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Although the nursing shortage affects the whole state of Texas, it's particularly acute in the state's "border counties," counties within 62 miles of the Mexican border. The June 2007 report from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Border County Health Workforce Profiles, explains that in 2003 there were 135,135 active RNs licensed to practice in Texas, which meant there were 611 nurses for every 100,000 Texas residents. But in the border counties, that ratio was only 380 nurses per 100,000. The numbers are even worse when comparing metropolitan and rural figures.


Acute health needs. The report went on to say that 47% of Texas border county families were living below 150% of the federal poverty level, compared with 26% statewide. In the border counties, 42% of the residents said they were not covered by health insurance, while statewide it was 28% (and 15% nationally).


Residents in the border counties were hospitalized for diabetes-related issues at higher rates than all other geographic areas in the state and had a higher incidence of tuberculosis. Also, a lower proportion of minority teenage mothers received prenatal care.


"Health professions shortage area" (HPSA) is the HRSA designation used to identify areas without a sufficient supply of health professionals to meet the health needs of the population. In 2000, 66% of the population within 62 miles of the Texas-Mexico border lived in a primary care HPSA. Certified NPs, certified nurse midwives, and psychiatric nurse specialists working in these areas are eligible to apply for loan reimbursement through the National Health Services Corps, according to the Texas Primary Care Office, Department of State Health Services.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in Texas


Children's Medical Center Dallas


1935 Motor Street Dallas, TX 75235 Contact: Human Resources (888) 848-2990 Web site:


CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital


333 N. Santa Rosa St. San Antonio, TX 78207 Contact: Leslie Arnold, Director of Human Resources (210) 704-2067 or (800) 880-NURS (6877) Fax: (210) 704-2225 Web site:


Harris County Hospital District


2525 Holly Hall, Ste. 100 Houston, TX 77054 Contact: Human Resources/Employment and Recruitment Division (713) 566-6408 or (800) 996-4243 (HCHD) Web site:


Memorial Hermann


Houston, TX 77074 Contact: Human Resources Toll free: (866) 441-4567 Web site:


Methodist Health System


1441 North Beckley Avenue Dallas, TX 75203 Contact: Human Resources Dept. (214) 947-HIRE (4473) or (866) 643-JOBS (5627) Fax: (214) 947-6529 E-mail: Web site:


Presbyterian Hospital of Denton


3000 North I-35 Denton, TX 76201 Contact: Human Resource Department (940) 898-7063 Fax: (940) 898-7195 Web site:


Seton Family of Hospitals


1201 West 38th Street Austin, TX 78705 Contact: Nurse Recruitment (512) 324-1776 Web site:


St. Joseph Health System


Human Resources 2601 Osler Blvd. Bryan, TX 77802 (888) 881-0142 Fax: (979) 774-0775 E-mail: Web site:


The University of Texas Medical Branch


301 University Blvd. Galveston, TX 77555-0512 Contact: Nurse Recruitment (409) 747-4717 or toll free: (877) 886-2499 Web site: