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Frequently Asked Questions on Requirements for Refresher Programs, Extensive Orientations and Nursing Academic Courses


General Information

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?

Answer: 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 the individual to develop a broad set of skills. The selection of the clinical site should be based on the learning opportunities available and the learning needs and competency level of the individual learner. Individuals desiring to re-enter nursing should search for clinical learning experiences that will assist them to acquire the skills necessary to provide nursing care in a competent and safe manner.

What should I look for in a preceptor?

Answer: 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 a RN must have a RN clinical preceptor, and individuals applying to re-enter as a LVN may have either a LVN or RN clinical preceptor.

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

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

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

Answer: 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 orientation. Or you may enroll in an online refresher program for the didactic component. However, if you complete an online program, you will still need to locate a clinical preceptor to complete the clinical hour requirements.
You may wish to explore the Distance Learning, Re-Entry Nursing Program available through many Texas Community Colleges. This program is designed to reconnect individuals with nursing practice. Their contact is information is http://nurserefresher.austincc.edu/index.html

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?

Answer: 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.

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

Answer: 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.

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

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

How do I sign my name?

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

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

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

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

Answer: 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 CE 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.

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

Answer: 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.

Nurses Endorsing into Texas from another State

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

Answer: 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, under Verification and Licensing, then Download Other Paper Applications and Forms, then scroll down to LVN Six Month Temporary Permit or RN Six Month Temporary Permit.

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

Answer: 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 Successful Completion form. If all the requirements are met for the endorsement process, a 120 day temporary license will be issued within ten business days of receipt of the online application. Endorsement information can be found under Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) – Licensing, then Endorsement Applicants.

Chief Nursing Officers (CNO)/Directors of Nursing (DON)

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

Answer: 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.

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

Answer: 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.

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?

Answer: 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.
Historically, the Board has recommended that individuals work with one preceptor if possible. With one preceptor monitoring the individual’s progression through the program, there is greater opportunity to identify any weaknesses or need for immediate remediation.

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?

Answer: 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.
Rules 217.6 and 217.9 contain revisions and are available on the Board’s website, under Nursing Law and Rules, then Rules and Regulations. The application for temporary permit process and the general requirements for course content also contain revisions. The applications are available on the Board’s website, under Verification and Licensing, then Download Other Paper Applications and Forms, then LVN – Six Month Temporary Permit or RN – Six Month Temporary Permit. These new changes became effective October 1, 2010. Refresher Program Providers will have until August 31, 2011 to comply with the new rules.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

I am an APRN. Can I just complete the APRN refresher course in lieu of completing the RN refresher course?

Answer: No. You must complete the RN refresher course in its entirety before your RN license may be reinstated. You must have a current RN license in order to complete an APRN refresher course/extensive orientation.