North Carolina Board of Nursing

Nursing Practice

Registered Nurse

The practice of nursing is a scientific process founded on a professional body of knowledge. It is a learned profession based on an understanding of the human condition across the lifespan and the relationship of a client with others and within the environment. The practice of nursing is an art dedicated to caring and to assisting clients by providing sustained, vigilant, and continuous care to those acutely or chronically ill. Nurses assist clients to attain or maintain optimal health, implementing a strategy of care to accomplish defined goals within the context of a client centered health care plan. Nursing is a dynamic discipline that increasingly involves more sophisticated knowledge, technologies and client care activities.

RN practice in North Carolina includes the full scope of nursing, with or without compensation or personal profit and that incorporates caring for all clients in all settings, as guided by the NC Nursing Practice Act and related Administrative Code Rules. The scope of RN practice is not defined by specific activities or tasks, but rather as a process, and is identified as independent and comprehensive. RN practice includes assessing, planning and implementing nursing interventions and prescribed treatments for an individual, group, or community; as well as to evaluate responses to nursing care and treatment, and to collaborate with others as needed.

Also included in RN practice in NC is the clinical counseling and teaching of clients and professionals or those preparing to perform nursing functions. The management and administration of nursing services as regards the maintenance of health, prevention and management of illness, injury, disability of a client, or the achievement of a dignified death also falls within the RN scope of practice.

Law & Rules