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State Board of Nursing

Toll Free: 1-833-DOS-BPOA (1-833-367-2762)
Nursing Licensure Guide & Timeline

The State Board of Nursing protects the health and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the licensure/certification and regulation of the practice of professional and practical nursing and dietetics-nutrition by registered nurses, practical nurses, certified registered nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, dietitian-nutritionists, and graduate nurses. The Board issues licenses and certifications to qualified applicants, approves nursing education programs, establishes standards of practice, and disciplines licensees and unlicensed persons for violations of the Acts and the regulations.

Please note that neither the Board/Commission, nor its staff or counsel, are permitted to provide legal advice or advisory opinions, including interpretations of the law or regulations, or any indication as to how the Board would vote on any given case or scenario.  You are invited to contact a private attorney or professional organization for advice or guidance. 
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The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) received reports that a person pretending to be from the State Board of Nursing is calling licensees about the status of their license, claiming they owe money.  The scammer asks for credit card information and threatens them with disciplinary action or arrest if they fail to pay.  

Persons who give their credit card information may not only lose their money but also can become a victim of identity theft.

Licensees are urged to avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft:

•   BPOA and the Boards will NOT call licensees asking for payment  over the phone (We correspond primarily by email and letters).

•   If you get a text message or call asking for your credit card information, hang up.

•   Do NOT give your personal or financial information over the phone.

•   If you feel that you are a victim of any type of scam, you should    immediately notify your local or state police.

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On July 27, 2019, the fees for applications, biennial renewals and nursing education programs submitted to the State Board of Nursing will increase.  The fees are posted at (scroll toward the bottom to State Board of Nursing/Rules and Regulations/Fees; general provisions). Applications submitted on or after July 27, 2019, will be charged the new/increased fees.

Section 11.2(a) and (d) of the Professional Nursing Law and Section 17.5(a) of the Practical Nurse Law require the Board to set fees by regulation so that revenues meet or exceed expenditures over a biennial period. The Department of State's budget office determined that the Board would need to increase its fees to meet its expenditures. The fee increase was implemented through the regulatory process, which included discussion in open session at monthly Board meetings, opportunity for public comment as well as review and approval by legislative committees, the Governor's office, the Office of General Counsel, the Office of Attorney General and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. 

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    Section 9.1(a)(2) of ABC-MAP generally requires that all prescribers and dispensers complete at least two (2) hours of continuing education in pain management, the identification of addiction or the practices of prescribing or dispensing of opioids (the Opioid CE).  However, the ABC-MAP contains an exception from the Opioid CE requirement for certain individuals.  To ensure that the relevant health licensing boards within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs uniformly review and apply the Opioid CE exceptions, on October 29, 2018, the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs, in consultation with the legal counsel and health licensing divisions, established the following uniform policy to determine if an individual is required to demonstrate compliance with the Opioid CE requirement:

    • Individuals who have a current DEA registration, and
    • Individuals who do not have a current DEA registration, but who utilize the DEA registration number of another person or entity, as permitted by law, to prescribe controlled substances in any manner  
    If you do not have a DEA registration and do not use another person or entity’s DEA registration to prescribe any controlled substances, you do not need to complete the Opioid CE. 
    *The Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program Act (ABC-MAP)(also known as Act 124 of 2016), 35 P.S. § 872.3, is available on the Legislature’s website at: