PLA Nursing Board: Everything You Need to Know


The Psychiatric Licensed Assistant (PLA) nursing board administers the licensing and regulation of psychiatric licensed assistants in the state. Becoming a licensed PLA allows nursing professionals to provide psychiatric care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. This blog post will provide an overview of the PLA nursing board, including its purpose, requirements, and processes for obtaining licensure.

What is the PLA Nursing Board?

The PLA nursing board oversees the licensing and conduct of PLAs in the state. It establishes the requirements and standards for licensure. The board also investigates complaints and takes disciplinary action when necessary. Its mission is to protect public health and safety through the regulation of PLAs. The board consists of registered nurses, psychiatrists, and consumer representatives appointed by the governor.

Requirements for PLA Licensure

To become a licensed PLA, candidates must meet several requirements related to education, exam passage and background checks.

Education Level Required

Candidates must complete a board-approved PLA education program. These are typically 10-12 week programs offered at community colleges or technical schools.

Required Exams

Applicants must pass the state PLA competency exam. This computer-based test covers topics like psychiatric care, medication administration, patient safety and communication.

Background Checks

A clear criminal background check is mandatory. The board reviews state and federal records for any actions that may preclude licensure.

Applying for PLA Licensure

The PLA license application involves submitting required documents, paying fees and passing examinations.

Required Documentation

When applying, candidates submit transcripts, fingerprint cards, background authorization and verification of program completion.


There are fees for initial license applications, competency exams, and fingerprint processing. Total fees often range from $200 to $300.

Competency Exam

The computerized competency exam tests knowledge and judgement related to psychiatric care assistance. It must be passed to gain licensure.

Disciplinary Actions and Oversight

The PLA board may take disciplinary steps if a licensee violates regulations or professional standards. It also audits licenses and continuing education periodically.

Scope of Practice Violations

The board investigates complaints related to a PLA practicing outside their scope or providing negligent care. Appropriate sanctions may be taken, including license suspension or revocation.

Continuing Education Audits

Licensed PLAs in the state must complete a certain number of continuing education hours each year related to psychiatric care. The board regularly audits a percentage of licenses for compliance.


Overall, regulation by the Psychiatric Licensed Assistant nursing board helps ensure professional conduct and ongoing competence. By overseeing licensure, renewal, continuing education and disciplinary matters, the board strives to protect public safety. Anyone considering becoming a PLA should fully understand the application process, requirements and disciplinary oversight maintained by the state’s nursing board.

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