Texas is the largest of the contiguous United States, and has the second largest population, so it is logical that there are many, many jobs for registered nurses (RNs) there. Because of its geographic size, though, the state is divided into many metropolitan areas, and has lots of less populous rural communities as well. There are plenty of opportunities for nurse practitioners in Texas, but the pay differs widely between the major cities and the smaller towns. The Texas Board of Nursing handles all licensure needs for the state, and nurses wishing to practice there may apply for the following types of license:
- Registered Nurses
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, such as Nurse Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, and Clinical Nursing Specialists.
- Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurses
- Certified Nurse’s Assistants and Aides
Nursing Licensure in Texas
Texas is a member-state of the Nurse Licensure Compact, which means that nurses with a license in another Compact state can practice without re-applying. Nursing students applying for their first license in Texas must fulfill the following requirements:
- Submit an online or paper application with proof of completed nursing education and the required number of clinical practice hours or contact hours.
- Submit your fingerprints for verification (you may or may not be required to do this, depending on the type of license you apply for and whether it is your first time applying.)
- Prove you have met the continuing education requirements, if you are renewing your license, or present proof of completion of nursing education, if this is your first time. Texas requires renewing nurses to prove that they have completed 20 contact hours of continuing education during the past two years to be eligible for license renewal.
Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
Average Nursing Salaries in Texas
All salary data is as of May, 2011.
The mean annual wage of RNs in Texas is $67,580, but there are areas of the state where mean RN wages jump above $70,000, as well as areas that dip to around $55,000. The range of wages may be the result of Texas enormous size and population. The table below compares mean annual wages for RNs in various metropolitan areas of Texas to the state and national mean wages for the occupation. All data provided by The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX||10,780||$68,830|
|Corpus Christi, TX||3,520||$63,820|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||50,550||$67,650|
|El Paso, TX||4,860||$63,960|
|Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX||44,600||$74,100|