Regulatory Power of the State
Civilian healthcare occupations are regulated by the individual states under the police power reserved to the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Police powers include the authority to license health care professions within the state. This authority is administered with the goal of ensuring that healthcare providers are academically qualified, competent, and mentally and physically fit to provide the activities covered by the license.
Currently, each state has enacted legislation that defines the scope of nursing practice as well as the procedures for granting a license, renewing a license and certifying nurse education programs. These laws, commonly known as Nurse Practice Acts (NPA), delegate the authority to implement and enforce the NPA to the respective state Board of Nursing. •