How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Texas

What is a Nurse Administrator?

A Nurse Administrator supervises nurses and certain health care team members in everything from hospital departments to physician’s offices to long-term care facilities and more. They’re often responsible for hiring and reviewing nurses as well as overseeing work schedules and continued training. Additionally, Nurse Administrators may write and enforce policy while making sure everything runs smoothly for patients and staff alike.

How to Become a Nurse Administrator in Texas

To be a Nurse Administrator, you’ll want to start by becoming an RN. This typically requires a four-year baccalaureate degree, but some programs are a bit more flexible if you work on a longer timeline. Once you’ve earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you’ll want to give yourself at least one to two years to practice as an RN before pursuing a graduate degree in nursing administration. Graduate degrees aren’t required to become a Nurse Administrator, but you’re often a more competitive candidate the more education and experience you have under your belt.

Graduate degrees will also help prepare you to take national exams like the Nursing Executive certification (NE-BC), which is administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). While you could still attain a position as a Nurse Administrator if you’re an experienced leader and RN, working toward these additional certifications could give you an edge on the market.

Best Nursing Administration and Leadership Programs in Texas

1. The University of Texas (multiple campuses)

The University of Texas features multiple online and in-person campuses that offer Nursing Administration degrees. As many who pursue becoming a Nurse Administrator continue to work, online programs can be a convenient option. Both The University of Texas Arlington and The University of Texas Tyler offer online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees.

  • The University of Texas – Arlington (UTA) is a public university in North Texas. The campus sits on over 420 acres and hosts around 10,000 students living on campus or very near to it. The university features over 14,000-degree options and has been rated the top school for veterans by the Military Times.

    For those looking to attend virtually, UTA offers an online MSN in Nursing Administration. There are several ways to get into the program, but you’ll have to meet some requirements prior to admission to attend full-time. You’ll have to be currently licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) with two years of nursing experience. And you’ll also need to complete the required undergraduate prerequisite courses while maintaining a 3.0 GPA. The program prepares students to advance their roles in nursing management, administration, and leadership through coursework that includes evidence-based practices, research, nursing theory, management and informatics.

  • The University of Texas – Tyler (UTT) is a public research university in Tyler, Texas. Located in the forests of East Texas, UTT enrolls roughly 9,600 students, and the campus is about 259 acres. The student-faculty ratio is 18:1, and Nursing is the school’s most popular major.

    UTT also has an online MSN in Nursing Administration and boasts a flexible schedule that includes practicum hours so that students can get real-time experience in Nurse Administration. To be admitted to the program, prospective students must apply to UTT’s graduate school and submit transcripts demonstrating a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework along with various nursing documents. Those documents include proof of licensure, a CV, a written or video essay explaining your desire to pursue the degree and professional references. You’ll also need to complete an undergraduate statistics course. Once accepted, students will take classes ranging from health care informatics to translational science and other leadership courses.

  • The University of Texas – Austin (UT) is a public research university on about 431 in the state’s capital of Austin. UT has over 18 colleges and schools, hosting over 50,000 students. The university features over 1,300 student organizations, and there are many ways to find community on campus despite its size. UT has also been rated the number one research university funded by the National Science Foundation.

    UT offers an in-person MSN with several specific concentrations available. One that might be of particular interest to those wanting to pursue becoming a Nurse Administrator is the Leadership In Diverse Settings (LeaDS) concentration. This program seeks to answer the demand for nurses to take more active roles in healthcare leadership and be advocates for change in diverse, challenging, and complex settings. To be accepted, you must apply to UT’s graduate school and submit transcripts showing you’ve completed a BSN or an Associates Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma along with proof of a non-nursing baccalaureate degree. Additionally, you’ll need to submit three references, a statement of purpose, your nursing license, proof of two years of RN experience and a CV. Coursework includes classes like health informatics, health systems and leadership development.

2. Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) is a public historically Black university located in Prairie View, Texas. Established in 1876, PVAMU is the second-oldest public university in the state and hosts around 8,235 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is about 16:1, making it a great option for those who are looking for the benefits a smaller classroom environment can provide.

PVAMU offers an in-person MSN in Nurse Administration that can be completed over a maximum of six years. Applicants must submit transcripts to demonstrate that they’ve completed a BSN from an accredited college or university, a CV, three letters of recommendation and a writing sample. Further, prospective students will need to have a 2.75 GPA and complete basic statistics and health assessment courses along with an interview with graduate faculty members. Finally, applicants will also have to pass a background check and certain health screenings. Coursework includes classes in business as well as health informatics and prepares students to take the ANCC’s Nursing Administration exam.

3. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is a public medical school in Lubbock, Texas. The school enrolls around 1,800 students each fall and has a 97% pass rate for the state board tests.

TTUHSC offers an in-person MSN in Nursing Administration. To be accepted into the program, prospective students must be an RN and have at least one year of experience working as a nurse before applying. Applicants will also have to hold a BSN from an accredited program with a 3.0 GPA and earn at least a “C” in undergraduate research and statistics courses. Applications must include a personal essay, at least three professional references and evidence of passing TTUHSC’s computer literacy test. TTUHSC also considers non-academic qualifications such as diversity of experience, years working as an RN, leadership potential, whether you’re a first-generation college student and fluent in a language other than English. Coursework includes classes like population health, informatics and leadership.

4. Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing Online

Baylor University (BU) is a private research university located in Waco, Texas, including the Louise Herrington School of Nursing Online.

For those who already hold an MSN or similar degree, BU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Executive Nurse Leadership could be a great way to grow your skills and advance your career. The program is entirely online and also allows students to complete their doctoral project in their local area. To get into the program, prospective students must hold an MSN or a business or health-related master’s degree like an MBA and a BSN from an accredited college or university. While you do not need to submit GRE or MAT scores, you will need to provide a CV that demonstrates at least two years of experience in a Director level position allowing you to supervise or manage things like budget and strategic planning. The program’s coursework includes advanced business practices and how to create the best working environment for your patients and staff.

5. The University of Houston

The University of Houston (UH) is a public university in Houston, Texas. Nearly as large as the University of Texas at Austin, UH hosts about 47,000 students with over 150 graduate degree options.

UH has an MSN in Administration that admits students each year based on available faculty, staff and resources. Students can choose to move through the program online or in-person, but labs will have to be face-to-face to meet course requirements. The application process involves applying for graduate admission, proof of a BSN from an accredited program with a 3.0 GPA and evidence of a current RN license in Texas. If students maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA, you won’t need to submit GRE or MAT scores as part of the admissions process. Beyond those requirements, prospective students are expected to do an interview and submit a personal statement along with two letters of recommendation. Students will also have to satisfy UH’s Clinical Readiness requirements. This program features coursework in subjects like leadership management and healthcare policy.