New Nurses: Key Issues

Completing an approved nursing program and passing the NCLEX are the first steps to launching a successful nursing career. As nurses enter the workforce it is important that they understand how the profession is regulated and are aware of issues relating to professional responsibility. This includes knowing what constitutes a violation of the nurse practice act.

New Nurses: Your License to Practice Video

“New Nurses: Your License to Practice” highlights topics that newly licensed nurses should be aware of as they begin their first nursing positions. It gives them, as well as practicing nurses and students, an explanation of how the profession is regulated, through nursing licensure, U.S. Nursing Regulatory Bodies and state laws called nurse practice acts. The video also details the importance of maintaining professional boundaries and upholding nursing ethics. Watch now!

Resources for New Nurses

Booklet: NCSBN Welcomes You to the Nursing Profession

Offered as a free gift to newly licensed nurses in honor of its 40th anniversary, NCSBN created this 50-page booklet as a resource to help nurses better understand nursing regulation and their board of nursing (BON).

What You Need to Know About Nursing Licensure and Boards of Nursing

This brochure explains the importance of nurse licensure, including:

  • Why nurses are required to be licensed
  • How BONs safeguard the public by evaluating, issuing and renewing nurse licenses
  • How the nurse practice act (NPA) is implemented
  • Why disciplinary actions are taken against nurses who violate the NPA

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 

Practical Guidelines for Boards of Nursing on Sexual Misconduct Cases

This resource provides boards of nursing with practical guidelines in making decisions about sexual misconduct cases in their mission of public protection.

A Nurse's Guide to the Use of Social Media

This brochure is designed to help both new and experienced nurses understand how social media can be properly used in the profession without breaking patient privacy and confidentiality laws. It outlines:

  • Potential consequences for violating patient confidentiality by using various scenarios and situations
  • Uncovers common myths and misunderstandings about social media
  • Provides tips for how nurses can use social media appropriately while avoiding disclosing confidential patient information 

A Nurse's Guide to Professional Boundaries

This brochure helps nursing students, educators, health care organizations and the public understand and apply the concepts of professional boundaries between a nurse and a client.  

What You Need to Know About Substance Use Disorder in Nursing

This brochure explains how substance use disorder (SUD) affects the nursing profession. Nurses have a legal ethical responsibility to report a colleague’s suspected drug use; learn how to recognize the warning signs and what to do to get a colleague help. Nurses that educate themselves about SUD help not only their colleagues, but they also protect patients. 

A Nurse Manager’s Guide to Substance Use Disorder in Nursing

Substance use disorder (SUD) is rarely discussed on nursing units. It is the responsibility of a nurse manager, however, to provide education, dispel myths and take action when needed. This brochure outlines the roles and responsibilities of the nurse manager in situations involving SUD. 

Online Courses

NCSBN offers courses on topics that are related to nurse practice acts, professional boundaries and substance use disorder in nursing.

Nurse Practice Acts

Understanding Substance Use Disorder in Nursing

Professional Boundaries in Nursing

Patient Privacy

Ethics of Nursing Practice