State Boards of Nursing and The Code of Conduct

Understanding the structure of authority in the nursing field is essential to practicing in line with standards and avoiding misconduct. There are various nursing organizations and regulatory documents that nurses have to take into account while practicing. The present assignment will focus on the Board of Nursing, the Nurse Practice Act, misconduct, good practice, and nursing organizations.

The Board of Nursing is part of the U.S. nursing regulatory body. State Boards of Nursing are local licensing and regulatory bodies that issue licenses to nurses, set various standards of practice applicable in respective jurisdictions, and regulate nursing practice (Mason et al., 2015). Boards typically consist of multiple members representing the interest of different parties, such as consumers, educators, and practicing nurses.

The code of conduct, as described in most Nurse Practice Acts, is a set of rules regarding nurses’ behavior, values, and actions that guide nursing practice. Professional misconduct, in turn, is generally the breach of the code of conduct, whether intentional or unintentional (Mason, Gardner, Outlaw, & O’Grady, 2015). Sanctions for misconduct vary by state and the degree of misconduct and usually range from license suspension to license withdrawal (Mason et al., 2015). Additionally, criminal charges may apply in some instances.

To remain in good standing and avoid misconduct, nurses have to know and understand the code of conduct of their state and use it to guide their practice consistently. Additionally, nurses can refer to various codes of ethics and professional standards published by nursing organizations. Some examples of nursing organizations are the American Nurses Association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Nursing. Referring to these organizations’ web pages can help to explore legal and ethical practice standards in the United States.


Mason, D. J., Gardner, D. B., Outlaw, F. H., & O’Grady, E. T. (2015). Policy & politics in nursing and health care (7th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.

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