The Georgia Registered Nurse Professional Practice Act, enacted in by the state legislature in 1990, endeavors to protect public health and welfare through regulation of the practice and education of professional, registered nurses. All nurses using the title of registered nurse and practicing in the state of Georgia must adhere to the regulations and licensing procedures put forth in the legislation.

Approved Nursing Programs

For qualification under the act, nursing educational programs must be offered by a University of Georgia or Georgia technical college system unit accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. For those attending nursing school outside of the state, the education program must be from an institution of higher learning accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Georgia Board of Nursing

The act created the Georgia Board of Nursing, which has powers to enforce the regulations as well as amend them if deemed necessary. The board is in charge developing state nursing standards, license enforcement and evaluate nursing programs on a regular basis. The board also investigates any complaints against licensed nurses and imposes a disciplinary process. It has the authority to require the surrender of a nursing license during any pending action.

Professional Nurses

The Georgia Registered Nurse Professional Practice Act defines professional nurses as those who assess the health of individuals, establish a "nursing diagnosis," plan and provide nursing care or manage such nursing care. Also included are those who teach nursing at the professional level, administer medication authorized by physicians or by protocol and perform other nursing-related services. Only those licensed under the act may be defined as "registered professional nurse" in Georgia.

License Examinations

Under the Georgia Professional Nurse Practice Act, all nurses must meet certain requirements for licensure. These examinations include submission of a fee and written application, proof of graduation from an approved nursing school or program, pass a fingerprint and criminal background check conducted by either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Georgia Crime Information Center and satisfactorily pass the board licensing examination. Practicing as a nurse in Georgia without a license from the board is against the law and can result in prosecution.