Nursing Schools in Houston, Texas with Degree Overviews

Multiple schools in the Houston area offer nursing programs. To explore your options and decide which one is a good fit for you, read an overview of the degree program and admission requirements for three nursing schools within about 20 miles of the downtown area.

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Houston Schools with Nursing Programs

There are a number of options in and around Houston for those interested in a nursing education. This article focuses on the program courses and clinical experiences required at three schools. Various stats and facts are also presented in a table for easy comparison of the profiled colleges. Be sure to check out the information on a few other school options for Houston-area students as well.

  • Licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and registered nurse (RN) training are available at Houston Community College, which is located in the city's center. The school offers certificate and associate's degree programs in the field.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston offers nursing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. The campus is roughly four miles from downtown.
  • Situated around 15 miles from central Houston, San Jacinto College can help students begin their nursing careers through certificate and associate's degree programs.

Comparison of Schools

Along with their program offerings, the setting, type of school, student body size and other factors could affect where you choose to study nursing. Take a look at the following table to get more insight into each of the profiled colleges.

Houston Community College The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston San Jacinto College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 57,120* 5,242* 30,509*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $1,632 in-district; $3,360 in-state; $3,756 out-of-state* $10,087 in-state; $33,334 out-of-state* $1,500 in-district; $2,580 in-state; $4,140 out-of-state*
% of Undergraduate Students Receiving Grant or Scholarship Aid (2016-2017) 37%* 56%* 40%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* N/A* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 65% full-time* N/A* 72% full-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 18% (students began Fall 2014)* N/A* 28% (students began Fall 2014)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator.

Houston Community College

Health sciences are taught through Houston CC's Coleman College for Health Sciences, which is affiliated with the Texas Medical Center. Founded in 2004, Coleman provides training in 17 health-related fields, such as diagnostic medical sonography, histology, and radiography. A certificate program in licensed vocational nursing (LVN) and an associate's degree program in registered nursing (RN) are also offered. To enroll in the nursing programs, prospective students must complete prerequisites, have active CPR certification, meet the program's health requirements, and pass a background check and drug screening.

Certificate in Vocational Nursing

This full-time, 3-semester program can be completed in one year; programs begin each fall and spring. Students must fulfill prerequisites in anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. Classes and labs explore practical nursing concepts and skills, health and illness, medication administration, pediatrics, and mental health. Leadership is emphasized. Students participate in clinical experiences during the second and final semesters.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

Students interested in this program must first complete pre-admission courses in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and microbiology. Once admitted, training takes place through classes, labs, and clinical experiences with a focus on nursing skills and practices, pharmacology, and adult health concepts. Specialized topics like family care, mental health, and childbearing are also explored. In the final semester, students review and prepare for the National Council of Licensure Exam for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). An advanced placement pathway is available for those who already have LVN certification.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

The School of Nursing, founded in 1972, offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of formats. The school features research and clinical practice opportunities and is associated with the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked the nursing school's master's degree nursing programs as #41 best in the nation.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students who enter the BSN program have two options. Those already working as RNs can complete a two or three semester RN-BSN pathway, which allows some credit for previous education. Required courses include advanced studies in community health, leadership, and professional practice. A 60-credit, 15-month Pacesetter Program allows students to earn a BSN in four full-time semesters, and includes a breadth of nursing topics covering health assessment, pharmacotherapeutics, pathophysiology, and nursing care across the lifespan; training is provided through classes, labs, and clinical rotations. Both options qualify graduates for the NCLEX-RN.

Master of Science in Nursing

Admission to the master's program varies somewhat depending on the concentration selected, but all students must have at least a BSN, one year of work experience, and a Texas nursing license. MSN students can choose from six clinical concentrations, including nurse education, nurse anesthesia, adult and gerontology acute or primary care, nursing leadership/administration, mental health nursing, and family nurse practitioner. The program was designed to prepare nurses for leadership roles, and those who successfully complete the program also qualify for doctoral studies.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

This post-master's program was created for nurses who want to apply advanced skills towards a practice-based career in evidence-based practice, translational research, and/or nursing leadership. The schedule is flexible, with options to earn the degree in five semesters full-time or eight semesters part-time. In addition to coursework, candidates do a fellowship, participate in seminars, and complete a clinical scholarship portfolio.

Admission requirements include an MSN, a year of professional experience, and a personal essay. Once accepted, students must meet health, safety, and immigration status standards of the nursing school.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

This 66-credit hour program prepares students for nursing leadership positions that integrate nursing theory, practice, and research. Doctoral candidates study the philosophy and science of nursing, research design and methodology, and advanced statistics while learning to develop and test nursing care innovations. A clinical residency and doctoral dissertation must also be completed to earn the degree. The program is offered in full- and part-time formats, with admission requirements similar to those for the DNP program.

San Jacinto College

San Jacinto has four campuses in Houston, together offering more than 230 education options for more than 30,000 students. Aspiring nurses at San Jacinto can earn an LVN certificate or an associate's nursing degree through accredited programs approved by the Texas Board of Nursing.

Level 2 Certificate of Technology in Licensed Vocational Nurse

This one-year program combines coursework with clinical experience to train students in practical nursing. Topics explore nutrition, anatomy, physiology, nursing skills, medication administration, and nursing care across the life span. A capstone experience is required. Graduates may take the NCLEX for practical nursing.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

This program has pathways for those new to nursing, as well as for LVNs and paramedics who want to advance to RN status. Prerequisites for each pathway differ somewhat but generally include anatomy, physiology, pathology, and microbiology. To earn the degree, students complete studies in nursing practice foundations, adult health, pharmacology, pediatrics, family nursing, mental health nursing, and nurse leadership. Training is presented via classroom, lab, and clinical practice. Graduates are qualified for the NCLEX-RN.

Other Schools

Houston Baptist University, a private, not-for-profit school that's about 11 miles from downtown, offers a BSN degree program, while students at Lee College in Baytown, about 27 miles from Houston, can earn an AAS nursing degree.

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