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Frequently Asked Questions - Education

Clinical Experiences

How can clinical evaluation tools show progression of students' cognitive, affective, and psychomotor achievements?

Clinical evaluation tools should clearly indicate the expected behaviors of students in each clinical course. The expected behaviors reflect the student growth in knowledge base and skill level as the student progresses through the curriculum to eventually fulfill the program objectives....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What tasks can a nursing student in a BON approved nursing education program perform during clinical learning experiences?

Under the supervision of faculty, the nursing student can perform tasks for which he/she has been prepared in the education program. Faculty are responsible for supervising...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What distinguishes an "observational experience"?

Observation experiences are those clinical learning experiences where the student is assigned to follow a health care professional in a facility or on a unit to observe activities or to observe the role of nursing but where the student does not participate in patient care. Example: observing or following a respiratory therapist on a unit.

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How may preceptors can be used in the clinical setting?

After a student has received clinical and didactic instruction in basic areas of nursing or instruction specific to a particular course, clinical preceptors may be used in a one-on-one relationship with a staff nurse to enhance clinical learning experiences. Preceptors serve as...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Are students practicing under the faculty member’s license during clinical learning experiences?

A nursing student enrolled in a Texas approved nursing program is not required to have a license because of the exemption in the Nursing Practice Act §301.004(6), but can practice in a student nurse role under the supervision of a qualified member of the nursing faculty for the purposes of meeting educational requirements for clinical practice. Since the nursing student is exempt, he/she is not practicing “under the faculty member’s license.”

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Is it necessary for nursing faculty to co-sign nursing students’ documentation entries in patient records?

The BON does not have rules specifically related to faculty co-signing student documentation in patient records. The necessity for faculty co-signing student documentation will be dependent upon policies of the clinical agency and of the nursing program. Generally, when charting is co-signed, it implies that the “co-signer” actually witnessed the nursing activities. The BON does not recommend co-signing documentation unless the “co-signer” witnessed and supervised the activity.

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How can a nursing education program increase the number of students in clinical settings?

Several options are included in the education rules to allow programs to expand the number of students under the supervision of a nursing faculty member. When a faculty member...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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How can a program utilize an MSN student majoring in nursing education and being mentored by a faculty member in a pre-licensure nursing program?

Since the MSN student usually holds a BSN, he/she may function as a clinical teaching assistant working under the supervision of the Master’s prepared clinical faculty member. He/she may provide guest lectures under the supervision of the Master’s prepared faculty member as long as the faculty member guides them and is in attendance at all times during didactic presentations.

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How can vocational nursing educational programs meet the requirements of the rule to provide students with experiences in both acute and non-acute care settings for Nursing Care of Children and Maternity Nursing when acute clinical opportunities in these areas are scarce?

Rule 214.9(e)(1) describes the requirements regarding Nursing Care of Children. Didactic content includes (A) common health problems of children (not acute health problems) and implications for nursing care; (B) the normal care and needs of infants and children; (C) growth...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Do the education rules require a specific number of clinical hours in a nursing program?

The required number of clinical hours for vocational nursing education programs shall be sufficient to meet program of study requirements with a minimum of 840 hours. Clinical learning experiences include hours in nursing skills and computer laboratories, simulation laboratories, faculty...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Do out-of-state programs wishing to conduct clinical learning experiences in Texas need to seek BON approval?

Programs located in other states that are preparing their graduates to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN examination for a license and who wish to conduct clinical learning experiences in Texas may need approvals from several Texas agencies, depending upon their program type:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Curriculum

What basic content must be included in the program of study for a vocational program and for a professional program?

Rule 215.9 outlines program content for professional nursing education programs that includes:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

What are the BON requirements regarding the use of standardized examinations (HESI, ATI)?

The BON does not have requirements related to programs using standardized examinations. Many nursing programs use remediation/testing packages in a variety of ways that are individualized to each program. Some programs use other processes or techniques to prepare students for the NCLEX examination....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What is the difference between a major curriculum change and a minor curriculum change?

It is important to know if a curriculum change is a major change or a minor change because major changes require Board Staff approval. Minor curriculum changes do not require approval and include:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What should be included in an abbreviated proposal for a major curriculum change?

Nursing education programs that have full approval status and are seeking approval for a major curriculum change shall submit an abbreviated proposal (see Education Guideline 3.7.1.a.) to the Board office for approval at least four (4) months prior to implementation. The abbreviated proposal shall contain at least the following information:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Is it necessary to obtain BON approval to offer IV therapy in the vocational nursing curriculum?

Rule 214 does not specifically address incorporating IV therapy for the vocational nurse in the curriculum. It is not prohibited in vocational nursing curriculum.

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What criteria are important when selecting an RN-to-BSN program?

Because of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendation to increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses [bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN)], many new RN-to-BSN programs...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Dean/Director/Coordinator

What are the required qualifications of a Dean or Director of a professional nursing education (RN) program?

The dean or director of a professional nursing (RN) education program shall:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What are the required qualifications of a Director or Coordinator of a vocational nursing education (LVN) program?

The director or coordinator of a vocational nursing education program shall:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What is the difference between a program director and a program coordinator? What is the role of an assistant director or coordinator?

The individual who is the director of a professional nursing education (RN) program usually has the title of dean, director, or coordinator. The recognized director has the direct authority for...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Faculty

What are the qualifications for nursing faculty in a professional nursing (RN) education program?

A faculty member in a professional nursing education program shall:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What are the qualifications for nursing faculty in a vocational nursing (LVN) education program?

A faculty member in a vocational nursing education program shall:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can licensed vocational nurses be used as faculty in LVN nursing education?

Program directors or coordinators may use licensed vocational nurses as faculty in LVN program using the following criteria as outlined in Education Guideline 3.5.3.a:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What are the qualifications for adjunct (part-time) faculty?

Requirements for adjunct or part-time nursing faculty are the same as for full-time nursing faculty.

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How would a nursing program determine how many faculty members are needed?

The number of faculty members shall be determined by factors such as:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What can clinical teaching assistants do?

Clinical teaching assistants (CTAs) may be used in professional nursing programs to extend the faculty: student ratio. When CTAs are used, the number of students supervised by the...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What is the appropriate workload for full time and part time nursing faculty?

The nursing education rules do not specify workload or a method to calculate faculty workload for nursing faculty. Rules that provide guidance in determining workloads for nursing faculty state that:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can programs use laboratory assistants? What are their qualifications? What can they do? Are they considered faculty?

It is acceptable for nursing programs to utilize laboratory assistants to manage the nursing lab. The qualifications and expectations for the lab assistant should be provided in the job description. Some activities that might be included in their job description are:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What faculty policies should be included in the Faculty Handbook?

  • Terms of employment;
  • Faculty workload;
  • Dean/director/coordinator workload;
  • Position descriptions (including qualifications and responsibilities);
  • Faculty orientation to the institution and to the nursing program;
  • Faculty development; and
  • Faculty evaluation criteria.

The Faculty Handbook should also include written policies and procedures and/or bylaws for the faculty organization that serves to guide the faculty and program’s activities, including:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

What are the requirements for non-nursing faculty teaching in a nursing program?

Non-nursing faculty are exempt from meeting the faculty qualifications as long as teaching assignments are not in courses with nursing content (having nursing objectives) or in...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Is it acceptable to employ a faculty member with a multistate license when the party state is their home state?

A nurse with a compact license moving from his/her home state to a remote state may continue to practice under the former home state license and multistate licensure privilege during...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can a faculty member continue to teach if they have a Board Order?

When a nurse receives a Board Order listing sanctions against the nurse’s license, he/she is required to show the Board Order to their nursing supervisor. If any sanctions affect the faculty member’s ability to supervise students, their teaching assignment will need to be changed. Any actions by the program toward the nurse faculty who has a Board Order are affected by program policies. Board Staff recommend that all programs develop policies regarding faculty with Board Orders.

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Do nursing education programs need a Peer Review Committee?

A peer review committee is a committee established under the authority of the governing body of a national, state, or local nursing association; a school of nursing; the nursing staff of a hospital, health science center, nursing home, home health agency, temporary nursing service, or...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Complaints to the BON About Nursing Programs

How does the BON handle complaints about nursing programs?

There are two (2) types of complaint: signed complaints and anonymous complaints:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Extension Site/Campus

When can a nursing education program start an extension site?

An extension site/campus is a location other than the program’s main campus where a portion or all of the curriculum is provided. (It does represent a place and requires that students engage in their education by attending the site for labs or didactic.)...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Program Appoval

What goes into the determination of ongoing approval status of a Board-approved program?

Ongoing approval status is based upon:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text


Resources

Does the BON have guidelines for currency of library, video and software holdings?

Generally, the accepted standard regarding currency of reference materials and other holdings is “no older than five (5) years” for educational purposes in nursing education programs. This is not a written standard, but is common policy in educational institutions. An exception may be classical documents or primary resources....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Total Program Evaluation

What are "benchmarks indicators" of program and instructional effectiveness?

Benchmarks represent goals or measuring sticks for program objectives. They are also “indicators” of how the program is meeting the evaluative criteria. For example, one benchmark...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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NCLEX® PN/RN Examination

When graduates from a Texas approved nursing education program take the NCLEX® in another state or country, are their results included with the exam results for the school from which they graduated?

The NCLEX® examination results of graduates from Texas nursing education programs, no matter where the NCLEX® examinations are taken, are calculated in the overall pass rate...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Where can I find more information about the alternate format test items? 

The NCLEX examination will include questions other than multiple choice. Alternate test items will include:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Where can I find a copy of the NCLEX test bulletin?

A copy of the NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin can be found at https://www.ncsbn.org/cps/rde/xchg/ncsbn/hs.xsl/1213.htm

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How many times can I take the NCLEX Exam?

The exam can be taken every 45 days for a four year period of time. This is governed by Rule 217.2 which states in part:

  • (c) An applicant for initial licensure by examination shall pass the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN within four years of completion of requirements for graduation.
  • (d) An applicant who has not passed the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN within four years from the date of completion of requirements for graduation must complete a board approved nursing education program in order to take or retake the examination.

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What specific courses are required to be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN® or NCLEX-RN® Exam?

To be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN® examination, the student must have completed an approved program for educating vocational/practical nurses. Correlated theory and clinical practice shall have been completed in the following areas: nursing care of children; maternity nursing;...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can I take the NCLEX-PN® Exam if I have been a paramedic, Navy Corpsman, or Air Force Medic?

The State of Texas has no provision to allow challenge of the licensure examination based on experience. The requirement is that one be a graduate of an approved vocational nursing program to apply for licensure. The only approved military approved vocational nursing...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can I take the NCLEX-PN® if I have completed part of my RN education?

The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) does not allow RN students/graduates to take the NCLEX-PN/VN exam. Additionally, RN students/graduates who have challenged the exam in other states, are not allowed to endorse into Texas. Only graduates from approved schools of vocational nursing are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN/VN exam or endorse into Texas as an LVN.

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Students

Does the BON have policies or statements pertaining to students with disabilities?

The BON does not have statements or policies that specifically address students with disabilities in nursing education programs. Both Rules 214 and 215 require that the curriculum for a nursing education program be designed so that graduates are able to demonstrate the appropriate Differentiated Essential Competencies for Graduates of Texas Nursing Programs: Vocational (VN), Diploma/Associate Degree (DIP/ADN), Baccalaureate (BSN), also referred to as DECs....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Does the BON have specific admission requirements for entry into a school of nursing?

Education rules require that the program have well-defined, written nursing student policies including student admission policies, however, the specifics of the admission requirements are left to the program....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Does the BON have requirements for the exact items that must be kept in the student's record?

Nursing programs are to retain the following items for a minimum of two (2) years:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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How can students have input into program development?

Education rules require that students have mechanisms for input into the development of academic policies and procedures, curriculum planning, and evaluation of teaching effectiveness. One suggestion for student input into the program governance is for the inclusion of student policies that provide for student representation on program committees. Students should be encouraged to have a class organization that will allow for student feedback related to the program.

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What can a nursing student do in his/her job as a nurse tech/medical tech when not functioning as a student in his/her nursing education program?

The exemption of nursing from the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) §301.004(6) does not apply to jobs in which the nursing student is employed outside of the educational experience. Students functioning as unlicensed assistive personnel (UPAs) for compensation may only perform tasks that do...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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When must a nursing student be reported to the BON?

A nursing education program shall report a student to the BON if the program has reasonable cause to suspect that the ability of the nursing student to perform the services of the nursing profession would be, or would reasonably be expected to be,  impaired by chemical dependency (§301.404).

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What do the rules say about nursing students working part-time in a hospital?

Rules 224 and 225 relating to delegation of unlicensed personnel by registered professional nurses apply to such nursing students. The definition of unlicensed personnel in Rule 224.4(4) and in Rule 225.4(12) includes nursing students enrolled in a professional nursing education program...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can LVNs who also hold licenses as RNs still work as vocational nurses?

There is nothing preventing licensed registered nurses from working in the capacity of licensed vocational nurses, however, when working as an LVN, they must stay within the parameters of their scope of practice. Exception: In the event of an emergency, the LVN would be expected to function at the highest level of their education (i.e. professional nurse) and their performance should reflect professional judgment inherent in that role.

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Refresher

Where may I complete the clinical hours? May I do the 80 hours in a school setting, home health care, hospice care, a physician's office, or must the hours be completed in an acute care facility?

The rules are not prescriptive as to the specific setting in which the clinical hours must be completed; however, the optimal setting would provide a wide range of opportunities for...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What should I look for in a preceptor?

The preceptor must be licensed to practice nursing in Texas. Board staff recommends that the preceptor have current knowledge and clinical expertise in the designated area of practice. Individuals applying to re-enter as an RN must have an RN clinical preceptor, and individuals applying to re-enter as an LVN may have either an LVN or RN clinical preceptor.

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I am having difficulty finding a facility in which to complete the clinical component. Can the BON help me?

It is not within the purview of the Board of Nursing (BON) to recommend specific programs or possible clinical sites for refresher programs.

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I live in a rural area and there are no courses in my area. What are my options?

You may participate in an extensive orientation which meets all required content criteria. For example, a potential employer may be willing to provide an in-depth comprehensive...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Do I have to complete all 80 hours in one block of time, such as a two-week period, or may I do 10 hours per week for eight weeks or 20 hours per week for four weeks?

The rules are not prescriptive as to how the hours are to be structured within the six month temporary permit period. However, it is important to remember that the temporary permit is valid for only six months and is non-renewable.

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May I administer medications or do I observe a currently licensed nurse administer medications?

Board staff recommends that you administer medications under the supervision of your preceptor or RN instructor, in alignment with the policies of the clinical learning site.

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May I document in the medical record or do I observe a currently licensed nurse document?

Board staff recommends that you accurately and completely document the nursing care you provide according to the clinical learning site's policies.

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How do I sign my name?

Board staff recommends, e.g.: Mary Smith, RN Temporary Permit.

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May I be paid as a licensed nurse during the 80 hours of clinical learning experiences?

The BON does not have purview regarding this question. Financial compensation is at the clinical learning site's discretion.

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Do I submit my CEUs and fee now or with the license renewal? What is the process?

You may submit CEUs and the applicable fees anytime during the process; however, these items must be submitted prior to the expiration of the temporary permit. Board staff recommends that you submit your 20 contact hours of CNE and the non-refundable fees as soon as possible. Remember the 20 contact hours should be for the two years immediately preceding your application for reactivation.

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I completed a nursing educational program and never passed NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN®. What type of refresher program do I need to complete?

If you have not passed the NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® within four years from the date of completion of requirements for graduation, you must re-educate by completing a board approved nursing educational program in order to take or retake the examination.

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Am I obligated to accept nurses for the 80 hours of clinical learning experiences?

No. However, a CNO or DON may choose to open their place of employment as a clinical learning experience. Individuals seeking to reactivate their nursing license are a potential resource to bolster the nursing workforce.

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My facility does not have a structured course in place, how do I ensure that I am providing the essential elements of the course?

The required content areas are listed on both the RN and LVN Applications for Six-Month Temporary Permit Forms. An overview of requirements provides a description of the general requirements for didactic and clinical content. Requirements include recommendations for time allotted to each content area. Home study and/or video-based programs are not acceptable as the primary or sole means of instruction. The 80 hours of clinical learning must be spent in direct patient care.

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We will have individuals complete the clinical component of the refresher/re-entry course in our hospital. Do we keep them with the same preceptor the entire 80 hours or can we assign them to different preceptors on different days?

The BON does not have specific requirements for the number of preceptors an individual may be assigned to during the 80 hours of clinical. However, all nurses identified as preceptors must meet the BON's qualifications for preceptors and have been oriented to the objectives and expectations of the clinical learning experience....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Nurses Endorsing into Texas from another State

In what order do I complete the forms? Which comes first, endorsement or temporary permit?

The temporary permit is the first step in the process. The temporary permit allows an individual to begin a refresher course, extensive orientation to the practice of nursing, or a nursing program of study which meets the requirements prescribed by the Board. The temporary permit application is a step-by-step guideline that will walk you through the process. It is located on the Board's website, here.

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What is the time frame for the endorsement process after I complete the refresher/re-entry course?

You may begin completing the endorsement application upon completion of the refresher program, extensive orientation, or program of study and subsequent receipt of the Verification of...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Providers of Refresher Programs, Extensive Orientations or Academic Nursing Courses

In light of the new rule revisions, when is the deadline for making changes to our program, orientation or academic nursing courses?

In keeping with the mission of patient safety, the Board adopted revisions to Rules 217.6 and 217.9 to ensure individuals seeking to reactivate their nursing license will be competent to safely practice nursing....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Guidelines for Resources

Does the BON have guidelines for currency of library, video, and software holdings?

Generally, the accepted standard regarding currency of reference materials and other holdings is "no older than 5 years" for educational purposes in nursing education programs. This is not written anywhere as a concrete standard. In most cases, the BON and Board staff apply the "no older than 5 years" standard in relation to the currency requirements in the BON rules...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Unapproved Nursing Educational Programs Operating in Texas

Are there unapproved nursing educational programs operating in Texas?

The Board is aware of the following six schools operating in Texas without Board approval. Graduates from these programs would not be eligible to take the NCLEX licensure examination. Review the BON News posting for more information....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Background Checks

Are background checks required in Texas?

Applicants seeking licensure in Texas by Endorsement or Examination are required to submit a complete and legible set of fingerprints on a form prescribed by the board for the purpose of obtaining a criminal history from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. (Section 301.252 (b) and Section 301.252 (e) of the Texas Occupations Code)...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Becoming a Nurse

What are the rules for becoming a nurse?

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Out-of-State Programs/Online Programs/Correspondence Courses

What information do you have about Out-of-State Programs/Online Programs/Correspondence Courses?

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For more information on these and other topics, use the search field at the top right corner of the page. Should you have further questions or are in need of clarification, please feel free to contact the Board.