Nursing in Texas

Published on
June 21, 2023

Is a compact state

Requires its own license

Requires CEUs?

Continued education is not required

Continued education is required (see below)

Average Salary

$79,120 per year

Texas nursing

Ever thought about being a nurse in Texas? The state of Texas has a lot to offer! From warm temperatures, thriving city life, and areas of history. Texas is most notably known for its strong sense of loyalty and influx in transplant life! Like what you're reading so far? Continue on to find out more!

Texas Nursing Salary Breakdown

A registered nurse working in Texas makes on average $79,120 per year ($38.04 per hour). That is 4% lower than the national average for registered nurses. While Texas nurses have a lower-than-average wage, the cost of living in Texas is also lower than in other states. Texas's typical living cost is around $79,517 a year. Depending on where exactly you are residing, there are ways to lower living costs. May be worthwhile to shop around for the highest-paying gig!

This chart gives a great breakdown of what you can expect to pay living here across a number of categories. Before taking a new job or nursing contract, be sure you've factored in the cost of living into your decision to avoid unexpected bills!

It is also important to note this salary is not equal across all cities in Texas and what you get paid as a registered nurse can vary from $59,780 all the way up to $99,070 per year depending on what city you live, what hospital you work at, and your role at the hospital.

We've put together a salary breakdown by city to provide a bit more clarity on what you can expect to take home where you end up working:

  • The Woodlands, Texas: $83,890 per year
  • Dallas, Texas: $82,260 per year
  • Round Rock, Texas: $81,430 per year
  • New Braunfels, Texas: $78,870 per year
  • Killeen, Texas: $77,350 per year
  • Waco, Texas: $74,220 per year
  • Port Arthur, Texas: $74,120 per year
  • Midline, Texas: $74,010 per year
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: $73,930 per year
  • Amarillo, Texas: $73,910 per year

Best Hospitals for Nurses in Texas

With nearly 200 hospitals across the state it can be difficult to choose the best employer for you and your family, but we've done exactly that. Each hospital listed below is highly rated by nurses based on working conditions, nursing opportunities, and patient care standards.

Baylor Scott & White Health

Dallas, TX

$47 per hour

Level I
Glassdoor logo

Memorial Hermann Health System

Houston, TX

$44 per hour

Level I
Glassdoor logo

Houston Methodist

Houston, TX

$110,388 gross per year

Level III
Glassdoor logo

Continuing Education for Texas Nurses

To maintain a nursing license in Texas, registered nurses are required to complete 20 hours contact hours of CNE's prior to the licensing period.

Registered Nurse requirements:

Contact hours are described as the specific number of hours maintained while doing education specific to a nurse's specialty. Registered nurse's are required to have 20 contact hours with their continued education completed before they can renew their license.

Licensed Practical Nurse requirements:

LPN's licensed in the state of Texas need 20 contact hours of CEU's prior to renewing their license. LPN's are required to renew their license every two years.

(Note that these are requirements only listed on the Texas Board of Nursing. Your hospital may have more requirements and it is best to ask upon being hired!)

Texas Nursing License

Below will be step by step instructions for nursing students on how to apply for your Texas nursing license specifically. If you currently do not hold a nursing license and want to learn how to obtain one then keep reading!

How to get your Texas Nursing License

After you have made it through nursing school, earned your degree (associate's degree or bachelor's degree), and passed the NCLEX exam ($200 fee), the final steps to get your nursing license is quite simple! There's only a few things you need to do in order to start working in Texas.

Step 1 - Apply

The state of Texas has an online licensing portal where you need to create an account. From there, you must input your information using a valid email address (quick tip: don't use your school email! Use a personal one if possible). There is a $75 application fee when applying for a Texas nursing license.

Step 2 - Submit your nursing school affidavit

Whenever you finish and graduate from an accredited nursing program your transcripts can be sent specifically to one state. Graduating from a school in Texas, your school will automatically send your affidavit electronically to the Texas Board of Nursing unless you specify otherwise. If you are coming from an out of state nursing school, the dean at your school will need to send an affidavit of graduation to the Texas Board of Nursing.

Step 3 - Submit your Background Check

Final step in the licensing process! After your application is submitted you will need to schedule an appointment for fingerprints. Sign up with MorphoTrust USA here and schedule your appointment. There are locations all throughout Texas and your fingerprints are sent electronically, so you will not receive a fingerprint card. If you would like a fingerprint card you may find the number for IdentiGo here and use the service code given on the website to get a hard print card.

If you are out of state and wanting to send in fingerprints, sign up online with MorphoTrust USA and click Submit a Fingerprint Card by mail. From there you will fill out the information, pay the fee online, and then print the scan bar code that is given to you. Once you receive your fingerprint card you can mail those to the Texas Board of Nursing with the printed paper from MorphoTrust USA.

Step 4- Complete the Online Nursing Jurisprudence Examination

Fifteen days after your application go to the Texas Board of Nursing website to apply for the Online Nursing Jurisprudence Exam. After creating an account, you will be able to take the exam. Essentially this exam covers all of the laws and regulations over nursing in Texas. You can take this exam at home, once you start it will open the test in a separate window. You can access the Texas Board of Nursing website as you take the exam, however you cannot access anywhere else online during the exam. You must pass with a 75%. If you fail the exam you may retake it in 24 hours. The cost of the exam is covered in your application fee.

RN License by Endorsement application online

This process is for a registered nurse who already has their license in another state, but would like to specifically hold a license in Texas. Be sure to go to Nursys and create an account as well if you don't already have one!

Step 1 - Send Transcripts and Apply for Licensure

First step in the application process is sending your official transcript to the Texas State Board of Nursing. Request your nursing school to send your transcripts via electronically or mail (mailing address below). The sooner this is done the faster you will be licensed to practice. Texas accepts bachelor or associate program degree nurses.

Texas Board of Nursing
1801 Congress Avenue, Suite 10-200
Austin, Texas 78701

Go the the Texas State Board of Nursing licensing portal here and apply online for licensure in Texas!

Step 2 - Verify Nursing License

Next you will verify passing the NCLEX exam and license number associated with your state via NURSYS. Texas accepts NURSYS, or if your state does not participate you will have your licensure information sent directly to the state board of nursing.

While you complete the two first steps, set up an appointment to get your fingerprint card. Fingerprints are required to be done through MorphTrust USA if you are out of state. Pre-enroll with MorphTrust and go to one of their IdentiGO locations after setting up an appointment.

Step 3- Take the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam

Go the the Texas Board of Nursing website and register for the online jurisprudence exam. After registering you will be able to take the exam online. There will be a separate portal that pops up when you take the exam. You can only access the Texas Board of Nursing website during the exam, no other outside links will be available. There is also an online prep course if you would like to study prior.

How to Renew your Texas License

Texas requires 20 hours of contact CEUs every two years to renew a registered nursing license. CEUs must be completed through a continuing education provider recognized by the Texas Board of Nursing. Be sure to complete CEUs during your renewal period (over the course of two years). If your nurse license lapses or expires, continue reading on what to do next.

Step 1 - Be aware of Important Deadlines

Be aware of when your Texas nursing license will expire. To check activity status on an RN license number, Texas uses the Nursys online system. Note: the initial two years of having your Texas license might not be a full two years. Once your Texas license is accepted it will be valid for two birthdays. After your second birthday has passed (having a TX license) it will expire at the end of your birthday month. After you renew, then it will expire every two full years. Also use Nursys to sign up for license renewal reminders. You will be mailed a renewal reminder three months prior to the license expiration to your last known address.

Your license will expire on the very last day of your birth month. If you were born in an odd numbered year, you will renew on an odd numbered year. If you were born on an even numbered year, then you will renew on an even numbered year. Apply to renew your nursing licenses here on the Texas State Board of Nursing website.

Step 2 - Complete CEUs (Half Way There!)

20 hours of contact CEUs are required for RNs every two years. A lot of certified CEU providers can be found online! Either through the Texas State Board of Nursing, Incredible Health, Nurse Blake's Nurse Con, etc! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to complete all CEUs. CEUs can sometimes be a time consuming process.

Step 3 - Pay Fees

To renew your Texas nursing license there is a $68 fee. If you miss the deadline to renew there may be an extra charge for delinquent fees.

License Fees for First Time Nurses

There are a number of fees due when applying for a brand new nursing license. RN programs are good about telling new graduates prior to graduation so you have plenty of time to save up. The RN license requirements include a $300 fee to apply. If you are an out of state graduate and want to apply for a Texas license it is then a $150(this includes application fee and NCLEX fee). ****Fingerprints are around $49 to get as well.

License Fees when Moving to Texas

When you are moving to Texas from an outside state there is a fee of $350 to apply for licensure. Fingerprints will also be need to be done as well, which is a $49 fee. Official transcripts will need to be sent from your nursing program (all schools and all transcripts!) which vary per school.

Texas Nursing FAQs

Is there a Nursing Shortage in Texas?

Absolutely, yes! The nursing shortage can be felt in hospitals clear across the US. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic only worsened the shortage issues and this includes the state of Texas. While most of the data for the staffing issues are anecdotal evidence, there are a few numbers to back up this claim. In 2020 11% of nurses claimed to be looking into different career opportunities and had strong feelings to leave bedside nursing altogether. In 2021 a whopping 30% of nurses said to have strong feelings to leave the bedside. Read more about the nursing shortage crisis in our article Nursing Shortage Across America.

What Kind of Nurses get Paid the Most?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist get paid the most compared to any other kind of nursing field. With an average salary of $232,540 per year or $111.80 per hour. That is around 14% higher than the national average for their career.

What City in Texas Pays Nurses the Most?

Houston, Texas pays registered the nurses the most compared to any other city in the state. Houston RN average salary is around $83,890 per year.

What is the Average Salary for Nurses in Texas?

A registered nurse working in Texas makes on average $79,120 per year. That is 4% lower than the national average for registered nurses and comes out to around $39.78 per hour. While Texas nurses have a lower-than-average wage, the cost of living in Texas is also lower than in most states. The typical cost of living in Texas comes out to around $79,120 a year.

How much does a new RN make in Texas?

A new graduate rn can make around $67,459 to $85,971 per year once graduated from a nursing program. Take into account location, living costs, the type of specialty, and the level of education you have as a new graduate.

Do Texas Nurses need to complete continuing education?

Texas nurses do need to complete continuing education. Depending on if you are a new graduate nurse or renewing your rn license depends on CEU requirements. Full time rn's renewing their license have to complete 20 contact hours of CEU's required by the board of nursing to renew your license.

How many continuing education hours do nurses need in Texas?

Nurses in Texas are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education to renew their license every two years.

How do I renew my Nursing license in Texas?

A couple months prior to your renewal date the state board of nursing will send you an email. The email will have all of the details and requirements needed to renew your rn license. You will need to have completed 20 hours of CEU's required for every nurse in the state of Texas prior to renewing your license and then pay the fee at the time of renewing your license.

Additional Resources for Texas Nurses

Texas Board of Nursing

The Texas Board of Nursing is in charge of creating and enforcing rules regarding nursing licensure in the state. The board's website also offers helpful information about renewal, educational requirements, and the state's nursing workforce.

Texas Nursing License E-Notify System

Sign up on Nursys to get automatic alerts for your Texas Nursing License such as renewal reminders and discipline alerts.

Texas Nurses Association

The Texas Nurses Association has represent RNs since 1907 throughout the state. The group also advocates for the nursing profession in state government through its political action committee and helps with CEU's.

National Nurses United (Texas)

This state group is part of the larger National Nurses United, a professional association and union promoting progressive policies in the nursing field.

Nurse Practitioners of Texas

This association offers a variety of resources for prospective nurse practitioners. Members can access a job board, attend an annual conference, and take advantage of continuing education opportunities.

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