Nursing Practice Act
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Proposed Changes to Laws

Updates to the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act (NPA) became effective October 1st, 2019. Self-reports regarding arrests or indictments should now be made to the North Carolina Board of Nursing within 30 days for any of the following: (1) any felony arrest or indictment; (2) any arrest for driving while impaired or driving under the influence; and (3) any arrest or indictment for the possession, use, or sale of any controlled substance. It is also important to note that failure to respond to the Board’s inquiries in a reasonable manner or time regarding any matter affecting the license to practice nursing is reason for disciplinary action by the Board (North Carolina Session Law 2019-180, 2019 - PART II). These changes are among several updates to the NPA outlined in legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Cooper. Updates to the NPA are made to reflect the current practice of nursing in an ever-changing health care environment and to ensure that the laws governing the regulation of nursing practice in North Carolina facilitate the work of the Board in its legislated mandate to protect the safety of the public.

The North Carolina General Assembly has not made major updates to the NPA for several years. However, during the 2019-2020 legislative session, Representative Donna McDowell White (a registered nurse) championed legislation to make much-needed changes to the NPA to protect the safety of the public and enhance the operational efficiency of the Board. The updates outlined in Session Law 2019-180 include revision of vague, outdated (pre-HIPAA) language in the NPA, formatting and definition revisions, clarification of the subpoena power and disciplinary authority of the Board, and confidentiality protections for materials gathered by the Board. The Board regulates the practice of nursing for more than 160,000 nurses in North Carolina. Updates to the NPA are made to reflect the current practice of nursing in an ever-changing health care environment and to ensure that the laws governing the regulation of nursing practice in North Carolina facilitate the work of the Board in its legislated mandate to protect the safety of the public.

Last Changed 8-Oct-2019

North Carolina Board of Nursing

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North Carolina Board of Nursing