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Professional Nursing

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.

Registered Nurse (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 North Carolina Nursing Practice Act and related Administrative Code Rules. The scope of Registered Nurse practice is not defined by specific activities or tasks, but rather as a process, and is identified as independent and comprehensive. Registered Nurse 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 Registered Nurse practice in North Carolina 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 Registered Nurse scope of practice.

Licensed Practical 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.

As defined in the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act and related Administrative Code Rules the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) practice involves a directed scope of nursing practice, with or without compensation or personal profit, under the supervision of an Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), licensed physician or other healthcare practitioner authorized by the state, and as such is sometimes identified as a “dependent” practice. The Licensed Practical Nurse practice is guided by the North Carolina laws and rules, established nursing standards, agency policy, validated knowledge, skill and competency, the complexity and frequency of nursing care needed, and the accessible resources.

Each Licensed Practical Nurse in North Carolina is accountable to clients, the nursing profession and the Board of Nursing for complying with requirements under the North Carolina laws and rules. The Licensed Practical Nurse is accountable to ensure that quality nursing care is rendered.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

In North Carolina, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is an umbrella title for Registered Nurses who are, as defined in the North Carolina Administrative Code (21 NCAC 36.0120(6)), as Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse-Midwife or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Definition of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), adapted from the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation*

An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse is a nurse:
  1. Who has completed an accredited graduate-level education program preparing him/her for one of the four recognized Advanced Practice Registered Nurse roles; 
  2. Who has passed a National Certification examination that measures Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, role and population-focused competencies and who maintains continued competence as evidenced by recertification in the role and population through the national certification program; 
  3. Who has acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills preparing him/her to provide direct care to patients, as well as a component of indirect care; however, the defining factor for all Advanced Practice Registered Nurses is that a significant component of the education and practice focuses on direct care of individuals; 
  4. Whose practice builds on the competencies of Registered Nurses (RN) by demonstrating a greater depth and breadth of knowledge, a greater synthesis of data, increased complexity of skills and interventions, and greater role autonomy; 
  5. Who is educationally prepared to assume responsibility and accountability for health promotion and/or maintenance as well as the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patient problems, which includes the use and prescription of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions; 
  6. Who has clinical experience of sufficient depth and breadth to reflect the advanced practice role.

About the Board

Mission

Protect the public by regulating the practice of nursing.

Vision

Exemplary nursing care for all.

Values
  • Professionalism
  • Accountability
  • Commitment
  • Equity
Annual Report

In accordance with § 93B-2 , the Board of Nursing submits an annual report to the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Joint Regulatory Reform Committee.

Complaints and Investigative Process

When to Report

The Board evaluates and reacts promptly, fairly and appropriately to ensure public protection. All allegations are evaluated with respect to jurisdiction, risk to the public and the circumstances leading to the reported incident/event.

The Board is responsible for ensuring that only competent licensed nurses are allowed to practice nursing. If you believe that a nurses’ performance is incompetent, negligent or unsafe, you have a right and responsibility to file a complaint with the Board. It is always better if the report is made close to the time of the event. Locating witnesses and finding documents is more difficult as time passes thus impeding the effectiveness of the investigation.

Complaints should be submitted on the complaint form and include your name and contact information though anonymous complaints will be accepted. The investigator will do all he/she can to protect your anonymity; however, if there are charges brought against the nurse, you may be required to testify. The nurse has the right to contest and therefore would have the right to question the source of information at an Administrative Hearing. All complainants who provide their contact information are notified of the final outcome of their complaint.

N.C.G.S. (North Carolina General Statute) § 90-171.47

Complaint Gateway

Investigation Process

Disciplinary Actions

Definitions
  • Reprimand - a formal notice which expresses concern for recognized wrongdoing but does not restrict the nurse's right to practice
  • Stay of Suspension - a formal notice of the consequences that will be imposed should the nurse fail to comply with defined requirements such as required remedial education and/or practice conditions
  • Probation - involves imposing conditions for practice and monitoring of the nurse's practice for a specified period of time
  • Suspension - the loss of the privilege to practice nursing for a specified period of time
  • Surrender - a formal action which allows the nurse to relinquish their right to practice nursing for a period of time not less than 1 year
  • Revocation - the loss of the right to practice nursing for a period of not less than 5 years

To view additional information, select Disciplinary Actions.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary Actions Log

*select a name to view licensure information*

Disciplinary Actions Log

Nursing Statistics

Nursing Program Examination Pass Rates
Licensure Statistics

Knowledge Base

Last Changed 21-Aug-2020

North Carolina Board of Nursing

Protect the public by regulating the practice of nursing.
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Contact Information

(919) 782-3211
(919) 781-9461
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North Carolina Board of Nursing