Nurse Gateway
Frequently Asked Questions

Nursing Education

  1. What nursing education programs are approved by the Board?

  2. What are the requirements for simulation nursing faculty?

  3. Does the Board approve pre-licensure (Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse) out-of-state programs/online programs/correspondence courses?

  4. What specific courses are required to be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN Exam?

  5. Can I take the NCLEX-PN Exam if I have been a paramedic, Navy Corpsman or Air Force Medic?

  6. Will the Board help me with a problem in my school of nursing?

  7. Does a nursing student “work under the faculty or preceptor’s license”?

  8. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing approve nursing graduate-level (masters and doctoral) out-of-state programs/online programs/correspondence courses?

  9. What is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) for Distance Education?

  10. Will my employer accept a graduate out-of-state program?

  11. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing require a facility to accept additional clinical experience requests from new or existing programs?

  12. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) promote other contact hour programs/continuing education courses in their materials or on the NCBON web site?

  13. What constitutes a clinical experience?

  1. What nursing education programs are approved by the Board?

    North Carolina Board of Nursing approves only those leading to initial Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse licensure. The North Carolina Board of Nursing maintains a list of currently approved nursing education programs by law.  This list is currently available on our web site under Programs in North Carolina.

    Applicants can link to the education institutions from our web site to obtain both contact information and requirements for the programs.

  2. What are the requirements for simulation nursing faculty?

    The following simulation guidance shall apply when simulation is replacing traditional clinical experiences/hours. This guidance is not intended for simulation being used to supplement classroom learning or validation of skills in lab experiences.

    Simulation is a pedagogy that may be integrated across the pre-licensure curriculum. Nursing education program are advised to incrementally increase the amount of simulation as faculty expertise is acquired. Faculty expertise, resource and curricular requirements for simulation are defined in 21 NCAC 36 .0321 (m), (n) and (o) CURRICULUM

    Definitions

    Simulation: A technique, not a technology, to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner (Gaba, 2004).

    Traditional Clinical Experience: Practice in an inpatient, ambulatory care or community setting where the student provide care to patients under the guidance of an instructor or preceptor.

    Program Responsibilities

    It is the responsibility of the Program Director to ensure that the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) Standards of Best Practices are utilized for lead faculty and lab personnel in simulation education. Core and advanced courses in simulation are required for faculty to acquire the foundational competencies prior to using simulation as a learning tool.

    It is the responsibility of the Program Director to ensure and document that simulation faculty are qualified to conduct simulation and debriefings. Furthermore, the Program Director maintains the responsibility to ensure resources for faculty development, allocation of faculty workload hours to support best practices, and the provision of an appropriately realistic environment (Jeffries, Dreifuerst, Kardong-Edgren, Hayden, 2015).

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not prescribe the simulation courses, number of continuing education hours, or certifications for lead faculty and lab personnel teaching in simulation education. Please contact your education and practice consultant for further questions.

  3. Does the Board approve pre-licensure (Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse) out-of-state programs/online programs/correspondence courses?

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing approves and regulates pre-licensure nursing education programs in the State of North Carolina. At this time, the Board does not approve nursing education programs which are outside of North Carolina jurisdiction, including out-of-state online programs/correspondence courses.

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does recognize graduates from pre-licensure nursing education programs that are approved/accredited by other State Boards of Nursing as eligible to apply to take the NCLEX examination(s) and apply for licensure in North Carolina.

    For example, Excelsior College is approved by the New York State Board of Nursing and graduates from that program may apply to take the NCLEX-RN Examination in North Carolina and apply for licensure as a Registered Nurse in North Carolina. The North Carolina Board of Nursing encourages you contact out-of-state pre-licensure nursing education programs directly for information and specific questions about the program and the program's approval/accreditation status in their state. It is recommended that individuals research the approval/accreditation status and credibility of any nursing education program before enrolling in individual courses or the entire program of study. In addition, offers to prepare students to more easily pass specific programs should be discussed directly with the nursing program before enrollment.

  4. What specific courses are required to be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN Exam?

    To be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN® examination, the student must have completed an approved program for educating practical nurses. The approved nursing program curriculum shall include biological, physical, social and behavioral sciences (21 NCAC 36 .0321 CURRICULUM). In addition, correlated theory and clinical practice shall have been completed in the following areas: nursing care of children; maternity nursing; nursing care of the aged; nursing care of adults; and nursing care of individuals with mental health problems.

    To be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN® examination, the student must have completed a Board approved professional nursing education program (associate degree program, baccalaureate degree program, or diploma program).

  5. Can I take the NCLEX-PN Exam if I have been a paramedic, Navy Corpsman or Air Force Medic?

    North Carolina has no provision to allow challenge of the licensure examination based on alternate education and/or experience. The requirement is that one be a graduate of an approved practical nursing program to apply for licensure. If you have taken college courses or have health occupation experience, you could inquire at a local practical nursing education program to learn about transfer credit or advanced placement. The nursing education program may give credit for previous courses, but that is the decision of each nursing program.

    Military: The North Carolina Board of Nursing supports military personnel and veterans experiencing career transitions. Currently, the graduates of two military practical nursing programs meet North Carolina educational requirements for endorsement as Licensed Practical Nurse.

    • Army Practical Nursing (68WM6)
    • Army MOS 68C Practical Nursing
    • Air Force Practical Nursing Technology Associate Degree (7GAL)

    These two programs are the only military nursing education programs that currently meet both the academic and practicum criteria required by the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act and Licensed Practical Nurse education standards.

    Graduates of all other U.S. Military Programs who have been licensed by examination in another jurisdiction should email the Endorsement Department using the Contact Us Form for specific requirements.

    Graduates of all other U.S. Military Programs that have not passed NCLEX may be eligible to list as a Nurse Aide II.

  6. Will the Board help me with a problem in my school of nursing?

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing is interested in ensuring that nursing education programs are in compliance with Law and Rules in order to protect the public through safe nursing care. The Board will consider written and signed complaints about nursing education programs which reflect upon the quality of nursing education and addresses issues of non-compliance with education rules.

    However, the North Carolina Board of Nursing has no authority over school policies, grades, or conflicts between students and faculty. Each program is required to have processes in place for dealing with grievances and students and faculty are encouraged to follow appropriate procedure in the institution. Consult the nursing program handbook, college handbook, and student services for the proper procedure to follow.

  7. Does a nursing student “work under the faculty or preceptor’s license”?

    A nursing student who is in a clinical area as part of an approved nursing education program is working as an “unlicensed provider”. The authority to practice or “student status” is granted in The Nursing Practice Act Article 90-171.43 (2) License required.

    Note: A student is held to the same standard of care as any licensed nurse.

    Only the person named on the nursing license has the authority to practice nursing.

    The faculty member and/or preceptor is responsible for “appropriate supervision and delegation.” The law allows a licensed nurse to delegate certain nursing responsibilities to individuals who are competent to perform the assignment. Persons caring for the patient are responsible for knowing the boundaries of their role and for knowing if they have the knowledge/skills/abilities to provide for the client’s needs. It is up to each nurse to decide what activities can safely be assigned or delegated to another individual based upon the agency policies/procedures, the education/training of the individual, and the validated competency of the individual. When the nurse has delegated appropriately he/she is not accountable for the actions/errors of the individual assigned the task.

  8. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing approve nursing graduate-level (masters and doctoral) out-of-state programs/online programs/correspondence courses?

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not approve or disapprove graduate-level nursing programs, in-state, nor out-of-state, regardless of teaching methodologies used. Programs over which the North Carolina Board of Nursing does not have jurisdiction include: RN-BSN, masters, and doctoral programs. While some states do have jurisdiction over programs beyond those leading to initial licensure, the North Carolina Board of Nursing does not. The North Carolina Board of Nursing has jurisdiction only over pre-licensure nursing programs located in North Carolina that prepare graduates to take the initial Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse licensure examination.

    If I attend a nursing education program in another state, am I able to complete my student clinical experiences in North Carolina?

    a) Pre-licensure (Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse) students who are attending out-of-state programs and wish to complete clinical experiences in North Carolina must contact the North Carolina Board of Nursing Education Department using the Contact Us Form to obtain information regarding requirements. Reference 21 NCAC 36 .0233 for more detail.

    b) Graduate (master's or doctoral) students who do not hold a North Carolina or multi-state nursing license must contact the North Carolina Board of Nursing Practice Department using the Contact Us Form to obtain information regarding requirements for the completion of clinical experiences in North Carolina.

  9. What is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) for Distance Education?

    The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. The primary objectives of SARA are to make it easier for institutions in North Carolina to provide online and distance education options to students in other states and to provide basic protections for those students. North Carolina became a SARA state in June 2016.

    Please visit the North Carolina SARA website at http://www.saranc.org/ for more information. To check out-of-state colleges and universities visit the SARA website at http://nc-sara.org/ and click on the states tab to locate the college or university. This means you may be eligible to participate in field placement experiences (clinicals) in North Carolina, while taking didactic courses in a SARA approved college or university.

    SARA pertains to approval of distance education courses and programs offered across state lines by postsecondary institutions that already have degree authorization in at least one state. SARA centralizes the authorization process for each institution in a single state called the institution’s “home state.” Colleges or universities in a SARA state therefore only need their home state authorization to offer distance education to students in any other SARA member state, subject to certain limitations.

    Any degree-granting institution in the U.S. must be authorized by a governmental entity to issue degrees. The U.S. Department of Education requires proof of state authorization as a condition of eligibility to participate in Title IV student assistance programs. SARA policy is intended to be consistent with federal law and is therefore subject to change based on federal rulemaking.

    In the event the institution is not a SARA-participating institution, it would need to obtain licensure approval from the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina. All field placement experiences of non-SARA participating institutions, or participating SARA institutions that have more than 10 students per degree program per site location, that are required by the curriculum or carry college credit, trigger a physical presence. Consequently, the institution must obtain licensure approval from the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina. If a non-SARA institution does not obtain licensure approval, then the institution will not be able to conduct post-secondary degree activity (i.e. offer degree programs, place students, etc.) in North Carolina.

  10. Will my employer accept a graduate out-of-state program?

    Determination of what programs to accept is the purview of each employer. When considering an out-of-state program, it is always best to talk with your employer to make sure the college/university under consideration is accepted by your employer. Federal ruling requires any educational institution requesting to provide education in another state, to first receive approval from the state being considered. This ruling includes all areas of education and is not limited to nursing education.

  11. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing require a facility to accept additional clinical experience requests from new or existing programs?

    It is the facility, not the North Carolina Board of Nursing, which determines when a facility is at the maximum capacity for additional clinical experience requests. There are many factors which must be considered for additional clinical requests. Factors such as staff and patient fatigue, the level of the student, any special projects/accreditation that a facility is undergoing, and the number of days/shifts students are already in the facility. A facility should only agree to provide clinical experiences when patient safety can be maintained. Adequate faculty availability for the students must be aligned with the learning objectives/outcomes for the course in which the student is enrolled for that semester.

  12. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) promote other contact hour programs/continuing education courses in their materials or on the NCBON web site?

    No. The North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) is a regulatory agency whose mission is protection of the public. The NCBON includes information only related to the NCBON mission, or NCBON sponsored programs.

  13. What constitutes a clinical experience?

    Nursing is a practice profession and requires clinical practice with “hands-on” clinical experiences, in order for nursing students to become proficient with integrating nursing knowledge and skills. Clinical experiences need to be designed based on the learning objective/outcomes for the course in which the student is enrolled, and need to provide adequate time for the student to apply theory concepts learned to patient care situations. The nursing program’s advisory committee can provide some guidance for the program related to the performance expectations for new graduates. While the North Carolina Board of Nursing does not specify percentages or hours for clinical experiences, the expectation is that students will have adequate clinical time throughout the program to apply concepts learned in class to patient care experiences in a clinical setting.

    In 2010, Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation reported the outcomes and recommendations of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Preparation for the Professions study by Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, and Day. The following statement from their study report provides evidence of the essential nature of “hands-on” clinical experiences in nursing education:

    “Clinical practice assignments provide powerful learning experiences, especially in those programs where educators integrate clinical and classroom teaching” (p.12)

    “One strength of U.S. nursing education is that students work directly with patients and the health care team” (p.12).

    “As students progress through their programs, they are given ever increasing responsibilities in clinical situations” (p.12).

    “Nursing, like all practice disciplines, relies on situated cognition and action” (p.13).

    “…today’s practitioner must be able to draw on all they learn in each of the professional apprenticeships (cognitive, skilled know-how ethical comportment) and integrate them in practice” (p.29).

    “At the heart of learning in any practice discipline…lies the need for situated cognition (Lave & Wenger, 1991), or the chance to think in particular clinical situations” (p.30).

    “Clinical reasoning is the ability to reason about a clinical situation as it unfolds, as well as about patient and family concerns and context” (p.46).

    STATEMENT

    Innovation Guideline

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing supports innovative strategies in nursing programs. In order to assure that the nursing program curriculum meets the North Carolina Board of Nursing Education Rules governing Nursing Education Programs, any innovative teaching strategies for nursing education must be reviewed by a North Carolina Board of Nursing Consultant, and may receive Board notification and/or approval prior to implementation. The proposed innovation must include evidence and/or best practice information in the supporting documentation. The assigned program consultant is available to respond to questions related to nursing program innovations.

North Carolina Board of Nursing

The mission of the North Carolina Board of Nursing is to protect the public by regulating the practice of nursing.
Sitemap

Copyright © 2017
North Carolina Board of Nursing
All rights reserved

Terms of Service Privacy Policy

Contact Information

(919) 782-3211
(919) 781-9461
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon-Fri
North Carolina Board of Nursing