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 and 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 evaluating licensure applicants to determine if they meet the criteria.
Components of Nursing Licensure
- Verification of graduation or eligibility for graduation from an approved prelicensure RN nursing education program
- Verification of successful completion of NCLEX-RN examination
- In some states, criminal background check
The responsibilities of a licensed nurse include knowledge of, and adherence to, the laws and rules which govern nursing as outlined in the nurse practice act and regulations. Review the nursing law and rules by locating your state nurse practice act and regulations.