BON Licensure Eligibility

Congratulations on choosing professional nursing as a career and welcome to the Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Before you begin the arduous task of nursing school, you must be aware of circumstances that could prevent you from being licensed as a registered nurse in Texas. 


At the completion of the Licensure Eligibility module, the student will:

  1. Identify the sources of authority for licensure and regulations of professional nurses in the state of Texas.
  2. Identify conditions that may disqualify a graduate from licensure.
  3. Differentiate between acceptable standards of nursing practice and unprofessional conduct.
  4. Describe the declaratory order process.
  5. State methods of contacting the Board of Nurse Examiners.


Professional nursing is governed by the laws of each state.

In Texas, the laws are located in the Texas Occupations Code:

  • Chapter 301, “Statutes Relating to Professional Nurse Education, Licensure and Practice”
  • Chapter 303, “Peer Review”
  • Chapters 301 & 303 are referred to as the “Nursing Practice Act” (NPA).
  • Registered Nurses must understand the laws that govern their practice.
  • As a professional nursing student, you too must know and adhere to these laws. 


  • Texas law created the Texas Board of Nursing (BON).
  • The BON has the legal authority to enforce the Nursing Practice Act (Chapters 301 & 303 of the Texas Occupations Code).   
  • The BON developed “Rules & Regulations Relating to Professional Nurse Education, Licensure and        Practice.”
  • The Rules & Regulations explain how the law will be implemented.


  • We are going to review excerpts from both the Nursing Practice Act and the Rules & Regulations.
  • You will need a copy of the excerpts during the discussion.
  • After completing the module, file the excerpts with your important papers for future reference


Click on the link below to display the handout on the screen.

Print the handouts (File>print PDF)

Click on the browser’s “Back” button to return to this screen after printing the handout.

Nursing Practice Act Excerpts

Rules and Regulations Excerpts  



The Nursing Practice Act (NPA) requires a license application (Sec.301.252).

Applicants must:

  • Submit an “Application for Initial Licensure by Examination” to the BON
  • Demonstrate good professional character
  • Successfully complete an accredited professional nursing program


The Nursing Practice Act (NPA) requires applicants to demonstrate competency to practice nursing by passing a computerized examination (Sec. 301.253).

The BON approves the application for licensure by examination if the applicant:

  • Meets the required qualifications
  • Pays the required fees


The applicant must answer the following questions on the application for licensure:

1)  [  ]  No    [  ]  Yes For any criminal offense, including those pending appeal, have you:

A. been convicted of a misdemeanor?

B. been convicted of a felony?

C. pled nolo contendere, no contest, or guilty?

D. received deferred adjudication?

E. been placed on community supervision or court-ordered probation, whether or not adjudicated guilty?

F. been sentenced to serve jail or prison time?  court-ordered confinement?

G. been granted pre-trial diversion?

H. been arrested or have any pending criminal charges?

I. been cited or charged with any violation of the law?

J. been subject of a court-martial; Article 15 violation; or received any form of military judgment/


(You may only exclude Class C misdemeanor traffic violations.)

 NOTE: Expunged and Sealed Offenses: While expunged or sealed offenses, arrests, tickets, or citations need not be disclosed, it is your responsibility to ensure the offense, arrest, ticket or citation has, in fact, been expunged or sealed.  It is recommended that you submit a copy of the Court Order expunging or sealing the record in question to our office with your application.  Failure to reveal an offense, arrest, ticket, or citation that is not in fact expunged or sealed, will at a minimum, subject your license to a disciplinary fine. Nondisclosure of relevant offenses raises questions related to truthfulness and character.

 NOTE: Orders of Non-Disclosure: Pursuant to Tex. Gov’t Code § 552.142(b), if you have criminal matters that are the subject of an order of non-disclosure you are not required to reveal those criminal matters on this form.  However, a criminal matter that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure may become a character and fitness issue.  Pursuant to other sections of the Gov’t Code chapter 411, the Texas Nursing Board is entitled to access criminal history record information that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure.  If the Board discovers a criminal matter that is the subject of an order of non-disclosure, even if you properly did not reveal that matter, the Board may require you to provide information about any conduct that raises issues of character.

2)  [  ]  No    [  ]   Yes Are you currently the target or subject of a grand jury or governmental agency investigation?

3)  [  ]  No    [  ]  Yes Has any licensing authority refused to issue you a license or ever revoked, annulled, cancelled, accepted

surrender of, suspended, placed on probation, refused to renew a professional license, certificate or multi-state

privilege held by you now or previously, or ever fined, censured, reprimanded or otherwise disciplined you?

 4)  [  ]  No    [  ]  Yes *Within the past five (5) years have you been addicted to and/or treated for the use of alcohol or any other                               drug?

 5)  [  ]  No    [  ]  Yes *Within the past five (5) years have you been diagnosed with, treated, or hospitalized for schizophrenia and/or psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder?

 If “YES”  indicate the condition:   [   ] schizophrenia and/or psychotic disorders,     [   ] bipolar disorder,

                                     [   ] paranoid personality disorder,     [   ] antisocial personality disorder,    

                                     [   ] borderline personality disorder


*Pursuant to Occupations Code §301.207, information regarding a person’s diagnosis or treatment for a physical condition, mental condition, or chemical dependency is confidential to the same extent that information collected as part of an investigation is confidential under the Occupations Code §301.466.   If you are licensed as an LVN in the State of Texas and are currently participating in the Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses you may answer “NO” to questions #4 and #5.


An applicant who cannot attest to the truth of the five statements of eligibility is strongly encouraged to petition the BON for a Declaratory Order of Eligibility (Nursing Practice Act, Sec. 301.257) prior to enrollment or within the first semester of the program.  Any responses of yes to the previous questions may result in denial for licensure examination.  For information or guidance in this process to determine eligibility for licensure by examination, please contact the Board of Nursing. The “Declaratory Order Form” can be accessed at this link. 

The BON has the responsibility and authority to investigate the petition.

If the BON finds the applicant ineligible, the applicant may request a hearing before a State Office of Administrative Hearings. 

Rule 213.30 explains the Declaratory Order process (Rules & Regulations)

Specific questions about eligibility can be addressed to the Board of Nursing.

The BON makes all decisions related to eligibility. 

Texas Board of Nursing 

The BON may be contacted in the following ways: 

333 Guadalupe Suite 3-460

Austin, TX 78701



Test Yourself  

Complete the quick self test and then print and sign the BON Elgibility Form: