February 11, 2013 07:00 ET

NCSBN Celebrates 35th Anniversary

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 11, 2013) - The National Council of State Boards of Nursing Inc. (NCSBN®),, marks the milestone of reaching its 35th anniversary this year. Founded March 15, 1978, as an independent not-for-profit organization, NCSBN was created to lessen the burdens of state governments and bring together boards of nursing (BONs) to act and counsel together on matters of common interest.

"We are delighted to celebrate our 35 years of advancing regulatory nursing excellence and rededicate our organization to its ongoing mission of patient safety and public protection," comments NCSBN Board of Directors President Myra A. Broadway, JD, MS, RN, executive director, Maine State Board of Nursing.

NCSBN's membership is comprised of the BONs in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories -- American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also 12 associate members that are either nursing regulatory bodies or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories. NCSBN Member Boards protect the public by ensuring that safe and competent nursing care is provided by licensed nurses. These BONs regulate more than 3 million licensed nurses, the second largest group of licensed professionals in the U.S.

On behalf of its member boards, NCSBN develops and administers a psychometrically sound and legally defensible nurse licensure examination consistent with current nursing practice. The NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® Examinations are constantly and rigorously evaluated as part of that process.

A seminal moment in NCSBN history came on April 1, 1994, when NCSBN became the first organization to implement computerized adaptive testing (CAT) for nationwide licensure examination. Since then, more than 3.9 million candidates for nurse licensure have taken the NCLEX® exam via CAT.

The increasingly global nature of the world and influx of internationally educated nurses into U.S. nursing practice led NCSBN to the decision to offer NCLEX testing abroad for the first time in 2005. Since then, more than 100,000 international nurse licensure candidates have taken the NCLEX in the nine countries where it is now offered.

"As the collective voice of nursing regulation in the U.S. and its territories, NCSBN serves its member boards by conducting research on nursing regulatory issues, monitoring trends in public policy, nursing practice and education, while providing opportunities for collaboration among its members and other nursing and health care organizations," remarks Kathy Apple, MS, RN, FAAN, CEO, NCSBN.

In order for nursing regulation to keep pace in an evolving health care environment, NCSBN has adopted numerous position statements, guiding principles and model acts and rules throughout the last 35 years for use by BONs, including its most recent white paper, "A Nurse's Guide to the Use of Social Media." Additionally, "The First 25 Years: 1978-2003," "Nursing Pathways for Patient Safety" and "The Substance Use Disorder in Nursing Manual: A Resource Manual and Guidelines for Alternative and Disciplinary Monitoring Programs" were published in the last five years. In 2010, NCSBN launched the Journal of Nursing Regulation (JNR), the first scholarly journal of its kind examining regulation from a nursing perspective.

Consistent with its push toward conducting ground-breaking research designed to make significant contributions to the science of nursing regulation, NCSBN is currently conducting two innovative, longitudinal studies. The NCSBN Transition to Practice™ Study is a multistate study that will evaluate safety and quality outcomes in nurse transition to practice programs. The landmark, multisite NCSBN National Simulation Study examines the use of simulation in prelicensure nursing programs.

Another innovative NCSBN offering is Learning Extension, through its campus located at Since its inception in 1998, the Learning Extension has reached more than 257,000 users in 120 countries. The course catalog of 40 courses covers a range of subjects, including continuing education courses for nurses, preparatory courses for licensure exam candidates, and item writing and test development courses for nursing faculty.

NCSBN is also spearheading a national campaign to promote adoption of the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education, which formulates national standards for uniform regulation of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). One of the components of this was a consumer education piece designed to explain that BONs are working toward the goal of more APRN licensure uniformity across the country to continue to keep the public safe as health care reform advances. The centerpiece was a 30-second television spot that was produced in conjunction with the CBS Community Partnership Program. This followed on the heels of another successful television commercial that introduced consumers to the work of boards of nursing in the U.S.

NCSBN works collaboratively with other nursing and health care organizations, as well as local, state, national and international government agencies, aiming toward realizing its vision of building regulatory expertise worldwide.

In 2008 NCSBN welcomed its first international associate member; the organization now counts 12 associate members among its ranks. This membership category is designed to provide a forum by which nursing regulatory bodies from around the globe can join in a dialogue regarding issues of common concern. Additionally, all members are able to share information and knowledge in a multicultural exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Two years ago, NCSBN brought together seven nursing regulatory organizations from around the world to sign a "Memorandum of Understanding." The unique relationship between these organizations provides the opportunity to learn from, share with, and assist each other with individual and mutual goals.

The anniversary theme, "Illuminating the Past - A Beacon for the Future," which will be used throughout the year, honors the past, present and future of the organization. Anniversary celebrations will culminate at the NCSBN Delegate Assembly and Annual Meeting Aug. 14-16, 2013, in Providence, R.I.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is a not-for-profit organization whose members include the boards of nursing in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories -- American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. There are also 12 associate members. Mission: NCSBN provides education, service and research through collaborative leadership to promote evidence-based regulatory excellence for patient safety and public protection.

The statements and opinions expressed are those of NCSBN and not the individual member state or territorial boards of nursing.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
111 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60601-4277

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