At a recent quarterly meeting, the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) approved the Knowledge, Skills, Training, Assessment, and Research (KSTAR) Nursing Program as a permanent disciplinary option for nurses who receive a Board Order for practice breakdown and meet eligibility criteria.
KSTAR Nursing Program
KSTAR Nursing began as a two-year pilot program with Texas A&M Health Sciences Center College of Nursing and the Rural and Community Health Institute approved by the Board. The KSTAR Nursing pilot program created an opportunity to determine the effectiveness of the innovative approach to discipline. KSTAR Nursing is now a permanent program for nurses in need of practice remediation.
The KSTAR Report to the BON found that KSTAR Nursing demonstrated positive outcomes as an alternative to traditional discipline: "To date, none of the nurses who successfully completed KSTAR Nursing Program in either the cohort who completed prior to the research study or the research cohort have recidivated for practice breakdown." KSTAR Nursing is a comprehensive practice remediation program that offers nurses the option to choose a self-paced, individualized approach without traditional stipulations that may hinder employment or impede completion of Board Order requirements.
Board Order for Practice Breakdown and Eligibility Criteria
Texas nurses who are referred by the BON for disciplinary actions due to nursing practice violations with Board Orders at Warning or below are eligible for the KSTAR Nursing program. However, Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRN's) are not currently eligible for remediation under the KSTAR Nursing program.
The KSTAR Nursing program is available for individuals with no prior disciplinary history with the Board, only for "violations of the NPA and/or Board rules that are proposed for resolution through the issuance of a Warning, a Warning with Stipulations, a Warning with Stipulations and a Fine, a Warning with a Fine, Remedial Education, Remedial Education with a Fine, or any deferred order issued," and "only as a condition of settlement by agreement prior to the initiation of proceedings before the State Office of Administrative Hearings[.]" 22 Tex. Admin. Code §213.35(j).
Violations involving " sexual misconduct, criminal conduct, intentional acts, falsification, deception, chemical dependency, or substance abuse" are not eligible for resolution through the KSTAR Nursing program. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §213.35(k).
Nurses must enroll in the KSTAR Nursing program within 45 days of the date of the Board Order. Each nurse will be responsible for the entire cost of participation. 22 Tex. Admin. Code §213.35(f). While the remediation program can be completed at home, participating nurses must travel to Bryan/College Station, Texas for a comprehensive assessment twice during the program. Participation in the KSTAR Nursing program does not prevent a nurse from concurrently working, so long as he or she is following any Board ordered stipulations.
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