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Each state determines the specific administrative responsibility and oversight of

the board of nursing. Boards of nursing report to one of the following:

• The governor of the state

• Both the governor and a state agency

• A state agency

• Another state official or organization

Board structures and decision-making powers and authority are also unique for
each board. Individuals who serve on a board of nursing are appointed to their
position. State law dictates the membership of the board of nursing, which usually
includes a mix of:

• Registered nurses

• Licensed practical/vocational nurses

• Advanced practice registered nurses

• Consumers

Board members meet often to oversee board of nursing activities and take
disciplinary action on nurse licenses as necessary.

Typical powers and duties of a board of nursing are:

• Enforcing the Nurse Practice Act and nurse licensure

• Accrediting or approving nurse education programs in schools and


• Developing practice standards

• Developing policies, administrative rules and regulations