Any tips/ advice for Texas nursing schools?? Planning to relocate


Hey everyone!

I'm a pre-nursing student planning to relocate with my boyfriend from California to Texas- specifically to either Austin, Dallas/ Fortworth, or Houston.

I was wondering how competitive the nursing schools are out there. After doing research, I found that most schools are on a point based system? No typical waitlist that you see here in California. And the tuition is VERY easy on the wallet... even for out-of-state students. (Remember, I'm relocating from super expensive Bay Area!)

Any GPA tips? Do they look at overall or cumulative? (My pre-req scores are AWESOME, but my grades from college around ten years aren't too good).Do they also look residency status?

I'm shooting for an ADN program so any advice would be great. In return, if you have any questions about California... I can definitely answer them!:redbeathe


193 Posts

Yes many ADN programs in DFW have a point-based admission process. You gain points in different areas such as points for each one of your prereqs complete, your cumulative GPA for those prereqs, your admission test score and some schools even assign special points based on in county residency. The programs are very competitive with admission and for most, you need to either have a 4.0 or darn near to be accepted. The tuition is also very affordable if you are a resident here. Thus the reason for the high number of applicants!!! If you have questions relating to a specific program, PM me and I will share what I know.

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,837 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

Residency status and GPA are big, as well as having taken your pre-requisites in the school you are applying for, mostly in a tie-breaking judgement. In my school in the DFW area they also use whether you already have a degree as a tie-breaker with those who are already college graduates getting preference over those who are not. Some schools use the HESI as well and some use the PSB.

It is EXTREMELY competitive here to get into nursing school with about 1 out of 10 applicants (roughly) getting accepted, depending on the school. And you are right, tuition is reasonably inexpensive.


30 Posts

Oh man, it seems competitive EVERYwhere! =/

Well, as far as residency status goes, I guess I'm on the losing end because I'll just be moving this year. And I'm trying to apply to places now so that I at least have an idea of what I'm doing and where I'm going when I get there.

The schools that I'm looking into are:

The Community Colleges in the Houston area

University of Austin

University of Texas, Arlington

University of Texas Health Science Center

Collin County Community College

San Jacinto College

Lee College

Oh man... that's a lot, huh? =)

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

It will take one year (non student) for your residency status to change. It may be better to not attend school during that period of time because if you relocate specifically to attend school, it doesn't count toward residency status in most instances. On the positive side, it will probably take you longer than a year that to be accepted to a school. I would also urge you to carefully examine NCLEX pass rates for any school you choose.

All of the nursing schools in the U of Tx system are part of their respective "Health Science Centers", so they are designated by city (ex: UTHSC-San Antonio) FYI, getting in to University of Texas at Austin is pretty much like winning the lottery.

I would also encourage you to look at Texas Woman's University - School of Nursing. Also a state university with campuses in DFW & Houston -- its a very good program.

Welcome to Texas!

Guest 360983

1 Article; 357 Posts

UTHSC where? Houston or San Antonio? There might be on in Dallas, but that's the one city I don't know well.

I live in Houston and applied to UT Houston and Lonestar (community college for northern Houston suburbs). You can see Lonestar's point system online; if you apply at the biggest and least selective campus (North Harris), 11.1 is normally the cutoff, and it only gets higher at the smaller campuses. UT Houston routinely has more than 1000 people apply for 100-ish spots. I was told that it was 1200 this semester; they interviewed about 400 and they are accepting 120 or 130. I have heard that San Jacinto is relatively easy to get into.

TWU is also a good school. It is based only on points (UT Houston includes an interview). I would have applied if it wasn't for nutrition!

Prairie View A&M (BSN) has a nursing program that has clinicals in the medical center in Houston. I don't know anything else about it.

Houston Community College is one college with a zillion campuses. Unlike Lonestar or San Jac, nursing classes are only at Coleman.

You may want to check out UTMB (BSN), which is in Galveston. The downside is that they still aren't back to pre-Ike strength so current classes have at least some clinicals at the medical center in Houston, 50 miles away. The plus is that you can live on the beach! (I love the beach)

Also in the Galveston-ish area is College of the Mainland (ADN). I know nothing about it, other than that it exists.

You won't get into UT Austin without being legacy, unless you're looking at their MSN program. Something like 80% of freshman get in there because they're in the top 10% of their high school class (automatic admission to any state university), and sports/legacy/foreign students/etc make up most of the rest of the incoming class. The Texas Exs (alumni group) now opposes the 10% rule (and is pushing the state legislature to change it) because soon even legacy won't get in. If you're a transfer student, it's still going to be very tough for you because a LOT of spots are reserved for students transfering in from other UT programs (eg UT San Antonio) so you can't even compete for them.

Austin Community College (not on your list but in Austin) gives you extra points if you have applied more than once, so it seems that a lot of people need to apply at least twice for the extra points.

I've checked out pretty much every ADN and most BSN programs from Killeen/Temple/Ft. Hood to Austin to San Antonio to the greater Houston area, and I have yet to see one where residency matters. It might matter for the state schools (UT, A&M) or for Dallas, but not in these schools. Every school varies in competitiveness but you will need a solid GPA and most if not all of your pre-reqs done to be competitive. You'll also have to do well on whatever entrance test they have.

If you move to Texas to attend school, you will not be considered a resident at any point during your degree, even if you stay for 5 years. The only exception is if you purchase property.


134 Posts

Some of the colleges you listed are for the bsn program, not the adn. All of the colleges are different. I applied to Lonestar in Houston and it's a point system. You pretty much have to have a 4.0, but only in three classes. That's pretty easy. Then, you have to do well on your entrance exam (HESI) and have to have 27-31 hours completed to get your full points there. Each of those three parts (GPA, HESI, and hours completed) are worth four points a piece to make up 12. I don't really think that's too bad, but at the campus I chose there is an average of 300 applicants for 40 spots. I think many don't really have most of the coursework completed or they need to retake one or more of those three classes for their GPA. So, it's competitive, but not hard if you get your ducks in a row. I have no idea about the other community colleges. The only thing I think that is pretty different is the amount of prereqs required. In addition to the 31 hours, you have to take pharm and an intro nursing class the summer before. So, it really takes about 4 years to get an associate's degree once you factor in that you have to sit out a semester because you have to have the classes completed before the application is due.


30 Posts

Wow!!! Thanks for all of your advice!!! Quick question, is Lonestar and Houston Community Colleges different? I feel like they have the same website.

I am a good student, but not INCREDIBLE!! So I guess I'm crossing University of Austin off my list!!

The UTHSC I am looking at is in Houston.

As far as Galveston, is it really a bad commute from Houston??

And as far as residency status, I am not moving to go to school. My boyfriend is relocating to Texas. The hard part is that we're not married, and we're not purchasing property. His options are either Dallas, Houston, or Austin so that's why I'm checking out schools in those particular areas. Not sure about San Antonio. So I guess I it will be harder for me to gain residency status if I don't purchase property? Or are there other requirements that will work in my favor?


134 Posts

Lonestar campuses are north of I-10 in the Houston suburbs and completely different from HCC. HCC is in Houston. Lonestar's website is Lonestar has a few different campuses to choose, but they all have the same requirements. You apply to the lonestar system and rate your preference of campuses. Montgomery is the hardest one to get into and North Harris is the easiest, but you just rate what you want. Putting one over the other doesn't affect your chances of getting in at all. Well, unless you don't put it on as a choice at all. They give you a good idea of what the points are so you pretty much know if you're going to get in unless you're really close to the cutoff.

I would love to got UT Houston, but I don't want to make that drive from the suburbs. It's twice the cost, too. I do plan on applying to their RN-BSN program when I graduate from Lonestar though. FYI, they have a completely different system of getting into their program than Lonestar. They have a thread going under Texas Program Discussions right now. Galveston is about 30-45 from downtown. If you live in a northern suburb it would take you 1 1/2 hrs without traffic. It all depends on where you live in Houston if that's a feasible option for you.

I'm not sure about the residency requirements. I thought you just had to live in TX for a year (with proof) to become a resident. You may do that before you even get into the program. But, I've never looked into it since I'm from here. That's just what I heard secondhand.


30 Posts

Heather21, you are AWESOME for getting back to me so quickly and replying. =)

After I sent my last post, I rechecked the Lonestar and Houston CC websites again. And I was wrong! =/ I guess the Houston CC nursing program is at the Coleman College? I'm going to try both areas and see what happens. So you said you are currently a Lonestar student? Which campus? How was the application process for you?

I also JUST checked UTMB in Galveson and the program seems great (from what I read on the website). I have to dig deeper on that school though because I just recently heard about it. I don't know exactly where I'm going to live yet. My boyfriend is going to have his job over in Houston (if that's where he decides to go), but as for where we live... we're making the compromise on what would be easier for the both of us. But he's willing to sacrifice living closer to whatever school I get accepted into because of my clinicals.

As far as the residency program, if anyone ever asks, I called Texas Women's University today and asked a financial aid counselor about it. Apparently, if you're applying your first semester as a non-resident, then they're going to keep you at a non-resident status for the rest of your program. However, you could appeal by showing some proof of actually making a life out in Texas. For example, purchasing property or opening your own business. (Something that I'm not doing).

Guest 360983

1 Article; 357 Posts

Galveston is 50 miles from downtown Houston. With Houston's traffic, I'd figure 90 minutes on a good day. Look on a map for Clear Lake. It's about 45 minutes from downtown during rush hour. To get an idea of how bad Houston's traffic is--my fiance had a 90 minute commute from the Woodlands to downtown (30 miles); one of his coworkers lives in Jersey Village and she also takes 90 minutes to get to work (under 20 miles). Also, Clear Lake is a bit pricey to live in since that's where NASA is (says the person who lived in the Woodlands... that area is extra expensive). Pricey being relative to the area, since Texas has a low cost of living.

Yes, HCC's nursing program is at Coleman. It's only health sciences there, so you take your prereqs at the other campuses. I wasn't impressed by HCC's program. I live inside the loop (610) but I'm planning on driving 30 minutes to pay out of district tuition at Lonestar if I don't get into UT Houston. On the other hand, lots of people have gone to HCC and graduated and been successful, so I could just be weird.

One cool thing about UT Houston is that the summer is a full semester, so you finish in 18 months. That can also be a negative (no summer off, a few weeks shorter but still a full class load).

You have to live in Texas for a year without enrolling in any classes in order to establish residency. I'm assuming he's not military? That's the only other loophole, but you'd have to be married.


134 Posts

I'm at Montgomery and I really like it. It's in my town (The Woodlands) and only five minutes from my house. Honestly, even though I'm from here, Houston scares me. The traffic, crime, etc. I'm a suburban girl. I've only taken the prereqs there so far. I'm hoping I will find out in a couple of weeks if I got into the program. The application process was really easy. You submit two sheets of paper you print from your records on the lonestar site with your info and points that are automatically calculated. There's no interview or anything. I kept asking the guy,"is this it? Are you sure?"

I would love to be in a BSN program, but it just isn't in the cards for me for various reasons.