The New York State Board of Regents (Regents), established by State Law in 1784, was granted authority to register educational programs through a program approval process in 1787. The goal of registration and re-registration is to ensure the quality and integrity of an education. All elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions including libraries, museums, and other institutions of learning in the State are under the leadership of the Regents. The Board of Regents is the only state board of education to have authority over all educational activity at all levels, including private and public, non-profit, and for-profit institutions.
The Regents oversee the education, licensure, practice, and conduct of practitioners in 55 licensed professions, including nursing. The Commissioner is the executive administrator of the Board of Regents. The New York State Education Department has responsibility for administering and implementing the policies established by the Regents. Nursing schools and nurse education programs are included in the Regents' scope of recognition.
Under the Code of Federal Regulations (34, Part 603), the Office of the Professions within the State Education Department has been determined by the United States Secretary of Education to be a reliable authority as to the quality of postsecondary vocational education practical nursing within the state and serves as a Title IV gatekeeper for Public Postsecondary Vocational Education in practical nursing. The scope of this recognition is limited to practical nursing education programs offered by a Board of Cooperative Educational Services, an Educational Opportunity Center, City School Districts, and County Board of Supervisors in the State of New York.
Under the Code of Federal Regulations (34, Part 644), the Office of the Professions is also recognized for the approval of nurse education and is recognized by the United States Secretary of Education as a reliable authority as to the quality of nurse education in New York State. There is no defined scope in this area, meaning that the state's recognition encompasses its approval of all levels of nurse education programs in the State. In this capacity, the agency does not serve as a Title IV gatekeeper. Its accreditation of nurse education programs establishes eligibility to participate in non-Higher Education Act Federal programs and is limited to those programs that self-identify the Board of Regents as its sole programmatic accrediting body.
The framework for evaluating the quality of nursing programs registered in New York State is derived from the Commissioner's Regulations, Parts 50 and 52, the Rules of the Board of Regents, Education Law, USDE accreditation standards as well as relevant professional standards. On initial approval and periodically thereafter the standards for administration, faculty, resources, curriculum, admissions, and student information are assessed through a set of quality indicators (criteria). Accreditation is contingent upon the determination of adherence to the standards.
All registered public postsecondary vocational practical nursing programs in New York State offered by a Board of Cooperative Educational Services, an Educational Opportunity Center, City School District, or County Board of Supervisors to prepare persons for licensed practical nursing careers in the State of New York are accredited by the Office of Professions.
Prior to the beginning of 2021, all registered nursing education programs in New York State were accredited by the Board of Regents. In December 2020, the scope of the accreditation was changed to include only those nursing programs that identify the Board of Regents as its sole programmatic accrediting agency. After January 15, 2021, those programs that identified the ACEN and/or the CCNE as the programmatic accrediting agency could choose to also have the BOR accreditation under the current accreditation term. Such BOR accreditation would not be renewed at the end of the current accreditation term.
Those New York State programs approved and registered by the Department may state, "Registered by the New York State Board of Regents"; those NYS programs approved and accredited by the Department may state, "Registered and accredited by the New York State Board of Regents."
Any questions regarding a nursing program’s approval and registration status can be made by contacting this office by email at OPNURS@nysed.gov or by calling 518.474.3817 ext.360.