Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dear (Juris)prudence

Well, I did it. After poring over more than 4oo pages of the Texas Nurse Practice Act and the rules and regulations according to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON), I successfully passed the Texas Board of Nursing Jurisprudence Exam.

This exam was the final hoop through which I had to leap in order to obtain my Texas nursing license, and thanks to my wife who helped me to calm my mind and understand how the documents were organized, I was able to sit for just under two hours and pass the test after studying and understanding what was expected of me.

I must admit that I was shocked and rather unhappy at the relative difficulty of the exam and the amount of pressure and stress that was involved in trying to answer 50 detailed questions as the timer was running in the corner of the computer screen. While some questions were common sense queries regarding the legal aspects of nursing practice, the majority required time-consuming research of more than 400 pages of legalese which was very frustrating to navigate while watching the minutes tick by.

While the nursing boards themselves were quite difficult and a trying experience for me, I never expected that I would need to so thoroughly research the legal aspects of nursing practice in order to obtain a license in any state. I understand that the Texas BON would like nurses practicing in Texas to comprehend the legal ramifications of nursing, but I would recommend that the Texas BON concentrate instead on the clinical aspects of nursing practice, using questions which truly assess a nurse's ability to think critically and clearly about issues salient to the art and science of nursing.

I am thrilled that this chapter of my application for licensure has passed, and I will be even more thrilled when that crucial piece of paper arrives in my mailbox, a license that will be reciprocally recognized in 21 states.

Here's to Dear (Juris)prudence!
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