Education Standards

At the National Convention in 2007, the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc.’s Council of Practical Nurse Educators finalized a nearly 18 month long process to create a new document titled “Standards of Practice and Educational Competencies of Graduates of Practical/Vocational Nursing Programs”. Below are links to get the a copy of the standards.

This history of the standards and their development is significant and worthy of notation. The process began in late 2005 with a call for nationalized standards from member states of the National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). At the subsequent NAPNES Board of Directors Meeting, the board chose to accept the challenge and appointed Ruth Davidhizar, FAAN, DNSc., FNP, BC, RN to research and develop the first draft of these standards.

The first draft was presented to NAPNES Board of Directors in the spring of 2006. The Board of Directors recommended some changes to the draft that included some basic philosophies of the organization. A second draft was created and prepared for the 2006 Summer PN Educator Workshop.

More than 75 PN Educators from around the U.S. participated in the PN Educator workshop in June 2006. Prior to working on the standards, Nancy Spector, DNSc, RN from the NCSNB presented their research on evidenced based nursing education. It was the first time the research had been shared outside the NCSBN. Armed with the very latest research and the draft standards, the educators went to work creating the third draft.

Following the workshop, all 50 boards of nursing, PN Educator groups, and other key stakeholders were presented with an opportunity to review and comment on the third draft. Again, input was widely received from around the country.

A fourth draft was prepared based on these comments and made ready for the NAPNES 2007 National Convention and the Council of Practical Nurses Educators (COPNE) meeting. Again, Dr. Spector presented some landmark research on transitioning from student to licensed nurse and then the educators began the process to create the final version of the standards. At the end of the meeting, the standards were approved by COPNE. The final draft was presented to NAPNES Board of Directors and was unanimously approved.

In the end, the standards were reviewed by hundreds of PN Educators, regulators, employers and other key stakeholders. While not without controversy, the standards express a much needed expansion of the role of the licensed practical nurse for healthcare in the twenty-first century.