Initiating a Board Approved Program

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians has provided the following information regarding commencement of a Board approved program. Individuals interested in initiating a new vocational nursing or psychiatric technician program should contact the Board's Nursing Education Division to obtain the complete application package or download the New Program Application.

Board approval of a program director is required in order to initiate the review/approval process.

Procedures for Initial Approval of a New Program

New Program Application

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians is authorized to approve vocational nursing and psychiatric technician programs in California.

The time required to complete the review process may vary. Components that impact approval include: the quality of the proposal, the timely submission of required revisions, and other necessary program documents and resources.

Before the assistance of a Nursing Education Consultant is requested, you should:

  1. Order or download a copy of the law for the program you wish to establish. Statutes, Rules and Regulations order form.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the provisions of the Vocational Nursing Practice Act or the Psychiatric Technicians Law and their respective regulations. For a Vocational Nursing Program or a Psychiatric Technician Program, see Article 5 of the respective rules and regulations.
  3. Complete an Application for Approval of a Board Program (Form 55M-15) and attach it to the Faculty Approval Form (55M-10) for a director. (These forms will be included in the application package sent to you.)

The Faculty Approval Form must be accompanied by the following supporting documentation:

  • A copy of the current, active Registered Nurse license on which the license number and expiration date are clearly shown.
  • A copy of the certificate or transcript which shows that a baccalaureate (or higher) degree has been awarded.
  • A copy of transcripts showing completion of courses from an approved school in administration, teaching, and curriculum. If transcripts do not clearly indicate the course content, please send a school catalog description of the course(s).

The director must meet the requirements of Section 2529 (VN) or Section 2584 (PT) of the Rules and Regulations; and must be Board approved before he/she can develop and administer the program.

The role of the Nursing Education Consultant is to ensure the program complies with Article 5 of the Vocational Nursing or Psychiatric Technician Rules and Regulations.

Section 2529(b) states, "Each vocational nursing program shall have one faculty member who meets the requirements [for director], who shall actively administer the program."

Section 2584(b) states, "Each psychiatric technician program shall have one faculty member who meets the requirements [for director], who shall actively administer the program."

This means that the director must have a complete understanding of the proposed curriculum package prior to submission to the Board.

The Nursing Education Consultant will provide a final assessment of the total curriculum package before they submit a report for Board consideration. The Board requires submission of all documents in final form. One hard copy and a compact disc or flash drive of the final curriculum proposal must be submitted to the Board by the fifteenth day of the second month which precedes the month in which the request will be considered. Following review of the report, the Board may grant initial approval and authorize commencement of one class.

The Board encourages you to allow enough time for the development of a comprehensive quality curriculum.

Required Contents for Proposal (VNPA Section 2526; PTL Section 2580)

The following items (#1-#21) must be addressed in the proposal for a Vocational Nursing Program or a Psychiatric Technician Program.

  1. Philosophy of the program.
  2. Conceptual framework.
  3. Terminal objectives.
  4. Curriculum objectives.
  5. Course outlines.
  6. Course objectives.
  7. Instructional plan that includes the following:
    1. Plan identifying courses to be taught each term
    2. Overall plan showing correlation of theory and clinical experiences on a weekly basis for the entire program
    3. Hours per week of theory and clinical content for the entire program
    4. Total theory hours of instruction
    5. Total clinical hours of instruction
    6. Number of clinical hours for evenings
    7. Number of weeks in the program
    8. Clinical rotation plan for entire program
    9. Week students will begin clinical rotations
    10. Week students will begin documentation on patient charts
    11. Week students will begin administering medications in the clinical setting
    12. Days allotted for student make-up of theory and clinical objectives;
    13. The Instructional Plan must also include:
      1. For Vocational Nursing Programs Only the Instructional Plan must Also Include:
        Number of theory and clinical (if applicable) hours for the following content:
        1. Anatomy and physiology
        2. Nutrition
        3. Psychology
        4. Normal growth and development
        5. Nursing fundamentals
        6. Nursing process
        7. Communication
        8. Patient education
        9. Pharmacology, which shall include:
          1. Knowledge of commonly used drugs and their action
          2. Computation of dosages
          3. Preparation of medications
          4. Principles of administration
        10. Medical-surgical nursing
        11. Communicable diseases, which shall include but not be limited to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
        12. Gerontological nursing
        13. Rehabilitation nursing
        14. Maternity nursing
        15. Pediatric nursing
        16. Leadership
        17. Supervision
        18. Ethics and Unethical conduct
        19. Critical thinking
        20. Culturally congruent care
        21. End-of-life care
      2. For Psychiatric Technician Programs Only the Instructional Plan must also include:
        Number of theory and clinical hours for the following content:
        1. Anatomy and physiology
        2. Nutrition
        3. Psychology
        4. Normal growth and development
        5. Nursing process
        6. Communication
        7. Nursing science, which shall include:
          1. Nursing fundamentals
          2. Medical-surgical nursing
          3. Communicable diseases, to include but not be limited to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
          4. Gerontological nursing
        8. Patient education
        9. Pharmacology, which shall include:
          1. Knowledge of commonly used drugs and their actions
          2. Computation of dosages
          3. Preparation of medications
          4. Principles of administration
        10. Classifications, treatment programs, and interventions for developmental disabilities
        11. Classifications, treatment programs, and interventions for mental disorders, which shall include addictive behaviors and eating disorders
        12. Leadership
        13. Supervision
  8. Evaluation methodology for the curriculum.
  9. Faculty (Information forms to be submitted in duplicate, including supporting documentation for licensure, degrees, teaching credential and required courses).
  10. Clinical facilities (Information forms to be submitted in duplicate, including clinical objectives to be achieved in facility and the plan for instructor orientation).
  11. Evaluation methodology for the clinical facilities.
  12. Admission criteria.
  13. Screening and selection criteria.
  14. Number of students per class and frequency of admissions.
    1. A school may admit alternate students in each new class to replace students who may drop out.
    2. The number of alternate students admitted may not exceed 10% of the school's Boards-approved number of students per class.
    3. Prior to admission, alternate students must be informed in writing of their alternate status and that they may be dropped from the program.
    4. Alternate students may participate in classes until the commencement of scheduled clinical experience at approved clinical facilities.
    5. Upon commencement if clinical experience at approved clinical facilities, the actual number of students in the class may not exceed the number of students approved by the Board for that particular class.
  15. Evaluation methodology for student progress.
  16. List of Resources
  17. Student policies:
    1. Credit granting
    2. Attendance
    3. Grievance
  18. Organizational chart.
  19. Proposed starting date.
  20. Evidence of program need to include, but not be limited to:
    1. Description of the geographic area and community to be served by the proposed program
    2. Clinical affiliations available for student clinical experience
    3. Existing nursing and psychiatric technician programs with which clinical affiliations are shared
  21. Logistical support, including but not limited to:
    1. Operable sink with running water in skills lab
    2. Sufficient equipment and supplies in skills lab
    3. Library (textbooks, current nursing periodicals, instructional media)
    4. Counseling services available to students

The Board encourages you to allow enough time for the development of a comprehensive quality curriculum.

Statutes, Rules and Regulations Purchase Order form.