Nursing in Texas has wide opportunities and keeps developing in the recent years. The presence of many notable medical institutions in the state is the reason for the booming of the nursing sector. To practice as a nurse in Dallas & Fort Worth, you need to get licensed with any of the nurse licensing options under the norms of NCSBN.
Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas
The region of Dallas – Fort Worth – Arlington is a statistical division in Texas. This is commonly named as the Dallas & Fort Worth metroplex. This is the largest and the most populous metropolitan area in Texas. Medical research is one of the major sectors that contribute to this metroplex’s economy.
Texas stands second in the nation to have the most nurses employed while the Dallas & Fort Worth metroplex falls second in the state. In this Metroplex, two of the top five largest area employers is held by medical sector of which most of them are of the nurse cadre- Texas health care resources with 22,300 employees and Baylor health care system with 16,500 employees.
What to Study?
To be eligible for the nursing license in Texas you need to do a diploma, associates programme or a degree in nursing,
Nursing assistant training
Having a high school diploma or GED certification with a nursing assistant training can get you licensed as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). They are supposed to work under the supervision of LPN or RNs. CNAs are literally assistants for nurses but they are also paid nominally. The training takes just 6 months after high school before entering the profession.
Attend a diploma course in nursing and you are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEx – PN). On clearing the examination, you will be qualified as a Licensed Vocation Nurse. Licensed vocational nurses (LVN) are superior to CNAs but still need to work under the supervision of the Registered Nurses. The course usually takes one to two years.
Associate degree in nursing
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is a two-year programme after high school for taking up the profession of nursing. The NCLEx has to taken to license as Registered Nurse in the nation. The pay for the RNs is considerably high than CNAs and LVNs.
Bachelors of science in nursing
The bachelor’s degree is a 4-year programme that gives a deeper knowledge on the nursing grounds. The BSN graduates also qualify as Registered nurses.
Which is better for you in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas and why?
The LVN and CNA are better if you choose to work for a short duration in this profession as they have a lower pay scale and cost less to study. There no opportunities to advance or upgrade. Whereas ADNs can upgrade to BSN by doing an 18-month upgrade program.
Registered Nurses have better opportunities of all with best pay scales at an average of 68,000 USD annually. Though RNs with ADN and BSN get paid the same initially, BSN has more chances to advance as a nurse manager and specialized nurses whereas, ADNs lack the opportunity. Hence upgrading can yield a better pay at work.
ADNs constitute about 50% of the nursing sector in the state, 37% being BDNs. The high volume of ADNs is mainly due to lower cost and duration required for the associate’s program. Hence choosing wisely based on the needs and preferences is essential.
How to get Licensed Dallas Fort Worth, Texas?
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is the board governing the licensing of the nurses nationwide. Though the eligibility for taking up the examination changes slightly from state to state the examination itself is common to all states. The test plan of National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEx) is based on ‘framework of client needs’,
- Safe and effective care environment.
- Health promotion and maintenance.
- Psychosocial integrity.
- Physiology integrity.
The framework of client needs is set based on the fundamental requirements of nursing – nursing, caring, teaching/learning, communication and documentation.
How to get a good nursing job Dallas Fort Worth, Texas?
As of now the major jobs in the field of nursing in DFW metropolitan area are,
- Hospitals, clinics and physician practices
- Surgical, imaging and outpatient centers
- Long-term care/acute care (LTAC) facilities
- Case management, counselling, and behavioral centers
- Drug and alcohol centers, rehab and correctional facilities
- Employee health and wellness programs, clinics and various outpatient settings
- Administrative and accounting support
First, choose the title you are most interested in and know your eligibility and pay scale for the particular designation. Also, some jobs can have rotational shift timings, check for the work conditions and check your feasibility before finalizing.
The next thing you need to do is search for the job opportunity of your choice either by yourself in various job portals like indeed.com or reach to a staffing agency. There are a lot of nurse staffing agencies available in DFW, Texas. The advantages of opting for a nurse staffing agency are they can find you the best job to fit your profile and preferences. Job portals also do the job of getting you to the recruiters but agencies make them simpler and quick.
How much do Registered Nurses get paid in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas?
The pay scale averages of various cadres in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas are listed below,
|Nurse Cadre||Annual income (in USD)||Hourly wages (in USD)|
|Certified Nursing Assistant||27,360||11.87|
|Licensed Vocational Nurse||49,100||23.83|
|Registered Nurse (ADN)||70,000||33.60|
|Registered Nurse (BSN)||74,000||35.92|
The above data clearly states the vast difference in pay between the RNs and other nursing options. The bonus and overtime are also in proportion to the basic pay of the corresponding designations.
Apart from the RNs, others get an income lower than the national average. The living cost in DFW, TX is 8 % still lesser than that of the national average. Even then the pay of LVN does not come close to the average pay standards.
Hope the above information is sufficient to get a good idea of nursing jobs and staffing in Dallas & Fort Worth metroplex. The nursing in Texas is expected to grow well in a decade which makes the ideal time to enter the nursing sector either as a nurse or start a staffing agency.