Popularity can lead to challenges and that’s certainly the case in Texas. It’s a state where millions of people already live, and millions more still want to live. Nowhere is the massive shift of population to the South and West in the United States more apparent than in the Lone Star State.

Texas already is the second-most populous state in the country, behind only California. And the population continues to grow rapidly. The current estimated population of Texas is 28.7 million. That’s a big jump from the 25.1 million population in 2010.

It’s no surprise – Texas is a great place to live. But the huge population increase has had many ramifications and one of those is a nursing shortage in Texas.

The Need For Texas Nurses

Nurses in an RN-to-BSN or MSN program in Texas are preparing themselves to enter a job market with a high demand for their skills.

The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies projects the shortage of nurses in the state will reach almost 60,000 by 2030. The center itself was created by state legislators who had concerns about the increasing number of nurses that will be needed in the state.

In addition to the rapid rise in population, Texas also faces some of the same challenges as other areas in the United States. An aging population requires more medical services. Many seniors are living much longer and make use of preventative healthcare. Also, because many medical services are moving out of hospitals and into clinics, there are nursing jobs available in a wider number of medical facilities.

A recent report from Moody’s listed Texas as part of a trend in nursing shortages in specific states. They include Florida, California, and Georgia. Not surprisingly, these also are the states that are growing the fastest in population.

Moody’s speculated that the shortage will hit rural areas especially hard because many nurses will stay in urban areas where there are plenty of jobs. Proximity to nursing schools will also play a role in staying in cities, such as Houston Christian University’s location near the heart of the Houston metro area.

Pay and Job Growth

Students who do earn a nursing degree in Texas will prepare themselves to enter a profession with a rewarding salary. Texas employs more than 212,000 nurses, as of May 2017, according to numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Only California employs more nurses. Pay in Texas is also above the nation’s average. The median pay for nurses in Texas in May 2017, according to the BLS, was $72,070. The top 10 percent of Texas nurses earned more than $98,000 per year.

Due to the large demand and solid salaries, deciding to earn a nursing degree to help solve the nursing shortage in Texas can both fulfill a passion for helping others and lead the way to a rewarding career.