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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

49 Pa. Code § 21.51. Establishment.


§ 21.51. Establishment.

 (a)  A nursing education program shall be developed under the leadership of a registered nurse as follows:

   (1)  A nursing education program may be developed under the authority of a regionally accredited university or college and will be known as a degree-granting nursing education program.

   (2)  A nursing education program may be developed under the authority of a hospital approved by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals and will be known as a diploma nursing education program.

   (3)  A Board-approved diploma nursing education program may transition to a degree-granting nursing education program under the authority of a university or college pursuing regional accreditation and will be known as a program in transition.

 (b)  A nursing education program may be developed only if there is an adequate faculty and adequate clinical facilities and the philosophy of the parent institution encompasses dual programs of education.

 (c)  Prior to establishment or transition, a nursing education program shall:

   (1)  Complete a feasibility study which includes:

     (i)   Sufficient statistical data to support the need for a program within the community and to assure availability of an adequate supply and flow of interested candidates.

     (ii)   Identification of available clinical recourses for program implementation based on the projected enrollment and faculty. In viewing the clinical resources, the study must speak to other nursing education programs that share the teaching facilities identified in the study.

     (iii)   Letters of intent from the cooperating agencies indicating positive commitment to the nursing education program and the availability of sufficient clinical resources to meet the educational requirements of the program.

     (iv)   Actual cost of the program including faculty needed, clinical teaching resources, education supplies, office supplies, and the like, and sufficient evidence of stable financial support.

   (2)  Submit 18 copies of the feasibility study to the Board for approval.

   (3)  Employ the nurse administrator of the educational unit at least 12 months prior to the intended admission date of students. Board approval of the nurse administrator’s credentials shall be obtained prior to the appointment. For a program in transition, the nurse administrator may serve as administrator of both the degree-granting and diploma nursing education program during the transition period.

   (4)  Submit 18 copies of the tentative planned education program to the Board. For degree-granting and diploma nursing education programs, the submission shall be made at least 8 months prior to the intended admission date of students. For a program in transition, the submission shall be made at least 3 months prior to the intended admission date of students.

   (5)  Employ the teaching faculty at least 1 semester before the initiation of their teaching responsibilities.

 (d)  Change of ownership shall be processed as the establishment of a new program.

 (e)  The planned educational program must include:

   (1)  Organization and administrative policies of the controlling institution.

   (2)  Administrative structure and functions of the nursing school.

   (3)  Educational preparation and nursing experience of faculty members employed.

   (4)  Statement of the philosophy, purposes and objectives of the program.

   (5)  Proposed curriculum design based on sound educational concepts and including detailed course descriptions and identification of clinical practice.

   (6)  Admission policies.

   (7)  Educational standards.

   (8)  Copy of proposed budget projected for a minimum of 5 years.

   (9)  Copies of written agreements with cooperating agencies and facilities to be used in the program.

 (f)  A program in transition shall submit the following to the Board with the program’s feasibility study:

   (1)  A copy of the certificate of authority to operate a degree-granting institution from the Department of Education.

   (2)  Documentation of the university or college’s pursuit of regional accreditation.

   (3)  Documentation that the diploma program has maintained full approval status under §  21.33 (relating to types of approval) for at least 3 years prior to the intended date for admission of students.

 (g)  A program in transition shall:

   (1)  Submit an annual report detailing the progress of the transition to the Board. If requested by the Board’s educational advisor, a program in transition shall appear before the Board to respond to questions or concerns that arise from the annual progress report.

   (2)  Be subject to a site review by the Board’s education advisor after the first class has been awarded degrees and the results of the licensing examination taken by the first class are available.

   (3)  Continue on initial approval under §  21.33(a) until the university or college has obtained full regional accreditation.

 (h)  Following the review of the program and before final Board action is taken to grant permission to recruit students, an initial faculty and nursing education program survey will be made by a nursing educational advisor of the Board.


   The provisions of this §  21.51 amended under sections 2.1(k) and 6.1 of The Professional Nursing Law (63 P.S. § §  212.1(k) and 216.1).


   The provisions of this §  21.51 amended October 22, 1976, effective October 23, 1976, 6 Pa.B. 2677; amended September 16, 1983, effective September 17, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 2829; amended December 2, 2005, effective December 3, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 6527. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (209959) to (209960).

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