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The Legislative Process in Texas

The Texas legislature meets once every two years for 140 days to pass a budget, fund our state agencies and programs, and consider the legislative business of the state. At TNP, we are the only NP organization that is 100% dedicated to monitoring, advancing, and defending NP legislation and practice in Texas. Each session, we work closely with lawmakers, our nursing colleagues, and healthcare coalitions to advance policy priorities for Texas NPs and patients.

Expanding Access to Healthcare and Allowing Full and Direct Access to Texas Nurse Practitioners

The first day of the 89th Legislative Session is January 14, 2025. Stay tuned to our Capitol Watch and members-only updates to learn more about what’s coming up ahead.

During the last legislative session, TNP worked to pass several key bills, including legislation to expand NP representation and peer review requirements for the Texas Board of Nursing, increase funding for nursing education, and remove signature barriers for NPs. Missed our 88th session recap?

Legislative Sessions

View TNP Bills

Our Legislative Priorities

TNP works to advance policy priorities to improve access to quality, accessible, cost-effective healthcare for all Texans and remove barriers to nurse practitioners. Some of our key policy issue areas of focus are:

Expanding Access to Healthcare and Allowing Full and Direct Access to Texas Nurse Practitioners

Texas has a nursing and primary care workforce crisis stretching to every part of the state. TNP supports legislation to expand access to quality, local healthcare for Texans by changing outdated Texas laws requiring NPs to contract with a physician—what’s called a delegation agreement—before they can practice and care for patients. Removing this unnecessary and oftentimes costly barrier would allow NPs to provide care to the people who need it the most, particularly in rural and medically underserved areas hit hardest by our healthcare workforce crisis.

Ensuring Adequate Prescriptive Authority for Texas Nurse Practitioners in Hospitals, Long-Term Care, and Mental Health Settings

Schedule II medications are a class of drugs to treat pain and certain mental health conditions. Texas is only one of a handful of states that does not extend Schedule II prescriptive authority to NPs, and such restrictions harm their ability to prescribe medication and treat patients with mental health conditions, cancer, chronic disease, and other illnesses in a variety of practice settings. It also prevents hospital-based NPs from being able to write discharge prescriptions for their patients following surgery or hospitalization, contributing to delays in care and discharge and increased costs for hospitals and patients.

Addressing the Workforce Pipeline and Supporting Graduate Nursing Education Funding

A key component of addressing the nursing and primary care workforce in Texas is addressing the educational pipeline for nurses at every level of practice and across all specialties. TNP supports legislation to increase funding and identify new opportunities to invest in graduate nursing programs, including loan repayment assistance programs for NPs, funding for graduate nursing faculty, clinical training and preceptorships, and student scholarships.

Eliminating Signature Barriers for Patient Paperwork

Current law does not allow NPs to sign birth certificates, jury duty exemptions, immunization/vaccination forms, and other key healthcare forms—even though the NP might be the one performing the patient evaluation and visit for the patient. This practice means that the provider responsible for treating and evaluating the patient is not actually the provider signing the form, causing NPs and physicians to devote time to paperwork that could otherwise be spent treating patients. Removing signature barriers will increase access to care for Texans and eliminate unnecessary delays and paperwork burdens for both patients and providers.

Want to Support Our Efforts?

Share Our Patient Voices

Share our Patient Voices video about the positive impact NPs have on their patients’ lives.

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Advocate for Full NP Practice Authority

Send information to your legislators or colleagues about the benefits of full practice authority for NPs by sharing a new T.L.L. Temple Foundation report.

View Report

Share Your Story

Have a patient story to tell? Share this patient testimonial form with your patients, friends, and colleagues so we can continue to tell the stories of Texans and the urgent need to increase access to care.

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Grassroots Action Center

Schedule a Legislative Visit

Interested in coming to Austin or visiting your legislator locally in the district? Contact You can also apply for our Legislative Ambassador vacancies.

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How do I find my state legislators?

The Texas Legislature Online (TLO) Website allows Texans to identify their U.S. and State representatives.

Look Up Here