Unapproved Nursing Educational Programs Operating in Texas
The Board is aware of five 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.
- 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)
- All NCLEX applicants with outstanding eligibility issues that could prevent them from taking the NCLEX examination upon completion of a nursing program are urged to complete a Declaratory Order application. The Declaratory Order process permits the Board to make decisions regarding an applicant's eligibility for licensure prior to entering or completing a nursing program.
Becoming a Nurse
Out-of-State Programs/Online Programs/Correspondence Courses
The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) approves and regulates nursing educational programs in the State of Texas. The Texas BON does recognize graduates from pre-licensure nursing educational programs that are approved/accredited by other State Boards of Nursing as eligible to apply to take the NCLEX examination(s) and apply for licensure in Texas.
Approval by the Texas BON for pre-licensure nursing education programs in Texas is mandatory by statute. Nursing educational programs offering baccalaureate nursing courses to registered nurses are not under the mandated jurisdiction of the Texas BON. RN to BSN students are already licensed to practice as registered nurses. Many of the generic pre-licensure baccalaureate degree nursing education programs in Texas approved by the Texas BON have RN to BSN tracks included in their programs.
Listings of all vocational and professional nursing educational programs approved by the Texas BON are available on the Texas BON web site. The contact information for each program is included in the lists. Some may offer online or correspondence courses as educational options when completing the nursing educational program. The programs can be contacted directly to find out what types of educational options are available.
Out-of-state nursing educational programs can be contacted directly for information and specific questions about the program and the program’s approval/accreditation status in their state. It is recommended that individuals research the approval/accreditation status and credibility of any nursing educational program before enrolling in individual courses or the entire program of study.
NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN Examination
Where can I find more information about the new Innovative test items?
The NCLEX examination will include questions other than multiple choice. Alternate test items will include, fill in the blank, point and click to identify locations and multiple response items. More information can be acquired at:
Where can I find a copy of the NCLEX test bulletin?
A copy of the NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin can be found at
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:
What specific courses are required to be eligible to take
the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN Exam?
To be eligible to take the NCLEX-PNŽ 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; nursing care of the aged; nursing care of adults; and nursing care of individuals with mental health problems. It is expected that the graduate has completed a minimum of 1,398 clock hours of study with 558 hours for classroom instruction and 840 hours for clinical practice. The specific vocational nursing curriculum content is located in Rule 214.9. Other specifics about this eligibility may be found in Rule 217.2.
To be eligible to take the NCLEX-RNŽ examination, the student must have completed a Board approved professional nursing education program (associate degree program, baccalaureate degree program, master’s degree program, or diploma program). Other eligibility requirements and specifics can be found in Rule 217.2.
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 program is the Army Practical Nurse Course (formerly 91C). If you have taken college classes or have health occupation experience you could inquire at a local vocational nursing education program to learn about transfer credit or advanced placement. They may give credit for previous courses, but that is the decision of each vocational nurse program.
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.
Will the Texas Board of Nursing help me with
a problem in my school of nursing?
The mission of the Texas Board of Nursing is to protect and promote the welfare of the people of Texas by ensuring that each person holding a license as a nurse in the State of Texas is competent to practice safely. The Board fulfills its mission through the regulation of the practice of nursing and the approval of nursing education programs. The Board is interested in ensuring that nursing education is in compliance with Rules and Regulations in order to protect the public through safe nursing care. The Board will consider written and signed complaints about nursing education programs which reflect upon the quality of nursing education and pose noncompliance with education rules. However, the Board has no purview over school policies, grades, or conflicts between students and faculty. Most schools have processes in place for dealing with such issues and students are encouraged to follow appropriate procedure in the institution.
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 who are providing care for monetary compensation which is not a part of their formal educational program. Basically, the registered nurse may delegate certain nursing tasks which the RN determines can be properly and safely performed by the unlicensed personnel under the supervision of the RN. In such a capacity, nursing students may not perform any tasks requiring independent nursing judgment such as care plans, assessments, etc. Please refer to further details about delegation in the Delegation Resource Packet.
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.