When You Have an Issue with Eligibility
The Texas Board of Nursing (TBON) is concerned with ensuring the public’s safety by providing nursing licenses only to individuals they feel are appropriately qualified to hold one. When an individual decides that they are interested in applying to become a Texas nurse, they must consider whether their past can hinder them for fulfilling this goal.
The TBON is extremely interested in a prospective nursing student’s past criminal history. A prospective nursing school student or a current nursing school student may be denied the ability to sit for the NCLEX if they have been convicted of certain crimes. If a nurse is unable to sit for the NCLEX, they will be unable to receive licensure.
If you are a prospective or current nursing school student who has been convicted of a crime that would usually bar you from licensure, if at least five years have passed since your conviction, you can petition the TBON regarding your eligibility for licensure. This petition is called a Declaratory Order.
If you are a prospective or current nursing school student who has a been convicted of a crime that is not listed here, but have reason to believe you may be ineligible for initial licensure based on your past criminal history, you can also apply for a Declaratory Order.
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When you are ready to submit your application for the Declaratory Order, you will need to provide the TBON with court documents which document that you have completed the terms of your probation, deferred adjudication, pre-trial diversion or any other court conditions.
Regarding matters concerning certain mental health condition(s) or diminished capacity, you will need to provide the TBON with verifiable and reliable evidence of controlled behavior and consistent compliance with recommended treatment including compliance with a prescribed medication regime for a reasonable amount of time.
Once these items are submitted, the TBON will conduct an investigation into the information you provided and decide if they will grant you the ability to sit for the NCLEX. If you are granted the ability to sit for the NCLEX, you will also receive a decision regarding whether you will be granted an unencumbered license or have a restriction placed on your license once receiving your nursing license.
If the TBON denies you the eligibility to sit for the NCLEX, you will have to petition for a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearing (SOAH).
The Declaratory Order/Eligibility process is involved. You should have a nursing license defense attorney at your side, guiding and directing you through this process.
Are you thinking of applying for nursing school or are you already in nursing school and are concerned with your past criminal history or mental health condition?
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