Senate Research CenterC.S.S.B. 617
By: Moncrief
Health & Human Services
Committee Report (Substituted)


Currently, the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners (board) has no system in
place designed specifically to assess the clinical competency of its
registered nurses.  This legislation authorizes the board to develop a
pilot program to evaluate the mechanisms presently in place for assuring
high professional nursing standards, including targeted continuing
education and proactive peer review.  This bill also more closely outlines
the procedure regarding disqualification of individuals from licensure as
professional nurses upon graduation, and changes the composition of the
board to include an advanced practice program representative, rather than
a diploma program representative. 


As proposed, C.S.S.B. 617 establishes the licensure and regulation of
nurses, including the development of certain pilot programs by the Board
of Nurse Examiners.   


This bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, institution, or agency. 


SECTION 1. Amends Article 4518, V.T.C.S., by adding Section 8, as follows:

Sec. 8.  Defines "pilot program," "proactive nursing peer review," and
"targeted continuing nursing education."  Sets forth the terms by which
the Board of Nurse Examiners (board) is authorized to develop pilot
programs to evaluate the effectiveness of mechanisms for assuring
maintenance of clinical competency by registered nurses; and that
registered nurses understand the laws and regulations governing the
practice of professional nursing. Authorizes the board to expend funds to
develop or fund pilot programs; and to contract and make other
arrangements with entities and individuals to implement this section.
Sets forth the composition of the advisory committee with which the board
is required to consult in developing, administering, and funding pilot
programs.  Establishes the exemptions and alternatives regarding rules
adopted under this chapter, mandatory reporting and peer review, and
nursing peer review committees.  Sets forth the terms by which the board
is required to issue an annual report and status report.  Requires a final
report to be issued by the board not later than September 1, 2000.  

SECTION 2. Amends Section 1, Article 4513, V.T.C.S., to provide that one
of the six board members is required to be a registered nurse faculty
member in a graduate school of nursing preparing Advanced Practice Nurses,
rather than a faculty member in a school of nursing pursuing the Diploma
Program.  Makes a conforming change. 

SECTION 3. Amends Article 4519a, V.T.C.S., to authorize the board to
require individuals accepted for enrollment or enrolled in an educational
program preparing students for initial licensure as registered nurses to
submit certain information, and provides an alternative.  Sets forth the
terms by which the board is required to handle the determination that an
individual may not be eligible for licensure upon graduation.  Makes
conforming changes.   

 SECTION 4. Amends Article 4525(a), V.T.C.S., as amended by Section 8,
Chapter 840, Acts of the 73rd Legislature, 1993, to establish the terms by
which a person is not entitled to a hearing on a refusal to renew a

SECTION 5. Effective date:  September 1, 1997.
  Effective date for SECTION 2:  January 31, 1999.

SECTION 6. Emergency clause.       


Amends SECTION 1, Section 8(f), Article 4518, V.T.C.S., to require a final
report to be issued by the board not later than September 1, 2000, rather
than June 1, 2000.   

Amends SECTION 2, Section 1, Article 4513, V.T.C.S., to make a conforming

Amends SECTION 3, Section 2(b), Article 4519a, V.T.C.S., to delete the
provision requiring the board to notify the educational program that an
individual will need to resolve the eligibility issue by a certain time;
and prohibiting the school from enrolling the student beyond a certain
point without the board's written approval.