​​​​​​​A Nurses Responsibility and Accountability

​Each nurse is individually responsible and accountable for their individual's acts based upon the nurse's education and experience. Each nurse must exercise professional and prudent judgment in determining whether the performance of a given act is within the scope of practice for which the nurse is both licensed and clinically competent to perform. See KRS 314.021

Practice Authority and the Professional Scope and Standards of Practice

Practice authority (legal scope of practice) is granted by the Kentucky General Assembly and is defined by statutes and regulations governing the Board of Nursing


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,
    • 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.
    • Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Chapter 314; and
    • Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) Title 201, Chapter 20

Professional Associations

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.​

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Determining Scope of Practice

In addition to Kentucky Nursing Laws, the KBN issues Advisory Opinion Statements (AOSs) as guidelines to assist nurses in the safe practice of nursing. An opinion is not a regulation of the Board and does not carry the force and effect of law.

When the performance of a specific act is not definitively addressed in the Kentucky Nursing Laws or in an advisory opinion of the Board, the nurse must exercise professional judgment in determining whether the performance of the act is within the scope of practice for which the nurse is licensed.​

"Advanced practice registered nurse" or "APRN" is defined in statute as a certified nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist, who is licensed to engage in advance practice registered nursing pursuant to KRS 314.042 and certified in at least one (1) population focus. Listed below are the population foci per designation (roles) that are KBN approved for licensure:

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Certified Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult (Acute & Primary Care)
    • Adult Gerontology (Acute & Primary Care)
    • Adult Psych Mental Health​
    • Family
    • Gerontological
    • Neonatal
    • Pediatric (Acute & Primary Care)
    • Psych Mental Health (Across the Lifespan)
    • Women’s Health
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • Acute Care (Across the Lifespan)
    • Adult
    • Adult Gerontology
    • Adult Psych Mental Health
    • Child/Adolescent Psych Mental Health
    • Gerontology
    • Neonatal
    • Pediatric

Obtain your APRN License in Kentucky

Select the following applicable option:

  • Apply for your initial Kentucky APRN license using your current Kentucky RN license or your current multistate RN license.
  • Endorse your APRN license issued by another state using your current multistate RN license.
  • Reinstate your lapsed Kentucky APRN license using your current Kentucky RN license or current multistate license.​

Nurse Licensure Compact (Multistate, Compact LPN or RN License)

There is not​ currently an APRN compact.