201 KAR 20:280. Standards for initial approval of prelicensure registered nurse and practical nurse programs.


      RELATES TO: KRS 314.011(5), (9), 314.111(1), (2), (3), 314.131(2)


      NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 314.111 requires the board to review, approve and possibly withdraw approval for schools of nursing. This administrative regulation establishes the standards for the development and approval of programs which prepare graduates for admission to the licensure examination and to facilitate endorsement of licensure status to other states.


      Section 1. Establishment of a Program of Nursing. (1) The governing institution may receive consultation from the board prior to establishing a program of nursing.

      (2) The governing institution that desires to establish and conduct the program of nursing shall be accredited as established in 201 KAR 20:260, Section 2.


      Section 2. Letter of Intent. (1) The governing institution shall submit to the board a letter of intent to establish a prelicensure program of nursing and the fee required by 201 KAR 20:240.

      (2) The letter of intent shall be completed under the direction or consultation of a registered nurse who meets the qualifications of a program administrator as established in 201 KAR 20:310.

      (3) The letter of intent shall include:

      (a) Approval from the governing body of the institution proposing the program of nursing or other empowered approval bodies as applicable;

      (b) The results of a feasibility study that includes the following information related to the need for the program of nursing:

      1. Population data within the past three (3) years of both the state and the geographic area to be served;

      2. Workforce supply and demand data from the past year;

      3. The rationale for why the particular geographic area was chosen;

      4. A survey of all hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-related facilities where graduates of the program could be hired.

      a. The letter of intent shall include copies of the completed survey forms.

      b. The survey forms shall include:

      (i) How many registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are employed;

      (ii) The attrition rate for the nurses employed each year for the past three (3) years and why does this attrition occur;

      (iii) How many openings for RNs and LPNs are available at the time of the survey;

      (iv) How many positions for RNs and LPNs are budgeted for the next three (3) years; and

      (v) If the facility expects to increase or decrease the number of beds in the next three (3) to five (5) years;

      5. A description of the characteristics of the population in the community to be served to include cur-rent and emerging health needs based on statistical studies to include age groups and socioeconomic status;

      6. A summary of how the market in this area will support the need for the program with an analysis 

of data and percentages;

      7. A description of the applicant pool that is being targeted and how this population will be reached; and

      8. The availability of qualified staff, including faculty, within a fifty (50) mile radius;

      (c) Results of an investigation into the projected impact on the operation of programs of nursing with-in a fifty (50) mile radius, which shall include information on the wait list for these programs for the last three (3) years, and evidence that an introductory letter has been sent to the impacted programs;

      (d) Documentation from cooperating healthcare agencies in the community that they will provide support for the creation of the program of nursing. This documentation shall include evidence of the agencies’ intention to contribute to the achievement of the clinical objectives of the program;

      (e) General information about the governing institution including the mission, ownership, method of financing, accreditation, enrollment, area served, and institutional faculty qualifications and resources;

      (f) A timeline for the hiring of a full time program administrator, admission of students, and projected graduation of the first class;

      (g) Evidence of a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability available for planning, implementing, and maintaining the proposed program of nursing;

      (h) A copy of the curriculum vitae of the registered nurse involved in the planning; and

      (i) Description and rationale for the proposed type of program of nursing.

      (4)(a) If concerns are raised about the need for the program or about the ability of the program to obtain appropriate clinical sites, a hearing shall be held before the board’s education committee to act upon the letter of intent.

      (b) At the conclusion of the hearing, the committee shall recommend to the board whether or not to approve the letter of intent.

      (c) If the letter of intent is approved by the board, the governing institution shall be notified in writing that it may move to the proposal phase. The governing institution shall appoint a qualified program administrator and provide appropriate resources, consultants, and faculty to develop the proposed program plan.


      Section 3. Proposal Phase. (1) A completed program proposal shall be submitted to the board by the governing institution for approval no less than one (1) year prior to the anticipated opening date for a program of nursing.

      (2) The program shall not be announced, advertised, or students admitted to the program of nursing until developmental approval status has been granted by the board.

      (3) The program proposal shall include:

      (a) Philosophy, mission, and learning outcomes of the governing institution;

      (b) An organizational chart of the governing institution and written plan, which describes the organization of the program of nursing and its relationship to the institution;

      (c) Proposed philosophy, mission, and learning outcomes for the proposed program;

      (d) Curriculum design including proposed course sequence and credit hours delineating those credits assigned to theory and clinical;

      (e) Recruitment plan and five (5) year projection for student enrollment;

      (f) A five (5) year plan for recruiting and retaining qualified nurse faculty;

      (g) A proposed job description for the program administrator reflecting authority and responsibility;

      (h) A description of faculty offices, classrooms, clinical skills laboratory, library facilities, conference rooms, and learning resources;

      (i) A description of support services for students, to include provision of health services or evidence of an emergency plan for care, academic advisement, student services, mechanism for obtaining learning resources, and financial aid;

      (j) Availability and willingness of accredited agencies to provide clinical experiences across the curriculum. This information shall include the:

      1. Shifts and days students will work;

      2. Number of students each agency can accept;

      3. Clinical experience that will be available from each agency;

      4. Other nursing programs that utilize this agency; and

      5. Plan to avoid displacement of students from existing programs;

      (k) Policies and procedures for student selection and progression, including the plan to retain students so as to maintain a low attrition rate;

      (l) A plan for clerical support available to the program for planning, implementing, and maintenance of the program;

      (m) A general plan for an on-going, research based planning and evaluation process that incorporates a systematic review of the program that results in continuing improvement; and

      (n) A description of financial resources to support the program including a budget for the first three (3) years with projected revenues and expenditures and the amount of resources going to institutions or organizations for contractual or support services.

      (4) A representative of the board shall arrange a site visit to the governing institution and the program of nursing to clarify, verify, and amplify materials included in the proposed program plan.

      (a) Prior to approval being granted, a written report shall be submitted to the board by the board representative who conducts the site visit.

      (b) This site visit shall not be construed as affirming that the proposed program plan meets requirements.

      (5) The governing institution shall be notified in writing of action taken by the board on the proposal and the site visit report.

      (a) If the board determines that all requirements have been met, the program shall be granted developmental status.

      (b) If the board determines that all requirements have not been met, the program may be granted developmental status based on compliance with the terms and conditions identified in the site visit report.

      (c) If the program does not comply with the terms and conditions identified in the site visit report, the program shall be denied approval.

      (6) Approval to establish a program of nursing shall be withdrawn if program requirements are not met and if a class is not enrolled within eighteen (18) months after the board granted developmental approval.

      (a) If a proposed program does not comply with 201 KAR Chapter 20, developmental approval may be withdrawn.

      (b) The governing institution shall be notified in writing of the withdrawal of developmental approval.

      (7) Students shall not be admitted to the program of nursing until developmental approval has been granted by the board.

      (8) Failure to submit board required reports within the designated time period may result in the withdrawal of developmental approval status.

      (9) Employment of program administrator and faculty.

      (a) The program administrator shall be the first faculty member employed, and shall have assumed full time responsibilities for the program prior to submission of the proposal to the board.

      (b) The faculty as established in 201 KAR 20:310 shall be employed in sufficient numbers to prepare for the development of the curriculum component of the program.

      (10) Any deviation from the initial curriculum plan approved within the proposal shall be approved by the board before the first class begins course requirements.

      (11) Written contracts for use of clinical facilities shall be executed prior to admission to the first nursing course.

      (12) The program of nursing shall submit quarterly progress and evaluation reports to demonstrate implementation of the approved proposal.

      (13) Site visits shall be conducted by the board as necessary.


      Section 4. Approval Status. (1) The status of the program shall move automatically from develop-mental to initial approval upon admission of the first class. It shall be the responsibility of the program of nursing to notify the board of the admission of the first class.

      (2) The program shall notify the board in writing thirty (30) days prior to the graduation of the first class.

      (3) Within ninety (90) days of graduation of the first class, the faculty

shall conduct a self-study that evaluates the establishment of the program of nursing to the approved proposal and submit a written report to the board prior to consideration for full approval.

      (4) The decision to grant full approval shall be based on review of the:

      (a) Program evaluation by the faculty and the program administrator;

      (b) Site visit report by the board representative conducted to evaluate program compliance with administrative regulations; and

      (c) Other facts that pertain to the program and reports necessary to document that standards have been met.

      (5) After receipt of the self-study, the board shall determine the approval status of the program as established in 201 KAR 20:360, Section 1(3). (11 Ky.R. 1699; eff. 6-4-1985; Am. 29 Ky.R. 1300; 1761; eff. 1-15-2003; 32 Ky.R. 722; eff. 3-9-2006; 34 Ky.R. 338; 709; eff. 10-17-2007; 40 Ky.R. 1340; 1717; eff. 2-19-2014.)