Nurses licensed by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) are required to report certain conduct. Failure to report when it is required could lead to disciplinary action by the BON, which may include a warning, fines, reprimand, remedial education, suspension, probation, or license revocation.
What Are Texas Nurses Required to Report?
The Nursing Practice Act (NPA) defines what conduct nurses must report. Under the NPA a nurse "shall" report to the Board "if the nurse has reasonable cause to suspect that:
- another nurse has engaged in conduct subject to reporting; or
- the ability of a nursing student to perform the services of the nursing profession would be, or would reasonably be expected to be, impaired by chemical dependency."
NPA §301.402(b). The NPA defines what "conduct subject to reporting" means. It means conduct by a nurse that:
- Violates the NPA or a board rule and contributed to the death or serious injury of a patient.
- Constitutes abuse, exploitation, fraud, or a violation of professional boundaries.
- Indicates that the nurse lacks knowledge, skill, judgment, or conscientiousness to such an extent that the nurse’s continued practice of nursing could reasonably be expected to pose a risk of harm to a patient—regardless of whether the conduct consists of a single incident or a pattern of behavior.
- Causes a person to suspect that the nurse’s practice is impaired by chemical dependency, drug, or alcohol abuse.
NPA §301.401(1). If you are a Texas nurse and you witness another nurse engaging in the above conduct or their conduct causes you to question their ability to safety provide patient care, you have a duty to report it to the Board.
How Must Texas Nurses Report to the Board?
The NPA prescribes the manner by which nurses must report. Depending on the circumstances, a nurse could report directly to the Board, to a nursing peer review committee (NPRC), or to the Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (TPAPN). NPA §301.402(e).
Employers of eight or more nurses are required to establish a NPRC. A nurse working for an employer required to have a NPRC may choose to report to the NPRC or directly to the BON. NPRC’s are also subject to reporting requirements under NPA §301.403 and employers of nurses under NPA §301.405.
Reports must be in writing, signed, and include the identity of the nurse and any additional information required by the Board. NPA §301.402(d).
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