Are you interested in becoming a registered nurse in Texas? As the demand for nurses across the country increases, the Lone Star State expects a shortage of 60,000 registered nurses by 2030. Federal projections have called for a 24.1% increase in the number of registered nurses in Texas by 2026.
If there was ever a good time to become a registered nurse in Texas, it is now. Understanding the state’s nursing board requirements will be necessary for those interested in becoming a nurse in Texas. Fast CE For Less has created this guide on the Nursing Board requirements for becoming a registered nurse in Texas to help those who are interested to understand how to become licensed in the state.
To give you a complete overview, we will discuss the state’s licensure requirements to initially become a registered nurse in Texas. After that, we will discuss how you can get license renewal through continuing education courses.
How to Become a Registered Nurse in Texas
To become a registered nurse in Texas, you must undergo years of education and training, pass nursing exams, and acquire your license. Once you begin working as a nurse in any healthcare setting in Texas, you will need to complete nursing continuing education courses to renew your license.
In Texas, nursing licensure is handled by the Texas Board of Nursing, also called the BON. Becoming a nurse in the Lone Star State effectively carries three steps:
- Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) degree or an Associate degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Passing approved exams for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN and Texas Nursing Jurisprudence exam)
- Complete nursing continuing education courses for license renewal
It is common for many prospective nurses to become registered nurses in Texas after completing a two-year degree. However, obtaining a BSN to qualify for a position in this field is becoming increasingly desired.
Obtaining A BSN or Associate’s Degree in Texas
Texas offers 66 two-year associate programs and 38 BSN programs. You can check out this link to learn more about the courses you must complete for this purpose. Ideally, nurses completing a BSN have a better chance of securing top nursing jobs in the Lone Star State.
To be very clear, you do not need to attend nursing school in Texas alone to become a registered nurse there. You must obtain your BSN or associate’s degree from an accredited nursing degree program. The Texas BON also approves graduates who have completed pre-licensure nursing education programs approved by the nursing boards in other states. You can attend an accredited pre-licensure nursing program in any state or even take an online degree program.
Obtaining Licensure as a Registered Nurse in Texas Through an Approved Exam
To become a registered nurse in Texas, all applicants without a license must apply for their licensure in the Lone Star State through an exam. You can start the process to apply for the licensure while you are completing your BSN or associate degree. Suppose you have a license from another state. In that case, you may be eligible to apply for licensure as a registered nurse in Texas through endorsement.
Before you can take the exam to obtain a license as a registered nurse, you must first determine whether you are eligible for it. You must proactively declare any criminal history to the board when completing an application. You can use the Initial Licensure Applications portal to complete your online application process.
Providing your fingerprints and submitting a criminal background must also be done to complete your application. You must go through the approved channels for these tests since these bodies will send the results directly to the BON for approval. You must also pass two exams to receive your license as a registered nurse in Texas: the NCLEX-RN and the Texas nursing jurisprudence examination.
Before you take the NCLEX-RN examination, you must pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence program, offered by the BON on its website. You can apply for the NCLEX-RN exam once you get approval from the BON through the nursing jurisprudence examination.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps involved in applying for a registered nurse license in Texas:
- Submit your application
- Pay the application fee
- Clear the criminal background check and undergo fingerprinting
- Take and pass the NCLEX-RN and nursing jurisprudence examinations
- Submit an affidavit of graduation
After you complete these steps, the BON will send you your nursing license, and you can effectively begin working as a registered nurse in Texas.
Obtaining Licensure as a Registered Nurse in Texas Through Endorsement for Out-Of-State Applicants
If you have previously held licensure as a registered nurse in another state, you can obtain a registered nurse license in Texas through endorsement and circumvent the examination process. To endorse your nursing license, you will have to submit proof of graduating from an accredited program, worked as a nurse, and passed the NCLEX-RN exam.
Here is a quick overview of the steps to obtain a registered nurse license as an out-of-state applicant:
- Complete and submit the online endorsement application
- Undergo fingerprinting and clear the check
- Pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence examination
- Submit verification of your license from the previous state
15 days after completing the process, the BON will give you a 120-day temporary license that you can use while you wait for the board to issue your permanent license as a registered nurse in Texas.
Continuing Education Courses to Renew Your License and Certification
Texas requires registered nurses to take and complete nursing continuing education courses. Each state has its own requirements on how often registered nurses must complete nursing CEUs. For Texas, you must complete 20 contact hours of nursing continuing education courses after every two years. You can check out the nursing continuing education requirements for Texas at www.fastceforless.com/nursing-ce-texas/.
If you are already licensed as a registered nurse and nearing the time to renew your license, the online nursing CEUs available from Fast CE For Less at www.fastceforless.com offer you a convenient, affordable, and easy solution.