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Nurse Practice Act Comparison of Indiana and Texas

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Nurse Practice Act Comparison of Indiana and Texas

Many people are aware that there is a governing body over hospitals, doctors, and nurses, but many do not know that each of these are separate. Not only is there a specific entity over nurses in the United States, but each state has its own Board of Nursing to define and govern all practice of professional nurses. These state boards promote safety and help to ensure that all employed nurses obtain quality education and practice with proper licensure. This essay compares and contrasts Indiana's Nurse Practice Acts to those of Texas and describes the certain details of each state's Board of Nursing. The data included has been procured from each state's government website, which entails the Nurse Practice Acts.

In the state of Indiana, the Board of Nurses consists of nine members who are appointed by the governor of the state. Each member of the board serves a four-year term that is subject to their death, resignation, or being removed by the governor. The board consists of six registered nurses (RN), two licensed practical nurses (LPN), and one state resident to represent the general public. Each member must also file the constitutional oath of office with the secretary of state. To be appointed, RN members of the board are recommended on or before December 1st of each year there are vacancies by the Indiana State Nurses' Association. However, the number of recommendations may not be less than twice the number of vacancies to fulfill. The exact same holds for the appointment of LPN members, except they are recommended by the Indiana Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses.

In order to be appointed, all members have to meet certain qualifications. RNs and LPNs must be citizens of the United States, reside and be licensed in Indiana, and graduates of an accredited nursing program with five years experience after completion. Additionally, they must be actively practicing three years preceding appointment and active during their term.

In the state of Texas, the Board of Nurses members are similar to Indiana in that they are appointed by the governor. However, their board consists of thirteen members: one advanced practice nurse (APN); two RNs who are not APNs or members of a nurse faculty; three vocational nurses who, too, are not members of a nurse faculty; three school of nursing faculty members; and four members who represent the general public. To qualify to be a member in Texas, nurses must have practiced three of the five years preceding appointment as opposed to just the three years prior as required in Indiana.

Texas goes further with their eligibility specifications as to prevent conflicts of interest. Persons (or their spouse) who are involved with an health related occupational regulatory agency, employed by an entity that provides health care services, supplies, or equipment, or regulated and receives money from the board are ineligible for appointment. Further these persons also include those who has more than 10% ownership of said companies are not eligible. While members of the Indiana board serve four year terms, Texans also serve staggered six year terms that expire on January 31st of each odd-numbered year. For members of the Texas board, a training program must be completed before any duties are carried out.

The myriad of duties to be carried out by members of both states are the same. Members adopt rules into the practice acts along with governing and examining standards, curricula, and accreditation for nursing programs, licensure, and applicants. They also carry the duty of issue subpoenas, obtain witnesses, and carry out oaths to individuals providing testimony at disciplinary hearings. In Indiana, subcommittees are also created by the board to address various areas of nursing within the state. It is also the board who collects and distributes demographic data on RNs and LPNs in the state each year in Indiana.

With regard to state licensure laws for nursing, there are similarities and differences between Texas and Indiana. Both states require that applicants must not have been convicted of a crime that bears on their ability to competently carryout their duties as a nurse. Further, both require that applicants have graduated from an accredited program and pay applicable application fees.

As similar as both states' licensure laws are, they are yet different. In addition to applicants not having derogatory criminal backgrounds, Indiana specifies that they also must not have committed any acts that would be considered grounds for disciplinary action. It is also stated in the Indiana Nurse Practice Act that applicants must demonstrate that they are physically and mentally capable to perform the requirements of nurses. In Texas, applicants must submit fingerprints, show that they possess professional character, and pass a jurisprudence exam. Both states are blatant that persons who have not obtained licensing are prohibited from using nursing titles or their abbreviations. However, Indiana only specifies RNs and LPNs, while Texas outlines RN, LPN, Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), Vocational Nurse (VN), or Practical Nurse (PN).

Not every state uses the same definitions regarding nursing. In this area, again Indiana and Texas have similarities and differences. In Texas, "nursing"



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