State Boards of Nursing: How to Find Them

2016 Update

April 06, 2016

Boards of Nursing

In the United States, Boards of Nursing exist in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. The primary mission of a Board of Nursing is to protect and promote public health, welfare, and safety through regulation of nursing practice.[1] Among other activities, Boards of Nursing ensure safety by setting minimum qualifications and competencies for safe entry-level practitioners.

Boards of Nursing are responsible for the following:[2]

Enforcing the Nurse Practice Act and nurse licensure;

Accrediting or approving nurse education programs in schools and universities;

Developing practice standards;

Developing policies, administrative rules, and regulations; and

Taking action against the licenses of nurses who have shown unsafe nursing practice.

To reach the Website for a Board of Nursing, scroll down to the alphabetical links below, or refer to this clickable US map hosted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NSCBN) for complete contact information for each Board of Nursing. Specific rules and regulations about practice, licensing requirements (including continuing education), and the basic definition and scope of practice of nursing for a state or territory are defined on each Board of Nursing Website.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Another key resource is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, a nonprofit organization whose membership is composed of the boards of nursing from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.

NCSBN provides an organization through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting the public health, safety, and welfare, including the development of licensing examinations in nursing. NCSBN's programs and services include developing the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN examinations; performing policy analysis and promoting uniformity in relationship to the regulation of nursing practice; disseminating data related to the licensure of nurses; conducting research pertinent to NCSBN's purpose; serving as a forum for information exchange for members, and maintaining the Nursys database, which coordinates national publicly available information on nurse licensure. The NCSBN defines the four types of advanced practice registered nurses and the NCSBN's professional policy and legislative efforts include a major role in promoting the adoption of the Consensus Model for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Regulation (APRN Consensus Model) by all states.

Nurse Licensure Compact

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) recognizes the mutual recognition model of nursing licensure. This model allows a nurse to have one license (in his or her state of residence) but also practice in other states, as long as that nurse acknowledges that he or she is subject to each state's practice laws and discipline. Under the mutual recognition model, practice across state lines is allowed, whether physical or electronic, unless the nurse is under discipline or a monitoring agreement that restricts practice across state lines.

To achieve mutual recognition, each state must enter into the NLC. Currently, 25 states are NLC member states. This interstate compact supersedes state laws and may be amended by all party states agreeing and then changing individual state laws. A separate body composed of the participating state board of nursing administrators is in charge of that state's compact.

Links to Boards of Nursing

Alabama Board of Nursing

Alaska Board of Nursing

American Samoa Health Services Regulatory Board

Arizona State Board of Nursing

Arkansas State Board of Nursing

California Board of Registered Nursing

Colorado Board of Nursing

Connecticut Board of Examiners for Nursing

Delaware Board of Nursing

District of Columbia Nursing Licensing

Florida Board of Nursing

Georgia Board of Nursing

Guam Board of Nurse Examiners

Hawaii Board of Nursing

Idaho Board of Nursing

Illinois Center for Nursing

Indiana State Board of Nursing

Iowa Board of Nursing

Kansas State Board of Nursing

Kentucky Board of Nursing

Louisiana State Board of Nursing

Maine State Board of Nursing

Maryland Board of Nursing

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs -- Health Professions

Minnesota Board of Nursing

Mississippi Board of Nursing

Missouri Board of Nursing

Montana Board of Nursing

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services -- Nursing and Nursing Support

Nevada State Board of Nursing

New Hampshire Board of Nursing

New Jersey Board of Nursing

New Mexico Board of Nursing

New York State Office of the Professions: Nursing

North Carolina Board of Nursing

North Dakota Board of Nursing

Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Board of Nurse Examiners

Ohio Board of Nursing

Oklahoma Board of Nursing

Oregon State Board of Nursing

Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing

Rhode Island Department of Health: Information for Nurses

South Carolina Board of Nursing

South Dakota Board of Nursing

Tennessee Board of Nursing

Texas Board of Nursing

Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing: Nursing

Vermont State Board of Nursing

Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure

Virginia Board of Nursing

Washington State Nursing Commission

West Virginia RN Board

Wisconsin Board of Nursing

Wyoming State Board of Nursing

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