Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree
Within the last year, there has been a great deal of discussion at the national level about the doctor of nursing practice degree. This degree is promoted by professional organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
The Texas Board of Nursing has not discussed this issue and does not have a position on the issue at this time. Additionally, although the board would never discourage nurses from furthering their education, nothing in current rules requires that advanced practice nurses be educated at the doctoral level to obtain authorization to practice in an advanced practice role and specialty.
Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Examination
Please be advised that the Texas Board of Nursing now recognizes the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board’s (PNCB’s) acute care pediatric nurse practitioner examination. This examination will meet the certification requirement for advanced practice nurses who were educated in the acute (or critical) care pediatric nurse practitioner role and specialty only!
It has also come to the board’s attention that pediatric nurse practitioners who were educated and certified as primary care pediatric nurse practitioners have been invited to sit for the acute care pediatric nurse practitioner (ACPNP) examination if they are working in acute care settings. Please remember authorization to practice in a particular advanced practice role and specialty and use of a particular advanced practice title is granted by the board based on educational preparation. Although the PNCB may grant permission for you to sit for the acute care pediatric nurse practitioner examination, you are not eligible to use the ACPNP title or hold yourself out as an ACPNP unless you have been authorized to do so by the Texas Board of Nursing. Additionally, please be aware that you must maintain your national certification as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner in order to maintain your authorization to practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the State of Texas.
Policy Regarding the Acceptance of APRN National Certification Examination Reviews Performed by NCSBN
Rule 221.4(b) requires that applicants for authorization to practice as an advanced practice nurse obtain national certification in their advanced role and specialty if they completed their advanced educational program on or after January 1, 1996. The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) recognizes specific certification examinations for specific roles and specialty areas. The Board has an obligation to the public it serves and to its licensees to verify that each certification examination tests for entry level competence in the particular advanced practice role and specialty. Therefore, the Board must have a process in place whereby each examination is reviewed for initial recognition and on a recurring basis in order to be certain the certification process continues to meet the criteria set forth by the Board in the “Criteria for Evaluation of National Certification Examinations for Recognition from the Texas Board of Nursing,” adopted in October 2003.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) also has a review process in place for advanced practice certification examinations. The NCSBN’s examination review criteria have been reviewed and determined to be substantially equivalent to the evaluation criteria adopted by the Board. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the Board to recognize certification examinations that have previously been reviewed and approved by the NCSBN in lieu of completing a separate evaluation. This shall include both review of new examinations as well as recurrent reviews of existing examinations.
The Board reserves the right to complete its own review of any certification examination at any time. Factors that may trigger a review include but are not limited to the following:
- Unusually high or low pass rate
- New examinations that have not yet and/or will not be reviewed by NCSBN
- Substantive concern from the community of interest related to the quality of the examination content or the certification process
Should the NCSBN review an examination as a result of any of the aforementioned factors, the Board may elect to accept the NCSBN’s review in lieu of completing its own evaluation.
Adopted July 21, 2005