Just received an email that I thought you guys might enjoy. Recently EC called for its Texas alumni to contact legislators regarding proposals that could have jeopardized Excelsior's licensing status in our state. I was worried that I could be among the last generation of EC grads in Texas. Now it looks like we'll be in good shape for at least the next several years.
It is my pleasure to be the bearer of good news. Legislation has been passed in Texas that retains recognition of our nursing programs and its graduates in the state.
Earlier this year we informed you of concerns being expressed by the Texas Board of Nursing (Board) about the qualifications of our graduates for licensure as RNs in the state. We asked for your assistance in contacting state legislators. You responded quickly and with compelling reasons why Excelsior's nursing program should be considered "substantially equivalent" to the standards established by the Board.
In late May, both houses of the Texas Legislature passed HB 3961 which includes language guaranteeing licensure of our graduates through at least December 31, 2017. The Governor is expected to sign this bill into law before the end of June.
Between now and the end of 2017, as outlined in the legislation, Excelsior College will participate with the Board and others in a research project designed to study alternative ways to assure the clinical competency of students graduating from nursing education programs. Through this research, Texas authorities seek to identify a common set of nursing education outcomes, clinical judgment and behaviors that are expected of graduates of all nursing programs.
This project also seeks to identify standard, reliable, and valid exit tools that can be used to evaluate the clinical competency of individuals graduating from pre-licensure nursing programs. It will further seek to determine any correlations between success rates on these standard exit tools and success on the NCLEX-RN as well as any correlation with prior health care experience or required hours in supervised clinical learning experiences.
Excelsior College welcomes the opportunity to participate in this research project. We are confident the results will demonstrate that graduates of our "nontraditional" nursing program are as well prepared to practice as RNs as graduates of any other program. The study is to be completed by June 30, 2014, with the results reported to the Legislature and Governor.
Please accept our sincere appreciation for all the effort you made in contacting your legislators and for your continuing support. Clearly, you made a difference, something that Excelsior's students and graduates do every day on the job and in their communities.
M. Bridget Nettleton, PhD, RN
Dean, School of Nursing