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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 11TEXAS BOARD OF NURSING
CHAPTER 215PROFESSIONAL NURSING EDUCATION
RULE §215.3Program Development, Expansion, and Closure

(a) New Programs.

  (1) New professional nursing education programs must be approved by the Board in order to operate in the State of Texas. The Board has established guidelines for the initial approval of professional nursing education programs.

  (2) Proposal to establish a new professional nursing education program.

    (A) The proposal to establish a new professional nursing education program may be submitted by:

      (i) a college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the THECB or holding a certificate of authority from the THECB under provisions leading to accreditation of the institution; or

      (ii) a single-purpose school, such as a hospital, proposing a new diploma program.

    (B) The new professional nursing education program must be approved/licensed or deemed exempt by the appropriate Texas agency, the THECB, or the TWC, as applicable, before approval can be granted by the Board for the program to be implemented. The proposal to establish a new professional nursing education program may be submitted to the Board at the same time that an application is submitted to the THECB or the TWC, but the proposal cannot be approved by the Board until such time as the proposed program is approved by the THECB or the TWC. If the governing entity has nursing programs in other jurisdictions, the submitted program proposal must include evidence that the nursing programs' NCLEX-RN® pass rates are at least 80% for the current examination year, as that term is defined in §215.2(20) of this title (relating to Definitions), and that the nursing programs hold full approval from the state boards of nursing in the other states and are in good standing.

    (C) The process to establish a new professional nursing education program shall be initiated by a letter of intent from the governing entity to the Board office. A program proposal must be ready for the Board's consideration of approval within one (1) year from the date of receipt of the initial proposal draft in the Board's office. If the proposal is not ready for the Board's consideration within this time period, the proposal will be considered withdrawn or will be presented to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, with a Staff recommendation of denial/disapproval.

    (D) The individual writing the proposal for a new professional nursing education program shall be the proposed director and shall meet the qualifications for the program director as specified in §215.6(f) of this title (relating to Administration and Organization).

    (E) At least one (1) potential faculty member shall be identified before the curriculum development to assist in planning the program of study.

    (F) The proposal shall include information outlined in Board Education Guidelines 3.1.1.b. Proposal to Establish a New Diploma Nursing Education Program and 3.1.1.c. Proposal to Establish a New Pre-Licensure Associate, Baccalaureate, or Entry-Level Master's Degree Nursing Education Program.

    (G) A proposal for a new diploma nursing education program must include a written plan addressing the legislative mandate that all nursing diploma programs in Texas must have a process in place by 2015 to ensure that their graduates are entitled to receive a degree from a public or private institution of higher education accredited by an agency recognized by the THECB or the TWC, as applicable, and, at a minimum, entitle a graduate of the diploma program to receive an associate degree in nursing.

    (H) After the proposal is submitted and determined to be complete, a preliminary survey visit shall be conducted by Board Staff prior to presentation to the Board.

    (I) The proposal shall be considered by the Board following a public hearing at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board. The Board may approve the proposal and grant initial approval to the new program, may defer action on the proposal, or may deny further consideration of the proposal. In order to ensure success of newly approved programs, the Board may, in its discretion, impose any restrictions or conditions it deems appropriate and necessary.

      (i) In addition to imposing restrictions and conditions, the Board may also require specific monitoring of newly approved programs that may be high-risk.

      (ii) A program may be considered high-risk if it meets one or more of the following criteria, including, but not limited to: unfamiliarity of the governing entity with nursing education; inexperience of the potential dean or director in directing a nursing program; potential for director or faculty turnover; multiple admission cycles per year; or potential for a high attrition rate among students.

      (iii) Board monitoring of a high-risk program may include the review and analysis of program reports; extended communication with program deans and directors; and additional survey visits. A monitoring plan may require the submission of quarterly reports of students' performance in courses and clinical learning experiences; remediation strategies and attrition rates; and reports from an assigned mentor to the program director. Additional survey visits by a Board representative may be conducted at appropriate intervals to evaluate the status of the program. The Board may alter a monitoring plan as necessary to address the specific needs of a particular program. When the Board requires monitoring activities to evaluate and assist the program, monitoring fees will apply.

    (J) The program shall not enroll students until the Board approves the proposal and grants initial approval.

    (K) Prior to presentation of the proposal to the Board, evidence of approval from the appropriate regulatory agencies shall be provided.

    (L) When the proposal is submitted, an initial approval fee shall be assessed per §223.1 of this title (relating to Fees).

    (M) A proposal without action for one (1) calendar year shall be considered withdrawn and a new proposal application and fee, as set forth in §223.1 of this title (relating to Fees) will be required to begin the new proposal process again.

    (N) If the Board denies a proposal, the educational unit in nursing within the structure of a school, including a college, university, or career school or college, or a hospital must wait a minimum of twelve (12) calendar months from the date of the denial before submitting a new proposal to establish a professional nursing education program.

  (3) Survey visits shall be conducted, as necessary, by staff until full approval status is granted.

(b) Extension Site/Campus.

  (1) Only professional nursing education programs that have full approval with a current NCLEX-RN® examination pass rate of 80% or better and are in compliance with Board rules are eligible to initiate or modify an extension site/campus.

  (2) Instruction provided for the extension site/campus may include a variety of instructional methods, shall be consistent with the main campus program's current curriculum, and shall enable students to meet the goals, objectives, and competencies of the professional nursing education program and requirements of the Board as stated in §§215.1 - 215.13 of this title (relating to Professional Nursing Education).

  (3) An approved professional nursing education program desiring to establish an extension site/campus that is consistent with the main campus program's current curriculum and teaching resources shall:

    (A) Complete and submit an application form for approval of the extension site to Board Staff at least four (4) months prior to implementation of the extension site/campus; and

    (B) Provide information in the application form that evidences:

      (i) a strong rationale for the establishment of the extension site in the community;

      (ii) availability of a qualified director or coordinator, if applicable, and qualified faculty;

      (iii) adequate educational resources (classrooms, labs, and equipment);

      (iv) documentation of communication and collaboration with other programs within fifty (50) miles of the extension site;

      (v) currently signed contracts from clinical affiliating agencies to provide clinical practice settings for students;

      (vi) projected student enrollments for the first two (2) years;

      (vii) plans for quality instruction;

      (viii) a planned schedule for class and clinical learning activities for one (1) year; and

      (ix) notification or approval from the governing entity and from other regulatory/accrediting agencies, as required. This includes regional approval of out-of-service extension sites for public colleges.

  (4) When the curriculum of the extension site/campus deviates from the original program in any way, the proposed extension is viewed as a new program and Board Education Guidelines 3.1.1.b and 3.1.1.c apply.

  (5) Extension programs of professional nursing education programs which have been closed may be reactivated by submitting notification of reactivation to the Board at least four (4) months prior to reactivation, using the Board Education Guideline 3.1.2.a. for initiating an extension program.

  (6) A program intending to close an extension site/campus shall:

    (A) Notify the Board office at least four (4) months prior to closure of the extension site/campus; and

    (B) Submit required information according to Board Education Guideline 3.1.2.a., including:

      (i) reason for closing the program;

      (ii) date of intended closure;

      (iii) academic provisions for students; and

      (iv) provisions made for access to and storage of vital school records.

(c) Transfer of Administrative Control by Governing Entity. The authorities of the governing entity shall notify the Board office in writing of an intent to transfer the administrative authority of the program. This notification shall follow Board Education Guideline 3.1.3.a. Notification of Transfer of Administrative Control of a Professional Nursing Education Program or a Professional Nursing Education Program by the Governing Entity.

(d) Closing a Program.

  (1) When the decision to close a program has been made, the dean or director must notify the Board by submitting a written plan for closure which includes the following:

    (A) reason for closing the program;

    (B) date of intended closure;

    (C) academic provisions for students to complete the professional nursing education program and teach-out arrangements that have been approved by the appropriate Texas agency (i.e., the THECB, the TWC, or the Board);

    (D) provisions made for access to and safe storage of vital school records, including transcripts of all graduates; and

    (E) methods to be used to maintain requirements and standards until the program closes.

  (2) The program shall continue within standards until all students enrolled in the professional nursing education program at the time of the decision to close have graduated. In the event this is not possible, a plan shall be developed whereby students may transfer to other approved programs.

  (3) A program is deemed closed when the program has not enrolled students for a period of two (2) years since the last graduating class or student enrollment has not occurred for a two (2) year period. Board-ordered enrollment suspensions may be an exception.

  (4) A program's voluntary closure under this section may be accepted by the Executive Director of the Board without requirement of Board ratification. Notice of a program's accepted closure shall be sent to the director or coordinator and others as determined by the Board. The chief administrative officer of the governing entity shall be notified by the Board when the program's closure is accepted by the Executive Director. The program shall then be removed from the list of Board approved professional nursing education programs.

  (5) A program that has voluntarily closed under this section may reapply for approval. However, a new proposal may not be submitted to the Board until at least twelve (12) calendar months from the date the program's closure was accepted by the Executive Director have elapsed.

  (6) A program submitting its voluntary closure under this section must comply with all of the requirements of this section.

(e) Approval of a Professional Nursing Education Program Outside Texas' Jurisdiction to Conduct Clinical Learning Experiences in Texas.

  (1) The professional nursing education program outside Texas' jurisdiction seeking approval to conduct clinical learning experiences in Texas should initiate the process with the Board at least four (4) months prior to the anticipated start date of the clinical learning experiences in Texas.

  (2) A written request, the required fee set forth in §223.1(a)(27) of this title, and all required supporting documentation shall be submitted to the Board office following Board Education Guideline 3.1.1.f. Process for Approval of a Nursing Education Program Outside Texas' Jurisdiction to Conduct Clinical Learning Experiences in Texas.

  (3) Evidence that the program has been approved/licensed or deemed exempt from approval/licensure by the appropriate Texas agency, (i.e., the THECB, the TWC) to conduct business in the State of Texas, must be provided before approval can be granted by the Board for the program to conduct clinical learning experiences in Texas.

  (4) Evidence that the program's NCLEX-RN® examination rate is at least 80% for the current examination year, as that term is defined in §215.2(20) of this title (relating to Definitions).

  (5) The Board may withdraw the approval of any program that fails to maintain the requirements set forth in Board Education Guideline 3.1.1.f. and this section.


Source Note: The provisions of this §215.3 adopted to be effective January 9, 2005, 29 TexReg 12190; amended to be effective February 19, 2008, 33 TexReg 1328; amended to be effective October 19, 2008, 33 TexReg 8509; amended to be effective December 27, 2010, 35 TexReg 11668; amended to be effective October 23, 2012, 37 TexReg 8304; amended to be effective October 1, 2013, 38 TexReg 6596; amended to be effective January 31, 2017, 42 TexReg 312; amended to be effective August 9, 2018, 43 TexReg 5074

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