Definitive List of Governmental Nursing Resources on the Web

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 regulationseducation 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

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.

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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 AssociationsAdministrative AssociationsDisease Specialty AssociationsEmergency Care Nursing AssociationsNurse 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

Administrative Nursing Associations

Disease Specialty Associations

Emergency Care Nursing Associations

Nurse Practitioner Associations

Miscellaneous Nursing Associations

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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.

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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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