Whether you’re currently working in Dallas, Texas or considering relocating to Big D to pursue a new nursing job, you may be pondering your job satisfaction and considering your path for career progression. The average nurse salary in Dallas is slightly higher than the state average, and nursing professionals have a wealth of opportunities in diverse fields and settings. Use the following career tips for Dallas nurses to help you find your ideal nursing role and develop skills within your profession.
1. Join Professional Nursing Organizations
Although you may already be a member of national or international nursing organizations, such as the American Nurses Association, the International Council of Nurses and the National League for Nurses, joining state or local organizations is also highly recommended to learn about local nursing issues, access nearby training opportunities and network with nurses in your area. Local memberships also enable you to impact practice areas and policies in your city and get involved in regional advocacy and initiatives.
Living in Texas, you’ll find many nursing organizations specifically geared toward nurses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Some organizations focus on particular practice areas, while others serve nurses from specific ethnic or cultural groups. Some popular local professional nursing organizations for Dallas-based nurses include:
- Texas Nurses Association (TNA): TNA empowers nurses to develop their careers through the Peer Assistance Program, the Texas Nurses App, online learning and resources for diverse practice areas. It hosts live webinars with practicing nurses on various current topics, with breakout rooms available for further discussion. TNA members can take advantage of several benefits, and the organization awards outstanding nurses across the state.
- Sigma Beta Beta Chapter: This is the Dallas branch of the global Sigma organization. It aims to develop nurse leaders and improve healthcare throughout communities. Members can attend monthly meetings at the Texas Woman’s University Dallas Campus for networking, information and discussions, and the organization provides diverse member-only resources.
- The Dallas Fort Worth Affiliate of the Association for Nursing Professional Development: This organization connects those in the nursing professional development field, provides learning opportunities for particular roles and offers support from local leaders in this specialty practice area.
- Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP): TNP is a statewide membership organization that offers support, guidance and training for nurse practitioners across Texas. It seeks to empower nurse practitioners for success and advocates for legal and policy changes to positively affect nursing practices and enhance patient welfare. The group attends and facilitates diverse conferences and is a valuable resource for nurse practitioners throughout Texas.
- North Texas Nurse Practitioners: This affiliate of TNP provides the same services with a local focus in the North Texas area.
- Texas School Nurses Organization: Texas School Nurses Organization is the only group specifically representing school nurses in the state. It provides advocacy, education, training and partnership to improve and protect the school nursing practice.
- Texas Clinical Nurse Specialists: This membership organization provides support, education and assistance for clinical nurse specialists in Texas. It administers various courses and seminars for members held in person and online.
- Dallas Ft. Worth Society of Pediatric Nurses: The Dallas Ft. Worth SPN supports pediatric nurses through learning opportunities, research and practice-focused news. It also provides in-person and virtual networking opportunities.
- American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA): The Dallas-Fort Worth ANIA Chapter accepts members interested in informatics nursing. Organizational goals include providing research, education and practice in diverse settings and nursing roles to promote nursing informatics. AINA strives to combine nursing knowledge and technology to manage health information to improve wellness while decreasing healthcare costs.
- Metroplex Black Nurses Association – Dallas: This affiliate chapter of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) provides a channel for Black nurses in Dallas to network, discuss common issues, share ideas and obtain support. NBNA – Dallas member benefits include journal subscriptions, continuing education, leadership opportunities and conference participation.
- North Texas Korean Nurses Association: Headquartered in Dallas, this nonprofit organization promotes opportunities for Korean nurses throughout North Texas while assisting patients from minority and uninsured groups with bilingual healthcare services.
- Texas Nursing Students’ Association: This organization provides education and support for student nurses across Texas. The group helps new nurses develop personal, professional and leadership skills and has more than 3,000 members preparing to obtain their first RN license.
2. Take Advantage of Dallas RN Networking Opportunities
Networking is essential for anyone in nursing. Not only can you meet friends who understand your profession’s daily joys and challenges, but nurses can also be a terrific source of peer support for one another. Professional networks help you keep abreast of new developments and provide opportunities for learning new skills and knowledge, which help advance your career. Networks can also be a good source of referrals for job vacancies.
Many of the above-listed professional organizations provide networking opportunities for nurses in Dallas. For informal networking, search for local nurse meetups and groups. There are several Facebook groups for nurses in Dallas-Fort Worth including the following:
- The Dallas Nurse Group: This private Facebook group has more than 1,400 members. The social network group provides opportunities for members to discuss relevant issues and arrange meetups.
- DFW Nurses: Local nurses discuss nursing issues and concerns, share ideas and frustrations, find information, meet other nurses and share industry humor in this advertisement-free public Facebook group.
- Travel Nurses – Dallas/Ft. Worth: This private Facebook group helps connect travel nurses throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. With more than 4,400 members, it’s a good group for travel nurses looking to make local friends with others in the nursing profession.
3. Check Which RN Specialties Are Most in Demand in Dallas
According to Drexel University, Texas is among the top five states with a pressing need for nurses. Incidentally, the university also ranks Dallas as one of the top 10 metro areas for nursing jobs based on the number of nurses employed and the highest annual pay.
In a 2021 article, the Texas Tribune further emphasized the lack of nursing professionals when it interviewed several nursing professionals, including Donna Richardson, the chief nursing officer at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. According to the article, Richardson indicated that Dallas had a lot of competition for a limited number of nurses. She also expressed concern over staffing and the struggle to recruit ICU nurses.
In keeping with national norms, Dallas has an exceptionally high need for nurses in the general medical field. However, you’ll find abundant nursing jobs in Dallas and throughout Texas in most specialties. Browse Vivian’s Dallas job listings to find RN openings for in-demand fields like cardiology, ICU, acute care, labor and delivery, NICU and more.
4. Consider Taking Dallas Travel Nursing Jobs to Gain Experience
Travel nursing offers plenty of opportunities to explore a new destination before fully committing to a permanent role. You can learn what living in Dallas is like for a healthcare professional while earning lucrative pay in a temporary travel nursing assignment or per diem position.
Travel nursing helps you gain valuable experience and develop beneficial attributes, such as:
- Developing skills in various practice areas
- Working in top-performing medical facilities
- Experiencing varied nursing settings
- Using different technologies
- Learning different procedures
- Increasing professional adaptability and flexibility
- Broadening cultural knowledge
- Enhancing communication and people skills
- Boosting professional confidence
- Building a vast professional network
Such experience can enhance your resume, making you more attractive to potential recruiters and help you develop your nursing career. There are numerous Dallas travel nurse jobs for those specializing in medical-surgical, emergency department, labor and delivery, telemetry and operating room nursing.
5. Research Dallas Salary Norms for Nursing Professionals
Understanding average salaries is beneficial when comparing job opportunities. In mid-October 2022, Vivian listed an average hourly salary of $36.89 for Dallas RNs in permanent staff positions. While this was slightly less than the average of $37.24 RNs made per hour nationwide, it was 3% higher than the Texas norm of $35.84.
Other types of nurses also fared well during this period. Staff licensed practical nurses (LPNs) earned an average of $24.58 per hour, while travel LPNs were making around $1,348 per week in Dallas. The average pay for permanent certified nursing assistants (CNAs) was $14.24 per hour, and travel CNAs earned $693 per week on average. Staff nurse practitioners (NPs) and travel NPs earned an average of $55.38 per hour and $2,936 per week, respectively.
However, remember that your actual nurse salary in Dallas varies according to your education, experience, specialty, professional certifications and workplace.
6. Apply for Positions with Top Dallas Healthcare Employers
Look for opportunities with one of Dallas’ top healthcare employers for greater opportunities to progress and develop your career. From training, mentoring and employee support to professional certifications, seminars and promotion opportunities, many of the leading healthcare employers in Dallas offer diverse ways to boost your career.
Per U.S. News & World Report, the best hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area include:
- UT Southwestern Medical Center: This Magnet-certified hospital is a leading research and academic hospital that’s produced six Nobel Prize winners and is home to one of the country’s top cancer treatment centers.
- Baylor University Medical Center: A large hospital with Magnet status, Baylor University Medical Center is a Level 1 trauma hospital where nurses can work alongside leading medical professionals and quickly develop decision-making skills.
- Parkland Health-Dallas: As the main hospital within the Dallas County Hospital District, Parkland Health sees more than 1 million patients annually. It acts as Dallas County’s public teaching hospital, and its Center for Nursing Excellence offers many opportunities for nursing career development.
- Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas: This Magnet-certified hospital offers accredited graduate education and career development for nurses who wish to keep learning and moving forward in their professions.
- Medical City Dallas: Known for its cutting-edge technology, Medical City Dallas gives nurses the opportunity to work with both adult and child patients in its Magnet-certified facility.
- Methodist Dallas Medical Center: Nurses at Methodist Dallas Medical Center can develop their leadership, mentoring and teaching skills through its extern program and further their professional development in diverse nursing specialties.
If your specialty is pediatrics, the Children’s Medical Center is also among the top healthcare employers in Dallas. However, there are many other medical facilities in Dallas where you can apply for RN roles, as well as plentiful opportunities for permanent, travel and per diem jobs available through a range of staffing agencies.