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RULE §215.9Program of Study

(a) The program of study shall include both didactic and clinical learning experiences and shall be:

  (1) at least the equivalent of two (2) academic years and shall not exceed four (4) calendar years;

  (2) planned, implemented, and evaluated by the faculty;

  (3) based on the philosophy/mission and objectives/outcomes;

  (4) organized logically, sequenced appropriately;

  (5) based on sound educational principles;

  (6) designed to prepare graduates to practice according to the Standards of Nursing Practice as set forth in the Board's Rules and Regulations;

  (7) designed and implemented to prepare students to demonstrate the Differentiated Essential Competencies of Graduates of Texas Nursing Programs Evidenced by Knowledge, Clinical Judgment, and Behaviors: Vocational (VN), Diploma/Associate Degree (Diploma/ADN), Baccalaureate Degree (BSN), 2021 (DECs) ; and

  (8) designed to teach students to use a systematic approach to clinical decision making and safe patient care.

(b) The faculty shall be responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the curriculum based upon the following guidelines:

  (1) There shall be a reasonable balance between non-nursing courses and nursing courses that are clearly appropriate for collegiate study and are offered in a supportive sequence based upon the rationale for the curriculum.

  (2) Instruction shall be provided in nursing roles; biological, physical, social, behavioral, and nursing sciences, including body structure and function, microbiology, pharmacology, nutrition, signs of emotional health, human growth and development; and nursing skills.

  (3) Delivery of the curriculum through distance education shall comply with the requirements of this section and §215.10 of this title (relating to Clinical Learning Experiences) to ensure that students receive comparable curriculum, supervised clinical learning experiences, and formative and summative evaluations. Faculty must have documented competencies specific to online education.

(c) Instruction shall include, but not be limited to: organized student/faculty interactive learning activities, formal lecture, audiovisual presentations, nursing skills laboratory instruction and demonstration, simulated laboratory instruction, and faculty-supervised, hands-on patient care clinical learning experiences.

  (1) Classroom instruction hours shall include actual hours of classroom instruction in nursing and non-nursing Board-required courses/content.

  (2) Laboratory activities/instruction in the nursing skills or simulation laboratory may be considered as either classroom instruction hours or clinical learning experience hours.

  (3) Clinical learning experiences shall include actual hours of practice in nursing skills and computer laboratories; simulated clinical experiences; faculty supervised hands-on clinical care; clinical conferences; debriefing; and observation experiences. Observation experiences provide supplemental learning experiences to meet specific learning objectives.

  (4) Hours in clinical learning experiences shall be sufficient to meet program of study requirements. There shall be a rationale for the ratio of contact hours assigned to classroom and clinical learning experiences. The suggested ratio is one (1) contact hour of didactic to three (3) contact hours of related clinical learning experiences (1:3).

(d) Associate degree nursing education programs shall develop formal articulation agreements to enable graduates to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing in a timely manner.

(e) The program of study shall include, but not be limited to, the following areas:

  (1) non-nursing courses, clearly appropriate for collegiate study, offered in a supportive sequence.

  (2) nursing courses which include didactic and clinical learning experiences in the five (5) content areas, medical-surgical, geriatric, maternal/child health, pediatrics, and mental health nursing that teach students to use a systematic approach to clinical decision-making and prepare students to safely practice professional nursing through the promotion, prevention, rehabilitation, maintenance, restoration of health, and palliative and end-of-life care for individuals across the lifespan.

    (A) Course content shall be appropriate to the role expectations of the graduate.

    (B) Professional values including ethics, safety, diversity, and confidentiality shall be addressed.

    (C) The Nursing Practice Act, Standards of Nursing Practice, Unprofessional Conduct Rules, Delegation Rules, and other laws and regulations which pertain to various practice settings shall be addressed.

  (3) Nursing courses shall prepare students to recognize and analyze patient, family, and environmental cues and use critical thinking in making nursing clinical judgments.

  (4) Baccalaureate and entry-level master's degree programs in nursing shall include learning activities in basic research and management/leadership, and didactic and clinical learning experiences in community health nursing.

(f) The selection and organization of the learning experiences in the curriculum shall provide continuity, sequence, and integration of learning.

  (1) The learning experiences shall provide for progressive development of values, knowledge, judgment, and skills.

  (2) Didactic learning experiences shall be provided either prior to or concurrent (at the same time) with the related clinical learning experiences.

  (3) Clinical learning experiences shall be sufficient in quantity and quality to provide opportunities for students to achieve the stated outcomes.

  (4) Students shall have sufficient opportunities in simulated or clinical settings to develop technical skills, using contemporary technologies, essential for safe, effective nursing practice.

  (5) Learning opportunities shall assist students to develop communication and interpersonal skills.

(g) The curriculum plan and course content shall be appropriate to the role expectations of the graduate and shall be kept current and available to faculty and Board representatives.

(h) Faculty shall develop and implement evaluation methods and tools to measure progression of students' cognitive, affective, and psychomotor achievements in course/clinical objectives, according to Board Education Guideline 3.6.3 available at https://www.bon.texas.gov. A guideline that outlines the effective use of standardized examinations as an evaluation of student progress is Board Education Guideline 3.6.4 available at https://www.bon.texas.gov.

(i) Curriculum changes shall be developed by the faculty according to Board standards and shall include information outlined in the Board Education Guideline 3.6.1 available at https://www.bon.texas.gov. The two (2) types of curriculum changes are:

  (1) Minor curriculum changes not requiring prior Board Staff approval include:

    (A) Editorial updates of philosophy/mission and objectives/outcomes; or

    (B) Redistribution of course content or course hours; and

  (2) Major curriculum changes requiring Board staff approval prior to implementation include:

    (A) Changes in program philosophy/mission and objectives/outcomes which result in a reorganization or re-conceptualization of the entire curriculum including, but not limited to, changing from a block to an integrated curriculum or changing the approved delivery method of the curriculum to methods consistent with distance education/learning;

    (B) The addition of transition course(s), tracks/alternative programs of study, including MEEP and Dual-Credit High School programs, that provide educational mobility;

    (C) Revisions in program hours; and

    (D) Addition/reduction of course(s) in the program of study.

(j) Documentation of governing entity approval and appropriate approval from either the TWC or the THECB, if approved/licensed by the TWC or the THECB, must be provided to the Board prior to implementation of changes, as appropriate.

(k) Professional nursing education programs planning major curriculum changes shall submit a curriculum change proposal, as outlined in Board Education Guideline 3.6.1 available at https://www.bon.texas.gov, to the Board office for approval at least four (4) months prior to implementation.

(l) All professional nursing education programs implementing any curriculum change shall submit to Board Staff an evaluation of the outcomes of the implemented curriculum change through the first graduating class under the new curriculum.

Source Note: The provisions of this §215.9 adopted to be effective January 9, 2005, 29 TexReg 12190; 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 August 10, 2014, 39 TexReg 6047; amended to be effective August 9, 2018, 43 TexReg 5074; amended to be effective November 30, 2023, 48 TexReg 6907

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