When the first meeting of the North Carolina Nurse Association was called to order in 1902, the most important item on the groups’ agenda was the creation of legislation setting standards for nursing education and practice.
For over one hundred years, through legislative advocacy, NC nurses have advanced both professional interests and altruistic ideals. North Carolina nurses have taken pioneering stands and with determination, accomplished much. Following is a brief account of some of the major legislative accomplishments achieved by NCNA and the nurses of North Carolina:
- 1903 – NC becomes the first state to enact legislation to recognize Registered Nurses.
- 1917 – Funds are designated for an inspector, appointed by the North Carolina Nurses Association, to visit and report back to the legislature about the conditions of nursing education in NC.
- 1925 – Minimum standards are required for schools of nursing to be accredited.
- 1947 – Licensed Practical Nurses are included in the Nurse Practice Act.
- 1953 – The practice of nursing is defined for the first time.
- 1963 – For the first time state funds are used for educating nurses in advanced practice (nurse anesthetists).
- 1965 – Licensure becomes MANDATORY to practice nursing in NC
- 1973 – Nurse Practitioners are authorized to practice in NC.
- 1981 – A new law requires the Board of Nursing to be composed of nurses elected by nurses in NC and public representatives.
- 1983 – Certified nurse midwives are authorized to practice in NC.
- 1997 – NC joins the Nurse Licensure Compact states allowing nurses reciprocity to practice in other Compact states without having to retake the NCLEX.
- 2005 – Demonstration of Continuing Competency is mandated for nursing license renewal.