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A Look at Nursing in West Texas

West Texas is well-known for oil and gas production. In fact, a Forbes article describes it as "an oil and natural gas production machine." But this is not the only prominent industry in the area. When it comes to careers, healthcare is among the leading sources of employment in the area.

Healthcare is actually one of five top job-providing sectors in Midland, one of the largest cities in the west Texas region. RNs who want to take advantage of career opportunities in west Texas may want to consider the benefits of advancing to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

The online RN to BSN program at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) features the same courses as the school's campus-based program. Students can graduate in as few as 12 months, ready to advance their nursing careers in this region.

What Is the Job Outlook for Nurses in the Permian Basin?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare industry is expected to add more than four million jobs between 2012 and 2022, more than any other industry. Most of these job opportunities will be in hospitals. Registered nurses are expected to fill about one-third of them.

What does this mean for RNs seeking employment in west Texas? The Odessa Development Corporation (ODC) focuses on Odessa economic development and local business retention and expansion. The ODC has identified several healthcare providers as among the city's major employers:

  • Odessa Regional Medical Center, 953 employees.
  • Nurses Unlimited, Inc., 489 employees.
  • Medical Center Hospital, Odessa, 2,250 employees.

Similarly, jobs for RNs rank in the top third for job opportunities in Midland, with two hospitals among the city's largest employers.

What Is the Earning Potential for Nurses in West Texas?

When it comes to pay, how do salaries for RNs in west Texas compare with Texas overall, as well as nationally? According to the BLS, RNs in Texas overall earn close to the national estimate.

Wages for RNs employed in the west Texas region are not far behind, with RNs in Odessa earning higher wages than in other areas of west Texas. The following information is based on BLS data.

Location Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage
Nationally $35.36 $73,550
Texas (overall) $34.01 $72,070
West Texas region $28.77 $61,480
Odessa $30.21 $63,870
Midland $27.39 $58,370

PayScale provides another look at salaries for RNs in west Texas.

  • RNs in Odessa, Texas, earn a median hourly wage of $26.02. (as of October 15, 2018)
  • RNs in Midland, Texas, earn a median hourly wage of $29.33. (as of October 18, 2018)

An article in the Odessa American notes that in 2017, there were over 100 RN vacancies across three of the region's hospitals. With demand for nurses expected to remain high overall, programs like UTPB's online RN to BSN program can play a critical role in preparing RNs with the advanced skills they need for this in-demand career.

Learn more about UTPB's online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

Forbes: Texas' Permian Basin: An Oil and Natural Gas Production Machine

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Healthcare: Millions of Jobs Now and in the Future

OdessaTex: About ODC (Odessa Development Corporation)

CityTownInfo.com: Midland Employment

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, Registered Nurses

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - Texas

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2016 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - Odessa, TX

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2016 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates - Midland, TX

PayScale: Registered Nurse (RN) in Odessa, Texas Salary

PayScale: Registered Nurse (RN) in Midland, Texas Salary

OA Online: Shortage of Instructors a Factor in Nursing Shortage

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