Best Nursing Schools in Houston

Updated on January 12, 2024

At a Glance

  • Houston is home to over 20 nursing schools offering a mix of undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Top nursing schools in Houston are ranked based on factors like admission selectivity, affordability, reputation, and career outcomes
  • Houston nursing schools provide hands-on clinical experience and have high NCLEX pass rates
  • Nursing students in Houston have access to world-class medical facilities for clinical rotations

Houston is home to over 20 nursing schools that offer a mix of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. With so many options to choose from, it can be tough deciding which nursing school is the right fit. This article profiles the top 10 nursing schools in Houston based on factors like admissions selectivity, affordability, reputation, and career outcomes.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Location: Houston, TX

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: Very Competitive

Tuition: $8,878 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $75,030

Website: https://nursing.uth.edu/

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing is one of the most prestigious nursing schools in Texas. UTHealth is highly selective, with less than 15% of applicants admitted to the BSN program. Graduates consistently score above state and national averages on the NCLEX-RN exam. UTHealth nursing students get early clinical experience at world-class Texas Medical Center hospitals.

Houston Baptist University

Location: Houston, TX

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Avg SAT Score: 1090

Tuition: $34,170 per year

Avg Salary: $65,500

Website: https://nursing.hbu.edu/

Houston Baptist University’s College of Nursing and Allied Health has a traditional BSN program and an accelerated BSN program for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree. Small class sizes under 30 students facilitate close relationships between faculty and peers. The school has cutting-edge simulation labs to hone essential nursing skills. Over 97% of graduates pass the NCLEX-RN exam on their first try.

Prairie View A&M University

Location: Prairie View, TX

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Tuition: $7,284 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $59,000

Website: https://www.pvamu.edu/nursing/

Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing offers an undergraduate BSN, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN program. Nursing students get hands-on practice at the on-campus medical simulation building. Graduates consistently surpass state and national averages on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. PVAMU has one of the most affordable nursing programs in the state.

Chamberlain College of Nursing

Location: Pearland, TX

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: Moderate selectivity

Tuition: $44,040 per year

Avg Salary: $72,000

Website: https://www.chamberlain.edu/houston

Chamberlain College of Nursing offers exceptional training in simulated hospital settings featuring high-tech mannequins. Students gain extensive experience in all major specialties through the school’s relationships with Houston-area medical facilities. Chamberlain has flexible 3-year BSN, post-baccalaureate BSN, MSN, and DNP programs taught by experienced nurse educators. Chamberlain BSN graduates have an outstanding 97% NCLEX pass rate.

University of Saint Thomas

Location: Houston, TX

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 77%

Avg SAT Score: 1180

Tuition: $33,500 per year

Avg Salary: $69,800

Website: https://www.stthom.edu/Public/Index.asp?SEC=School_of_Nursing&Type=B

University of Saint Thomas offers a full-time, part-time, and accelerated BSN program featuring rigorous academics grounded in Catholic faith-based values. Small class sizes promote close collaboration and mentoring relationships between students and faculty. Over 98% of first-time test takers pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The school provides case management and disease prevention practicums within the Houston community.

Texas Woman’s University

Location: Houston, TX

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Tuition: $8,026 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $72,790

Website: https://twu.edu/nursing/

Texas Woman’s University Eleanor Wade College of Nursing offers comprehensive online and face-to-face BSN and MSN programs taught by distinguished faculty. The school prides itself on training highly competent nurses equipped to provide patient-centered care. TWU graduates pass the NCLEX-RN exam at significantly higher rates than state and national averages. Many opportunities are available for clinical rotations within Houston’s nationally-ranked medical facilities.

San Jacinto College

Location: Pasadena, TX

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $3,264 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $51,000

Website: https://www.sanjac.edu/career/nursing/nursing-rn-adn-day

San Jacinto College has an affordable registered nursing education program leading to an ADN and eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN exam. It offers an RN transition track for paramedics and LVNs seeking to advance their knowledge and scope of practice. The curriculum provides early hands-on clinical experience through multiple Houston-area health systems partnerships. San Jac graduates consistently meet or exceed national pass rates on the RN licensing exam.

Lone Star College

Location: Houston, TX

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: Competitive

Tuition: $2,290 per year (in-state)

Avg Salary: $54,000

Website: https://www.lonestar.edu/nurs-pre-nursing-lpn-rn-bsn.htm

Lone Star College System has one of the largest, most affordable registered nursing programs in Texas. In addition to an ADN degree, Lone Star College offers LVN-to-RN, RN-to-BSN, and paramedic-to-RN bridge tracks making it easy to advance your nursing education. The program uses cutting-edge simulation technology and has clinical partnership agreements with major Houston metropolitan hospitals and clinics.

Covenant School of Nursing

Location: Houston, TX

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: Moderately Competitive

Tuition: $28,635 per year

Avg Salary: $60,500

Website: https://www.csnedu.org/

Covenant School of Nursing is a small faith-based program designed to nurture caring and compassionate nurses reflecting Christ-centered values. Students gain extensive hands-on experience in Covenant’s faith-based hospital system during clinical rotations. Graduates consistently achieve excellent first-time pass rates on the RN licensure exam. Many students receive scholarships or financial aid to make earning a BSN more affordable.

Galen College of Nursing

Location: San Antonio, TX

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: Moderately Competitive

Tuition: $35,990 per year

Avg Salary: $58,000

Website: https://galencollege.edu/campuses/texas

Galen College of Nursing offers accelerated BSN programs lasting just 15-18 months so students can enter the workforce quickly. Coursework emphasizes hands-on learning in simulation labs and clinical placements within major hospital systems. NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rates consistently exceed state and national averages. Many Galen students receive scholarships or qualify for financial aid to fund their BSN.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What degree programs do Houston nursing schools offer?

Most nursing schools in Houston offer several program options including Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), accelerated BSN for students who already have a bachelor’s degree, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), RN to MSN programs, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. Many schools also have LVN to RN and Paramedic to RN bridge programs.

How competitive is admission to Houston nursing schools?

Admission into many top Houston nursing schools like UT Health Science Center and Chamberlain College of Nursing is very competitive with rigorous entrance requirements. Other schools like San Jacinto College and Lone Star College have higher acceptance rates but still require meeting grade point average minimums and other standards.

How much does it cost to attend nursing school in Houston?

Nursing school tuition varies widely from around $3,000 per year for an ADN at community colleges like San Jacinto to over $40,000 per year for private, accelerated BSN programs. Public Texas schools offer discounted in-state tuition rates. Most students qualify for financial aid or scholarships to help cover costs.

Where do nursing students do clinical rotations?

Thanks to Houston’s world-renowned Texas Medical Center complex, nursing students gain invaluable clinical experience at cutting-edge hospital systems like MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas Children’s Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and St. Luke’s Hospital. This extensive clinical training better prepares graduates to excel in their future nursing careers.

What is the average salary for Houston nurses?

The average salary for registered nurses in Houston ranges from around $50,000 per year for ADN graduates working at entry-level nursing jobs to over $75,000 per year for highly experienced BSN nurses in specialized roles at major medical facilities. Houston nurses earn some of the highest nursing salaries nationwide.

How are Houston nursing graduates rated on the NCLEX exam?

Most Houston nursing schools have exceptional NCLEX-RN first time pass rates of 90% and higher, far surpassing state and national averages. This demonstrates the outstanding quality of nursing education provided by schools across the Greater Houston area. Graduates are extremely well-prepared to pass the RN licensure exam on their first attempt.

Should I get a BSN or ADN degree in nursing?

A 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) provides maximum career flexibility and scope of practice as an RN. However, many students choose shorter, affordable ADN programs through community colleges to qualify for entry-level RN positions more quickly before pursuing an RN-to-BSN degree. Weigh costs, program length and hospital hiring requirements when deciding.

What financial assistance is available for nursing school?

Many forms of financial aid can help pay for nursing school including federal student loans, nursing scholarships, loan repayment programs, tuition reimbursement programs, and employee sponsorship programs. Attending an affordable public nursing school and living at home while studying can significantly reduce total costs.

Should I attend nursing school in Houston or near my home?

It is wise to apply to quality nursing schools both in the Houston area and close to home. Attending a Houston nursing school allows immersive clinical training at world-class medical facilities that hire many new graduates. But staying local with family support can minimize living expenses and out-of-state tuition rates at some colleges.

What is the job outlook for Houston nurses?

The job outlook for nurses in Houston and nationwide is extremely positive due to the growing aging population requiring more healthcare services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Houston has the fourth highest levels of RN job growth of any metropolitan region through 2026, making it an ideal location to launch your nursing career after graduation.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.