Texas has a high count of an elite medical institution which leads to the growth of the nursing sector in the state. Texas is said to have the second most number of nurses employed in the nation and Houston is one of the top cities amongst it. As a result, nursing in Houston has gained more attention than before.
Houston is the most populated city in the state of Texas. The two main contributors to the economy in Houston are oil and medicine. The Texas medical center is the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and medical intuitions and the highest number of heart transplants are done here.
Houston with the largest population in town also has the highest number of nurses employed in the state. Texas Medical Centre alone is said to employ 73,600 medical professionals in it at varying levels.
What to study?
The are various programmes available for nursing at various levels. Any of which is to be attended before acquiring a license to practice as a nurse in the US.
Bachelors of science in nursing
The bachelor’s degree is a fully packed course offering you the most knowledge about nursing and its allied fields. The programme is the longest duration in the lot running for 4 years after high school.
Associate degree in nursing
The associate program also qualifies you to become an RN but with some cons. The course is for 2 years. The RNs with ADN have the lesser possibility to advance than RNs with BSN.
Attending the diploma programme in nursing for a period of fewer than 2 years qualifies you to attend a ‘Practising Nurse’ level exam by the NCSBN to practice as Licensed Vocational Nurse. LVNs work under the supervision of the RNs. It is one of the simplest ways to get into the nursing profession. The pay, though not on par with the RN, is nominal.
Nursing assistant training
Attending a nursing assistant training programme after high school or GED makes you eligible to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The training usually takes 6 months to a year to complete. CNAs are the bottom-most position in the hierarchy of nursing. They will take up a position as assistants to Registered Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses.
What to choose in Houston? Why?
Registered Nurses are the most preferred and widely available in Houston. They get the highest pay among the others. In Texas, RNs have an average pay exceeding the national average pay of the nation. Initially, RNs with ADN and BSN both get paid the same. When experience builds BSNs are more likely to advance as Nurse Manager, Specialised Nurses, etc.
There are ways ADNs can pursue BSN. There is a 2-year course on some institutions that act as an upgrade from ADN to BSN. ADNs cannot take up higher studies in case they wish to do they have to upgrade to bachelor’s degree first.
LVNs and CNAs are the least preferred. In fact, they only constitute 15 – 17% of the total nurses in the state. They are paid less but it costs the least to qualify too. So, it is preferred by people opting to work for a short while without putting in lots of money in education.
How to get Licensed?
The licensing standards are set and governed by the same body in the whole of US. National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) conducts an examination to test the eligibility on all grounds of nursing before licensing. There are two levels of examination. ADN and BSN holders attend the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEx – RN) and NCLEx – PN for practicing nurses which diploma holders attend.
The test plan is designed to check all the fundamentals of the practice of nursing – nursing, caring, teaching, documentation and communication. The test plan is named ‘framework of client needs’ consists of,
- Safe and effective care environment: Maintenance of environment.
- Health promotion and maintenance: Preventive measure and practices.
- Psychosocial integrity: Maintaining social peace.
- Physiology integrity: Understanding and adapting to the needs of physiology.
How to get a good job?
In Houston, TX the top sectors where the nurses are employed are,
- General medical and surgical hospital with 30% of industry employment – 1,685,820
- Offices of physician – 196,040
- Home health care services – 179,310
- Nursing care facilities – 155,450
- Outpatient care centers – 132,070
Choosing the job based on your interests and availability. Also, study the differences in pay amongst various sectors in nursing itself. Some sectors have different working environments, consider the adaptability and ability before finalizing.
The next part is to find a right place to fit in. The most common two ways are searching through online job portals or through staffing agencies. Online job portals are well enough to join the best. Still, nurse staffing agencies have edge over them in finding you the perfect job with breaking a sweat. After all, it is one’s preference to choose either of the two.
How much will I earn as a Registered Nurse?
- The average hourly wages of RN in Houston are around 35.91 USD which is close to 74,000 USD annually. That is notably higher than the state average and national average pay.
- For the LVNs the pay ranges around 48,000 USD which is little lower than the LVN average pay in the state.
- CNAs get the lowest pay of all nursing jobs averaging 14.5 USD per hour accounting to 30,000 USD annually. For CNAs, Houston seems to be the best spot considering another city in the state having lesser pay scales.
The RNs are paid well in the city considering the high amount of elite institutions in the city. The cost of living feels close to national average is Houston so the pay of LVN feels a little low.
Overtime payments, Bonus and allowances are added to base pay based on the care and experience of work while the RNs gets the most benefit and CNAs the least.
The medical sector is Houston is undeniably an ever-growing sector that can be chosen to pursue a well-paid career. Hope this article had served the purpose of educating you on the current scenario of nursing in Houston, Texas.