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Filing a Complaint


A nurse's practice and behavior is expected to be safe, competent, ethical and in compliance with applicable laws and rules. If you believe that there is a problem with a nurse, ask yourself if the nurse's practice and/or behavior is:

  • Unsafe
  • Incompetent
  • Unethical
  • Affected by the use of alcohol, drugs or other chemicals
  • Affected by a physical or mental condition
  • Is in violation of a nursing or nursing-related law or rule 

Most states require a written and signed description of the practice or behavior. Many states have complaint forms available on their websites or you may call the board office to request information on filing a complaint. The board needs enough information to be able to determine:

  • If the individual is a nurse licensed by the board or a licensure applicant.
  • If the alleged practice or behavior is a violation of a board law or rule that the board has the authority to enforce.

Any person who has knowledge of conduct by a licensed nurse that may violate a nursing law or rule or related state or federal law may report the alleged violation to the state board of nursing where the situation occurred.

Contact your state board of nursing for questions regarding confidentiality and how you, the complainant, may be involved in the process. Complaints should not be sent to NCSBN, as we have no authority over individual nurses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tags: Board of Nursing Operations,Boards of Nursing,Complaint process,Filing a complaint,NCSBN