Nursing Boards: What to Know

Like other governing bodies for a given occupation, nursing boards have standards and laws that help ensure consistency across the industry. These measures are aimed at meeting uniform standards of care both statewide and nationwide. The rules determined by the boards not only help keep patients safe, but they also help protect the nurses as well.

There are different nursing boards that establish standards for different kinds of nurses, from nurse practitioners to registered nurses and beyond. In the content that follows, you will learn the basics of how to fulfill the requirements mandated by state boards of nursing, including the licensure process and what specific laws you may have to abide by, depending on where you choose to work as an LVN.

Nursing Schools and Programs

If you want to become an LVN, you are most likely going to have to enroll in a training program. LVN programs comprise both theory and clinical components, and can usually be completed in approximately one year, depending on the scheduling options in the program you sign up for.

Once you complete your clinical and theoretical coursework, most programs offer some kind of certificate as an indication of students’ competence. Following completion of the program, aspiring vocational nurses must pass the NCLEX to earn their licensure, which we will get to a little later on. Candidates must pass the exam to work in the healthcare field as LVNs.

Signing up for an LVN program is your best bet if you don’t have any experience. Not only will you learn the information and skills you need to succeed in the field, but many LVN programs feature curricula designed to adequately prepare you to pass the licensure exam.


The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a test that aspiring nurses must pass prior to entering the workforce. The NCLEX measures your nursing competencies needed to perform the role of a licensed vocational nurse safely and effectively. Just as there are different boards for different kinds of nursing, there are also several versions of the exam.

The number of items on the test depends on how well you do. On the practical nurse (PN) version of the NCLEX, there will be between 85 and 205 questions. The more questions you get to answer during the test, the closer you are to passing. In the event that you fail, you have to wait 45 days before you can attempt to retake it.

Each of the 50 states in the U.S. has a minimum of one board that oversees the nursing licensure practice. California, for example, has two boards: one dealing with registered nurses and another handling LVNs and psychiatric technicians. As mentioned earlier, which cannot be overstated, the licenses required by the state boards of nursing help ensure public safety during the treatment process.

A good resource for more information about the NCLEX is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website. There you can learn about the requirements, get tips on how to prepare and even sign up to take the examination.

Types of Laws in Nursing Boards

Each of the United States has its own nurse practice act (NPA), which establishes their respective board of nursing, backed by the power of the state legislature. The boards primarily serve as the body that determines what the requirements are for licensing within that jurisdiction.

Additionally, nursing boards spend time obtaining helpful information that can be found on their respective websites. They also maintain a current list of approved schools one can attend in order to qualify for the NCLEX and state licensure.

State boards of nursing also handle complaints filed by the public, as they have the power and discretion to grant and revoke licenses. In summation, state boards of nursing primarily handle the enforcement of codes and dish out disciplinary action to help crack down on LVNs who may be posing a risk to those they are employed to care for, more than actively creating new legislation.

Your State’s Nursing Laws

Licensed vocational nursing laws and standard practices vary from state to state. To get yourself up to date on your state’s nursing laws, you can find your state on the NCSBN’s directory, as well as more information on licensing eligibility options. Most importantly, enrolling in an LVN program in the state you wish to practice in is a good way to become familiar with that state’s standards of LVN practice.

If the state you’re hoping to practice in is California, Summit College’s LVN program could be your first step on the path to passing the NCLEX.

Discover the Summit LVN Difference

Receiving a quality education can set a future LVN’s career off on the right foot, and even with a leg up on their peers, when looking for their first nursing job. Summit College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program is one of the largest LVN programs in the state of California. Summit’s program is accredited by the California Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians.

Students enrolled in Summit College’s LVN program receive a well-rounded nursing education that will equip them with the skills needed to provide optimal patient care as entry-level employees.

Summit College offers both full-time and part-time enrollment in its LVN program, providing you with flexibility to fit classes around your schedule. The full-time program offers classes during the day and can be completed in 12 months. The part-time program, which offers classes on nights and weekends, will take you 18 months to finish. Summit College offers its Licensed Vocational Nursing program at the San Bernardino Campus.

Summit College offers plentiful resources to its licensed vocational nursing students to help them prepare for the NCLEX. Such resources include full-time NCLEX tutors and NCLEX review classes, which are offered for free as part of enrollment in the program.

Summit College also offers students career assistance beyond acquiring their vocational nursing license, including resume help, mock interviews and externships. These resources can help aspiring LVNs capitalize on the bountiful market of rewarding entry-level healthcare jobs.

Licensed vocational nurses are able to get into the heart of nursing and help better the lives of patients. Medical offices and facilities need nurses now and in the foreseeable future. Discover the Summit Difference. Launch your rewarding LVN career today by visiting us at or by calling (888) 504-2552 to speak to one of our friendly representatives.