The need for nurse practitioners in Texas has surged in recent years. While every state has a need, none have grown as fast in population as Texas. That expanding population is helping drive the need for more healthcare operations and more nurse practitioners.
State leaders understand the issue. The state Legislature formed the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies to better understand the scope of the issue and develop ways to solve the shortage program. The center now projects a shortage of 60,000 nurses in Texas by 2030. Some estimates put that number closer to 71,000.
Those who earn a Master of Science in Nursing are prepared for an in-demand career as a nurse practitioner. Federal projections call for an astounding 43.8% growth in the number of nurse practitioners in Texas between 2018 and 2028, far above the national average of 26%.
What Drives Nurse Practitioner Growth in Texas
Many factors drive the need for nurse practitioners in Texas. Like the entire country, the population in Texas is aging, which leads to the need for more healthcare services for seniors.
By 2030, one in every five people in America will be of retirement age. But in Texas, that number represents just the tip of the iceberg. Other issues include the following.
Population Growth in Texas
Texas ranks as the second most populated state in the country, behind only California. Between mid-2018 and mid-2019, the state’s population grew by 367,000, resulting in almost 29 million people calling Texas home. This is at a time when population growth is slowing across the nation as a whole.
Rural Areas Need Nurses
Texas is home to four of the Top 30 largest metro areas in the United States: Dallas-Fort Worth (4th), Houston (5th), San Antonio (24th) and Austin (30th). The need for nurses in these metro areas is high. However, the state is so large that much of it is still considered low density and rural. Nurse practitioners increasingly provide services to these areas, much like those provided by general practitioner doctors in the past, according to a study published online by the National Institutes of Health.
Rising Number of Chronic Illnesses
As with the rest of the country, Texas residents have experienced an increased number of diagnoses for diseases such as adult-onset diabetes and obesity.
Nationwide, the nursing workforce is aging. According to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, the average age of nurses is 56. That means about 25% of workers will retire within 10 years.
Why Become a Nurse Practitioner in Texas?
Houston Christian University is helping solve the nursing shortage in Texas by providing quality nursing programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. HCU offers its BSN program in a 100% online format and MSN programs in a hybrid format that mixes online learning with clinical experience. Both can be finished in less than two years for full-time students.
HCU graduates learn the latest theories in medicine combined with practical knowledge on how to apply those theories to real-world issues. The staff is led by educators with years of experience in the nursing field.
Becoming a nurse practitioner in Texas has many advantages.
- The demand for nurse practitioners is higher than in any other state.
- Cutting edge education. HCU is affiliated with the Texas Medical Center, giving students opportunities for experience while they are in the program and career advancement after they graduate.
- Big markets for nurses. The Dallas and Houston metro areas both rank in the Top 10 areas for the highest employment of nurse practitioners.
- Better salaries. The average annual salary for a nurse in Texas is $111,060, higher than the national average.
Becoming a nurse practitioner in Texas allows ambitious nurses to fulfill the goal of becoming leaders in the medical field. Texas ranks as one of the top states in the country when it comes to the attractive combination of job growth and above-average pay for nurse practitioners.