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The List: Top rated nursing schools in Texas

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Texas is the largest state in the contiguous U.S. in terms of land area, and it’s full of colleges and universities. Many of these have great nursing programs, according to our Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools. As you may expect, the schools on the list are located in a variety of settings, from the college town state capital of Austin to the large Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

This list is part of our series highlighting the top schools in different regions around the nation; check out the top schools in other regions here.

Additionally, if you’ve already been through nursing school, don’t forget to rate your own school or alma mater at The Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools and leave comments about your personal experience to help out those who may be thinking about following in your footsteps. Got a question about a school? Leave a comment on the school’s page and the Scrubs community will help find an answer.

1. Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

Lubbock is the farthest city west on our list and is in the northwestern part of the state, about a five-hour drive from the New Mexico border. The town itself has around 235,000 people, though including the larger metro area moves that number up to around 300,000.

The undergraduate program at the school offers a traditional BSN, a second degree BSN and a RN-BSN program. The first two are on-campus programs, while the RN-BSN program is an online program that allows nurses to continue working while earning their bachelor’s degree. At the graduate level, the school offers master’s degrees in administration, education and APRN with a variety of focus areas. The school also offers a DNP program.

2. University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

For those who want to attend a university with a large enrollment, you may want to consider the University of Texas at Austin, which is consistently one of the the top 10 universities in the U.S. with the largest student populations. The school currently has around 51,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

The ADN to BSN degree is one that can be completed entirely online on a part-time basis. Most of the other programs must be completed on-campus, including the traditional BSN, MSN and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The Alternate Entry Master of Science in Nursing is a unique program for those who hold bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees in a concentration other than nursing. There is also an Alternate Entry Doctor of Philosophy program available.

3. Texas Christian University
Fort Worth

TCU is located in one of the largest metro areas in the country, the Dallas-Fort Worth area (commonly called the Metroplex). And though it has a much smaller enrollment than UT Austin, TCU’s student body of around 10,000 is large enough for many who want a big school.

The school offers two undergraduate programs (traditional BSN and Accelerated BSN) and two graduate programs (BSN to MSN and DNP). The DNP is completed entirely online.

4. University of Texas at Galveston
Galveston, Texas

Though it’s still part of the University of Texas system, we wanted to look at the Galveston campus specifically because of the city’s smaller population and location on the coast of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. The city only has around 50,000 residents, but it is located less than an hour from Houston for those who crave a big city environment.

The school began as the John Sealy Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1890, making it the oldest nursing school in the Southwest. The school offers a traditional BSN, Accelerated BSN and RN to BSN programs in its undergraduate department. There are a number of specialties in the master’s program, and BSN to PhD and MSN to PhD programs also are offered.

5. University of Incarnate Word
San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas, with around 1.3 million residents. The town is home to many universities, including a University of Texas campus, a Texas A&M campus, Our Lady of the Lake University and University of the Incarnate Word.

While the University of the Incarnate Word offers a full-time traditional BSN degree, many of the courses are designed for working nurses. Both the RN to BSN and RN to MSN tracks allow nurses to take courses at night and/or online to complete the degree while working. The school also offers a DNP degree.

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