An Evaluation of Fingerprinting on Registered Nurse Licensure Rates in the State of Texas
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The demand for nurses coupled with increasing numbers of applicants with criminal history records has led some state boards of nursing to look at fingerprinting as a method for eliminating some of the difficulty in reviewing nurse licensure eligibility issues. The Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas is among the first states to implement mandatory fingerprinting as part of the initial licensure process. The purpose of this research is to determine whether fingerprinting for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information has an impact on registered nurse (RN) licensure rates in the State of Texas. The research hypothesis states that the fingerprinting program will have a negative effect on the number of licenses issued. To test this hypothesis, an interrupted time series regression is employed using monthly data points for the number of RN licenses issued before and after the fingerprinting program was implemented The licensure data is provided by the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas. Quantitative analysis is used to determine the impact of fingerprinting on RN licensure rates. Results did not support the hypothesis. The fingerprinting program was policy neutral.