††††† 201 KAR 20:320. Standards for curriculum of prelicensure nursing programs.


††††† RELATES TO: KRS 314.011(5), 314.021, 314.041(1)(a), 314.111(1), 314.131(1), (2)

††††† STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 314.041(1)(a), 314.111(1), 314.131(1), (2)

††††† NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 314.041(1)(a) requires that an applicant for licensure as a registered or licensed practical nurse complete the basic nursing curriculum in an approved school of nursing. KRS 314.111(1) requires that schools of nursing regardless of delivery models shall meet minimum standards and be approved by the Board of Nursing. KRS 314.131(1) and (2) authorizes the board to promulgate administrative regulations necessary to approve programs of nursing. This administrative regulation establishes the curriculum requirements for prelicensure registered nurse programs.


††††† Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Associate degree program" means a program of nursing organized and administered by a community college, or a four (4) year college or university, which awards the graduate an associate degree in nursing upon meeting the requirements of the governing institution.

††††† (2) "Baccalaureate degree program" means a program of nursing organized and administered by a senior college or university, which awards the graduate a baccalaureate degree in nursing upon meeting the requirements of the governing institution.

††††† (3) "Masterís degree program" means a program leading to a masterís degree, which is the individualís first professional degree in nursing and is conducted by an educational unit in nursing within the structure of a senior college or university.

††††† (4) "Multiple entry-exit program" means a program that allows a student to challenge the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN examinations once the student has completed sufficient course work in a professional nursing program that meets all requirements for the examination.

††††† (5) "Practical nursing program" means a program of nursing organized and administered by a vocational, technical, or adult education system or an independent school at a postsecondary level that awards the graduate a diploma in practical nursing upon meeting requirements of the program.

††††† (6) "Prelicensure nursing education program" means an educational entity that offers the courses and learning experiences that prepare graduates who are competent to practice nursing safely and who are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN examinations.

††††† (7) "Registered nursing program" means a program of nursing organized and administered by an institution of higher learning that awards a degree upon meeting requirements of the program. A registered nursing program is considered to be any program that culminates in the graduate being eligible for licensure. Examples of registered nurse programs are associate degree programs, baccalaureate degree programs, masterís degree programs, and multiple entry-exit programs.


††††† Section 2. General. (1) An applicant for licensure shall complete a prelicensure program of nursing that meets the requirements of this administrative regulation.

††††† (2) Length.

††††† (a) A registered nursing program shall be a minimum of two (2) academic years, which may include prior articulated academic credits.

††††† (b) A practical nursing program shall be a minimum of one (1) academic year.

††††† (3) Philosophy, mission, and outcomes.

††††† (a) The philosophy, mission, and outcomes of the program of nursing shall be clearly defined in writing by the nursing faculty and be consistent with those of the governing institution.

††††† (b) The program outcomes shall describe the expected competencies of the graduate.

††††† (c) The program shall conduct an assessment to validate that identified outcomes have been achieved and provide evidence of improvement based on an analysis of those results.

††††† (d) The organizing framework shall serve as a foundation for level of progression, level of outcomes, and course sequencing.

††††† (4) Approval.

††††† (a) A curriculum plan shall be approved by the board in accordance with this administrative regulation.

††††† (b) The curriculum plan shall enable the student to develop the nursing knowledge, skills, and competencies for the expected entry level and scope of practice.

††††† (c) Theory and clinical experiences shall provide the student with opportunities to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for safe practice.

††††† (5) Curriculum plan.

††††† (a) The development, implementation, evaluation, and revision of the curriculum shall be the responsibility of the nursing faculty including the program administrator with input from students.

††††† (b) The curriculum of the prelicensure nursing education program shall assure the development of evidence based practice for the level and scope of nursing practice. This shall include the skills to identify and apply best practices in nursing care by providing client-centered, culturally competent care and respecting client differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs.

††††† (c) A registered nursing program may determine that a portion of the curriculum fulfills the scope of practice for licensed practical nursing and allow students to exit the program and be made eligible for the NCLEX-PN examination. The registered nursing program shall submit its plan to the board for approval.

††††† (6) Organization of the curriculum.

††††† (a) There shall be a written plan, including supporting rationale, and organizing framework, which describes the organization and development of the curriculum.

††††† (b) The curriculum design shall reflect the philosophy, mission, and outcomes of the program.

††††† (c) There shall be a rationale for the amount of time or credits allocated to course and clinical practice experience.

††††† (d) A course syllabus shall be developed for each nursing course to include outcomes-planned instruction, learning activities, and method of evaluation.

††††† 1. Each course shall be implemented in accordance with the established course syllabi.

††††† 2. A copy of each course syllabus shall be on file in the program of nursing office and shall be available to the board upon request.

††††† (e) The curriculum plan shall be logical and sequential, and shall demonstrate an increase in difficulty and complexity as the student progresses through the program.

††††† (7) Curriculum components.

††††† (a) The curriculum of a registered nursing program or a practical nursing program shall prepare the graduate for licensure and full scope of practice as defined by current standards for nursing practice and expected competencies of graduates at the appropriate educational level.

††††† (b) The curriculum shall include theory and selected clinical practice experiences designed to enable students to provide nursing care to individuals throughout the life span.

††††† (c) Clinical practice settings shall be appropriate for the type of nursing program and the program outcomes and enable the student to observe and practice safe nursing care of persons at each stage of the life span. Experiences shall include opportunities to learn and provide care to diverse ethnic and cultural populations.

††††† (d) Clinical practice experience shall be supervised by board approved nursing faculty in accordance with 201 KAR 20:310, including the utilization of clinical preceptors.

††††† (e) The curriculum shall have written, measurable program competencies that reflect the role of the graduate.

††††† (f) Students shall have sufficient opportunities in simulated or clinical settings to develop psychomotor skills essential for safe, effective practice.

††††† (8) Curriculum change.

††††† (a) A prelicensure nursing education program that is not accredited by a national nursing accrediting body shall submit a written plan for major curriculum revisions to the board a minimum of four (4) months prior to the planned implementation.

††††† 1. A request for curriculum revision shall include the present plan, the proposed change with rationale and expected outcomes.

††††† 2. The board shall be available to assist if curriculum revisions are being considered.

††††† 3. Major curriculum revisions shall include:

††††† a. A change in the philosophy, mission or outcomes, which results in a reorganization or re-conceptualization of the entire curriculum;

††††† b. The addition of tracks or alternative programs of study that provide educational mobility; or

††††† c. The initiation of on-line learning in which a student may obtain fifty (50) percent or more of the nursing credits needed to meet program completion requirements.

††††† (b) An accredited program of nursing shall submit to the board a copy of any curriculum revision submitted to an accrediting agency within thirty (30) days. The program of nursing shall submit a copy of all correspondence related to program accreditation from the accrediting agency to the board.

††††† (c) A program of nursing that implements a curriculum change shall provide an evaluation of the outcomes of those changes through the first graduating class following full implementation of the curriculum change. The program of nursing shall also submit the evaluation with its annual report.

††††† (9) Integrated practicum.

††††† (a) The curriculum shall include an integrated practicum. The integrated practicum shall consist of a minimum of 120 clock hours of concentrated clinical experience of direct patient care in a health care facility or health care organization.

††††† (b) The integrated practicum shall be completed within a period not to exceed seven (7) consecutive weeks while the governing institution is in session during the last semester or quarter of a nursing program. (11 Ky.R. 1705; eff. 6-4-1985; Am. 14 Ky.R. 593; eff. 11-6-1987; 30 Ky.R. 77; 578; eff. 8-20-2003; 34 Ky.R. 347; 713; eff. 10-17-2007; 40 Ky.R. 1347; 1722; eff. 2-19-2014.)