National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is a non-profit organization responsible for licensing of nursing professionals in United States. NCSBN has been developing, maintaining and conducting licensing examinations of nursing and supervising health policy, standards of nursing practice and education. It serves as largest forum of nursing professionals in USA and has critical role in enforcing rules and regulations pertaining to nursing practice at national level. It has its contribution to several research and educational activities. It maintains a national nurse’s database. Its main objective is to protect customers by implementing proper licensing requirements and regulations.
There are 60 member boards in NCSBN which includes nursing boards in 50 states, District of Columbia, and four territories- Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Northern Mariana Islands. Among these members are also included, separate nursing boards for registered nurses and licensed practical or vocational nurses in four states- Georgia, West Virginia, California and Louisiana, and separate board of nursing and board of advance practice nurses in Nebraska. There are nine associate members of NCSBN including Bermuda Nursing Council, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia, College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia, College of Nurses of Ontario, College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta, College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, College of Registered Nurses of Alberta, and Singapore Nursing Board.
NCSBN conducts following licensing examinations-
NNAAP: – National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) is an examination conducted for licensing of nursing aides. This assessment is used by 24 jurisdictions and is the largest certification program of nurse aides. NNAAP has two components- a written exam and a practical exam.
National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN): – This exam has been developed for licensing of practical nurse or vocational nurses in United States.
National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN): – This exam has been developed for licensing of registered nurses in United States.
Medication Aide Certification Exam (MACE): – This exam has been developed for licensing of medical assistants in United States. It is used by 17 states of USA.