National Council of State Boards of Nursing

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing or NCSBN is the organization of state level government agencies that regulate the practice of nursing. The various state boards outline the standards of nursing, issue licenses, and monitor compliance to the license and regulations. Each state determines how the board functions and who they report to, and so each board organizes itself slightly differently. Each board directs how nursing education programs are to be run in its state. In turn, each state has the Nurse Practice Act which determines how nurses are licensed and titled, and designates just what their responsibilities are. The national board provides a forum to discuss common interests in promoting the profession of nursing and ensures that legislation and regulation of the profession occurs.

NCSBN is the organization that helped create the framework for a national standardized test in nursing. The NCLEX was instituted in 1994. Having a national licensure is an advantage to any profession since it is more likely a professional can work in more than one state with the same license. Though all states use the test, not all states participate in creating licenses that are used across the nation. The NCSBN oversees the national test and sets the procedure. This board investigates all formal complaints against nurses. After an investigation is complete, they also help decide what discipline is appropriate for the misconduct.

NCSBN provides education courses concentrated on the ethics and legal practice of nursing. It also created the "Transition to Practice" program for new nurses. According to NCSBN, in the past as many as 25 percent of first year nurses left the profession. The Transition to Practice program provides a bridge to properly transition new nurses into their profession on their jobsite. Health institutions that use the program have little attrition in their new nursing staff.

An important consideration in LPN jobs is what type of license a state will issue you upon completion of a program. As of this date, only twenty-one states participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact. This compact provides state licenses that allow a nurse to work in those twenty-one states without additional testing. Those states not participating issue a single state license that is only good for that state.

NCSBN affects every aspect of your LPN training and nursing career. A future nurse should review NCSBN positions and literature.

Here's a great website with more information on nursing careers.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013