Board of Nursing Overview

Jul 3, 2013 by

Nursing skills are invaluable to the healthcare of a nation, but must also be regulated in order to prove that they have met standards in order to serve and protect the public’s health. The US requires nurses to acquire licenses in order to legally practice. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), nurses make up the second largest group of licensed professionals in the US.

Nursing licenses are issued by state boards of nursing, or BONs, which are overseen by the NCSBN. These BONs review license applications, issue and renew licenses, and discipline licensed individuals who have committed a legal violation.

In the event of a violation, a BON has the power to give warnings, order probation, restrict a nurse’s practice, suspend practice, or revoke a nurse’s license. The Leichter Law Firm notes that licenses are most often revoked because of criminal conviction, malpractice, and fraud.

Otherwise, nurses are required to renew their licenses every few years in order to keep personal information up to date and to prove continued compliance with standards of practice. In most states the renewal rate is every two years, and nurses who continue to practice without a renewed license are subject to disciplinary actions and a separate process for reinstating a lapsed license, as outlined by the BON.

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