The Alabama Board of Nursing’s legal authority over nursing education is restricted to the following specified areas:
Alabama Board of Nursing Administrative Code § 610-X-3-.02 Standards for Approval
(1) The governing institution, nursing program administrator, and nursing faculty are accountable for the standards, processes, and outcomes of the nursing education program.
(2) The governing institution offering the nursing program shall be:
(a) A postsecondary educational institution that is authorized to offer nursing education and is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
(b) Approved and licensed by the appropriate State of Alabama educational agency(ies) as required by law.
(3) The governing institution shall provide financial support and resources sufficient to meet the outcomes of the nursing education program. Resources include, but are not limited to:
(b) Educational facilities.
(d) Learning aids.
(f) Administrative, instructional and support personnel.
(4) The governing institution’s administrator or program administrator shall notify the Board, in writing, of any substantive changes in the program, including but not limited to:
(a) Nursing program administrator.
(b) Governing institution administrator.
(c) Governance structure of the institution.
(d) Accreditation status.
(e) Ownership or merger of parent institution
(f) School name
(h) Curriculum changes
(5) There shall be an organizational chart that depicts the authority, responsibility, and channels of communication of the nursing program to the governing institution and other comparable programs within the governing institution.
(6) A nursing education program shall be administered by a qualified program administrator who is accountable for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the program. Minimum qualifications of a nursing program administrator shall include:
(a) An active unencumbered Alabama registered nurse license.
(b) An earned graduate degree in nursing.
(c) Be academically and experientially qualified to administer a nursing program.
(d) Prior experience in nursing education and nursing practice. For purposes of this requirement, prior experience in continuing education and/or patient teaching is insufficient to meet the rule. The required teaching experience is in a nursing program.
(7) The governing institution and nursing program administrator shall provide sufficient numbers of qualified faculty to assure that curriculum implementation and expected program outcomes are achieved. Minimum qualifications of nurse faculty shall include:
(a) An active unencumbered Alabama registered nurse license.
(b) An earned graduate degree in nursing or a related health field.
(c) Be academically and experientially qualified to teach in the area assigned.
(8) Institutional and program policies and procedures shall:
(a) Be written, published, and publicly available.
(b) Address students’ ability to assume clinical assignments including, but not limited to, educational preparedness and physical, mental, and emotional behaviors.
c) Provide opportunities for students to regularly participate in the development and evaluation of the program.
(9) Faculty are accountable for curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation.
(10) The curriculum of a nursing education program shall:
(a) Enable the student to develop the nursing knowledge, skills and abilities required for entry level practice, consistent with the scope and standards of nursing practice.
(b) Comply with the standards set forth in this chapter.
(c) Be evidence-based, and outcome-focused.
(d) Provide theoretical and clinical experiences specific to the expected scope of practice of graduates from each type of entry level nursing education program and shall include:
(i) Content for students to attain knowledge and competence in providing a safe and effective care environment.
(ii) Prevention of illness.
(iii) Maintenance, promotion, and restoration of health.
(iv) Psychological integrity of individuals across the life span.
(v) Clinical reasoning skills to assist in recognizing, analyzing, and applying relevant knowledge and skills to nursing care.
(vi) Clinical learning experiences to provide opportunities for students to develop cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills in the provision of nursing care.
(e) The curriculum content of a nursing education program shall include:
(i) Liberal arts and sciences supportive of the nursing program.
(ii) Anatomy and physiology with a corresponding lab. Utilizing a ‘virtual lab’ in lieu of a ‘hands-on’ lab is considered a substantive change and requires Board notification.
(iii) Nursing foundations, pharmacology, nutrition, and community-based nursing.
(iv) History and trends of nursing, cultural diversity, legal and ethical responsibilities, and nursing practice responsibilities including leadership, management, delegation, and health care delivery systems.
(v) Theory and clinical learning experiences in the areas of adult, maternal, child, and psychiatric/mental health nursing that includes any form of simulation, laboratory time and direct patient care.
(vi) Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity and Physiological Integrity.
(vii) Microbiology for students pursuing an associate or baccalaureate degree.
(11) The governing institution, nursing program administrator, and nursing faculty are accountable for selecting and evaluating the teaching methods, delivery modalities, and processes used to achieve expected program outcomes.
(12) Clinical supervision of students shall comply with the standards set forth in this Chapter.
(a) Clinical activities shall be supervised by a registered nurse with knowledge of educational strategies and subject matter, and is experienced in the clinical technologies essential to the safe practice of nursing.
(b) The registered nurse shall hold an unencumbered license to practice professional nursing in Alabama.
(c) The clinical supervisor shall be readily accessible to assign or prescribe a course of action, give procedural guidance, direction and evaluation for students engaged in the clinical learning experience.
(d) The faculty-student ratio in clinical practice shall be collaboratively determined by the professional nursing faculty, the School of Nursing administration and the professional nurse administrator, or designee, in the clinical agency. In licensed hospitals that provide inpatient acute care, the faculty to student ratio shall not exceed 1:8 during clinical learning experiences. The faculty-student ratio shall be determined according to the:
(i) Complexity of the educational experience.
(ii) Acuity of the patient(s).
(iii) Physical layout of the clinical setting.
(iv) Student’s level of knowledge and skills to provide safe patient care.
(e) The nursing education program shall work with clinical agencies for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of clinical experiences.
(f) Clinical learning experiences shall include the development of skills in clinical judgments, management of care for groups of patients, delegation to, and supervision of other health care personnel.
(g) Nursing faculty shall maintain responsibility and accountability for planning, implementation, and evaluation of all student clinical learning experiences.
(13) Nursing programs that offer only simulations or clinical testing do not meet the requirements for providing clinical learning experiences for nursing students.