Potential eligibility concerns for aspiring Texas nurses

The dream of becoming a nurse will someday become reality for many men and women in Texas. Nurses contribute significantly to the state's healthcare system, particularly in labor and obstetrics but throughout the field as well. While most nurses are skilled, compassionate and uphold the standards of their important profession, as with every type of job there are sometimes those who are careless or irresponsible.

When incidents of nursing negligence occur, an investigation often looks back into how the negligent individual became a nurse in the first place. At times the negligent individual may have legitimately obtained their license and position, but at times there may be red flags that were overlooked in the past. The Texas Board of Nursing has many different eligibility requirements to obtain a nursing license in Texas; the Board also lists many different issues related to eligibility.

Potential eligibility issues include being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, having past arrests or criminal charges pending currently, being sentenced to a jail term or prison sentence, or even having plead no contest to a criminal charge. In addition, having had a pre-trial diversion program can also be a concern to the Board. The Board of Nursing notes that applicants who may have eligibility issues can expect a longer review of their applications.

Last month, a woman from Goliad was arrested after authorities discovered she had been working as a nurse without a license. The woman had worked in at least two different rehabilitation centers without actually being licensed as a registered nurse. The investigation has revealed that, so far, the woman was able to become employed through clever identity theft schemes.

Texas hospitals and nursing centers have a commitment to their patients to uphold standards of patient care. If these standards are not upheld by their nurses, lawsuits and accusations of nursing negligence may result.

Source: Texas Board of Nursing, "Eligibility Issues," accessed Nov. 20, 2015

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