As far back as 2006, a report to the Texas Legislature noted that “Texas is facing an unprecedented nursing shortage where the gap between supply and demand grows wider each year for the coming decade.”
The joint report, titled “The Supply of and Demand for Registered Nurses and Nurse Graduates in Texas,” predicted the Lone Star State would have a shortfall of more than 70,000 nurses by 2020.
As of September 2011, there were almost 185,000 licensed RNs living and working in Texas, according to the state’s Board of Nursing.
The annual average salary of nurses in Texas was more than $71,000 in 2011, a survey by Advance for Nurses found. That was up from an average of nearly $68,000 a year before.
Nationwide, the employment rate for RNs is expected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition.
Traditional hospital settings as well as physicians’ offices, home healthcare services and outpatient care centers should see faster-than-average job growth.
Nationally, the median annual wage for RNs was $64,690 in 2010, according to the BLS.
Along with the continuing demand for RNs, there is expected to be a growing need for nurses with advanced educational qualifications.
A 2011 report by the Institute of Medicine called for the percentage of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to increase to 80% nationwide by 2020. The report pointed to online learning and RN to BSN degree programs as among the ways to help meet that goal.
To become a licensed RN in the state of Texas, applicants must have graduated from a state-approved nursing school program and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Texas also offers licensure by endorsement for RNs licensed in another state. Applicants must have graduated from an approved nursing program and passed the NCLEX-RN or State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or have worked as an RN in the preceding four years.
In addition, before being issued a permanent license in Texas, all applicants must pass the state’s nursing jurisprudence exam.
Texas requires RNs to complete 20 contact hours of Continuing Education (CE) every two years in order to renew their license. In addition, RNs working in emergency room settings have a one-time requirement to complete two hours of CE in forensic evidence collection.
It’s important to note that nursing licensure requirements and fees can change. For the most up-to-date information contact the Texas Board of Nursing at:
Mailing address:333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460, Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 305-7400