I am answering the question on my licensure application: Have you used your nursing knowledge, skills and abilities within the past four (4) years? I’m not sure what this means, can I include volunteer positions or caring for a disabled family member? How does the Board of Nursing (BON) define “use of nursing knowledge, skills, and abilities?”
The practice of nursing is based on the specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities that registered nurses (RNs) and vocational nurses (LVNs) acquired in their professional or vocational nursing programs of study. The practice of nursing is not limited to the traditional roles, such as providing hands on, direct patient care, or teaching in a nursing program, or working as a nurse administrator. There are many more activities that nurses perform that comprise nursing practice, that are not in these traditional roles.
The practice of nursing involves the nurses’ use of specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired from nursing education to perform a task, an activity, or to complete an assignment or job, regardless of whether compensation is received. This includes volunteer positions, or caring for family members, significant others or friends. Whether a nurse is in a paid or volunteer role, the nurse must know and comply with the Nursing Practice Act, Board Rules and Regulations, and any laws, rules, or regulations applicable to the nurse's area of practice. A nurse is responsible to maintain professional boundaries and confidentiality in relation to the nursing care being provided.
Nurses use their specialized nursing knowledge, skills and abilities for example, when a nurse is in the role of a nurse researcher performing health related research in support of improved practice and patient outcomes. Other examples of non-traditional nursing roles include health education, utilization review, health information technology, policy and rule writing, consulting, and writing for nursing publications such as journal articles, books or continuing nursing education programs.
There are employment positions that may not use the title of nurse however, if the essential job functions require the knowledge, skills and abilities of the nurse, then the employee is practicing nursing and should be licensed as a nurse.
There is not a requirement for a specific number of hours of nursing practice within a licensure cycle for the LVN or the RN. Area of practice is defined as “any activity, assignment, or task in which the nurse utilized nursing knowledge, judgment, or skills during the licensure renewal cycle” and may provide additional guidance in answering this licensure application question. Please be aware that the advanced practice registered nurse is required to have a minimum of 400 hours of current practice within the licensure renewal cycle that must meet the requirements of the Board Rules in Chapter 221, related to Advanced Practice Nurses.
- Nursing Practice Act, Section 301.002 (2) & (5).Nursing Practice Act
- Texas Board of Nursing Rule 217.11 (1) (A) & (1) (E) & (1) (J).Standards of Nursing Practice
- Texas Board of Nursing Rule 216.1 (4).Continuing Competency
- Texas Board of Nursing Rule 221.8.Advanced Practice Nurses