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Influence of Regulatory Agencies on Curriculum Development

The national council of state boards of nursing is national organization whose membership includes boards of nursing in 50 U.S states and the recognized territories of United States of America. The US territories include American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marina Islands, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. The state boards of nursing are state governmental agencies whose mandate is to regulate the practice of nursing. The national council of state boards of nursing provides of platform for its members to discuss matters affecting safety and welfare of the public. The national league for nursing is a national association responsible for accreditation of nursing schools in the United States of America. The national league for nursing accrediting commission is an arm of the national league for nursing whose main function is accreditation of nursing programs in schools. This paper will analyze the influence of national council of state boards of nursing and the national league for nursing accrediting commission.

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The national council of state boards of nursing is responsible for licensure of nurses in the United States of America. It sets and administers national council licensing exams (NCLEX) (NCSBN, 2012). Curriculum development remains the responsibility of nursing schools and universities. However, it has a significant indirect effect on curriculum development by the individual institutions. The member boards approve and accredit nursing education programs. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that nursing schools will develop curricula that do not meet the national council’s standards. In addition the council sets basic competencies that trainees of various carders should acquire before they are licensed. This is reflected in the licensure exam it offers. The exam tests specific competencies. Therefore, this indirectly encourages schools to develop curricula that provide the learners with the competencies required by the national council of state boards of nursing (Angel, Duffey, Belyea, 2000).

The national council of state boards of nursing responded to need for qualified medication assistants by developing a curriculum for this cadre nurses. Previously there was standard curriculum for medication assistants who play an important role before patients arrive in hospital (Spector & Doherty, 2007). Lack of standard way to impart and test skills meant that drug administration at a community level was potentially dangerous. To eliminate uncertainty the national council developed a standard curriculum to be adopted by all member boards. The national council administers pre-licensure examination (MACE) to prospective medication assistants. The national council has set minimum standards for medication assistants. The member boards ensure that these standards are met. This is an indication that the council does not only have an advisory role but also has an influential role on curriculum development.

The national league for nursing accrediting commission does not have a direct influence on curriculum development. Its primary responsibility is accreditation of nursing programs (NLNAC, 2012). This means that it is majorly concerned with the programs that should be offered and at what level. Some of the programs that have been accredited by the organization include clinical doctorate, nursing doctorate and master of nursing, baccalaureate, associate nursing, diploma, and practical nursing. Successful completion of these programs leads to the award of academic certificates, diplomas, and degrees. However, the parent organization; the national league for nursing has some influence on the development of curricula. Its primary responsibility remains accreditation of nursing schools in the United States of America. It assesses schools to ascertain whether they can train nurses at various levels. However, in order to carry out its mandate effectively, it is important for it to be aware of new and developing trends in nursing. Therefore, they offer professional to nursing schools as they develop their curricula.

The development of curricula in the United States of America is a preserve of the nursing schools. Nursing schools and universities develop the curricula independently. The programs and the school itself have to be vetted separately by various state organizations. The schools and universities have to first the accreditation test. Once a school or university has been approved to offer nursing education, its curricula are vetted. The curricula have to meet minimum academic requirements set by the national council for state boards of nursing. The trainees must acquire certain skills before graduating. The national council offers licensing exams which focus on these skills.

In conclusion, this paper analyzed the influence of two regulatory bodies on curriculum development. The national council for state boards of nursing plays an important role in curriculum development. It developed the curriculum for medication assistant course. It administers licensing examination to medication assistants. It also offers licensure examinations to nurses in other carders of the profession. Therefore, it has an indirect effect on the development curricula. This is because it sets minimum standards that students must attain before graduation. Moreover it is not in the interest of nursing schools to produce graduates who cannot pass the national council exam. This would give an impression that their teaching methods are inappropriate. The national league for nursing has a limited role in the in the development of curricula. Its primary role is accreditation of academic nursing programs.

References

Angel, F., Duffey, M., Belyea, M. (2000). An Evidence-Based Project for Evaluating Strategies to Improve Knowledge Acquisition and Critical Performance in Nursing Students. Journal of Nursing Education, 39.

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National Council for State Boards of Nursing (2012). Web.

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (2012). Web.

Spector, N., Doherty, M. (2007). Developmrnent of A Standardized Medication Assistant Curriculum. JONAS Healthcare Law, Ethics and Regulation, 9 (4).

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