Filing a Complaint

A nurse's practice and behavior is expected to be safe, competent, ethical and in compliance with applicable laws and rules. 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 board of nursing where the conduct occurred. All jurisdictions have specific processes for complaint intake. Contact the Board of Nursing. Complaints should not be sent to NCSBN, as NCSBN has no authority over individual nurses. An Explanation of NCSBN's Authority

State and Territorial Boards of Nursing: What Every Nurse Needs to Know

This brochure offers nurses an explanation of what boards of nursing (BONs) do for the profession and those who work in it. This brochure provides information regarding:

  • A BON's investigation into violations of a state's nurse practice act (NPA)
  • The process for filing a complaint against a nurse who has exhibited unsafe, negligent or incompetent behavior
  • What a nurse can expect while their complaint is being investigated 

Your State Board of Nursing Works for You: A Health Care Consumer's Guide

This brochure explains how a board of nursing protects the public and

  • Serves as a guide for consumers who have experienced or witnessed a nurse exhibiting unsafe, negligent or incompetent behavior
  • Explains what consumers can expect when a complaint is being investigated
  • Defines various nursing roles and responsibilities