Nursing is a fast growing and widely-varied field. Universities are expanding their nursing programs and professional nursing organizations continue to expand. However, caution must be exercised when researching programs and organizations online. The Internet has become saturated with both valid and misleading information on education and licensing requirements. False information can be both costly and time-consuming. Regulatory agencies such as state boards serve to protect the role of nurses and ensure patient safety. Each board has a government site (.gov) that is moderated and regularly updated. Other websites provide similar data and appear trustworthy, but may not have the most up-to-date, authoritative information.
Our comprehensive list links only to authoritative sites that provide dependable and relevant information for future and currently practicing registered nurses. Nursing students and healthcare professionals can easily locate valuable and legitimate data on various topics including state and national regulations, education programs, scholarships and funding options, and professional nursing associations. By listing only government sites and other valid resources, the probability of acquiring confusing or false information is significantly less, if not eliminated.
Table of Contents
As nursing continues to be a growth profession, we are committed to keeping pace with the latest industry developments and trends. The list below provides useful and educational links to resources that promote research and support best practices in nursing. Organized by category, each section includes a brief introduction to help readers navigate the site and find content that relates to their area of specialty or interest:
- Section 1: State Nursing Boards
- Section 2: Professional Nursing Associations
- Section 3: National Nursing Resources
- Section 4: Education and Funding Resources
Section 1: State Nursing Boards
Each state has their own unique laws and regulations governing registered nurses. To practice in a
particular state, their specific criteria must be met. Boards of Nursing were established to ensure all
regulatory and performance requirements are complied with and maintained. Each board has a website
which outlines their state’s guidelines and standards, licensing requirements, continuing education, and
other relevant qualifications and compliance information.
Boards are comprised of advisors who are skilled experts in the field of nursing. The advisor’s three
fundamental responsibilities include:
- Creating standards for safe nursing care.
- Prescribing curriculum for nursing programs.
- Issuing licenses to practice nursing.
The board serves to provide leadership, direction, and oversight for nursing practice and licensing laws. Advisors are also responsible for developing workforce initiatives, establishing scholarships and internship programs, and prioritizing issues within the nursing profession. State boards safeguard the welfare and safety of patients by monitoring and supporting nurses in their practice development.
In 2000, the National Council for State Boards of Nursing launched an important piece of legislature
allowing nurses to practice across state lines. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) is a multi-state
agreement that establishes a mutually recognized standard of nursing licensure. There are currently 24
states participating in the NLC program. Nurses who are both licensed in and legally reside in any NLC
state may practice in any member state.
Overall, state nursing boards provide essential information for both nursing students and practicing
registered nurses. Since each state has unique certification requirements and practicing standards, the
boards are needed to support and regulate these initiatives. To find more information, our list will take you directly to each state’s website. Note: The following five states have separate governing boards for the practice and responsibilities of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN): California, Georgia, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- Alabama: Alabama Board of Nursing
- Alaska: Alaska Board of Nursing
- Arizona: Arizona State Board of Nursing
- Arkansas: Arkansas State Board of Nursing
- California: Board of Registered Nursing / Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians
- Colorado: Department of Regulatory Agencies Board of Nursing
- Connecticut: Board of Examiners for Nursing
- Delaware: Board of Nursing
- District of Columbia: Board of Nursing
- Florida: Florida Board of Nursing
- Georgia: Georgia Board of Nursing / Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses
- Hawaii: Hawaii Board of Nursing
- Idaho: Idaho State Board of Nursing
- Illinois: Illinois Board of Nursing
- Indiana: Indiana State Board of Nursing
- Iowa: Iowa Board of Nursing
- Kansas: Kansas State Board of Nursing
- Kentucky: Kentucky Board of Nursing
- Louisiana: Louisiana State Board of Nursing / Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners
- Maine: Maine State Board of Nursing
- Maryland: Maryland Board of Nursing
- Massachusetts: Board of Registration in Nursing
- Michigan: Michigan Board of Nursing
- Minnesota: Minnesota Board of Nursing
- Mississippi: Mississippi Board of Nursing
- Missouri: Missouri Board of Nursing
- Montana: Montana Board of Nursing
- Nebraska: Nebraska Board of Nursing
- Nevada: Nevada State Board of Nursing
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire Board of Nursing
- New Jersey: New Jersey Board of Nursing
- New Mexico: New Mexico Board of Nursing
- New York: New York State Board of Nursing
- North Carolina: North Carolina Board of Nursing
- North Dakota: North Dakota Board of Nursing
- Ohio: Ohio Board of Nursing
- Oklahoma: Oklahoma Board of Nursing
- Oregon: Oregon State Board of Nursing
- Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing
- Rhode Island: Rhode Island Nurse Registration and Nursing Education Board
- South Carolina: South Carolina Board of Nursing
- South Dakota: South Dakota Board of Nursing
- Tennessee: Tennessee Board of Nursing
- Texas: Texas Board of Nursing
- Utah: Utah Board of Nursing
- Vermont: Vermont State Board of Nursing
- Virginia: Virginia Board of Nursing
- Washington: Washington State Nursing Board
- West Virginia: West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses / West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses
- Wisconsin: State of Wisconsin Board of Registered Nurses / State of Wisconsin Board of Licensed Practical Nurses / State of Wisconsin Board of Advanced Practice Nurse Prescribers
- Wyoming: Wyoming State Board of Nurses
Section 2:Professional Nursing Associations
For almost every nursing specialty, there is a professional organization that fosters professional development and advocacy to advance the profession and the nation’s health. Professional associations can be found at the international, national, state or specialty level. Some key benefits to joining a professional nursing association are:
- Advocacy: Professional organizations champion advancement of the nursing profession. Members of professional nursing associations stay abreast of current trends and legislation that may affect the profession. They are also part of a large community that aims to advance healthcare on a local, national or international level.
- Continuing Education: Many professional organizations provide ongoing education including certificate programs, specialty courses and annual conferences that allow members to continue to hone their nursing skills even after years of practice.
- Networking: Practitioners at all levels join professional associations. Students and newly licensed nurses have the opportunity to participate in discussions with senior nurses and senior level nurses have the opportunity to mentor and serve in leadership positions. Professional associations are also a great way to find a job, since many have their own dedicated job boards.
The list below contains numerous professional nursing associations organized by the following specialties: Clinical Care Associations, Administrative Associations, Disease Specialty Associations, Emergency Care Nursing Associations, Nurse Practitioner Associations and Miscellaneous Associations. Professional nursing associations at the state and local level can be found by completing a search of associations in your home state, city or town.
Clinical Care Associations
- Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses
- The Academy of Neonatal Nursing
- American Association for Critical Care Nurses
- American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
- American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association
- American Society of Peri-Anesthesia Nurses
- American Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgical Nurses, Inc
- Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing
- Association of Child Neurology Nurses
- Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing
- Dermatology Nurses Association
- National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
- National Association of Neonatal Nurses
- Society for Vascular Nursing
- Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.
- Society of Pediatric Nurses
- Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates
- American College of Nurse Midwives
- Infusion Nurses Society
Administrative Nursing Associations
- American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants
- American Association of Managed Care Nurses
- The American Association of Nurse Attorneys
- American Nursing Informatics Association
- American Association of Nurse Executives
- National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care
- National Nurses in Business Association
- American Forensic Nurses
- International Association of Forensic Nurses
Disease Specialty Associations
- The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses
- Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
- Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
- International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses
- Oncology Nurses Society
Emergency Care Nursing Associations
- Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (National Flight Nurses Association)
- American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
- Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
- Emergency Nurses Association
Nurse Practitioner Associations
- American College of Nurse Practitioners
- National Academy of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners
- Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
Miscellaneous Nursing Associations
- American Nurses Association
- The American Association for the History of Nursing
- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- American College Health Association
- American Holistic Nurses Association
- Association of Camp Nurses
- Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association
- Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
- National Association of Rural Health Clinics
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing
- National Gerontological Nurses Association
- National League for Nursing
- Navy Nurse Corps Association
- North American Nursing Diagnosis Association
- Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing
- The American Assembly for Men in Nursing
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- National Black Nurses Association, Inc.
Section 3: National Nursing Resources
National, government-run websites provide information on nursing research and statistics, government job opportunities, and other key topics. The sites listed below link directly to information supported by valid, practice-based research. Each site also links readers to other .gov sources that share up-to-date news and alerts in the healthcare profession. The chart below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is an example of the type of useful data on employment and wage earnings statistics that a government resource posts on a consistent basis:
The following resources provide national data, employment trends and statistics, and news analysis on patient safety, infection control, and accreditation. Reliable and comprehensive information will equip readers with the necessary knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their careers and professional advancement.
- National Institute of Nursing Research: The NINR provides important funding for nursing research as well as offers training and career development opportunities. For practicing RNs, staying abreast of the latest research is both a professional responsibility, and in some cases, an organizational expectation.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics: The BLS produces a yearly Occupational Handbook, a nationally-recognized source that defines careers, education needed, and expected job opportunities. The report provides employment and mean wage statistics as well as industry and geographic profiles for registered nurses.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: The V.A. has a department dedicated to nursing services and staffing needs. The Office of Nursing Services (ONS) provides information and resources for the nursing community and promotes awareness of current nursing practices in the V.A. nursing community. The V.A. is one of the largest employers of nurses in the United States.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: The HHS links to articles on the latest developments in nursing including funding, laws and regulations, and workforce development. Nurses interested in public health can access the job board for assistance in finding career opportunities.
Section 4: Education and Funding Resources
Information on nursing education and funding options is readily available online. However, data can be difficult to verify if the source is not legitimate or regularly updated. Education and licensing requirements often change and new information becomes available. However, not all websites have the most recent and accurate data. Continuing education courses and loan forgiveness programs differ by region and requirements can vary widely.
The following links provide resources to organizations that support the nursing profession with access to specific education programs and initiatives as well as scholarship and financial aid options. Because potential funding resources come from a variety of public, private, and alternative sources, locating legitimate data online can be challenging. The sites below link directly to certified professional organizations and government agencies that offer authoritative data on student financial aid, grants, and other funding options. Additionally, links to nursing education information provide the most recent and relevant sources available online.
- Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program: The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program offers registered nurses assistance to repay educational loans in exchange for service in eligible facilities located in areas experiencing a shortage of nurses. The goal of the program is to assist in recruiting and retaining professional nurses and provide healthcare to underserved populations.
- Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program: The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program is a selective program in the United States that helps mitigate the nursing shortage experienced by certain types of non-profit health care facilities. The program helps nurses working at these non-profit organizations to repay their student loans.
Nursing is closely regulated due to the size of the profession and the diligence required when caring for patients. As nursing continues to be a growth profession, it’s essential to stay up to date with the latest industry requirements and developments – as they’re constantly changing. The comprehensive list above points to authoritative resources that provide dependable and relevant information about nursing in the United States. The websites are maintained by state nursing boards, professional organizations and other government websites, ensuring the information is updated as policies and information change.
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