The Florida Board of Nursing (BON) is both a regulatory board and a state government agency. Its organization, structure, and responsibilities are contained within Chapter 64B9 of the Florida Administrative Code. The BON consists of 13 members whose chief responsibility is to implement and enforce state laws related to nursing licensure, practices, education, and Florida nursing schools. The Florida Board of Nursing is a member of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
The overall mission of a nursing board is “to actively safeguard the health of the public through effective regulation of nursing care.” Nursing boards are legally responsible for enforcing their state’s nurse practice act. They are responsible for establishing standards for safe nursing care and issuing licenses to practice nursing. They monitor compliance with state laws and are empowered to take action against licensees who have exhibited unsafe nursing practice. Nursing boards oversee education requirements and rules for licensure and define the scope of nursing practice in their state (NCSBN, 2013a).
In general, nursing boards are responsible for:
The Florida Department of Health’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance serves as the principle administrative support unit for the Florida BON. The BON has a full-time staff based in Tallahassee and its regulatory functions are funded in full by fees paid by its licensees. Board members are appointed by the governor and subject to confirmation by the senate. Members of the board can serve two four-year terms. Despite the expiration of a term, board members can continue to serve until they have been either replaced or reappointed (FBON, 2013).
The thirteen members of the Florida BON must be residents of Florida. Seven of the board members must be RNs who have been engaged in the practice of professional nursing for at least four years (one must be an advanced registered nurse practitioner, one a nurse executive, and one a nurse educator from an approved program). The board also contains three LPNs who have been engaged in the practice of practical nursing for at least four years and three consumer members who have never been connected with the practice of nursing.
The powers and duties of the Florida Board of Nursing are defined in Chapters 64B9-1 through 64B9-17 of the Florida Administrative Code. The sixteen chapters encompass 101 rules outlining the responsibilities of the Florida Board of Nursing.
The Medical Quality Assurance Services (MQA) within the Florida Department of Health maintains a license lookup page where a nurse’s license can be verified. You can access the MQA license verification website here.
Florida also participates in a national system called NurSys that is overseen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and provides:
Nursing boards are part of a national organization called the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Established in 1978, the NCSBN provides a collective voice for nursing regulation, including the development of “a psychometrically sound and legally defensible nurse licensure examination consistent with current nursing practice” (NCSBN, 2013b).
The NCSBN got its start within the American Nurses Association, but split off as an independent entity because ANA recognized that a regulatory organization needed to be separate from the professional organization. The primary mission of NCSBN is to protect the public by ensuring that licensed nurses provide safe and competent nursing care.
In the United States and its territories, sixty boards make up the membership of the NCSBN. In addition, sixteen associate members, including nursing organizations from Canada, Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, and Singapore, are NCSBN members.
Federations of Regulatory Boards exist to foster exchanges of information about regulatory best practice. Typically these are financed through membership dues from member boards, though a number also provide a national examination that is required for initial state licensure as a demonstration of basic competence (CLEAR, 2006).