This past November, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) posted a blog of interest regarding professional licensure issues and student notifications.

With distance education, it has become more common for a student in one state to enroll in an online nursing degree program from another state, for example, intending to become a licensed nurse in their home state. If an institution’s curriculum does not satisfy the requirements of the Board of Nursing in the state in which the student intends to work, the student’s success can be derailed, opening the institution up for legal and financial risk.

For institutions participating in NC-SARA, it is required of any SARA institution that offers courses or programs that may potentially lead to professional licensure must keep all students, applicants, and potential students who have contacted the institution about the course or program informed as to whether such offerings actually meet state licensing requirements, according to the blog post. This must be done in one of two ways, according to the SARA Manual, Section 5.2:

  1. The institution may determine whether the course or program meets the requirements for professional licensure in the state where the applicant or student resides and provide that information in writing to the student, or
  2. After making all reasonable efforts to make such a determination, if unsuccessful, the institution may notify the applicant or student in writing that the institution cannot confirm whether the course or program meets requirements for professional licensure in the student’s state, provide the student with current contact information for any applicable licensing boards, and advise the student to determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where the student lives.

For more information, please view the NC-SARA blog.