Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare industry in the United States. The role of nurses as patient advocates and professional care providers has never been more crucial in meeting the healthcare demands of an ever-increasing number of patients. Patients’ requirements are assessed and identified by Registered Nurses (RNs), who subsequently implement and monitor the patient’s medical plan and therapy. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are educated and certified to assess, diagnose, and manage patient problems, as well as order tests and write prescriptions. APRNs are registered nurses who have completed a master’s, or postgraduate degree, and are working in a specific job with a specific patient group.
Noting these important functions of nurses, it is important that those entrusted to carry out these functions are qualified and approved to practice. This is the essence of licensure and certification in nursing, to ensure that only qualified persons are allowed to practice nursing and deliver quality healthcare services. In different states, there is a body that oversees the task of issuing licenses to qualified persons. This body is identified as the Board of Nursing (BON). The issuing of certifications is a job for nationally accredited certifying organizations.
In Texas, the Texas Board of Nursing is responsible for nursing licensure. To qualify for the licensure, you must meet certain requirements established by the board and take a validation test. For APRNs, you’ll need an RN license, advanced education, and certification to qualify. The board identifies the following major APRN roles:
Texas is a member of the Nurse Licensing Compact(NLC), which means that if you have a valid Texas nursing license, you can practice in other compact states. Texas is one of the states that also enacted the enhanced nursing licensure compact. The Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) was implemented in 2018 to help streamline the process for nurses. It included criteria for licensure that the compact license did not have previously. The NLC, for example, did not require applicants to take to federal and state fingerprint-based criminal background checks, whereas the eNLC does. If your aim is to become an NP, then you must ensure you have your RN license either from Texas or from a Compact state.