If you’re considering a career change to nursing in Texas, you’re in good company. As one of the most populous states in the U.S., Texas has a booming market for healthcare workers and contains the second-most employed nurses of any state according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though there are plenty of opportunities for nurses, finding out how long it takes to get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is one of the most important pieces of information you can have when deciding whether to enroll in a nursing track and pursue this field.
When considering the question of how long does it take to become a nurse in Texas, you’ll quickly discover that while the timeline is the same in Texas as it is in other states, the answer depends on several other factors. These can include the type of BSN track you enroll in, your previous level of education, and more.
At Concordia University Texas we emphasize an accessible nursing education, with our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing track specifically tailored to form students into practice-ready nurses in as few as 16 months and offering enrollment locations in Austin and Dallas. However, everyone’s circumstances are different and finding the right nursing track is an individual choice. Now we’ll examine how long it takes to earn your nursing degree and become an RN in Texas.
How Long It Takes to Become a Nurse Through a Traditional Nursing Track
For students interested in pursuing a traditional, non-accelerated nursing education, you’ll probably find that earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing takes approximately four years. Traditional nursing tracks are ideal for first-degree students, as well as those who are comfortable with a longer timeframe as they pursue this degree and new career path. Often, as with CTX’s traditional BSN track, the curriculum is broken up into pre-nursing courses during the first half of the track and in-depth nursing courses during the second half of the track. If you’ve already gained some college experience or earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, however, an ABSN track might be a better fit for you.
How Long It Takes to Become a Nurse Through an Accelerated Nursing Track at CTX
For nursing students who have met all admissions requirements and have successfully enrolled in an ABSN track, the path to a BSN degree in Texas can be much shorter. Many ABSN tracks, like ABSN@CTX, are 16 months long with that timeframe broken up into four 16-week semesters. During this time you will achieve the same level of education as in a traditional BSN track, but with a track that blends online nursing theory coursework, hands-on experiential simulation labs delivered at our two nursing satellite campuses, and in-hospital clinicals in top regional healthcare facilities. Taking on so many courses so quickly requires a concentrated effort, but an ABSN track allows for a much faster path into a nursing career.
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Factors That Impact How Quickly You Can Become a Nurse
Aside from the differences in length between traditional and ABSN nursing tracks, there are also several other factors that can shape the answer for anyone wondering how long it takes to get your BSN. See below to determine if any of these factors apply to you and see how they might affect how quickly you can achieve your degree and become a nurse.
Your Previous Level of Education
Before you enroll in an Accelerated BSN track, consider how your previous educational experience can impact your chances of admission as well as how quickly you can become an RN. For example, all ABSN@CTX students must first meet our eligibility requirements, which include GPA requirements, completing the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS VI) within one year of application deadline, and meeting other participation requirements.
These requirements are more accessible to students than many other ABSN tracks, which might require completion of a non-nursing bachelor’s degree for admission. Additionally, ABSN@CTX students are required to have completed a minimum of 60 credits either through prior educational experience or through completion of required prerequisites online at Concordia University Texas prior to enrollment.
How Many Prerequisite Courses You Must Take
Because of the challenging, accelerated nature of this type of degree track, every accredited nursing school will require the completion of certain prerequisite courses prior to enrollment. ABSN@CTX is no different; ABSN@CTX’s prerequisite courses can be completed online in eight-week sessions. Your previous education determines how many prerequisites you will need to take, with those who have earned a previous bachelor’s degree in a scientific field potentially not needing to complete any additional prerequisites.
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How Quickly You Take and Pass Your NCLEX-RN Exam
Earning your BSN degree alone isn’t enough to make you into a practice-ready nurse, with the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) as a national requirement to legally practice as a nurse. After you’ve earned your degree, you can apply the skills and knowledge you’ve gained to the exam and hopefully pass on your first attempt. At CTX, our College of Health Sciences BSN track has proven its effectiveness with a first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate of 100% in 2019.
Become a Nurse in Austin or Dallas, Texas Through ABSN@CTX
Now that you have a good understanding of how long it takes to become a nurse in Texas, you’re equipped to make the right choice for your career and your life. With help from the right school and nursing track, you’ll be ready to make a difference in countless lives over the course of your career as a practicing nurse.
To learn more about earning your nursing degree through ABSN@CTX, contact us today and speak with an admissions counselor to secure your future.