Board of Nursing
In order to understand the differences between nursing professional associations and boards, it is vital to review the key features of each entity. A board of nursing (BoN) is a state agency that operates on behalf of the government. In total, there are 59 Boards of Nursing in the United States. The key purpose of such entities is to supervise the nursing practice in terms of its safety and competence. In other words, BoNs serve as the primary regulators of nursing at the state level. They oversee most procedures, including education, practice, licensing, and certification of professionals. In addition, each state’s Board of Nursing is responsible for maintaining high standards of practice, which include professional and ethical competencies. Following non-compliance with regulations, BoNs have the right to pursue disciplinary actions.
Professional Nursing Association
On the other hand, a nursing association represents a professional membership organization that unites registered nurses. Unlike BoNs, nursing associations are private and neither state-owned nor state regulated. The number of such entities is large, with over 100 national associations, as well as numerous state-level and international ones. The primary idea of them is to unite RNs and grant them a united voice. Evidently, an association membership provides nurses with considerable benefits, making them part of a larger group that can actually address topical issues of the profession. However, these advantages come at a price, as most associations imply a membership fee.
Texas Board of Nursing
In the case of Texas, the profession is regulated by the Texas Board of Nursing. At present, the Board consists of 13 members who represent the various dimensions of nursing activities. The president of the Board, Kathy Shipp, represents the APRN aspect of the profession, whereas Allison Porter-Edwards, the vice-president, has a background in nursing education. Out of the total 13 members, 6 represent professional nurses. Next, 3 members of the Board are nurse educators, which is another dimension of the professional sphere. Finally, to maintain the integrity of the board, there 4 representatives of the general public. This way, the diversity of the Board is ensured by its composition.
Texas Board of Nursing: How Does One Become a Member?
Section 301.052 of the Texas Nursing Code regulates the membership and eligibility of the state Board of Nursing. All 13 members of the Board are advised by the Senate of Texas as the best candidates to maintain the safety and integrity of the profession. Next, the candidates are approved and appointed directly by the state’s governor. The advice and appointment procedures guarantee that no biases factor into the decisions. In other words, the candidates are selected based on their expertise, irrespective of sex, race, disability, religion, cultural background, or any other factors. This principle corresponds with the values of nursing as a profession.
Texas Regulations of General Nurse Practice: Shift Limit
State boards wield power to enforce their own regulations that define the scope of nursing practice in the area. In the case of Texas, one of the most interesting regulations is related to the capped shift duration for all RNs. More specifically, a nurse cannot legally work more than 12.5 hours within a period of 24 hours. Next, the limit for 7 consecutive days is 60 hours of work in total. An additional requirement prevents nurses from working more than 3 consecutive days of 12-hour shifts. This requirement is compulsory for all nurses and all institutions under the jurisdiction of the Texas Board of Nursing.
Texas Regulations of General Nurse Practice: Implications
The aforementioned shift duration cap bears several implications for the nursing practice, as well as for the delivery of care. First of all, nurses are recognized as important elements of the healthcare system. Specifically, the Board acknowledges the difficulty of the job by introducing serious restrictions for the duration of uninterrupted work. This way, nursing is recognized as a demanding profession in terms of both physical and mental efforts, which cannot be performed without quality rest. As a result, nurses see a better work-life balance and reduce the possibility of professional burnout. For healthcare delivery, in general, this idea means that patients can experience a better quality of care. Exhausted nurses cannot guarantee the high standards of the profession. In addition, with less burnout, there are fewer staffing problems, which indirectly contributes to the affordability of care.
APRN Regulation: Medication Prescription
In addition to the general scope of the nursing practice, BoNs provide specific regulations for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). These regulations are subject to considerable variations across different states. One of the key premises for these variations is the prescriptive authority of an APRN. In the case of Texas, an Advanced Practice nurse can issue a prescription as long the key conditions are met. More specifically, an APRN needs to have written authorization from a collaborating physician who confirms the expertise of the nurse. Evidently, the APRN’s credentials, background, and reputation are to be on par.
APRN Regulation: Implications
The prescriptive authority of Advanced Practice nurses in Texas reflects the state’s acknowledgment of their pivotal role in the new reality of healthcare. Specifically, nurses are no longer viewed as inferior practitioners in any capacity. Instead, their scope of practice remains on the stable increase, contributing to the decision-making potential of RNs. This is a vivid example of the new approach to high-standard care delivery in Texas and the U.S., in particular. This way, nurses benefit from a higher status within the professional community, as well as the ability to make a difference. At the same time, patients in need of prescription medicine enjoy the accessibility and affordability of such services attained through a higher number of available practitioners.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2021). ANA Enterprise. Web.
Germack, H. D. (2020). States should remove barriers to advanced practice registered nurse prescriptive authority to increase access to treatment for opioid use disorder. Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice, 22(2), 85–92. Web.
Texas Board of Nursing (TBoN). (2021). Web.