Texas nurses are regulated by the Texas Board of Nursing. Many patients are under the impression that the nurse is simply to do what the doctor tells him or her to do. But, that is far from the whole story. Texas nurses are independent professionals who have their own obligations to the patients that are independent of the doctor and hospital. In Texas, the legal obligations of the nurse include the following:
" (A) Know and conform to the Texas Nursing Practice Act and the board’s rules and regulations as well as all federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations affecting the nurse’s current area of nursing practice;" (B) Implement measures to promote a safe environment for clients and others; (C) Know the rationale for and the effects of medications and treatments and shall correctly administer the same; (D) Accurately and completely report and document: (i) the client’s status including signs and symptoms; (ii) nursing care rendered; (iii) physician, dentist or podiatrist orders; (iv) administration of medications and treatments; (v) client response(s); and (vi) contacts with other health care team members concerning significant events regarding client’s status;"
Likewise, Unprofessional Conduct includes the following:
""(1) Unsafe Practice — actions or conduct including, but not limited to: (A) Carelessly failing, repeatedly failing, or exhibiting an inability to perform vocational, registered or advanced practice nursing in conformity with the standards of minimum acceptable level of nursing practice set out in Rule 217.11; (B) Carelessly or repeatedly failing to conform to generally accepted nursing standards in applicable practice settings; (C) Improper management of client records; (D) Delegating or assigning nursing functions or a prescribed health function when the delegation or assignment could reasonably be expected to result in unsafe or ineffective client care; (E) Accepting the assignment of nursing functions or a prescribed health function when the acceptance of the assignment could be reasonably expected to result in unsafe or ineffective client care; (F) Failing to supervise the performance of tasks by any individual working pursuant to the nurse’s delegation or assignment; or (G) Failure of a clinical nursing instructor to adequately supervise or to assure adequate supervision of student experiences. (2) Failure of a chief administrative nurse to follow appropriate and recognized standards and guidelines in providing oversight of the nursing organization and nursing services for which the nurse is administratively responsible."