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Education - Starting a Nursing Education Program

By statute, the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) shall prescribe two programs of study to prepare vocational nurses, those conducted by an educational unit in nursing within the structure of a school, including a college, university, or proprietary school, and a program conducted by a hospital.

The Texas BON shall prescribe three programs of study to prepare registered nurses: a baccalaureate degree program that is conducted by an educational unit in nursing that is a part of a senior college or university and that leads to a baccalaureate degree in nursing; an associate degree program that is conducted by an educational unit in nursing within the structure of a college or university that leads to an associate degree in nursing; and a diploma nursing educational program conducted by a single purpose school, usually under the control of a hospital and that leads to a diploma in nursing.

All diploma nursing educational programs in Texas, including new diploma nursing educational programs, must submit to the Texas BON a written plan addressing the legislative mandate that all nursing diploma programs in Texas must have a process in place by 2015 to ensure that graduates of the program are entitled to receive a degree from a public or private institution of higher education accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), www.thecb.state.tx.us and at a minimum, entitle a graduate of the diploma program to receive an associate degree in nursing as required by §215.3(a)(2)(G) and §215.4(a)(6), adopted on February 19, 2008.

Entities desiring to start a nursing educational program that are not approved as a school/college, must establish a school/college identity and be approved by Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), www.twc.state.tx.us as a career school or college (proprietary school) prior to seeking approval for the proposed nursing educational program.

All new pre-licensure vocational and professional nursing educational programs in Texas must be approved/licensed by either the TWC or the THECB, as applicable, unless deemed exempt from approval/licensing by the TWC or the THECB; and must also be approved by the Texas BON before enrolling students in the program.

A new school of nursing or educational program that is deemed exempt from approval/licensing by the TWC or THECB, must still be approved by the Texas BON before enrolling students in the program. For an overview of the regulatory requirements for TWC, THECB and BON, please see: Co-Regulation of Nursing Programs

Information Sessions will be held for individuals interested in submitting an application for the APPROVAL OF NEW NURSING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS. These informal information sessions are mandatory for individuals interested in starting a nursing program. If you are interested in attending the next session, please contact Dr. Virginia Ayars at 512-305-7660 or via email at virginia.ayars@bon.texas.gov.