Nursing Careers in Texas, California and Ohio

Texas, California and Ohio offer promising nursing career opportunities.

What are the benefits of a nursing career? Exceptional pay and an exploding job market across the U.S. Of course, the advantages and personal appeal will differ from state to state. Three states that currently offer expansive nursing career opportunities are Texas, California and Ohio. For those considering a nursing career in one of these top nursing states, review the information below to decide which one might promise the brightest future for you.

Nursing Careers in Texas

texas road sign

Texas Nursing Career Opportunities

The second largest state in the country, nursing remains its largest health care occupation. As a result of the nursing shortage, Texas has suffered a median 10 to 17 percent hospital vacancy rate for registered nurse (RN) positions, leaving many critical areas short-staffed and open to those who qualify.

General Texas Nursing Requirements

Regulating Agency: The Texas Board of Nursing (BON)

To become licensed: Candidates must graduate from a state-approved nursing school program, pass a criminal background check and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Among the nursing schools in Texas, nursing students can enter the field with one of four credentials:

  • Certificate or diploma from a hospital-based training program
  • Associate's degree in nursing (ADN)
  • Bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN)
  • Master's degree in nursing (MS/MSN)

Nurses also must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years to demonstrate competency in their field.

Nursing Careers in California

california road sign

California Nursing Career Opportunities

California's Nurse Education Initiative adds to the drawing cards for students considering nursing schools in California. The California Employment Development Department (CA EDD) projects an average 10,910 job openings (the sum of new jobs and net replacements) in the state for nurses every year through 2014. Over 60 percent of the nurses in the state work in general medical and surgical hospitals.

General California Nursing Requirements

Regulating Agency: The California State Board of Registered Nurses (BRN)

To become licensed: Candidates must graduate from an approved pre-licensure program, pass a criminal background check and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The state recognizes five paths to meeting the educational requirements for the field:

  • Earning an associate's degree in nursing (ADN)
  • Earning a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN)
  • Earning a master's degree in nursing (MS/MSN)
  • The licensed vocational nurse (LVN) 30 unit option—a means for LVNs to become RNs
  • The option for military corpsmen who have completed RN-level education and experience to take the NCLEX to earn the registered nurse credential

Nurses in California must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years in order to renew their state license.

Nursing Careers in Ohio

ohio road sign

Ohio Nursing Career Opportunities

According to state projections, registered nurses will create the second largest number of new jobs among all occupations, and this growth will continue through 2020. Graduates will find the greatest opportunities in hospital outpatient facilities and physicians' offices, which typically provide regular working hours and more comfortable work settings.

General Ohio Nursing Requirements

Regulating Agency: The State of Ohio Board of Nursing

To become licensed: Candidates must hold a degree or certificate from a state-approved program, pass a criminal background check and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Of the nursing schools in Ohio, the state board has approved 139 pre-license nursing education programs that offer one of four credentials to graduates:

  • Diploma, associate's degree in nursing (AND)
  • Bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN)
  • Master's degree in nursing (MS/MSN)

In addition, nurses must complete 24 hours of approved continuing education course work every two years in order to maintain licensure.
Sources: Texas.com, 2008; Texas Board of Nursing, 2008; State of California Nurse Education Initiative, 2008; California Board of Registered Nurses, 2007; Employment Development Department, 2008; State of Ohio Board of Nursing, 2008.

National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.