August 13, 2015 12:00 ET

NCSBN Receives Board of Standards Review Approval for New Standard

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Aug 13, 2015) - National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN),, NCSBN 001-2015 Criminal Background Checks for Licensure as a Nurse (new standard) was accepted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Standards Review. NCSBN received the designation of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer Organization in 2013.

NCSBN created this standard, which would require biometrics-based state and federal criminal background checks for all applicants (a person who applies for licensure by examination, reactivation, reinstatement, endorsement or renewal) consistent with Public Law 92-544, because the practice of nursing involves working with vulnerable populations and, as such, there may be a criminal history within the background of the applicant that could have a significant impact on the ability to safely care for and interact with patients/clients.

Currently, a majority of U.S. boards of nursing require a state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background check (CBC). Some jurisdictions allow self-disclosure or a state records search as the only requirement for determining the existence of a criminal history. A state records search does not take into account the ease of mobility within jurisdictions, and review of the literature has determined that self-disclosure results do not reveal the same extent of criminal history as state and federal fingerprint-based CBCs.

It is the purpose of this standard to assist each jurisdiction to pass legislation consistent with Public Law 92-544 to require a state and federal fingerprint-based CBC. The standard is written to allow the use of new biometric technologies as they emerge. It is anticipated that each jurisdiction would implement a review process for applicants with criminal convictions, determining which convictions may warrant disciplinary action or denial.


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. 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 21 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 4.5 million licensed nurses.

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.

About ANSI
ANSI is a private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standards and conformity assessment system. Founded in 1918, the Institute works in close collaboration with stakeholders from industry and government to identify and develop standards and conformance-based solutions to national and global priorities. ANSI empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy, while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.

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

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