Registered Nurse

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated or successfully passed a nursing program from a recognized nursing school and met the outlined requirements in their jurisdiction.​​

There are various nursing career pathways to obtain a registered nursing degree as outlined by the American Nurses Association (ANA) . Two such pathways include:
  1. A​ssociate degree: Earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) usually takes two to three years.
  2. Bachelor's degree: Earning a BSN usually takes three to four years.

There are many excellent programs within the ​​Commonwealth of Kentucky. More information related to nursing education can be located under the Education tab on the KBN website:

The Board of Nursing

The Board is responsible for regulation of nursing practice. The Board’s Mission is to protect the public from unsafe nursing practice.

The Nurse Practice Act dictates:

  • Qualifications for licensure,
  • Nursing titles that are allowed to be used,
  • Scope of practice, ​and
  • Consequences for violation of the nursing law.​

Safe, competent nursing practice is grounded in the law as written in the state nurse practice and the state rules and regulations. The Kentucky Nurse Practice Act may be located:

Professional Organizations

Nursing professional associations are membership driven organizations that advance the nursing profession by addressing the practice, political and professional issues affecting nurses. They carry out this mission by establishing standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and lobbying the legislature and regulatory agencies on behalf of health care issues impacting nurses and the public.

​Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

The NLC is an interstate agreement that allows nurses (RNs and LPNs/VNs) to practice with one multistate license, issued from the home state, in all states that are part of the NLC. Kentucky is a member of the NLC.

Obtain information about the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), including information on primary state of residence and what to do if you are moving to or from another compact state.