort Worth campus.

Sample courses include:

  • Nursing Pharmacology
  • Foundations of Nursing Care
  • Intro to Family & Community Health Nursing
  • Nursing Care Adults w Complex Needs
  • Nursing Management & Leadership

Campus or HQ: Stephenville, Texas.

7

Texas A & M International University

Average Tuition: $6,635

Program Website

texas-am-international-university

Nursing programs are offered by the Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing, which is part of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Texas A & M International University (TAMIU) is part of the Texas A&M University System, which is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The nursing programs (bachelor’s- and master’s-level) are further accredited by the Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON). Canseco is one of eight nursing schools that are in the TAMU system. The school has been ranked #1 for Student Retention, #3 for Highest Mobility Rate (income), #5 for Best Value Tuition and #5 in the Top Ten Best Bang for the Buck for Southern Universities, college review lists published by several top publications.

TAMIU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with two entry and completion paths. The first is a traditional Basic track for new nursing students, while the other is an online degree-completion RN to BSN track for currently-licensed RNs holding an associate’s degree.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science In Nursing
  • RN/BSN (online)

The Basic track BSN program prepares students for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Pass rates for the NCLEX for TAMIU graduates have been between 94-95% for the years 2014-2016. All students graduating from the BSN program have received job offers. The program is competitve and TAMIU states that admission is not guaranteed even with the completion of prerequisite courses.

The BSN program requires a total of 120 credits, with nursing courses starting in semester four, for the Basic track (four years full-time). The RN track has a timeline of 18 months and admits students in the Spring semester. RNs are granted 34 transfer credits upon completion of the course Nursing Roles and Practice Transition.

Sample courses include:

  • Nutrition
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cultural Determinants
  • Childbearing and Women’s Health

Campus or HQ: Laredo, Texas.

8

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Average Tuition: $6,754

Program Website

university_texas_hsc

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, now known as UT Health San Antonio (UTHSA) is part of the University of Texas System. Nursing programs are offered through the School of Nursing. Institutional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

UTHSA offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with two entry/ completion paths. The first track is a degree completion program for students not yet registered nurses but who have completed the necessary lower-division courses. The second track is an accelerated program for students who hold a non-nursing Bachelor of Science degree or higher and wish to also complete a BSN followed by RN licensing.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) – Traditional
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) – Accelerated

UTHSA’s BSN degree program prepares students for careers in nursing with a focus on leadership, research, compassionate care and community service. Nursing students have the benefit of access to UTHSA’s university hospital — located less than a mile from the School of Nursing — as well as a number of clinics and associated teaching hospitals in the San Antonio area. Upon completion of either BSN track, students are qualified to sit for the NCLEX licensing exam.

The BSN degree’s Traditional track has a timeline of two years (no summers), with admissions in Fall and Spring. Students will have completed 60 credits of lower-division prerequisite course work and need complete 60 more credits (upper-division nursing) over four semesters. The Accelerated track has a 15-month timeline of full-time study, during which time students are recommended not to hold a job. Admission is once per year.

Sample courses include:

  • Concepts of Professional Nursing
  • Foundations of Clinical Nursing Practice: Theoretical Foundations
  • Foundations of Clinical Nursing Practice: Clinical Application
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacotherapeutics

Campus or HQ: San Antonio, Texas.

9

Angelo State University

Average Tuition: $6,892

Program Website

Angelo_State_University

Angelo State University (ASU), which is part of the Texas Tech University System, offers nursing programs through its Department of Nursing. The department is hosted by Archer College of Health and Human Services. Institutional accreditation for the university is from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, while nursing programs are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The U.S. Department of Education has designated ASU as an HSI (Hispanic Serving Institute), which brings in funding that is applied to the entire campus. Achievements including rankings in college review lists by publishers such as The Princeton Review, U.S. News and World Report and others.

ASU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with one entry/ completion path: a Generic four-year program for new nursing students. (A second track, an RN-to-BSN option, is still active but is no longer taking new students.)

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Generic)

The BSN program at ASU has the intent of training future nurses who have a goal of improving the health of not just individuals but also groups and communities, locally and globally. In addition to learning through coursework, students have access to the department’s High-Fidelity Simulation Laboratory, which has amongst its features and resources four computer-controlled, life-like mannequins for clinical practice.

The BSN program requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Of that, 90 credits are covered by prerequisite/ general education courses, including lower-division nursing courses. The remaining 30 credits are for upper division nursing courses. Students benefit from faculty with clinical experience in several settings who are committed to providing one-on-one attention during office hours — both for coursework and career goals.

Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Principles of Nutrition for the Health Care Professional
  • Basic Statistics for Healthcare Professionals
  • Computer Applications for Healthcare Professionals
  • Microbiology for Health Professionals

Campus or HQ: San Angelo, Texas.

10

West Texas A & M University

Average Tuition: $6,918

Program Website

West Texas A&M University

West Texas A & M University (WTAMU) is home to the College of Nursing and Health, which offers nursing programs through its Department of Nursing. The university is part of the Texas A&M University System, with institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Nursing program are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The university has ranked in numerous publishers’ college review lists, including four times in 2016 in U.S. News & World Report, for both undergrad and graduate online programs.

WTAMU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with two entry/ completion paths. One track (on-campus) is for current LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses) seeking a BSN and RN (Registered Nurse) status. The other track (online) is for currently-licensed RNs seeking a BSN.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN for LVNs)
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)

The nursing department’s programs have been around since 1974, and the online RN track of the BSN is the fourth most-popular major for undergraduates at WTAMU. This and other online programs at the university have earned it several “online bachelor’s” rankings in lists published by U.S. News. The RN track’s course work is completely online, with in-person practicum experiences, while the LVN track is on-campus only. Graduates of the latter are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam.

This BSN degree requires a minimum 120 credits for completion, for either track, including any transfer credits granted for prior coursework in obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing. RN track can be completed in as little as one year. Working nurses can also choose to take longer, to suit their job schedule.

Sample courses include:

  • Leadership
  • Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
  • Biostatistics
  • Populations

Campus or HQ: Canyon, Texas.

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