Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
6/25/2022

Chapter 27. Regulations for Nursing Education Programs

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC90-27-10. Definitions.

In addition to words and terms defined in § 54.1-3000 of the Code of Virginia, the following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accreditation" means having been accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation, or a national nursing accrediting organization recognized by the board.

"Advisory committee" means a group of persons from a nursing education program and the health care community who meets regularly to advise the nursing education program on the quality of its graduates and the needs of the community.

"Approval" means the process by which the board or a governmental agency in another state or foreign country evaluates and grants official recognition to nursing education programs that meet established standards not inconsistent with Virginia law.

"Associate degree nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a Virginia college or other institution and designed to lead to an associate degree in nursing, provided that the institution is authorized to confer such degree by SCHEV.

"Baccalaureate degree nursing program" or "prelicensure graduate degree program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a Virginia college or university and designed to lead to a baccalaureate or a graduate degree with a major in nursing, provided that the institution is authorized to confer such degree by SCHEV.

"Board" means the Board of Nursing.

"Clinical setting" means any location in which the clinical practice of nursing occurs as specified in an agreement between the cooperating agency and the school of nursing.

"Conditional approval" means a time-limited status that results when an approved nursing education program has failed to maintain requirements as set forth in this chapter.

"Cooperating agency" means an agency or institution that enters into a written agreement to provide clinical or observational experiences for a nursing education program.

"Diploma nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a hospital and designed to lead to a diploma in nursing, provided the hospital is licensed in this state.

"Direct client care" means nursing care provided to patients or clients in a clinical setting supervised by qualified faculty or a designated preceptor.

"Full approval" means the status granted to a nursing education program when compliance with regulations pertaining to nursing education programs has been verified.

"Initial approval" means the status granted to a nursing education program that allows the admission of students.

"National certifying organization" means an organization that has as one of its purposes the certification of a specialty in nursing based on an examination attesting to the knowledge of the nurse for practice in the specialty area.

"NCLEX" means the National Council Licensure Examination.

"NCSBN" means the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

"Nursing education program" means an entity offering a basic course of study preparing persons for licensure as registered nurses or as licensed practical nurses. A basic course of study shall include all courses required for the degree, diploma, or certificate.

"Nursing faculty" means registered nurses who teach the practice of nursing in nursing education programs.

"Practical nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for practical nurse licensure that leads to a diploma or certificate in practical nursing, provided the school is authorized by the Virginia Department of Education or by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Preceptor" means a licensed nurse who is employed in the clinical setting, serves as a resource person and role model, and is present with the nursing student in that setting, providing clinical supervision.

"Program director" means a registered nurse who holds a current, unrestricted license in Virginia or a multistate licensure privilege and who has been designated by the controlling authority to administer the nursing education program.

"Recommendation" means a guide to actions that will assist an institution to improve and develop its nursing education program.

"Requirement" means a mandatory condition that a nursing education program must meet to be approved or maintain approval.

"SCHEV" means the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

"Simulation" means an evidence-based teaching methodology utilizing an activity in which students are immersed into a realistic clinical environment or situation and in which students are required to learn and use critical thinking and decision-making skills.

"Site visit" means a focused onsite review of the nursing program by board staff, usually completed within one day for the purpose of evaluating program components such as the physical location (skills lab, classrooms, learning resources) for obtaining initial program approval, in response to a complaint, compliance with NCLEX plan of correction, change of location, or verification of noncompliance with this chapter.

"Survey visit" means a comprehensive onsite review of the nursing program by board staff, usually completed within two days (depending on the number of programs or campuses being reviewed) for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining full program approval. The survey visit includes the program's completion of a self-evaluation report prior to the visit, as well as a board staff review of all program resources, including skills lab, classrooms, learning resources, and clinical facilities, and other components to ensure compliance with this chapter. Meetings with faculty, administration, students, and clinical facility staff will occur.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3005 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 10, eff. February 7, 2018; Volume 34, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2018; Volume 38, Issue 10, eff. February 2, 2022.

18VAC90-27-20. Fees.

Fees required by the board are:

1. Application for approval of a nursing education program.

$1,650

2. Survey visit for nursing education program.

$2,200

3. Site visit for NCLEX passage rate for nursing education program.

$1,500

4. Handling fee for returned check or dishonored credit card or debit card

$50

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 9, eff. February 6, 2020.

Part II
Initial Approval of a Nursing Education Program

18VAC90-27-30. Application for initial approval.

An institution wishing to establish a nursing education program shall:

1. Provide documentation of attendance by the program director at a board orientation on establishment of a nursing education program prior to submission of an application and fee.

2. Submit to the board an application to establish a nursing education program along with a nonrefundable application fee as prescribed in 18VAC90-27-20.

a. The application shall be effective for 12 months from the date the application was received by the board.

b. If the program does not meet the board's requirements for approval within 12 months, the institution shall file a new application and fee.

3. Submit the following information on the organization and operation of a nursing education program:

a. A copy of a business license and zoning permit to operate a school in a Virginia location, a certificate of operation from the State Corporation Commission, evidence of approval from the Virginia Department of Education or SCHEV, and documentation of accreditation, if applicable;

b. The organizational structure of the institution and its relationship to the nursing education program therein;

c. The type of nursing program, as defined in 18VAC90-27-10;

d. An enrollment plan specifying the beginning dates and number of students for each class for a two-year period from the date of initial approval including (i) the planned number of students in the first class and in all subsequent classes and (ii) the planned frequency of admissions. Any increase in admissions that is not stated in the enrollment plan must be approved by the board. Also, transfer students are not authorized until full approval has been granted to the nursing education program; and

e. A tentative time schedule for planning and initiating the program through graduation of the first class and the program's receipt of results of the NCLEX examination.

4. Submit to the board evidence documenting adequate resources for the projected number of students and the ability to provide a program that can meet the requirements of this part to include the following information:

a. The results of a community assessment or market analysis that demonstrates the need for the nursing education program in the geographic area for the proposed school. The assessment or analysis shall include employment opportunities of nurses in the community, the number of clinical facilities or employers available for the size of the community to support the number of graduates, and the number and types of other nursing education programs in the area;

b. A projection of the availability of qualified faculty sufficient to provide classroom instruction and clinical supervision for the number of students specified by the program;

c. Budgeted faculty positions sufficient in number to provide classroom instruction and clinical supervision;

d. Availability of clinical training facilities for the program as evidenced by copies of contracts or letters of agreement specifying the responsibilities of the respective parties and indicating sufficient availability of clinical experiences for the number of students in the program, the number of students, and clinical hours permitted at each clinical site and on each nursing unit;

e. Documentation that at least 80% of all clinical experiences are to be conducted in Virginia, unless an exception is granted by the board. There shall be documentation of written approval for any clinical experience conducted outside of Virginia by the agency that has authority to approve clinical placement of students in that state. The use of any clinical site in Virginia located 50 miles or more from the school shall require board approval;

f. A diagram or blueprint showing the availability of academic facilities for the program, including classrooms, skills laboratory, and learning resource center. This information shall include the number of restrooms for the student and faculty population, classroom and skills laboratory space large enough to accommodate the number of the student body, and sufficient faculty office space; and

g. Evidence of financial resources for the planning, implementation, and continuation of the program with line-item budget projections for the first three years of operations beginning with the admission of students.

5. Respond to the board's request for additional information within a timeframe established by the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-40. Organization and administration.

A. The governing or parent institution offering Virginia nursing education programs shall be approved by the Virginia Department of Education or SCHEV or accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

B. Any agency or institution used for clinical experience by a nursing education program shall be in good standing with its licensing body.

C. The program director of the nursing education program shall:

1. Hold a current license or multistate licensure privilege to practice as a registered nurse in the Commonwealth without any disciplinary action that currently restricts practice;

2. Have additional education and experience necessary to administer, plan, implement, and evaluate the nursing education program;

3. Ensure that faculty are qualified by education and experience to teach in the program or to supervise the clinical practice of students in the program;

4. Maintain a current faculty roster, a current clinical agency form, and current clinical contracts available for board review and subject to an audit; and

5. Only serve as program director at one location or campus.

D. The program shall provide evidence that the director has authority to:

1. Implement the program and curriculum;

2. Oversee the admission, academic progression, and graduation of students;

3. Hire and evaluate faculty; and

4. Recommend and administer the program budget, consistent with established policies of the controlling agency.

E. An organizational plan shall indicate the lines of authority and communication of the nursing education program to the controlling body, to other departments within the controlling institution, to the cooperating agencies, and to the advisory committee for the nursing education program.

F. There shall be evidence of financial support and resources sufficient to meet the goals of the nursing education program as evidenced by a copy of the current annual budget or a signed statement from administration specifically detailing its financial support and resources.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-50. Philosophy and objectives.

Written statements of philosophy and objectives shall be the foundation of the curriculum and shall be:

1. Formulated and accepted by the faculty and the program director;

2. Descriptive of the practitioner to be prepared; and

3. The basis for planning, implementing, and evaluating the total program through the implementation of a systematic plan of evaluation that is documented in faculty or committee meeting minutes.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-60. Faculty.

A. Qualifications for all faculty.

1. Every member of the nursing faculty, including the program director, shall (i) hold a current license or a multistate licensure privilege to practice nursing in Virginia as a registered nurse without any disciplinary action that currently restricts practice and (ii) have had at least two years of direct client care experience as a registered nurse prior to employment by the program. Persons providing instruction in topics other than nursing shall not be required to hold a license as a registered nurse.

2. Every member of a nursing faculty supervising the clinical practice of students, including simulation in lieu of direct client care, shall meet the licensure requirements of the jurisdiction in which that practice occurs and shall provide evidence of education or experience in the specialty area in which they supervise student clinical experience for quality and safety. Prior to supervision of students, the faculty providing supervision shall have completed a clinical orientation to the site in which supervision is being provided. Faculty members who supervise clinical practice by simulation shall also demonstrate simulation knowledge and skills in that methodology and shall engage in ongoing professional development in the use of simulation.

3. The program director and each member of the nursing faculty shall maintain documentation of professional competence through such activities as nursing practice, continuing education programs, conferences, workshops, seminars, academic courses, research projects, and professional writing. Documentation of annual professional development shall be maintained in employee files for the director and each faculty member until the next survey visit and shall be available for board review.

4. For baccalaureate degree and prelicensure graduate degree programs:

a. The program director shall hold a doctoral degree with a graduate degree in nursing.

b. Every member of the nursing faculty shall hold a graduate degree; the majority of the faculty shall have a graduate degree in nursing. Faculty members with a graduate degree with a major other than in nursing shall have a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing.

5. For associate degree and diploma programs:

a. The program director shall hold a graduate degree with a major in nursing.

b. The majority of the members of the nursing faculty shall hold a graduate degree, preferably with a major in nursing.

c. All members of the nursing faculty shall hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree with a major in nursing.

6. For practical nursing programs:

a. The program director shall hold a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing.

b. The majority of the members of the nursing faculty shall hold a baccalaureate degree, preferably with a major in nursing.

B. Number of faculty.

1. The number of faculty shall be sufficient to prepare the students to achieve the objectives of the educational program and to ensure safety for clients to whom students provide care.

2. When students are giving direct care to clients, the ratio of students to faculty shall not exceed 10 students to one faculty member, and the faculty shall be on site solely to supervise students.

3. When preceptors are utilized for specified learning experiences in clinical settings, the faculty member may supervise up to 15 students.

C. Functions. The principal functions of the faculty shall be to:

1. Develop, implement, and evaluate the philosophy and objectives of the nursing education program;

2. Design, implement, teach, evaluate, and revise the curriculum. Faculty shall provide evidence of education and experience necessary to indicate that they are competent to teach a given course;

3. Develop and evaluate student admission, progression, retention, and graduation policies within the framework of the controlling institution;

4. Participate in academic advisement and counseling of students in accordance with requirements of the Financial Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 USC § 1232g);

5. Provide opportunities for and evidence of student and graduate evaluation of curriculum and teaching and program effectiveness; and

6. Document actions taken in faculty and committee meetings using a systematic plan of evaluation for total program review.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3005 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 10, eff. February 2, 2022.

18VAC90-27-70. Admission of students.

A. Requirements for admission to a registered nursing education program shall not be less than the requirements of § 54.1-3017 A 1 of the Code of Virginia that will permit the graduate to be admitted to the appropriate licensing examination. The equivalent of a four-year high school course of study as required pursuant to § 54.1-3017 shall be considered to be:

1. A General Educational Development (GED) certificate for high school equivalence; or

2. Satisfactory completion of the college courses required by the nursing education program.

B. Requirements for admission to a practical nursing education program shall not be less than the requirements of § 54.1-3020 A 1 of the Code of Virginia that will permit the graduate to be admitted to the appropriate licensing examination.

C. Requirements for admission, readmission, advanced standing, progression, retention, dismissal, and graduation shall be available to the students in written form.

D. Except for high school students, all students enrolled in a nursing education program shall be required to submit to a criminal background check prior to a clinical experience involving direct patient care.

E. Transfer students may not be admitted until a nursing education program has received full approval from the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2018.

18VAC90-27-80. Resources, facilities, publications, and services.

A. Classrooms, conference rooms, laboratories, clinical facilities, and offices shall be sufficient to meet the objectives of the nursing education program and the needs of the students, faculty, administration, and staff and shall include private areas for faculty-student conferences. The nursing education program shall provide facilities that meet federal and state requirements, including:

1. Comfortable temperatures;

2. Clean and safe conditions;

3. Adequate lighting;

4. Adequate space to accommodate all students; and

5. Instructional technology and equipment needed for simulating client care.

B. The program shall have learning resources and technology that are current, pertinent, and accessible to students and faculty and sufficient to meet the needs of the students and faculty.

C. Current information about the nursing education program shall be published and distributed to applicants for admission and shall be made available to the board. Such information shall include:

1. Description of the program to include whether the program is accredited by a nursing education accrediting body;

2. Philosophy and objectives of the controlling institution and of the nursing program;

3. Admission and graduation requirements, including the policy on the use of a final comprehensive exam;

4. Fees and expenses;

5. Availability of financial aid;

6. Tuition refund policy;

7. Education facilities;

8. Availability of student activities and services;

9. Curriculum plan, to include course progression from admission to graduation, the name of each course, theory hours, skills lab hours, simulation hours (if used in lieu of direct client care hours), and clinical hours;

10. Course descriptions, to include a complete overview of what is taught in each course;

11. Faculty-staff roster;

12. School calendar;

13. Student grievance policy; and

14. Information about implications of criminal convictions.

D. Administrative support services shall be provided.

E. There shall be written agreements with cooperating agencies that:

1. Ensure full control of student education by the faculty of the nursing education program, including the selection and supervision of learning experiences, to include the dismissal of students from the clinical site if client safety is or may be compromised by the acts of the student;

2. Provide that faculty members or preceptors are present in the clinical setting when students are providing direct client care;

3. Provide for cooperative planning with designated agency personnel to ensure safe client care; and

4. Provide that faculty be readily available to students and preceptors while students are involved in preceptorship experiences.

F. Cooperating agencies shall be approved by the appropriate accreditation, evaluation, or licensing bodies, if such exist.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-90. Curriculum.

A. Both classroom and online curricula shall reflect the philosophy and objectives of the nursing education program and shall be consistent with the law governing the practice of nursing.

B. Nursing education programs preparing for licensure as a registered or practical nurse shall include:

1. Evidence-based didactic content and supervised clinical experience in nursing, encompassing the attainment and maintenance of physical and mental health and the prevention of illness for individuals and groups throughout the life cycle and in a variety of acute, nonacute, community-based, and long-term care clinical settings and experiences to include adult medical/surgical nursing, geriatric nursing, maternal/infant (obstetrics, gynecology, neonatal) nursing, mental health/psychiatric nursing, nursing fundamentals, and pediatric nursing;

2. Concepts of the nursing process that include conducting a focused nursing assessment of the client status that includes decision making about who and when to inform, identifying client needs, planning for episodic nursing care, implementing appropriate aspects of client care, contributing to data collection and the evaluation of client outcomes, and the appropriate reporting and documentation of collected data and care rendered;

3. Concepts of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, and the behavioral sciences;

4. Concepts of communication, growth and development, nurse-client interpersonal relations, and client education, including:

a. Development of professional socialization that includes working in interdisciplinary teams; and

b. Conflict resolution;

5. Concepts of ethics and the vocational and legal aspects of nursing, including:

a. Regulations and sections of the Code of Virginia related to nursing;

b. Client rights, privacy, and confidentiality;

c. Prevention of client abuse, neglect, and abandonment throughout the life cycle, including instruction in the recognition, intervention, and reporting by the nurse of evidence of child or elder abuse;

d. Professional responsibility, to include the role of the practical and professional nurse;

e. Professional boundaries, to include appropriate use of social media and electronic technology; and

f. History and trends in nursing and health care;

6. Concepts of pharmacology, dosage calculation, medication administration, nutrition, and diet therapy;

7. Concepts of client-centered care, including:

a. Respect for cultural differences, values, and preferences;

b. Promotion of healthy life styles for clients and populations;

c. Promotion of a safe client environment;

d. Prevention and appropriate response to situations of bioterrorism, natural and man-made disasters, and intimate partner and family violence;

e. Use of critical thinking and clinical judgment in the implementation of safe client care; and

f. Care of clients with multiple, chronic conditions; and

8. Development of management and supervisory skills, including:

a. The use of technology in medication administration and documentation of client care;

b. Participation in quality improvement processes and systems to measure client outcomes and identify hazards and errors; and

c. Supervision of certified nurse aides, registered medication aides, and unlicensed assistive personnel.

C. In addition to meeting curriculum requirements set forth in subsection B of this section, registered nursing education programs preparing for registered nurse licensure shall also include:

1. Evidence-based didactic content and supervised clinical experiences in conducting a comprehensive nursing assessment that includes:

a. Extensive data collection, both initial and ongoing, for individuals, families, groups, and communities addressing anticipated changes in client conditions as well as emerging changes in a client's health status;

b. Recognition of alterations to previous client conditions;

c. Synthesizing the biological, psychological, and social aspects of the client's condition;

d. Evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of nursing care;

e. Planning for nursing interventions and evaluating the need for different interventions for individuals, groups, and communities;

f. Evaluation and implementation of the need to communicate and consult with other health team members; and

g. Use of a broad and complete analysis to make independent decisions and nursing diagnoses; and

2. Evidence-based didactic content and supervised experiences in:

a. Development of clinical judgment;

b. Development of leadership skills and unit management;

c. Knowledge of the rules and principles for delegation of nursing tasks to unlicensed persons;

d. Supervision of licensed practical nurses;

e. Involvement of clients in decision making and a plan of care; and

f. Concepts of pathophysiology.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-100. Curriculum for direct client care.

A. A nursing education program preparing a student for licensure as a registered nurse shall provide a minimum of 500 hours of direct client care supervised by qualified faculty. A nursing education program preparing a student for licensure as a practical nurse shall provide a minimum of 400 hours of direct client care supervised by qualified faculty. Direct client care hours shall include experiences and settings as set forth in 18VAC90-27-90 B 1.

B. Licensed practical nurses transitioning into prelicensure registered nursing programs may be awarded no more than 150 clinical hours of the 400 clinical hours received in a practical nursing program. In a practical nursing to registered nursing transitional program, the remainder of the clinical hours shall include registered nursing clinical experience across the life cycle in adult medical/surgical nursing, maternal/infant (obstetrics, gynecology, neonatal) nursing, mental health/psychiatric nursing, and pediatric nursing.

C. Any observational experiences shall be planned in cooperation with the agency involved to meet stated course objectives. Observational experiences shall not be accepted toward the 400 or 500 minimum clinical hours required. Observational objectives shall be available to students, the clinical unit, and the board.

D. Simulation for direct client clinical hours.

1. No more than 25% of direct client contact hours may be simulation. For prelicensure registered nursing programs, the total of simulated client care hours cannot exceed 125 hours (25% of the required 500 hours). For prelicensure practical nursing programs, the total of simulated client care hours cannot exceed 100 hours (25% of the required 400 hours).

2. No more than 50% of the total clinical hours for any course may be used as simulation. If courses are integrated, simulation shall not be used for more than 50% of the total clinical hours in different clinical specialties and population groups across the life span.

3. Skills acquisition and task training alone, as in the traditional use of a skills laboratory, do not qualify as simulated client care and therefore do not meet the requirements for direct client care hours.

4. Clinical simulation must be led by faculty who meet the qualifications specified in 18VAC90-27-60. Faculty with education and expertise in simulation and in the applicable subject area must be present during the simulation experience.

5. Documentation of the following shall be available for all simulated experiences:

a. Course description and objectives;

b. Type of simulation and location of simulated experience;

c. Number of simulated hours;

d. Faculty qualifications;

e. Methods of pre-briefing and debriefing;

f. Evaluation of simulated experience; and

g. Method to communicate student performance to clinical faculty.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3005 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 10, eff. February 2, 2022.

18VAC90-27-110. Clinical practice of students.

A. In accordance with § 54.1-3001 of the Code of Virginia, a nursing student, while enrolled in an approved nursing program, may perform tasks that would constitute the practice of nursing. The student shall be responsible and accountable for the safe performance of those direct client care tasks to which he has been assigned.

B. Faculty shall be responsible for ensuring that students perform only skills or services in direct client care for which they have received instruction and have been found proficient by the instructor. Skills checklists shall be maintained for each student.

C. Faculty members or preceptors providing onsite supervision in the clinical care of clients shall be responsible and accountable for the assignment of clients and tasks based on their assessment and evaluation of the student's clinical knowledge and skills. Supervisors shall also monitor clinical performance and intervene if necessary for the safety and protection of the clients.

D. Clinical preceptors may be used to augment the faculty and enhance the clinical learning experience. Faculty shall be responsible for the designation of a preceptor for each student and shall communicate such assignment with the preceptor. A preceptor may not further delegate the duties of the preceptorship.

E. Preceptors shall provide to the nursing education program evidence of competence to supervise student clinical experience for quality and safety in each specialty area where they supervise students. The clinical preceptor shall be licensed as a nurse at or above the level for which the student is preparing.

F. Supervision of students.

1. When faculty are supervising direct client care by students, the ratio of students to faculty shall not exceed 10 students to one faculty member. The faculty member shall be on site in the clinical setting solely to supervise students.

2. When preceptors are utilized for specified learning experiences in clinical settings, the faculty member may supervise up to 15 students. In utilizing preceptors to supervise students in the clinical setting, the ratio shall not exceed two students to one preceptor at any given time. During the period in which students are in the clinical setting with a preceptor, the faculty member shall be available for communication and consultation with the preceptor.

G. Prior to beginning any preceptorship, the following shall be required:

1. Written objectives, methodology, and evaluation procedures for a specified period of time to include the dates of each experience;

2. An orientation program for faculty, preceptors, and students;

3. A skills checklist detailing the performance of skills for which the student has had faculty-supervised clinical and didactic preparation; and

4. The overall coordination by faculty who assume ultimate responsibility for implementation, periodic monitoring, and evaluation.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-120. Granting of initial program approval.

A. Initial approval may be granted when all documentation required in 18VAC90-27-30 has been submitted and is deemed satisfactory to the board and when the following conditions are met:

1. There is evidence that the requirements for organization and administration and the philosophy and objectives of the program, as set forth in 18VAC90-27-40 and 18VAC90-27-50, have been met;

2. A program director who meets board requirements has been appointed, and there are sufficient faculty to initiate the program as required in 18VAC90-27-60;

3. A written curriculum plan developed in accordance with 18VAC90-27-90 has been submitted and approved by the board;

4. A written systematic plan of evaluation has been developed and approved by the board; and

5. The program is in compliance with requirements of 18VAC90-27-80 for resources, facilities, publications, and services as verified by a satisfactory site visit conducted by a representative of the board.

B. If initial approval is granted:

1. The advertisement of the nursing program is authorized.

2. The admission of students is authorized, except that transfer students are not authorized to be admitted until the program has received full program approval.

3. The program director shall submit quarterly progress reports to the board that shall include evidence of progress toward full program approval and other information as required by the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-130. Denying or withdrawing initial program approval.

A. Denial of initial program approval.

1. Initial approval may be denied for causes enumerated in 18VAC90-27-140.

2. If initial approval is denied:

a. The program shall be given an option of correcting the deficiencies cited by the board during the time remaining in its initial 12-month period following receipt of the application.

b. No further action regarding the application shall be required of the board unless the program requests, within 30 days of the mailing of the decision, an informal conference pursuant to §§ 2.2-4019 and 54.1-109 of the Code of Virginia.

3. If denial is recommended following the informal conference, the recommendation shall be presented to the board or a panel thereof for review and action.

4. If the recommendation of the informal conference committee to deny initial approval is accepted by the board or a panel thereof, the decision shall be reflected in a board order, and no further action by the board is required. The program may request a formal hearing within 30 days from entry of the order in accordance with § 2.2-4020 of the Code of Virginia.

5. If the decision of the board or a panel thereof following a formal hearing is to deny initial approval, the program shall be advised of the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate circuit court in accordance with § 2.2-4026 of the Code of Virginia and Part 2A of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

B. Withdrawal of initial program approval.

1. Initial approval shall be withdrawn and the program closed if:

a. The program has not admitted students within six months of approval of its application;

b. The program fails to submit evidence of progression toward full program approval; or

c. For any of the causes enumerated in 18VAC90-27-140.

2. If a decision is made to withdraw initial approval, no further action shall be required by the board unless the program within 30 days of the mailing of the decision requests an informal conference pursuant to §§ 2.2-4019 and 54.1-109 of the Code of Virginia.

3. If withdrawal of initial approval is recommended following the informal conference, the recommendation shall be presented to the board or a panel thereof for review and action.

4. If the recommendation of the informal conference committee to withdraw initial approval is accepted by the board or a panel thereof, the decision shall be reflected in a board order, and no further action by the board is required unless the program requests a formal hearing within 30 days from entry of the order in accordance with § 2.2-4020 of the Code of Virginia.

5. If the decision of the board or a panel thereof following a formal hearing is to withdraw initial approval, the program shall be advised of the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate circuit court in accordance with § 2.2-4026 of the Code of Virginia and Part 2A of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-140. Causes for denial or withdrawal of nursing education program approval.

A. Denial or withdrawal of program approval may be based upon the following:

1. Failing to demonstrate compliance with program requirements in Part II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.), III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.), or IV (18VAC90-27-210 et seq.) of this chapter.

2. Failing to comply with terms and conditions placed on a program by the board.

3. Advertising for or admitting students without authority, board approval, or contrary to a board restriction.

4. Failing to progress students through the program in accordance with an approved timeframe.

5. Failing to provide evidence of progression toward initial program approval within a timeframe established by the board.

6. Failing to provide evidence of progression toward full program approval within a timeframe established by the board.

7. Failing to respond to requests for information required from board representatives.

8. Fraudulently submitting documents or statements to the board or its representatives.

9. Having had past actions taken by the board, other states, or accrediting entities regarding the same nursing education program operating in another jurisdiction.

10. Failing to maintain a pass rate of 80% on the NCLEX for graduates of the program as required by 18VAC90-27-210.

11. Failing to comply with an order of the board or with any terms and conditions placed upon it by the board for continued approval.

12. Having the program director, owner, or operator of the program convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or his professional license disciplined by a licensing body or regulatory authority.

13. Failing to pay the required fee for a survey or site visit.

B. Withdrawal of nursing education program approval may occur at any stage in the application or approval process pursuant to procedures enumerated in 18VAC90-27-130, 18VAC90-27-160, and 18VAC90-27-230.

C. Programs with approval denied or withdrawn may not accept or admit additional students into the program effective upon the date of entry of the board's final order to deny or withdraw approval. Further, the program shall submit quarterly reports until the program is closed, and the program shall comply with board requirements regarding closure of a program as stated in 18VAC90-27-240.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

Part III
Full Approval for a Nursing Education Program

18VAC90-27-150. Granting full program approval.

A. Full approval may be granted when:

1. A self-evaluation report of compliance with Part II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.) of this chapter and a survey visit fee as specified in 18VAC90-27-20 have been submitted and received by the board;

2. The program has achieved a passage rate of not less than 80% for the program's first-time test takers taking the NCLEX based on at least 20 graduates within a two-year period; and

3. A satisfactory survey visit and report have been made by a representative of the board verifying that the program is in compliance with all requirements for program approval.

B. If full approval is granted, the program shall continue to comply with all requirements in Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.) and III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.) of this chapter, and admission of transfer students is authorized.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-160. Denying full program approval.

A. Denial of full program approval may occur for causes enumerated in 18VAC90-27-140.

B. If full program approval is denied, the board shall also be authorized to do one of the following:

1. The board may continue the program on initial program approval with terms and conditions to be met within the timeframe specified by the board; or

2. The board may withdraw initial program approval.

C. If the board takes one of the actions specified in subsection B of this section, the following shall apply:

1. No further action will be required of the board unless the program within 30 days of the mailing of the decision requests an informal conference pursuant to §§ 2.2-4019 and 54.1-109 the Code of Virginia.

2. If continued initial program approval with terms and conditions or withdrawal of initial approval is recommended following the informal conference, the recommendation shall be presented to the board or a panel thereof for review and action.

3. If the recommendation of the informal conference committee is accepted by the board or a panel thereof, the decision shall be reflected in a board order, and no further action by the board regarding the application is required. The program may request a formal hearing within 30 days from entry of the order in accordance with § 2.2-4020 and subdivision 11 of § 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

4. If the decision of the board or a panel thereof following a formal hearing is to deny full approval or withdraw or continue on initial approval with terms or conditions, the program shall be advised of the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate circuit court in accordance with § 2.2-4026 of the Code of Virginia and Part 2A of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

D. If a program is denied full approval and initial approval withdrawn, no additional students may be accepted into the program, effective upon the date of entry of the board's final order to deny or withdraw approval. Further, the program shall submit quarterly reports until the program is closed, and the program shall comply with board requirements regarding closure of a program as stated in 18VAC90-27-240.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-170. Requests for exception to requirements for faculty.

After full approval has been granted, a program may request board approval for exceptions to requirements of 18VAC90-27-60 for faculty as follows:

1. Initial request for exception.

a. The program director shall submit a request for initial exception in writing to the board for consideration prior to the academic year during which the nursing faculty member is scheduled to teach or whenever an unexpected vacancy has occurred.

b. A description of teaching assignment, a curriculum vitae, and a statement of intent from the prospective faculty member to pursue the required degree shall accompany each request.

c. The executive director of the board shall be authorized to make the initial decision on requests for exceptions. Any appeal of that decision shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

2. Request for continuing exception.

a. Continuing exception will be based on the progress of the nursing faculty member toward meeting the degree required by this chapter during each year for which the exception is requested.

b. The program director shall submit the request for continuing exception in writing prior to the next academic year during which the nursing faculty member is scheduled to teach.

c. A list of courses required for the degree being pursued and college transcripts showing successful completion of a minimum of two of the courses during the past academic year shall accompany each request.

d. Any request for continuing exception shall be considered by the informal factfinding committee, which shall make a recommendation to the board.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-180. Records and provision of information.

A. Requirements for admission, readmission, advanced standing, progression, retention, dismissal, and graduation shall be readily available to the students in written form.

B. A system of records shall be maintained and be made available to the board representative and shall include:

1. Data relating to accreditation by any agency or body.

2. Course outlines.

3. Minutes of faculty and committee meetings, including documentation of the use of a systematic plan of evaluation for total program review and including those faculty members in attendance.

4. Record of and disposition of complaints.

C. A file shall be maintained for each student. Provision shall be made for the protection of student and graduate files against loss, destruction, and unauthorized use. Each file shall be available to the board representative and shall include the student's:

1. Application, including the date of its submission and the date of admission into the program;

2. High school transcript or copy of high school equivalence certificate, and if the student is a foreign graduate, a transcript translated into English;

3. Current record of achievement to include classroom grades, skills checklists, and clinical hours for each course; and

4. A final transcript retained in the permanent file of the institution to include dates of admission and completion of coursework, graduation date, name and address of graduate, the dates of each semester or term, course grades, and authorized signature.

D. Current information about the nursing education program shall be published and distributed to students and applicants for admission and shall be made available to the board. In addition to information specified in 18VAC90-27-80 C, the following information shall be included:

1. Annual passage rates on NCLEX for the past five years; and

2. Accreditation status.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia. 

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-190. Evaluation of resources; written agreements with cooperating agencies.

A. Periodic evaluations of resources, facilities, and services shall be conducted by the administration, faculty, students, and graduates of the nursing education program, including an employer evaluation for graduates of the nursing education program. Such evaluation shall include assurance that at least 80% of all clinical experiences are conducted in Virginia unless an exception has been granted by the board.

B. Current written agreements with cooperating agencies shall be maintained and reviewed annually and shall be in accordance with 18VAC90-27-80 E.

C. Upon request, a program shall provide a clinical agency summary on a form provided by the board.

D. Upon request and if applicable, the program shall provide (i) documentation of board approval for use of clinical sites located 50 or more miles from the school, and (ii) for use of clinical experiences conducted outside of Virginia, documented approval from the agency that has authority to approve clinical placement of students in that state.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-200. Program changes.

A. The following shall be reported to the board within 10 days of the change or receipt of a report from an accrediting body:

1. Change in the program director, governing body, or parent institution;

2. Adverse action taken by a licensing authority against the program director, governing body, or parent institution;

3. Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude against the program director, owner, or operator of the program;

4. Change in the physical location of the program;

5. Change in the availability of clinical sites;

6. Change in financial resources that could substantively affect the nursing education program;

7. Change in content of curriculum, faculty, or method of delivery that affects 25% or more of the total hours of didactic and clinical instruction;

8. Change in accreditation status; and

9. A final report with findings and recommendations from the accrediting body.

B. Other curriculum or faculty changes shall be reported to the board with the annual report required in 18VAC90-27-220 A.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

Part IV
Continued Approval of Nursing Education Programs

18VAC90-27-210. Passage rate on national examination.

A. For the purpose of continued approval by the board, a nursing education program shall maintain 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.

B. If an approved program falls below 80% for one year, it shall submit a plan of correction to the board. If an approved program falls below 80% for two consecutive years, the board shall place the program on conditional approval with terms and conditions, require the program to submit a plan of correction, and conduct a site visit. Prior to the conduct of such a visit, the program shall submit the fee for a site visit for the NCLEX passage rate as required by 18VAC90-27-20. If a program falls below 80% for three consecutive years, the board may withdraw program approval.

C. For the purpose of program evaluation, the board may provide to the program the NCLEX examination results of its graduates. However, further release of such information by the program shall not be authorized without written authorization from the candidate.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

18VAC90-27-220. Maintaining an approved nursing education program.

A. The program director of each nursing education program shall submit an annual report to the board.

B. Prior to February 7, 2021, each registered nursing education program shall be reevaluated as follows:

1. Every registered nursing education program that has not achieved accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every five years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report based on Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.) and III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.) of this chapter and a survey visit by a representative or representatives of the board on dates mutually acceptable to the institution and the board.

2. A registered nursing education program that has maintained accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every 10 years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report as provided by the board. As evidence of compliance with specific requirements of this chapter, the board may accept the most recent study report, site visit report, and final decision letter from the accrediting body. The board may require additional information or a site visit to ensure compliance with requirements of this chapter. If accreditation has been withdrawn or a program has been placed on probation by the accrediting body, the board may require a survey visit. If a program fails to submit the documentation required in this subdivision, the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection shall apply.

After February 7, 2021, each registered nursing education program shall have accreditation or candidacy status and shall be reevaluated at least every 10 years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report as provided by the board. As evidence of compliance with specific requirements of this chapter, the board may accept the most recent study report, site visit report, and final decision letter from the accrediting body. The board may require additional information or a site visit to ensure compliance with requirements of this chapter. If a program has been placed on probation by the accrediting body, the board may require a survey visit. If a program fails to submit the documentation required in this subdivision, the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection shall apply.

C. Each practical nursing education program shall be reevaluated as follows:

1. Every practical nursing education program that has not achieved accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every five years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report based on Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.) and III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.) of this chapter and a survey visit by a representative or representatives of the board on dates mutually acceptable to the institution and the board.

2. A practical nursing education program that has maintained accreditation as defined in 18VAC90-27-10 shall be reevaluated at least every 10 years by submission of a comprehensive self-evaluation report as provided by the board. As evidence of compliance with specific requirements of this chapter, the board may accept the most recent study report, site visit report, and final decision letter from the accrediting body. The board may require additional information or a site visit to ensure compliance with requirements of this chapter. If accreditation has been withdrawn or a program has been placed on probation by the accrediting body, the board may require a survey visit. If a program fails to submit the documentation required in this subdivision, the requirements of subdivision 1 of this subsection shall apply.

D. Interim site or survey visits shall be made to the institution by board representatives at any time within the initial approval period or full approval period as deemed necessary by the board. Prior to the conduct of such a visit, the program shall submit the fee for a survey visit as required by 18VAC90-27-20.

E. Failure to submit the required fee for a survey or site visit may subject an education program to board action or withdrawal of board approval.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3005 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 10, eff. February 7, 2018.

18VAC90-27-230. Continuing and withdrawal of full approval.

A. The board shall receive and review the self-evaluation and survey reports required in 18VAC90-27-220 B or C or complaints relating to program compliance. Following review, the board may continue the program on full approval so long as it remains in compliance with all requirements in Parts II (18VAC90-27-30 et seq.), III (18VAC90-27-150 et seq.), and IV (18VAC90-27-210 et seq.) of this chapter.

B. If the board determines that a program is not maintaining the requirements of Parts II, III, and IV of this chapter or for causes enumerated in 18VAC90-27-140, the board may:

1. Place the program on conditional approval with terms and conditions to be met within the timeframe specified by the board; or

2. Withdraw program approval.

C. If the board either places a program on conditional approval with terms and conditions to be met within a timeframe specified by the board or withdraws approval, the following shall apply:

1. No further action will be required of the board unless the program requests an informal conference pursuant to §§ 2.2-4019 and 54.1-109 of the Code of Virginia.

2. If withdrawal or continued program approval with terms and conditions is recommended following the informal conference, the recommendation shall be presented to the board or a panel thereof for review and action.

3. If the recommendation of the informal conference committee is accepted by the board or a panel thereof, the decision shall be reflected in a board order and no further action by the board is required unless the program requests a formal hearing within 30 days from entry of the order in accordance with § 2.2-4020 of the Code of Virginia.

4. If the decision of the board or a panel thereof following a formal hearing is to withdraw approval or continue on conditional approval with terms or conditions, the program shall be advised of the right to appeal the decision to the appropriate circuit court in accordance with § 2.2-4026 of the Code of Virginia and Part 2A of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

D. If a program approval is withdrawn, no additional students may be admitted into the program effective upon the date of entry of the board's final order to withdraw approval. Further, the program shall submit quarterly reports until the program is closed, and the program must comply with board requirements regarding closure of a program as stated in 18VAC90-27-240.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3005 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 10, eff. February 7, 2018.

18VAC90-27-240. Closing of an approved nursing education program; custody of records.

A. When the governing institution anticipates the closing of a nursing education program, the governing institution shall notify the board in writing, stating the reason, plan, and date of intended closing.

The governing institution shall assist in the transfer of students to other approved programs with the following conditions:

1. The program shall continue to meet the standards required for approval until all students are transferred and shall submit a quarterly report to the board regarding progress toward closure.

2. The program shall provide to the board a list of the names of students who have been transferred to approved programs, and the date on which the last student was transferred.

3. The date on which the last student was transferred shall be the closing date of the program.

B. When the board denies or withdraws approval of a program, the governing institution shall comply with the following procedures:

1. The program shall be closed according to a timeframe established by the board.

2. The program shall provide to the board a list of the names of students who have transferred to approved programs and the date on which the last student was transferred shall be submitted to the board by the governing institution.

3. The program shall provide quarterly reports to the board regarding progress toward closure.

C. Provision shall be made for custody of records as follows:

1. If the governing institution continues to function, it shall assume responsibility for the records of the students and the graduates. The governing institution shall inform the board of the arrangements made to safeguard the records.

2. If the governing institution ceases to exist, the academic transcript of each student and graduate shall be transferred by the institution to the board for safekeeping.

Statutory Authority

§ 54.1-2400 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. February 24, 2017.

FORMS (18VAC90-27).

Application to Establish a Nursing Educational Program (rev. 3/2021)

Continued Approval Survey Visit Report (rev. 12/2019)

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