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About Nursing Licensure

Licensure is the process by which boards of nursing grant permission to an individual to engage in nursing practice after determining that the applicant has attained the competency necessary to perform a unique scope of practice. Licensure is necessary when the regulated activities are complex, require specialized knowledge and skill and independent decision making. The licensure process determines if the applicant has the necessary skills to safely perform a specified scope of practice by predetermining the criteria needed and to evaluate licensure applicants to determine if they meet the criteria. Licensure provides that:

  • A specified scope of practice may only be performed legally by licensed individuals
  • Title protection
  • Authority to take disciplinary action should the licensee violate the law or rules in order to assure that the public is protected

Tags: License statistics,Licensure,Licensure in the U.S.,Nursing licensure,NCSBN