TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 11. TEXAS BOARD OF NURSING

CHAPTER 211. GENERAL PROVISIONS

22 TAC §211.7

The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) adopts amendments to §211.7, concerning Executive Director. The amendments are being adopted without changes to the proposed text published in the December 9, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 9688) and will not be republished.

Reasoned Justification

The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.101(b) and add new subsection (j) to the section. The adopted amendments are necessary to authorize the Executive Director of the Board to accept the voluntary closure of a vocational nursing education program or a professional nursing education program without the need for Board ratification. Permitting a program to submit a voluntary closure to the Board's Executive Director reduces the amount of time the program must wait until it is eligible to submit a new proposal for approval from the Board at a later date. Additionally, appearing before the Board in open meeting can be a difficult experience for some programs that are ceasing their operations. Offering these programs an alternative to appearing before the Board in an open meeting may ease some anxiety during the closure process, and appearing before the Board is not necessary in order for the program to complete its teach out process. Further, these amendments are being adopted simultaneously with other changes to Board Rules §214.3 and §215.3 and are necessary for consistency with those adopted changes. Those adopted amendments are being published elsewhere in this issue of the Texas Register.

The amendments were considered by the Board at its regularly scheduled October 2016 meeting and approved for adoption if no public comments or a request for a public hearing were received. No comments were received regarding the proposed changes.

How the Section Will Function. Adopted new §211.7(j) provides that the Executive Director of the Board is authorized to accept the voluntary closure of a vocational nursing education program or a professional nursing education program without Board ratification. Further, the adopted new subsection requires the Executive Director to report summaries of these types of voluntary education program closures to the Board at its regular meetings.

Summary of Comments and Agency Response. The agency did not receive any comments on the proposal.

Statutory Authority. The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.101(b). Section 301.151 addresses the Board's rulemaking authority. Section 301.151 authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce rules consistent with Chapter 301 and necessary to: (i) perform its duties and conduct proceedings before the Board; (ii) regulate the practice of professional nursing and vocational nursing; (iii) establish standards of professional conduct for license holders under Chapter 301; and (iv) determine whether an act constitutes the practice of professional nursing or vocational nursing. Section 301.101(b) provides that under the direction of the Board, the Executive Director shall perform the duties required by this chapter or designated by the Board.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 11, 2017.

TRD-201700142

Jena Abel

Assistant General Counsel

Texas Board of Nursing

Effective date: January 31, 2017

Proposal publication date: December 9, 2016

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6822


CHAPTER 214. VOCATIONAL NURSING EDUCATION

22 TAC §214.3

Introduction

The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) adopts amendments to §214.3, concerning Program Development, Expansion and Closure. The amendments are being adopted without changes to the proposed text published in the December 9, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 9689) and will not be republished.

Reasoned Justification

The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.157 and allow the Executive Director of the Board to accept a nursing education program's voluntary closure without the need for Board ratification. Since September 1, 2015, the Board has received four (4) voluntary closures from nursing education programs. From January 2014 through July 2015, there were nine (9) schools that were experiencing potential withdrawal of program approval, board action regarding the status of the program, or voluntary program closure. The Board's current rules do not contemplate the voluntary closure of a program. Under the Board's current structure, a program must wait for the Board to vote to close a program at one of its quarterly Board meetings. As such, this can be a difficult and lengthy period of time for a program.

The adopted amendments will shorten the time period a program must wait to begin its teach out and submit a new program proposal for approval, should it choose to do so. However, the adoption does not, in any way, relieve a program of its obligations to complete an appropriate teach out for its students and to meet the other requirements of the chapter. Further, the adopted amendments clarify that a nursing education program that submits its voluntary closure must wait one calendar year (12 months) from the date its voluntary closure is accepted by the Executive Director before submitting a new nursing education program proposal to the Board for approval. This time frame is consistent with current Board policy and rule (§214.4(c)(12)), which require a one year time out period for programs whose proposals are denied or whose approval is withdrawn by the Board. Further, these amendments are being adopted simultaneously with other changes to Board Rules 211.7 and 215.3 and are necessary for consistency with those adopted changes. Those adopted amendments are being published elsewhere in this issue of the Texas Register.

The amendments were considered by the Board at its regularly scheduled October 2016 meeting and approved for adoption if no public comments or a request for a public hearing were received. No comments were received regarding the proposed changes.

How the Section Will Function. Adopted §214.3(d)(4) provides that a program's voluntary closure may be accepted by the Executive Director of the Board without requirement of Board ratification. Further, notice of a program's accepted closure will be sent to the director or coordinator and others as determined by the Board. The chief administrative officer of the governing entity will also be notified by the Board when the program's closure is accepted by the Executive Director. Once the program's voluntary closure has been accepted by the Executive Director, the program shall then be removed from the list of Board approved professional nursing education programs.

Adopted §214.3(d)(5) permits a program that has voluntarily closed to reapply for approval. However, the new proposal may not be submitted to the Board until at least twelve (12) calendar months have elapsed from the date the program's closure was accepted by the Executive Director.

Adopted §214.3(d)(6) ensures that a program submitting its voluntary closure to the Board must comply with all of the other requirements of the section, including requirements related to a student teach out.

Summary of Comments and Agency Response. The agency did not receive any comments on the proposal.

Statutory Authority.

The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.157.

Section 301.151 addresses the Board's rulemaking authority. Section 301.151 authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce rules consistent with Chapter 301 and necessary to: (i) perform its duties and conduct proceedings before the Board; (ii) regulate the practice of professional nursing and vocational nursing; (iii) establish standards of professional conduct for license holders under Chapter 301; and (iv) determine whether an act constitutes the practice of professional nursing or vocational nursing.

Section 301.157(a), (b), and (d) authorize the Board to prescribe nursing education programs of study, approve schools of nursing end educational programs, prescribe rules as necessary to conduct approved schools of nursing and educational programs for the preparation of registered nurses or vocational nurses; and deny or withdraw approval from nursing education programs. Section 301.157(d-3) further provides that programs whose approval has been withdrawn may reapply for approval.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 11, 2017.

TRD-201700143

Jena Abel

Assistant General Counsel

Texas Board of Nursing

Effective date: January 31, 2017

Proposal publication date: December 9, 2016

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6822


CHAPTER 215. PROFESSIONAL NURSING EDUCATION

22 TAC §215.3

Introduction

The Texas Board of Nursing (Board) adopts amendments to §215.3, concerning Program Development, Expansion and Closure. The amendments are being adopted without changes to the proposed text published in the December 9, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 9691) and will not be republished.

Reasoned Justification

The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.157 and allow the Executive Director of the Board to accept a nursing education program's voluntary closure without the need for Board ratification. Since September 1, 2015, the Board has received four (4) voluntary closures from nursing education programs. From January 2014 through July 2015, there were nine (9) schools that were experiencing potential withdrawal of program approval, board action regarding the status of the program, or voluntary program closure. The Board's current rules do not contemplate the voluntary closure of a program. Under the Board's current structure, a program must wait for the Board to vote to close a program at one of its quarterly Board meetings. As such, this can be a difficult and lengthy period of time for a program.

The adopted amendments will shorten the time period a program must wait to begin its teach out and submit a new program proposal for approval, should it choose to do so. However, the adoption does not, in any way, relieve a program of its obligations to complete an appropriate teach out for its students and to meet the other requirements of the chapter. Further, the adopted amendments clarify that a nursing education program that submits its voluntary closure must wait one calendar year (12 months) from the date its voluntary closure is accepted by the Executive Director before submitting a new nursing education program proposal to the Board for approval. This time frame is consistent with current Board policy and rule (§215.4(c)(12)), which require a one year time out period for programs whose proposals are denied or whose approval is withdrawn by the Board. Further, these amendments are being adopted simultaneously with other changes to Board Rules 211.7 and 214.3 and are necessary for consistency with those adopted changes. Those adopted amendments are being published elsewhere in this issue of the Texas Register.

The amendments were considered by the Board at its regularly scheduled October 2016 meeting and approved for adoption if no public comments or a request for a public hearing were received. No comments were received regarding the proposed changes.

How the Section Will Function. Adopted §215.3(d)(4) provides that a program's voluntary closure may be accepted by the Executive Director of the Board without requirement of Board ratification. Further, notice of a program's accepted closure will be sent to the director or coordinator and others as determined by the Board. The chief administrative officer of the governing entity will also be notified by the Board when the program's closure is accepted by the Executive Director. Once the program's voluntary closure has been accepted by the Executive Director, the program shall then be removed from the list of Board approved professional nursing education programs.

Adopted §215.3(d)(5) permits a program that has voluntarily closed to reapply for approval. However, the new proposal may not be submitted to the Board until at least twelve (12) calendar months have elapsed from the date the program's closure was accepted by the Executive Director.

Adopted §215.3(d)(6) ensures that a program submitting its voluntary closure to the Board must comply with all of the other requirements of the section, including requirements related to a student teach out.

Summary of Comments and Agency Response. The agency did not receive any comments on the proposal.

Statutory Authority. The amendments are adopted under the authority of the Occupations Code §301.151 and §301.157.

Section 301.151 addresses the Board's rulemaking authority. Section 301.151 authorizes the Board to adopt and enforce rules consistent with Chapter 301 and necessary to: (i) perform its duties and conduct proceedings before the Board; (ii) regulate the practice of professional nursing and vocational nursing; (iii) establish standards of professional conduct for license holders under Chapter 301; and (iv) determine whether an act constitutes the practice of professional nursing or vocational nursing.

Section 301.157(a), (b), and (d) authorize the Board to prescribe nursing education programs of study, approve schools of nursing end educational programs, prescribe rules as necessary to conduct approved schools of nursing and educational programs for the preparation of registered nurses or vocational nurses; and deny or withdraw approval from nursing education programs. Section 301.157(d-3) further provides that programs whose approval has been withdrawn may reapply for approval.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on January 11, 2017.

TRD-201700144

Jena Abel

Assistant General Counsel

Texas Board of Nursing

Effective date: January 31, 2017

Proposal publication date: December 9, 2016

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6822