Vol. 32 Iss. 5 - November 02, 2015

Chapter 20
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The Board of Nursing is claiming an exemption from Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 4 a of the Code of Virginia, which excludes regulations that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law where no agency discretion is involved. The Board of Nursing will receive, consider, and respond to petitions from any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision.

Title of Regulation: 18VAC90-20. Regulations Governing the Practice of Nursing (amending 18VAC90-20-190, 18VAC90-20-200, 18VAC90-20-215, 18VAC90-20-230).

Statutory Authority: § 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: January 1, 2016.

Agency Contact: Jay P. Douglas, R.N., Executive Director, Board of Nursing, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Richmond, VA 23233-1463, telephone (804) 367-4515, FAX (804) 527-4455, or email


Pursuant to Chapter 307 of the 2015 Acts of Assembly, the amendment includes the statutory requirement for a criminal background check for every applicant for a nursing license.

Part III
Licensure and Practice

18VAC90-20-190. Licensure by examination.

A. The board shall authorize the administration of examinations for registered nurse licensure and examinations for practical nurse licensure.

B. A candidate shall be eligible to take the NCLEX examination (i) upon receipt by the board of the completed application, fee and an official transcript from the nursing education program; and (ii) when a determination has been made that no grounds exist upon which the board may deny licensure pursuant to § 54.1-3007 of the Code of Virginia.

C. To establish eligibility for licensure by examination, an applicant for the licensing examination shall:

1. File the required application, any necessary documentation and fee, including a criminal history background check as required by § 54.1-3005.1 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Arrange for the board to receive an official transcript from the nursing education program which shows either:

a. That the degree or diploma has been awarded and the date of graduation or conferral; or

b. That all requirements for awarding the degree or diploma have been met and specifies the date of conferral.

3. File a new application and reapplication fee if:

a. The examination is not taken within 12 months of the date that the board determines the applicant to be eligible; or

b. Eligibility is not established within 12 months of the original filing date.

D. The minimum passing standard on the examination for registered nurse licensure and practical nurse licensure shall be determined by the board.

E. Any applicant suspected of giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during the examination may be noticed for a hearing pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) to determine eligibility for licensure or reexamination.

F. Practice of nursing pending receipt of examination results.

1. A graduate who has filed a completed application for licensure in Virginia and has received an authorization letter issued by the board may practice nursing in Virginia from the date of the authorization letter. The period of practice shall not exceed 90 days between the date of successful completion of the nursing education program, as documented on the applicant's transcript, and the publication of the results of the candidate's first licensing examination.

2. Candidates who practice nursing as provided in subdivision 1 of this subsection shall use the designation "R.N. Applicant" or "L.P.N. Applicant" on a nametag or when signing official records.

3. The designations "R.N. Applicant" and "L.P.N. Applicant" shall not be used by applicants who either do not take the examination within 90 days following receipt of the authorization letter from the board or who have failed the examination.

G. Applicants who fail the examination.

1. An applicant who fails the licensing examination shall not be licensed or be authorized to practice nursing in Virginia.

2. An applicant for licensure by reexamination shall file the required board application and reapplication fee in order to establish eligibility for reexamination.

3. Applicants who have failed the examination for licensure in another U.S. jurisdiction but satisfy the qualifications for licensure in this jurisdiction may apply for licensure by examination in Virginia. Such applicants shall submit the required application and fee. Such applicants shall not, however, be permitted to practice nursing in Virginia until the requisite license has been issued.

18VAC90-20-200. Licensure by endorsement.

A. A graduate of an approved nursing education program who has been licensed by examination in another U.S. jurisdiction and whose license is in good standing, or is eligible for reinstatement, if lapsed, shall be eligible for licensure by endorsement in Virginia, provided the applicant satisfies the same requirements for registered nurse or practical nurse licensure as those seeking initial licensure in Virginia. Applicants who have graduated from approved nursing education programs that did not require a sufficient number of clinical hours, as specified in 18VAC90-20-120, may qualify for licensure if they can provide evidence of at least 960 hours of clinical practice with an active, unencumbered license in another U.S. jurisdiction.

1. A graduate of a nursing school in Canada where English was the primary language shall be eligible for licensure by endorsement provided the applicant has passed the Canadian Registered Nurses Examination (CRNE) and holds an unrestricted license in Canada.

2. An applicant for licensure by endorsement who has passed a licensing examination other than NCLEX may only be issued a single state license to practice in Virginia.

B. An applicant for licensure by endorsement who has submitted a criminal history background check as required by § 54.1-3005.1 of the Code of Virginia and the required application and fee and submitted the required form to the appropriate credentialing agency for verification of licensure may practice for 30 days upon receipt of an authorization letter from the board. If an applicant has not received a Virginia license within 30 days and wishes to continue practice, he shall seek an extension of authorization to practice by submitting a request and evidence that he has requested verification of licensure.

C. If the application is not completed within one year of the initial filing date, the applicant shall submit a new application and fee.

18VAC90-20-215. Provisional licensure of applicants for licensure as registered nurses.

A. Pursuant to § 54.1-3017.1 of the Code of Virginia, the board may issue a provisional license to an applicant for the purpose of meeting the 500 hours of supervised, direct (hands-on) client care required of an approved registered nurse education program.

B. Such applicants for provisional licensure shall submit:

1. A completed application for licensure by examination and fee, including a criminal history background check as required by § 54.1-3005.1 of the Code of Virginia;

2. Documentation that the applicant has successfully completed a nursing education program; and

3. Documentation of passage of NCLEX in accordance with 18VAC90-20-190.

C. Requirements for hours of supervised clinical experience in direct client care with a provisional license.

1. To qualify for licensure as a registered nurse, direct, hands-on hours of supervised clinical experience shall include the areas of adult medical/surgical nursing, geriatric nursing, maternal/infant (obstetrics, gynecology, neonatal) nursing, mental health/psychiatric nursing, nursing fundamentals, and pediatric nursing. Supervised clinical hours may be obtained in employment in the role of a registered nurse or without compensation for the purpose of meeting these requirements.

2. Hours of direct, hands-on clinical experience obtained as part of the applicant's nursing education program and noted on the official transcript shall be counted towards the minimum of 500 hours and in the applicable areas of clinical practice.

3. For applicants with a current, active license as an LPN, 150 hours of credit shall be counted towards the 500-hour requirement.

4. 100 hours of credit may be applied towards the 500-hour requirement for applicants who have successfully completed a nursing education program that:

a. Requires students to pass competency-based assessments of nursing knowledge as well as a summative performance assessment of clinical competency that has been evaluated by the American Council on Education or any other board-approved organization; and

b. Has a passage rate for first-time test takers on the NCLEX that is not less than 80%, calculated on the cumulative results of the past four quarters of all graduates in each calendar year regardless of where the graduate is seeking licensure.

5. An applicant for licensure shall submit verification from a supervisor of the number of hours of direct client care and the areas in which clinical experiences in the role of a registered nurse were obtained.

D. Requirements for supervision of a provisional licensee.

1. The supervisor shall be on site and physically present in the unit where the provisional licensee is providing clinical care of clients.

2. In the supervision of provisional licensees in the clinical setting, the ratio shall not exceed two provisional licensees to one supervisor at any given time.

3. Licensed registered nurses providing supervision for a provisional licensee shall:

a. Notify the board of the intent to provide supervision for a provisional licensee on a form provided by the board;

b. Hold an active, unrestricted license or multistate licensure privilege and have at least two years of active clinical practice as a registered nurse prior to acting as a supervisor;

c. Be responsible and accountable for the assignment of clients and tasks based on their assessment and evaluation of the supervisee's clinical knowledge and skills;

d. Be required to monitor clinical performance and intervene if necessary for the safety and protection of the clients; and

e. Document on a form provided by the board the frequency and nature of the supervision of provisional licensees to verify completion of hours of clinical experience.

E. The provisional status of the licensee shall be disclosed to the client prior to treatment and shall be indicated on identification worn by the provisional licensee.

F. All provisional licenses shall expire six months from the date of issuance and may be renewed for an additional six months. Renewal of a provisional license beyond the limit of 12 months shall be for good cause shown and shall be approved by the board. A request for extension of a provisional license beyond 12 months shall be made at least 30 days prior to its expiration.

18VAC90-20-230. Reinstatement of lapsed licenses or license suspended or revoked.

A. A nurse whose license has lapsed may be reinstated within one renewal period by payment of the current renewal fee and the late renewal fee.

B. A nurse whose license has lapsed for more than one renewal period shall:

1. File a reinstatement application and pay the reinstatement fee; and

2. Provide evidence of completing at least one of the learning activities or courses specified in 18VAC90-20-221 during the two years immediately preceding application for reinstatement; and

3. Submit a criminal history background check as required by § 54.1-3005.1 of the Code of Virginia.

C. The board may waive all or part of the continuing education requirement for a nurse who holds a current, unrestricted license in another state and who has engaged in active practice during the period the Virginia license was lapsed.

D. A nurse whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board may apply for reinstatement by filing a reinstatement application, fulfilling requirements for continuing competency as required in subsection B of this section, and paying the fee for reinstatement after suspension or revocation. A nurse whose license has been revoked may not apply for reinstatement sooner than three years from entry of the order of revocation.

E. The board may request additional evidence that the nurse is prepared to resume practice in a competent manner.

VA.R. Doc. No. R16-4513; Filed October 5, 2015, 9:33 a.m.