The nursing field offers stable, in-demand careers with opportunities to help people. However, getting into a nursing program can be competitive, with long waiting lists at many schools. For those seeking to start their nursing education soon, Texas has options without lengthy wait times.
This guide covers nursing schools across the Lone Star State that generally have openings and don’t maintain waiting lists. We’ll explore program details, admission requirements, costs and available financial aid. You can choose the best nursing program for your goals and situation by learning about various options.
Let’s get started exploring nursing schools in Texas with availability.
Choosing a Nursing Program
When selecting a nursing school, consider factors like location, program types, accreditation, costs and graduation rates. Researching these aspects upfront helps ensure good fit and success.
Nursing programs award different degrees:
Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) – Takes two years full-time. Upon graduation, you’re eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) – Typically takes four years full-time. In addition to RN licensure, a BSN opens more advanced practice and leadership roles. Many Magnet hospitals now prefer BSNs for new RN hires.
Accelerated BSN – For those with a non-nursing bachelor’s. Completes BSN prerequisites and nursing courses in 16-28 months. It is more intensive than a traditional BSN.
Master’s Entry in Nursing (MN) – For non-nurses seeking a Master’s in Nursing (MSN) without a BSN. Takes 2-3 years.
Accredited schools meet quality standards, and students graduate eligible to sit for RN licensure. In Texas, nursing programs must have accreditation through either:
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Always confirm that the program you choose maintains proper accreditation status. This protects your education investment.
Government websites publish nursing program outcomes like graduation rates. Schools that consistently graduate 60-70% or more of each cohort are achieving good results. Ask programs about support services to help ensure your success.
With this background, let’s explore specific nursing schools in Texas accepting applications now.
Nursing Schools with No Waiting List
Here are some top options around the state that generally have openings for qualified applicants:
1. El Paso Community College, El Paso
EPCC has campuses across El Paso and offers an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. The program admits twice annually in fall and spring. Admission is competitive based on weighted criteria like GPA, TEAS scores, references and experience. Graduation rates exceed 60%. Tuition is about $3,500 annually for in-district residents. EPCC also provides extensive academic and financial support services.
2. San Jacinto College, Pasadena
This large community college system outside Houston enrols students into an ADN track each summer and fall. Acceptance depends on meeting prerequisites and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Program costs are around $3,000 annually, and financial aid is available. San Jacinto boasts strong NCLEX pass rates and career services to help smooth the transition to work.
3. Austin Community College, Austin
ACC has campuses across Austin and the surrounding area. It operates one of the largest RN programs in the state, admitting over 300 nursing students each fall, spring and summer. Requirements include C+ grades or better in prerequisites plus a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Tuition runs approximately $4,000 per academic year. ACC works to support diverse learners through counselling, tutoring and more.
4. Texas State Technical College, Waco
This college encompasses campuses statewide with a focus on applied sciences. Its Associate’s Degree in Nursing accepts students each fall and spring. To qualify, undergraduates need a 2.75 GPA, and LPNs/paramedics require a 2.5. Financial aid counselling helps offset the roughly $4,000 yearly cost. Hands-on training through state-of-the-art simulation prepares graduates for high-demand licensure and jobs.
5. Tarrant County College, Fort Worth
As a large community college, TCC offers affordable nursing education across eight campuses. Acceptance into the Associate’s Degree program happens three times a year in spring, summer and fall. Students must carry, at minimum, a 2.75 prerequisite GPA—comprehensive services from tutoring to mental health counselling support student success. Yearly tuition runs approximately $3,300.
6. Texarkana College, Texarkana
Located on the Texas-Arkansas border, Texarkana College accepts pre-nursing students directly into its Associate’s Degree track each fall. Students complete prerequisites concurrently or beforehand with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program maintains accreditation from ACEN, and graduates demonstrate strong licensure pass rates. Tuition is approximately $4,000 per academic year.
These represent excellent options to earn an affordable nursing education without yearslong waits. Now, let’s dig deeper into the costs and financial assistance available.
Managing Nursing Program Costs
While the long-term career prospects and rewards of nursing often outweigh upfront schooling expenses, the costs can still present a hurdle for many. Fortunately, several aid sources help fund nursing education in Texas.
In-State Tuition Rates
Community colleges charge far less tuition than four-year institutions due to state subsidization. Average annual community college nursing program tuition runs $3,000-$4,000 for Texas residents. Even at universities, in-state rates help reduce overall budgets compared to paying out-of-state prices. Establishing residency takes one year if relocating to Texas.
Need-based Pell Grants provide up to $6,495 annually for undergraduate education costs. To qualify, complete the FAFSA form using financial data from tax returns. Texas Public Education Grants distribute additional aid with priority to those receiving Pell awards already. Apply early for maximum grant potential.
Seek out nursing-specific scholarships from professional organizations, employers and nonprofits. Start researching now to identify March-May deadlines. Useful free tools like Fastweb.com match profiles to thousands of awards. Consider contacting hospitals for employed-based scholarship/repayment programs too.
Taking out only subsidized federal student loans helps minimize expenses with low fixed rates. These accrue no interest during enrollment. Unsubsidized loans or private options charge from day one, so use them conservatively. Ask financial aid offices about aggregate and annual borrowing limits. Repayment assistance programs exist based on income.
Working While in School
Some nursing programs permit part-time employment, which can offset costs, though full work-study isn’t advised. Consider campus jobs, flexible evening/weekend healthcare roles or working as a nurses’ aide in the summers. Carefully balance work hours against class/clinical commitments, though.
With layered aid strategies, it’s possible to fund a nursing education cost-effectively. Speak to multiple schools about total out-of-pocket projections, given your situation. No single option will suit all.
By now, you’ve gained a solid overview of nursing degree levels, schools to consider, costs and financial assistance available. Let’s wrap up with final thoughts on preparing your application.
To gain admission to nursing programs in Texas that don’t maintain waiting lists, focus on:
- Completing prerequisite coursework with high grades. Aim for A’s whenever possible, as admission is competitive. Consider retaking any C’s or repeating harder classes.
- Crushing the TEAS entrance exam. Use ample practice tests and targeted study in areas like math, reading comprehension and science. Raise scores as the test can heavily impact admissions chances.
- Securing strong references from science professors or healthcare employers. They’ll speak to your academic abilities and interpersonal skills, which are essential for nursing success.
- Gaining related experience through jobs as nurses’ aides, medical assistants or volunteer opportunities. Hands-on exposure shows genuine interest in the field.
- Having your application dossier complete with transcripts, TEAS scores, and references on file by priority deadlines, typically in February through April. Submitting early increases the chances of acceptance for fall start dates.
- Reviewing each program’s application requirements thoroughly and following instructions precisely. Missing even one item can result in disqualification versus reconsideration.
- Checking program-specific GPAs if multi-semester or overall GPAs differ. Programs may consider the stronger one.
By planning ahead and devoting full effort to these areas, your chances of getting into the right nursing school increase substantially. With hard work and dedication, a career in nursing awaits you.
In conclusion, earning a nursing degree offers stable, fulfilling work helping people throughout society. Texas supports this career path through affordable community college programs granting associate’s degrees without lengthy waiting lists. Factoring in costs realistically and leveraging financial aid sets you up for success. Apply smart strategies and focus on topping application requirements to gain admission. Taking the first step in researching programs puts you on track to starting nursing school soon. I hope this guide provided a helpful roadmap – best of luck pursuing your goals.