Recent Research

NCSBN and The National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers are currently conducting the 2017 national workforce survey of Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN/VNs). The survey is designed to collect crucial information on the supply of RNs and LPN/VNs in the United States. Having an adequate supply of nurses in the workforce is among the priorities of a safe and effective health care system. Knowledge of the supply of nurses can be used to predict possible shortages and assist in the allocation of resources, program development and recruitment efforts in both the health care system and education sectors. Look for study results in the July 2018 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation. 

Simulation Use in Undergraduate Education: A Follow-Up Study

In 2010, a survey was mailed to prelicensure RN programs to understand the scope of programs using simulation, in which courses simulation is used, if simulation hours are or would be substituted for clinical hours if allowed, how simulation is conducted and used, and the frequency of use. In 2017, a follow-up study replicated the methodology of the 2010 survey and added questions about the NCSBN simulation study and guidelines. The study will describe the current state and use of simulation in prelicensure programs including LPN/VN programs, compare the 2017 findings to the 2010 results, and determine the use and impact of the simulations study and guidelines. Look for study results in the January issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation

Collaborative Practice Agreement Survey

In collaboration with all four APRN role associations (the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists), NCSBN recently launched a cross-sectional online survey of APRNs in states that require collaborative agreements for both practicing and prescribing. Data will provide a better understanding of how collaborative practice agreements are actually used by APRNs and collaborating/ supervisory providers and whether or not the agreements are likely to confer greater protection of the public. Results are expected in early 2018. 

Outcomes of Alternative to Discipline (ATD) Programs

There are currently two studies related to ATD programs being conducted by NCSBN.

The first is a retrospective longitudinal cohort study of nurses participating in ATD programs between the years 2007-2015. Data is being retrieved from a third-party that supports both BON contractor-run programs and external programs from 15 different states. This study will assess the completion rates of nursing ATD programs, determine what personal and program characteristics are associated with program completion, and compare the aspects of different ATD programs to understand the most important program factors related to relapse and returning to work.

The second is a descriptive study of different types of ATD programs for nurses with substance-use disorder (SUD) in the US, and a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of these types of ATD programs. The results of these two studies may lead us to re-evaluate and update guidelines for treating and managing nurses with a SUD. Boards of nursing establishing their initial ATD program will pilot a model evidenced-based program. 

Gender Differences in Nurse Reporting and Nurse Discipline Study

Studies consistently show that male nurses are over represented in the group of nurses who are disciplined by boards of nursing (BONs). This study explored whether the overrepresentation was due to gender-related bias at the level of reporting or at the level of discipline. Analysis of the discipline data revealed the frequency of disciplinary actions assigned to male and female nurses who had criminal convictions for driving under the influence, fraud, and theft were similar. No differences were found between male and female nurses in disciplinary outcomes for practice-related errors. The study found no evidence that suggests the overrepresentation of males in the group of nurses who are disciplined by BONs is due to gender-related bias at the level of reporting or at the level of discipline. Study results are available in the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

Criminal Convictions in Nursing Study

Nurses with criminal convictions accounted for approximately 10% of the disciplinary actions taken by state boards of nursing (BONs) between 2003 and 2013. The purpose of this study was to better understand the types of crimes for which nurses are convicted, and what actions BONs are taking to protect the public. The study found that driving under the influence, violation of the Controlled Substances Act, and theft were the most common crimes; probation and suspension of license were the most common BON actions. Overall, the vast majority of nurses are safe practitioners, and the majority of crimes reported to BONs are not patient-related. This study provided evidence that BONs diligently address criminal convictions and evaluate whether the conviction is an indication that the individual is capable of practicing nursing safely. Study results are available in the Journal of Nursing Regulation

NCSBN conducted a landmark, national, multi-site, longitudinal study of simulation use in prelicensure nursing programs.

Transition into Practice: Engaging, Experiencing, Empowering

Transition to Practice (TTP) is an expansive initiative of NCSBN that provides a way to empower and formalize the journey of newly licensed nurses from education to practice.