You want to practice nursing as an RN in Texas. Lucky for you Texas is a compact nursing state and once you have a your license you will be able to practice in 24 other states. There are certain RN license requirements for Texas and steps you must take to before you can begin practicing as a nurse.
Graduate from a nursing program
In order to qualify for a Texas nursing license you must first graduate or be eligible to graduate from an approved nursing school. An approved school means that the Texas Board of Nursing recognizes the school as a program that meets the requirements for obtaining adn RN. There are unapproved nursing schools so make sure you do your research before applying to schools. Nursing school will prepare you with the information that you need to practice as an RN and programs must be completed before you can register to take your NCLEX RN exam.
Your next step after graduating from nursing school will be to register and pass the NCLEX RN. It is best to take the exam shortly after graduating from your nursing program. You will not be able to become an RN until you have successfully passed the NCLEX but you can take it more than once.
Criminal Background Test
Texas as well as a few other states require a criminal background test in order to receive your RN license. A set of fingerprints is needed which must be done per the Texas BON (board of nursing) regulations. This means you cannot submit any old fingerprints that you have, it must be done through the Department of Public Safety and FBI. This just verifies that you are in good standing to practice nursing in Texas.
Texas also requires nurses and future nurses to complete a jurisprudence test before issuing a license. It tests you on your knowledge of the Nurse Practice Acts and ensures that you are knowledgeable about the rules that govern nursing. The BON does offer prep courses for you to study for this. It is not anything to stress over and if you completed nursing school and your NCLEX you will have no problem with your jurisprudence exam.
You can apply for your Texas RN License online or by mailing in a paper application. A fee of $186 is required to apply for your license. Keep in mind that you will have to renew your license each year and will be required to have 20 hours of continuing education to do so. Always check directly with the Texas Board of Nursing for any updates or changes to obtaining your RN license.