The provision of nursing care gives rise to the risk of harm inherent to that care. States are given the responsibility to protect the public from that risk of harm in the form of reasonable laws to regulate nursing. The laws codified in the nurse practice act and its accompanying regulations establish a board of nursing, as well as guide and govern nursing care. While the vast majority of nurses are competent and caring individuals who provide care according to the standard, violations of the nurse practice act do happen. When violations occur, the board of nursing takes formal action if it finds sufficient basis that the nurse violated the act or regulations. Currently, the rate of discipline on a license is less than one percent.
From Complaint to Resolution
The graphic below demonstrates the disciplinary process from receipt of complaint to resolution and reporting. The process is also summarized in the NCSBN video Board of Nursing Complaint Process: Investigation to Resolution.