Nurses must obtain and periodically renew their licenses through the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). As a result, BON also investigates misconduct allegations and takes necessary enforcement action. Findings of misconduct can lead to a denial of license renewal and other severe consequences. Therefore, having a nursing license defense attorney on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Conditions for Nursing License Renewal
The Nursing Practice Act allows BON to place some conditions on renewing nursing licenses. Therefore, the only way to overcome denials of renewal of nursing licenses for these issues is to complete the conditions required by law.
For instance, under Tex. Occ. Code §301.3011, BON may require an applicant to renew an unexpired nursing license to submit fingerprints on a prescribed form to obtain updated criminal history records from the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Failure to meet this requirement can result in BON refusing to renew your nursing license.
Likewise, under Tex. Occ. Code §301.303, BON can require applicants for renewal of their nursing licenses to participate in no more than 20 hours of continuing education within two years, including some education on specified subjects. Failure to meet these conditions can result in the denial of your license renewal.
Grounds for Refusal to Renew a Nursing License
Generally, under Tex. Occ. Code §301.452, BON can refuse to issue a renewal license for the same grounds that it can refuse to issue an initial license or take disciplinary action against an existing license holder. Those grounds may include the following:
- a violation of a rule or law about nurses;
- fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice professional nursing or vocational nursing;
- a conviction for, or placement on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for, a felony or for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
- conduct that results in the revocation of probation imposed because of conviction for a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
- use of a nursing license, diploma, or permit, or the transcript of such a document that has been fraudulently purchased, issued, counterfeited, or materially altered;
- impersonating or acting as a proxy for another person in the required licensing examination;
- directly or indirectly aiding or abetting an unlicensed person in connection with the unauthorized practice of nursing;
- revocation, suspension, or denial of, or any other action relating to, the person’s license or privilege to practice nursing in another jurisdiction or under federal law;
- intemperate use of alcohol or drugs that BON determines endangers or could endanger a patient;
- unprofessional or dishonorable conduct that, in the board’s opinion, is likely to deceive, defraud, or injure a patient or the public;
- adjudication of mental incompetency;
- lack of fitness to practice because of a mental or physical health condition that could result in injury to a patient or the public; or
- failure to care adequately for a patient or to conform to the minimum standards of acceptable nursing practice in a manner that, in BON’s opinion, exposes a patient or other person unnecessarily to risk of harm.
BON is also authorized to refuse to renew a nursing license under Tex. Occ. Code §301.453(a)(1) if it has determined that the applicant cannot practice nursing with reasonable skill due to physical or mental impairment, chemical dependency, or alcohol or drug abuse. BON also can refuse to renew a license if the applicant refuses to submit to a physical or mental evaluation as directed by BON due to the presence of one of these types of impairment.
Furthermore, BON can refuse to renew a nursing license based on proof that an applicant has been convicted of certain criminal offenses under Tex. Occ. Code §301.4535.
Alternatives to Refusing to Renew a Nursing License
Instead of refusing to renew a nursing license, BON also can order the applicant to engage in any of the following actions as a condition of renewing their license:
- submit to care, counseling, or treatment by a health provider designated by the Board as a condition for the issuance or renewal of a license;
- participate in a program of education or counseling prescribed by BON, including a program of remedial education;
- practice for a specified period under the direction of a registered nurse or vocational nurse designated by BON;
- perform public service BON considers appropriate; or
- abstain from the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs and submit to random, periodic screening for alcohol or drug use.
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Challenging BON’s Refusal to Renew a Nursing License
Tex. Occ. Code §301.454(c) provides that applicants for a renewal license are entitled to a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) if BON refuses to renew their licenses. SOAH will appoint an administrative law judge (ALJ) to the case and schedule an administrative hearing on whether the applicant should be granted a renewal license. The ALJ will hear from BON and the applicant and issue findings of fact and conclusions of law on whether the BON should issue a renewal license.
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We Will Stand Up for Your Rights Before BON
You can count on the experienced nursing license defense lawyers at Bertolino LLP, to defend you when you receive notice that BON refuses to renew your license. We will investigate the circumstances that led to the non-renewal of your license and devise the best strategy for your case. Together, we will work to clear your name and obtain a renewal of your nursing license. Call us at (512) 515-9518 or contact us online.