The mission of the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) 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. This mission, derived from the Nursing Practice Act, supersedes the interest of any individual, the nursing profession, or any special interest group.
Acting in accordance with the highest standards of ethics, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness, and openness, the Texas Board of Nursing approaches its mission with a deep sense of purpose and responsibility and affirms that the regulation of nursing is a public and private trust. The Board assumes a proactive leadership role in regulating nursing practice and nursing education. The Board serves as a catalyst for developing partnerships and promoting collaboration in addressing regulatory issues. The public and nursing community alike can be assured of a balanced and responsible approach to regulation.
Customer Service Standards - The agency is committed to providing excellent service to our customers, the citizens of Texas. We will provide prompt, professional and courteous service in person, as well as on the telephone, through correspondence, and over the Internet. We will provide materials which are clear and understandable. We will respond to requests for information in a timely manner. We will seek feedback and respond to the feedback of our customers.
The BON provides the following services to its external customers:
- Licensing Services: The BON licenses nurses as new
graduates through examination and endorsement from other states. All nurses are required to
renew their license on an biennial basis with evidence of required continuing education.
The BON licenses qualified registered nurses to enter practice as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs),
including nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse
midwives. The processing time required for licensing services is 10 working days from
receipt of all required documents, but is often accomplished more quickly. Licensure
issues such as past criminal behavior may lengthen these time lines substantially because
they must be referred to the Enforcement Department for investigation. Licensure services
- Approval of an applicant to sit for the national licensure examination.
- Issuance of a license following successful examination.
- Issuance of a temporary license by endorsement pending complete verification in all states of licensure.
- Issuance of a permanent license upon completion of all application requirements.
- Renewal of a nursing license.
- Interim approval for eligible APRNs relocating to Texas.
- Full APRN licensure following completion of all application requirements.
- Renewal of APRN licensure.
- Maintain a registry of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who practice in certain outpatient settings that are not otherwise regulated.
- Program Approval Services: The BON approves schools of nursing which prepare nurses for initial entry into nursing practice. The BON also approves new APRN programs not accredited by a national nursing accreditation agency. At the present time, there are 107 professional schools of nursing are approved by the BON and 97 vocational schools of nursing are approved by the BON. Accreditation services include:
- Annual review of approval status of all nursing education programs.
- Survey visits to programs not holding national nursing accreditation at least once every 6 years. Triggers, such as a drop in the pass rate of graduates on the national licensure examination or complaints from consumers, may result in more frequent on-site surveys of programs.
- Enforcement Services: The BON enforces the Nursing Practice Act and BON Rules and
Regulations by setting minimum standards for nursing practice and nursing education,
conducting investigations of complaints against nurses and adjudicating complaints. This is
most often accomplished through informal settlement. If we are unable to settle informally
with the nurse, we will proceed to formal, contested resolution through the State Office
of Administrative Hearings. Time lines for enforcement services are as follows but may be
delayed by formal contested resolution:
- Resolution of Complaints: In FY 99, the BON closed approximately 41% of cases within 6 months, 28% within 6-12 months, and 31% in over 1 year. The average resolution time for jurisdictional complaints was 217 calendar days. The BON received 3 additional investigator positions during FY 99 and our plan is to improve on these time lines.
- Complainants receive letters on the status of their complaints every 90 days and, if a case is unresolved after 1 year, a letter of explanation is sent to the complainant.
- Complaints can be filed at any time against a nurse by completing a written complaint form transmitted by US mail, fax, or e-mail. The form is available by several venues. A toll-free number hosted by the Health Professions Council receives complaints against various health care professionals. Following receipt of a call to this number, a complaint form is mailed to the complainant. The form is also available at the BON's web site: www.bon.texas.gov along with explanations of the complaint process. Complaints are also received over the telephone in the agency and a form is then mailed to the complainant.
- Information Services: The BON provides various information to customers including
verbal, written and electronic information. The BON's web site contains information
including the Nursing Practice Act, BON Rules and Guidelines, BON Position Statements, the
agency's physical location, and disciplinary and licensure information. Publications of
the BON are available upon request for a minimal fee. Time lines for requests for
information by venues other than the Internet are as follows:
- Requests for general information by telephone: Our goal is to answer or return all calls received by noon by the close of the business day and all calls received after noon by noon on the following work day. This is a challenge since the agency receives approximately 250,000 calls a year.
- Nurses are informed of standards, laws, rule changes and changes in BON policy through webinars, quarterly newsletters and 6-8 workshops per year conducted by the BON in rotating sites throughout the state.
- Requests for information via the BON's webmaster: Our goal is to respond to e-mail requests within 24 hours.
- The BON's web site also contains consumer links to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing where consumer oriented information is available, including contact information for other state boards of nursing, information on chemical dependency in the nursing profession and information on expected professional boundaries that nurses should maintain in their relationships with patients.
- Open Records requests will be answered within 10 days unless an Attorney General Opinion is sought through the Attorney General's Office.
- Licensure verification requests are answered within 10 working days.
- Publications and orders of labels or lists are mailed within 10 working days of the request.
- The BON's newsletter is mailed to nurses and other subscribers quarterly.
Future Customer Needs
The BON implemented the Nurse Licensure Compact on January 1, 2000. The Compact provides for states to recognize a license from another state. You will find more information about the Compact on the BON's web site. Our goal is to give the same priority to complaints against nurses who reside in Texas but violate the laws of another Compact state.
You may reach the Texas Board of Nursing at:
Texas Board of Nursing
William P. Hobby Building
333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460
Austin, Texas 78701-3944
Telephone Number: 512/305-7400
Toll-free Complaint Line: 1-800-821-3205
Fax Number: 512/305-7401
Web site: www.bon.texas.gov
The BON affords individuals an opportunity to speak directly to its membership at its regularly scheduled meetings during open forums. If you wish to address the BON on any matter under its jurisdiction, please contact Patricia Vianes-Cabrera at 512/305-6811 for dates and times.
We are also interested in your comments on the services provided by the BON. To address any concerns related to customer service, you may contact the BON's Customer Service Representative, Bruce Holter at 512/305-6842 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.