Texas Nurse Practitioner Certification
A Texas nurse practitioner is referred to as an APRN. Other APRNs include nurse anesthetists, nurse–midwives, and CNS. The Texas Board of Nursing regulates Texas NPs.
Texas NPs may diagnose and treat patients. They may establish and execute management plans for acute or chronic disease or illness as well as educate patients on how to prevent disease and illness and promote good health. If they fulfill additional qualifications, they may be authorized to prescribe medications and devices.
Nurse practitioners may specialize in areas including acute care adult, acute care pediatric, adult, family, gerontological, neonatal, pediatric, psychiatric/mental health, women’s health, or another specialty if approved by the Texas Board of Nursing. They may work in a variety of settings including doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, managed healthcare facilities, schools, and long-term care facilities.
In order to become an NP in Texas, you must hold an active license as a RN in Texas or in one of the compact states. You must also graduate from an accredited master’s-level, or higher, nursing program in an area of specialty as described above. Programs of study should be at least 1 academic year in length and must include a formal preceptorship.
If you complete your program in a state other than Texas, you must obtain accreditation by a national accrediting body recognized by the Board or the appropriate licensing body of the state in which you completed your program. The state licensing body's accreditation process must meet or exceed the requirements of accrediting bodies specified by the Texas Board of Nursing. The Board recognizes accreditation of NP programs by the following accrediting organizations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), NPWH, and National League for Nursing–National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLN–NLNAC).
Some schools in Texas that offer accredited master’s-level nurse programs include: University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Arlington, Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, and Baylor University. You may also pursue your master’s degree through an accredited online college or university. Some of the programs are: South University, Philadelphia University, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Liberty University, and University of Cincinnati. Check with the Texas Board of Nursing to find out which online programs are approved in the state.
Once you have earned your master’s degree, you must then pass an exam in your area of specialty offered by a national certifying body recognized by the Texas Board of Nursing. You can obtain a current list of approved certifying agencies by contacting the Board. While you are waiting to pass your certification exam, you can apply for an interim license in order to practice as a NP. You must pass the certification exam within 6 months of submitting your application.
You will not be automatically granted prescriptive privileges as a Texas NP. You must indicate on your application that you wish to receive privileges in your area of specialty in order to be considered for approval. On average, NPs in the state of Texas earn $88,000 per year. Factors such as experience, geographic location, facility, facility type, and area of specialization can affect individual salary rates.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013