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RULE §215.7Faculty

(a) Faculty Organization.

  (1) The faculty shall be organized with written policies and procedures and/or bylaws to guide the faculty and program's activities, including processes for enforcement of written student policies.

  (2) The faculty shall meet regularly and function in such a manner that all members participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating the nursing program. Such participation includes, but is not limited to: the initiation and/or change in program policies, personnel policies, curriculum, utilization of affiliating agencies, and program evaluation.

    (A) Committees necessary to carry out the functions of the program shall be established with duties and membership of each committee clearly defined in writing.

    (B) Minutes of faculty organization and meetings shall document the reasons for actions and the decisions of the faculty and shall be available for reference.

    (C) Part-time faculty may participate in all aspects of the program. Clear lines of communication of program policies, objectives, and evaluation criteria shall be included in the policies for part-time faculty.

(b) There shall be a Nursing Faculty Handbook that contains written policies for nursing faculty that are in keeping with accepted educational standards and are consistent with the policies of the governing entity. Nursing policies that differ from those of the governing entity shall be consistent with nursing unit mission and goals (philosophy and outcome).

  (1) Written policies concerning workload for the director or coordinator shall allow for sufficient time for administrative responsibilities consistent with §215.6 of this title (relating to Administration and Organization). Written policies for nursing faculty workload shall allow sufficient time for faculty to accomplish those activities related to the teaching-learning process.

  (2) Personnel policies shall include position descriptions for all members of the nursing program (including the director/coordinator) outlining the qualifications and responsibilities directly related to the nursing program.

  (3) Written policies for nursing faculty shall also include: terms of employment, plans for faculty orientation to the institution and to the nursing program, resources and opportunities for faculty development and evaluation of faculty, and Nursing Peer Review, as described in §217.19 (relating to Incident-Based Nursing Peer Review and Whistleblower Protections) and §217.20 (relating to Safe Harbor Nursing Peer Review and Whistleblower Protections) of this title.

  (4) Orientation of new nursing faculty members shall be initiated at the onset of employment.

  (5) A plan for nursing faculty development shall be offered to encourage and assist faculty members to meet the nursing program's needs as well as individual faculty members' professional development needs.

  (6) A variety of means shall be used to evaluate faculty performance such as self, student, peer, and administrative evaluation.

(c) A professional nursing education program shall employ sufficient faculty members with educational preparation and expertise necessary to enable the students to meet the program goals. The number of faculty members shall be determined by such factors as:

  (1) The number and level of students enrolled;

  (2) The curriculum plan;

  (3) Activities and responsibilities required of faculty;

  (4) The number and geographic locations of affiliating agencies and clinical practice settings; and

  (5) The level of care and acuity of clients.

(d) Faculty Qualifications and Responsibilities.

  (1) Documentation of faculty qualifications shall be included in the official files of the program.

  (2) Each nurse faculty member shall:

    (A) Hold a current license or privilege to practice as a registered nurse in the State of Texas;

    (B) Show evidence of teaching abilities and maintaining current knowledge, clinical expertise, and safety in the subject areas of teaching responsibility;

    (C) Hold a master's degree or doctoral degree, preferably in nursing;

    (D) A nurse faculty member holding a master's degree or doctoral degree in a discipline other than nursing shall hold a bachelor's degree in nursing from an approved or accredited baccalaureate program in nursing; and

      (i) if teaching in a diploma or associate degree nursing program, shall have at least six (6) graduate semester hours in nursing appropriate to assigned teaching responsibilities, or

      (ii) if teaching in a baccalaureate level program, shall have at least twelve (12) graduate semester hours in nursing appropriate to assigned teaching responsibilities.

(e) Faculty Waivers.

  (1) In fully approved programs, if an individual to be appointed as a faculty member does not meet the requirements for faculty as specified in subsection (c) of this section, the dean or director is permitted to waive the Board's requirements, without Board approval, if the program and prospective faculty member meet the following criteria and after notification to the Board of the intent to waive the Board's faculty requirements for a temporary time period not to exceed one (1) year:

  (2) Minimum program criteria:

    (A) program's NCLEX-RN® pass rate for the preceding examination year was 80% or above; and

    (B) total number of faculty waivers at program shall not exceed 10% of the total number of nursing faculty.

  (3) Minimum criteria for prospective faculty member:

    (A) hold a current license or privilege to practice as a registered nurse in the State of Texas;

    (B) has at least two (2) years in the last four (4) years of nursing practice experience in the anticipated subject areas of teaching responsibility;

    (C) has earned a bachelor's degree in nursing or completed, as part of a nursing education program culminating in a master's or doctorate degree in nursing, the course work equivalent to the course work required for a bachelor's degree in nursing; and either

      (i) is currently enrolled in a master's nursing education program and has earned a minimum of 50% of the required credits toward the master's degree in nursing, excluding thesis or professional paper; or

      (ii) holds a master's degree in another field and has a documented plan to complete, within a designated time frame, the required number of graduate semester hours in nursing appropriate to the anticipated subject areas of teaching responsibility, six (6) graduate semester hours in nursing to teach in a diploma or associate degree nursing education program or twelve (12) graduate semester hours in nursing to teach in a baccalaureate degree or entry-level master's degree in nursing education program.

  (4) When the program does not meet the minimum program criteria or the prospective faculty member does not meet the minimum criteria for a faculty member, a petition for an emergency waiver may be submitted to the Board Staff for approval when a vacancy occurs because a faculty member fails to report as planned, i.e., sudden illness or death of a faculty member, or there is an unexpected resignation, or qualified applicants/prospective faculty are not available.

  (5) A waiver is valid for up to one (1) year.

  (6) If an extension of the waiver is needed, the dean or director shall petition Board Staff for an extension of the original waiver.

(f) Non-nursing faculty are exempt from meeting the faculty qualifications of this chapter as long as the teaching assignments are not nursing content or clinical nursing courses.

(g) All nursing faculty, as well as non-nursing faculty, who teach non-clinical nursing courses that are part of the nursing curriculum, e.g., biological, physical, social, behavioral and nursing sciences, including pathophysiology, pharmacology, research, nutrition, human growth and development, management, and statistics, shall have sufficient graduate level educational preparation verified by the program dean or director as appropriate to these areas of responsibility.

(h) Non-nursing faculty assigned to teach didactic nursing content shall be required to co-teach with nursing faculty in order to meet nursing course objectives.

(i) Teaching assignments shall be commensurate with the faculty member's education and experience in nursing.

(j) Faculty shall be responsible for:

  (1) supervising students in clinical learning experiences;

  (2) supervising all initial nursing procedures performed by the student in the clinical area and ascertaining that the student is competent before allowing the student to perform an actual nursing procedure independently;

  (3) developing, implementing, and evaluating curriculum; and

  (4) participating in the development, implementation, and enforcement of standards/policies for admission, progression, probation, and dismissal of students, and participation in academic guidance and counseling.

(k) Teaching activities shall be coordinated among full-time faculty, part-time faculty, clinical preceptors, and clinical teaching assistants.

(l) There shall be a minimum of one (1) full-time nursing instructor for the program.

(m) A dean/director without major teaching or clinical responsibilities shall not be considered a full-time instructor for purposes of meeting the Board's requirements related to having a sufficient number of nursing faculty for a professional nursing education program.

Source Note: The provisions of this §215.7 adopted to be effective January 9, 2005, 29 TexReg 12190; amended to be effective August 11, 2005, 30 TexReg 4480; amended to be effective January 9, 2007, 32 TexReg 92; amended to be effective October 19, 2008, 33 TexReg 8509; amended to be effective October 23, 2012, 37 TexReg 8304; amended to be effective August 9, 2018, 43 TexReg 5074

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