In Texas, the average nurse practitioner salary varies based on the type of office or clinical setting in which a nurse practitioner works, the city he or she works in, what her or his specialization is, and whether he or she she works in a full time or part time capacity. Most cities in Texas have a number of job openings for nurse practitioners at any given time.
In order to become a nurse practitioner, you will need to have obtained at least a masters degree, and you need to take the exam for board certification in your intended specialty. Specialty options include family, pediatrics, adult, geriatrics, acute care, school nursing, and many others. Nurse practitioners can provide primary care, order and evaluate diagnostic tests, perform physical examinations, counsel patients, take down medical histories, and prescribe medications. Some nurse practitioners can also perform certain types of minor surgeries, such as dermatological procedures.
Nurse practitioners in Texas work under some of the strictest regulations in the country. They must be supervised by a physician that works in the same location at least 20 percent of the time, and the physician’s main office can be no more than 60 miles away. Physicians can also only supervise three nurse practitioners at a time. They can prescribe medications through written agreements with their supervising physicians. As with most states, nurse practitioners in Texas must be licensed, which requires a masters degree and a certification in a specialization. This certification involves taking a certification exam and then completing a certain number of hours of continuing education in order to maintain the certification.
Nurse practitioners in Texas have good job prospects, as this field is growing faster than average. Many health care organizations have trouble hiring and paying enough doctors to meet their health care needs, and nurse practitioners can help to keep costs down while allowing the organizations to offer the same amount of services. Doctors can perform the tasks that nurse practitioners can’t, but nurse practitioners can take care of much of the basic health care needs people have, especially in under-served areas where the regulatory restrictions are relaxed slightly.
According to Salary.com, the median nurse practitioner salary in Houston is $89,289 per year, with the bottom ten percent of nurse practitioners making $76,911 or less and the top ten percent of nurse practitioners making $102,329 or more per year. Other cities in Texas have similar nurse practitioner salary ranges, although positions in smaller cities may pay as much as $10,000 less per year. Overall the salary ranges in Texas tend to be slightly below the national average for this position.
Because a nurse practitioner has more job responsibilities than other nurses, they also have to complete a higher level of education. But with both excellent job prospects and the nurse practitioner salary being very lucrative, this is a career that more people should consider entering into. Nearly all health care positions will experience growth faster than average across all other employment sectors through the year 2035.