Regulatory Overview: Out of State Programs of Nursing

This page covers information for programs of nursing located outside of Kentucky, especially as relates to the use of Kentucky clinical sites, eligibility for licensure, faculty requirements, and preceptorship.

Out-of-State Programs: General Overview

Licensure matters

  • Nursing education programs offering baccalaureate nursing courses to registered nurses are also not under the jurisdiction of KBN.
  • Nursing education programs not resulting in licensure are not under the jurisdiction of KBN.

Since RNs returning to school to obtain a BSN are already licensed to practice as registered nurses, KBN has no jurisdiction over these educational programs, even if they are within Kentucky.  Similarly, only those graduate programs that result in licensure are under KBN's jurisdiction.

Programs of Nursing Offering a Clinical Component in Kentucky

For programs that do not have a presence in Kentucky but are offering a clinical component within Kentucky, please see the summary below regarding nursing faculty who oversee those students completing their clinical within the Commonwealth.

Please note: The summary below should be viewed with additional reference to the relevant regulation in its entirety: 201 KAR 20:062. Standards for advance practice registered nurse (APRN) programs of nursing.  This regulation pertains to Kentucky-based MSN/DNP APRN programs.

As noted above, out-of-state programs are not required to be approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

Faculty requirements for clinical oversight in Kentucky

  • For online MSN/DNP APRN Programs: Nursing faculty who oversee students in the clinical setting or serve as preceptors in Kentucky must possess an unencumbered active Kentucky RN and APRN license.
  • Nurse faculty who teach didactic information via distance or online, and will not physically practice within the state of Kentucky, must hold an unencumbered active nursing license to practice as a registered nurse in their primary state of residence.
    • This requirement also applies to faculty members who oversee students in the clinical setting or serve as preceptors in Kentucky for students enrolled in a RN-BSN program.
  • Clinical faculty members who do not reside in a compact state will need to possess unencumbered active RN & APRN Kentucky license(s)
    • This also applies to RN-BSN programs. That is, clinical faculty members who do not reside in a compact state will need to possess an unencumbered active RN Kentucky license.
  • If the clinical faculty member resides in a compact state, the APRN clinical faculty member would require a KY APRN license to oversee students in Kentucky without seeking a separate Kentucky registered nurse license.
  • Faculty members who are not participating in clinical activities are not required to possess a Kentucky nursing license, provided that the faculty member holds an unencumbered active nursing license in their home state/primary state of residence.

NC-SARA and Licensure

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and terrirtories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. The agreement is intended to facilitate students taking online course offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts. 

Kentucky is a NC-SARA state. If a SARA institution is operating solely per SARA, then licensure with the Kentucky Council for Postsecondary Education is not required. All institutions participating in SARA can be located using the NC-SARA Institution Directory.

Should you require additional information regarding NC-SARA, please contact Sarah Levy, Executive Director, Postsecondary Licensing, at Sarah.Levy@ky.gov.

Becoming an APRN Precepted by a Physician or APRN in Kentucky

Can a student enrolled in a program of nursing to become an APRN whose primary state of residency is be precepted by a physician or APRN in Kentucky for one the program's practicums?

There is an exemption provided by KRS 314.101 for nurses from another state wishing to engage in a clinical rotation in Kentucky provided that the institution is either a SARA institution or holds license with the Council on Postsecondary Education. 


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