The senior population is growing quickly in the Lone Star State. In 2010, there were 3.8 million people age 60 and older residing in Texas, and this number is expected to grow to 50 million by 2050. As a result of the significant growth of Texas' aging population, accredited healthcare schools in Texas are working hard to train the next generation of healthcare professionals, in particular nurses, medical assistants and healthcare administrators.
Since Texas is home to 400-plus hospitals, more hospitals than any other state in the country, it's no surprise that graduates of online healthcare schools in Texas can often find meaningful employment in hospital settings throughout the state. Large hospitals such as Texas Health Harris Methodist, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center create high demand for a variety of healthcare professionals to provide quality patient care and assist with their financial and business initiatives. Earning a degree from an online healthcare program in Texas can be a great way to start the process of attaining such a position.
3 Facts about Healthcare in Texas
- According to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies, the shortage of nurses in the state could reach almost 60,000 by 2030. This shortage is likely to be particularly prevalent in rural areas of the state such as West, Marfa, and Dublin, meaning nurses from the best healthcare schools in Texas may be able to find particularly high demand for their services in these rural healthcare environments.
- The Texas Medical Center, which is situated in the heart of Houston, is the largest medical complex in the world, with over 10 million patient encounters per year. It includes both the largest children's hospital and the largest cancer hospital, as well as several cancer care clinics, psychiatric treatment centers, and other facilities.
- Since Texas is facing a doctor shortage, healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants are rising in prominence throughout the state. These professionals are able to take on some of the tasks that physicians perform, such as prescribing medications, which gives them an important role in filling the demand for doctors in Texas.
Most Popular Healthcare Degrees in Texas
Below is our ranking of the most popular Healthcare degrees in Texas, based off how many degrees of each type were awarded by Texas schools in the 2017-18 school year.
Best Healthcare Careers in Texas
Even though healthcare-related occupations may be similar from state to state, there can be variations due various factors. For example, respiratory therapists are in high demand in Texas because of the presence of a number of specialized medical facilities such as Breathing Center of Houston, Pulmonary and Sleep Center of the Valley, and the Texas Lung Center, all of which focus on chronic respiratory diseases. Similarly, massage therapists who have graduated from the best healthcare colleges in Texas have access to some of the hottest jobs in the Lone Star State, as Texas is full of luxury spas like the Lake Austin Spa Resort and the Sage Hill Inn and Spa.
How to pick a healthcare major that's best for you?
There are a number of different healthcare majors that students can pursue at the best healthcare schools in Texas. When trying to decide which one to pursue, it's important to consider your personal desires, skills and goals. For example:
- Students who would like to work in a variety of healthcare settings — either to experience more of the field or because they are not sure what they would like to specialize in — may want to consider nursing. Nurses who have graduated from accredited healthcare schools in Texas can be found working at hospitals like the Baylor University Medical Center, nursing home facilities such as Brookdale Lakeway Skilled Nursing, schools, patient homes, doctors' offices and other diverse locations across the state.
- Students who are interested in the business and administrative side of healthcare, or who need the flexibility of being able to work remotely, might be better served pursuing a medical billing and coding program. Medical billers and coders, as well as other kinds of healthcare administrators, may be able to avoid the long commutes that are often seen in large Texas cities such as Fort Worth, Houston and Garland.
- Students who are passionate about helping ill or injured patients manage their pain and improve their movement may benefit from earning a certificate or degree in physical therapy assisting. Such a program can teach them the skills they need to be able to land a physical therapy assistant position at a large rehabilitation facility such as West Texas Rehab and Physical Therapy or Parkview Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Best Online Healthcare Schools in Texas
Here at OnlineColleges.com, we've created a list of the best online healthcare schools in Texas. With this list, we hope to help prospective students select the ideal healthcare school for their interests and career aspirations.
Each school included in our list offers at least one degree or certificate program in a healthcare-related subject, either in an online or hybrid format. We used data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to formulate our list of accredited healthcare schools in Texas, taking into consideration factors such as tuition costs, retention rate and graduation rate.
Please note that many online healthcare programs require some form of face-to-face learning. Some schools require students to take specific courses on-campus rather than online; some only require certain labs or exams to be conducted in person. Some online colleges have arrangements with other schools or hospitals around the country so distance learners can fulfill in-person requirements at a location closer to home, but not all of them. Always find out what your program and/or courses may require of you before committing to an online healthcare program.
Students who wish to earn their healthcare degrees in a short span of time may benefit from the accelerated online programs available at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, our top pick for best healthcare colleges in Texas. These accelerated online programs, which consist of seven-week semesters instead of the traditional 16, cover various subjects such as nursing, social work and health sciences.
The university also offers a fully online certificate program in healthcare interpreting, which is delivered via video streaming technology and helps students learn high-end interpreting abilities relevant to the medical industry. Another fully online certificate program is available as well, this one for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.
In addition, students may pursue a fully online Master of Science in Kinesiology, selecting either the thesis or non-thesis route according to their preference. There is also a hybrid Bachelor of Applied Technology in Health Services Technology, which can help students learn the skills necessary for leadership positions in health services or consulting.
Texas Woman's University offers fully online and hybrid programs in various healthcare-related disciplines via the Blackboard and Canvas learning systems. Students who have earned credits at a two-year college or who have worked or served in the military can seamlessly transition to a hybrid Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in health sciences. This program offers four degree emphasis options, including general health sciences, health studies, nutrition and health-related business.
Those who already hold healthcare degrees in physical therapy and are interested in advancing their knowledge and skills may pursue an online certificate in a subject such as advanced neurologic physical therapy, women's health physical therapy or advanced geriatric physical therapy.
The school also offers an RN-to-BSN program for nurses who already hold a diploma or associate degree, as well as an RDH-BSDH dental hygiene program for registered hygienists who would like to open up their career paths and become dental sales reps or dental hygiene instructors.
Just like many other top online healthcare schools in Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington features a strong emphasis in nursing. Students may pursue an online MSN and specialize in pediatrics or gerontology. Either track can be completed in as little as 42 months. The school also offers a DNP program to prepare nurses for leadership in clinical practice, consultative or policy-setting positions.
Those who are working on their associate degree in nursing can enroll in UTA's unique online Professional Nursing Pathways program to begin their journey to a BSN degree while still completing their associate degree coursework.
In addition, nurses who are currently working in the field have the opportunity to pursue online certificate programs in nursing education, nursing administration or nurse practitioner, helping them to enhance their nursing skills and knowledge with the completion of a relatively quick and tightly focused program.
The University of Texas at El Paso, one of the top online healthcare schools in Texas, offers various online healthcare programs with flexible start dates across the fall, spring and summer semesters. Busy working nurses who are looking to elevate their careers may pursue the online BSN, which is an asynchronous, fast-paced program that can be completed in as few as 12 months.
RNs who have already earned a bachelor's degree and are looking to rise to the level of nurse practitioner may be more interested in the online MSN degree program, which features concentrations in nursing education, nurse practitioner or nursing administration management. Courses in this program are taught in seven-week increments, which makes it possible for students to graduate within two years.
Students who are interested in the business side of healthcare may find the University of Texas at Tyler a good match for them. This university offers a unique dual degree program that combines an MBA and an MSN into a single program, geared to teach students how to make a positive impact on the business environment of their hospital, nursing home, or other healthcare entity while also elevating patient care.
This is not UT Tyler's only claim to fame, however. Various other online programs — including a hybrid DNP, an MSN with a specialization in education, and a Ph.D. in nursing — offer healthcare students other ways to specialize their knowledge and skills. There is also an online executive healthcare administration certificate program for students who hold non-administrative titles but hope to move into healthcare administration. It can be a great way to get an introduction to the administrative side of healthcare without committing to a full degree program.
Texas A&M University has several interesting online healthcare programs Texas students may not be able to find elsewhere. In addition to BSN and MSN programs, Texas A&M offers a unique online master's in forensic nursing program, focused on how to care for victims and perpetrators of traumatic events or criminal acts. An online certificate in forensic healthcare for those who are interested in forensics, yet don't want to commit to a complete healthcare degree program in the subject, is available as well.
Other intriguing options at Texas A&M include epidemiology, education for healthcare professionals, and health coaching for chronic disease prevention and management. Regardless of which online healthcare program Texas students choose at this university, they can expect an asynchronous delivery of courses via the eCampus learning management system.
Bachelor's degree holders who are ready to earn their master's degrees in social work should definitely consider Our Lady of the Lake University one of the best healthcare colleges in Texas for their needs. OLLU offers an online Master of Social Work program with two curriculum options: the Advanced Standing Program and Foundation Program.
The Advanced Standing Program is for students who already hold a bachelor's in social work, and it can be completed in less than two years. The Foundation Program, however, is for those with bachelor's degrees in fields of study other than social work, and can be earned in about three years.
The university even offers an online Ph.D. in social work, which involves a one-week summer residency each summer of study. It can be completed in as little as three years on a full-time basis.
Sam Houston State University offers an online M.S. in healthcare quality and safety. This program, delivered through the Blackboard learning system, like their other online healthcare programs, offers busy Texas professionals a way to prepare for leadership roles in the quality and safety areas of clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare entities.
There is also a B.S. in healthcare administration that focuses on the conceptual and analytical skills necessary to manage contemporary healthcare organizations, and an M.S. in kinesiology for students who hope to pursue careers in personal training, corporate wellness or commercial fitness.
Finally, students who are interested in the business side of healthcare may find value in the online graduate certificate in health communication and public relations, which can be completed in 15 credit hours and can teach them how to promote public health and improve quality of life for others.
Midwestern State University has been providing medical imaging education to students for decades. Current medical imaging professionals can pursue a hybrid M.S. in Radiologic Science and concentrate in administration, education or radiologist assisting. On the other hand, students looking to earn an entry-level position as a radiologic technologist can enroll in the hybrid B.S. in radiologic sciences. Upon graduation, they should be able to sit for the radiography and computed tomography certification examinations by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). In addition, they may be eligible for licensure by the state of Texas as a medical radiologic technologist (MRT).
Non-radiology options at MSU include an RN-to-BSN bridge program and a Registered Respiratory Therapist to Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care (RRT-BSRC) bridge program. Graduate students may also consider the MHA or MSN degree programs, or the post-master's certificate program for family nurse practitioners, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and nurse educators.
Stephen F. Austin State University offers a plethora of online healthcare-related courses that adhere to the school's term schedule and are administered via the Blackboard online learning platform. Some examples of these courses include Introduction to Nursing, Basic Care of Adult Clients, and Assessment Across the Lifespan.
In addition to healthcare-related courses, the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing at SFA hosts online BSN and MSN programs, the latter with a family nurse practitioner specialization. Both of these programs are delivered in an asynchronous format with various start dates throughout the year, making them ideal for working nurses.
Professional Healthcare Organizations in Texas
There are many professional healthcare organizations that can be useful to students who are pursuing online healthcare programs in Texas. These organizations and others like them can create opportunities for students to make meaningful connections with other students and healthcare professionals, to learn more about their field, or even to earn a job or internship.