Nursing in TX - Like it? Do we have any govt. support?

  1. I am a nursing student and have been reading through almost every forum here!! I love this site, and alot has opened my eyes and mind to things I never knew about or thought I should care about, but it has. I was wondering what are the good factors of being a nurse in TX as opposed to other states? Do we have government support here such as laws about nurse to patient ratios, wages, breaks, benefits, etc.? Are there any unions for nurses in TX? I would appreciate any and all feedback! :typing
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    About Pretty in Ink

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 140; Likes: 71
    Specialty: Rehab

    16 Comments

  3. by   RN34TX
    Quote from TxLVNSTUDENT512
    I am a nursing student and have been reading through almost every forum here!! I love this site, and alot has opened my eyes and mind to things I never knew about or thought I should care about, but it has. I was wondering what are the good factors of being a nurse in TX as opposed to other states? Do we have government support here such as laws about nurse to patient ratios, wages, breaks, benefits, etc.? Are there any unions for nurses in TX? I would appreciate any and all feedback! :typing
    In a nutshell with respect to your questions, Texas is a "right to work" state which basically means that the laws here are designed more to protect the employer rather than the employee. Unions, just like in other Southern states, are not a very popular idea and are often met with much resistance.

    There is currently a bill that is in committee that addresses mandating nurse/patient ratios. Here is a link: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillL...0R&Bill=HB1707

    This bill is not supported by, and has been the subject of great criticism by the Texas Nurses Association.

    "Government support" as you put it and Texas do not go hand in hand and are complete strangers to one another in many respects in addition to nursing practice. (For example the 2005 Hurricane Rita evacuation fiasco comes to my mind.)

    If you are unattached and are able to be mobile in your job choices, I would do some research and steer away from "right to work" states if unions and laws protecting nursing practice are important to you.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    California is the only state that has nurse-to-patient ratios. The other 49 states, including Texas, do not have any ratios whatsoever. Basically, the laws here are written in language that protects businesses, not workers. I am not aware of any powerful nurses unions here in Texas.

    If workers' rights are very dear to you, it would be a good idea to earn an RN license and move to California. You'll only be assigned to 5 patients in the hospital setting, and will have the protection of the omnipotent California Nurses Association.
  5. by   Kiya
    Is there a site for "right to work" states or nurse friendly states besides Cali?
  6. by   Pretty in Ink
    Thanks for the info everyone, its crazy to me that the Texas Nurses Associate would not support that bill. I've heard good and bad about unions so I was just curious if we had any. What I basically wanted to find out is where is the best places in TX to work that really care about their staff and what to expect when I actually hit the floor.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Here's a map of the right-to-work states alongside the forced union states. You will notice that the unionized states tend to be on the West Coast and the Northeast part of the country, whereas the right-to-work states tend to be heavily concentrated in the South.

    http://www.nrtw.org/rtws.htm
  8. by   Kiya
    Thanks for posting that Commuter, very informative! Now the question remains.... Is it better to unionize or not to unionize?
  9. by   loricatus
    Quote from Kiya
    Thanks for posting that Commuter, very informative! Now the question remains.... Is it better to unionize or not to unionize?
    That very much depends on the union and if the State allows a closed shop. If the union is only there to collect the funds and not really represent the nurses, you'd be better off without it. If it is a strong union that actively negotiates for better pay, working conditions, etc and has the members cohesive, you should do everything you can to get into that job. Now, if the State does not allow closed shops (like Texas), the union never has any strength because it was already 'busted'
  10. by   Kiya
    I don't know much about unions even though I come from a hardcore blue collar UAW state and I remember my parents were apart of unions when I was a kid but I never paid attention.


    Quote from loricatus
    That very much depends on the union and if the State allows a closed shop. If the union is only there to collect the funds and not really represent the nurses, you'd be better off without it. If it is a strong union that actively negotiates for better pay, working conditions, etc and has the members cohesive, you should do everything you can to get into that job. Now, if the State does not allow closed shops (like Texas), the union never has any strength because it was already 'busted'
  11. by   txspadequeenRN
    i see you are a lvn student and the best thing i can say about nursing in texas is the scope for lvn's is wide open. there is only a handle full of things you are not allowed to do ,so you can get some great ex here compared to other states.

    lvn no - no's

    you are not allowed to pronounce death....you can shove heart medications into them all day but this state does not think you are smart enough to know if someone is dead.

    you are not allowed to spike blood- you can monitor it but you cant initially hang it.

    you are not allowed to re-insert a g-tube.... - never understood this one either . in texas lvn's are allowed to sink ng tubes so to me that is much more dangerous than replacing a tube in a existing hole that has been there forever.

    there are certain iv drugs a lvn cannot push.

    a lot of this will depend on your facility as well.


    there is no patient to nurse ratios ...and it has been my experience that the benefits for nurses are expensive and the employers are getting greedier by the minute.
  12. by   Kyrshamarks
    Actually in Texas an LVN can spike blood and can push all meds except for moderate sedaton meds. If it is light sedation they can push meds i.e. versed is a light sedation. The patient usually does not become unconcious from versed. The only other thing that an LVN cannot do in Texas is pronounce death. That is specifically spelled out in state law and the nurse practice act has to follow the law.
  13. by   Kiya
    Would nurses be more successful and more protected if Texas allowed a nurses union with a governing board (like a board of directors) filled specifically with elective seats via nurses only?

    Understandably, there needs to be people who are experienced with the way unions work with the law in order to have a successful union, but if the "board" consisted of union reps, LVN's, RN's, and advocates for the CNA's.. would it work? Could it work? Would we want it to work?

    Open floor for discussion.
  14. by   classicdame
    Texas has nurse/patient ratios, but unlike CA, they are not restricted to a certain number. The caveat is "safe practice". That could be one or 5 patients. Texas is a right to work state because voters, not all of whom are employers, feel they should have the right to decline participating in a union if they so desire. There are a few unions, but Texans prefer independence rather than dependence. Anyway, there is nothing a union can do that I can't do for myself so why pay dues? I vote with my feet. Texas law protects whistle-blowers. Also, nurses can claim "safe harbor" if they feel their assignment is unsafe. The form is online at www.bne.state.tx.us if you want to review it. The Board of nurses, called Board of Nurse Examiners, is a combo for LVN/RN's. So is the Nurse Practice Act, although there are items that pertain to each type of nursing. That also is online. Texas requires continuing education of all nurses. The CE committee is very strict about compliance with ANCC standards in order to assure the learner is really getting quality information, not just paying tuition for a piece of worthless paper. I like Texas. I am a transplant. My bumpersticker says "I was not born in Texas but I got here as quick as I could".
    Last edit by classicdame on Jun 4, '07

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