Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Waiting for Licensure

If you have an issue, such as a criminal history or a mental illness diagnosis, do not wait to find out if the Texas Nursing Board will license you. You should not wait until graduation or almost graduation time to find out what action the Board is going to take, because occasionally the Board’s decision can delay a graduate nurse or keep him/her from working permanently.

You are able to petition the Board even before entering nursing school to discover what actions, if any; they propose to resolve your issue. Under Board rule, section 213.30(a), “A person enrolled or planning to enroll in an educational nursing program that prepares a person for an initial license as a registered or vocational nurse or an applicant who seeks licensure by endorsement pursuant to §217.5 of this title (relating to Temporary License and Endorsement) who has reason to believe that he or she may be ineligible for licensure, may petition the Board for a declaratory order or apply for a license by endorsement as to his or her eligibility.” Please note that there is a charge for Petitioning the Board for a Declaratory Order, but it is best to know if you are eligible for licensure before spending all the money on nursing school.

Also note that since this is the first opportunity the Board has to “see” a potential nurse, it is important that the nurse seek experienced help in preparing the documents to the Board. An attorney that regularly represents nurses before the Board can assist in this. Do not rely upon friends, family or instructors because they are not familiar with the Board’s policies and rules.

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