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Classification & Qualifications General Schedule Qualification Standards

Nursing Series, 0610

Individual Occupational Requirements

Note:

Employees currently assigned to positions in this occupational series as of September 2017 will be considered to have met the basic requirements for the position occupied.

Basic Requirements

Education

A graduate or higher level degree, bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or diploma from an accredited professional nursing educational program is required.  This education must have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, or an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education  at the time the degree was obtained.

Degree from Foreign Nursing School: Official certification from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools  is required for individuals who graduated from foreign nursing schools.

Advanced Practice Nurse Positions:  For Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) positions, applicants must possess a graduate or higher level degree in nursing from an accredited educational program in the area of expertise or specialty indicated by the position. 

Areas of specialties for positions include, but are not limited to, Acute Care, Anesthesia, Community Health, Family, Geriatric, Home Health, Midwifery, Neonatal, Oncology, Pediatric, Psychiatric, Allergy and Immunology, Women’s Health, Cardiovascular, Dermatology, Occupational Health, Orthopedic, Respiratory, or other specialties identified for the position.

Licensure

For all grade levels and positions, applicants must have passed the National Council Licensure Examination.  In addition, they must possess a current, active, full, and unrestricted license or registration as a professional nurse from a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States.

Additional License Requirements for Advanced Practice Nurse Positions: Applicants for Advanced Practice Nurse positions must be licensed or registered by a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States in the clinical specialty required by the position.  

Experience

The work experience must have equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. At the GS-9 and above grade level, many positions may require experience in a specialty area of nursing. 

Basic Requirements for the GS-5 (or equivalent) Grade Level

To qualify at the GS-5 (or equivalent) grade level, applicants must meet one of the following qualification requirements:

  • Possession of a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing with no experience; or
  • Possession of a diploma or associate degree in professional nursing and one full year of professional nursing experience.

Basic Requirements for the GS-7 (or equivalent) Grade Level

In addition to the above Basic Requirements, applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Possession of a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement provision;
  • Possession of a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and at least one full year of professional nursing experience (equivalent to the GS-5 grade level);
  • Possession of a diploma or associate degree in professional nursing and two full years of professional nursing experience; or
  • Completion of at least one full year of graduate education in a professional nursing educational program.

Basic Requirements for the GS-9 (or equivalent) Grade Level

In addition to the above requirements, applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Possession of a master’s degree in professional nursing; or
  • At least one full year of professional nursing experience (equivalent to the GS-7 grade level or above) and possession of a diploma, associate degree, or Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from a professional nursing program.

Basic Requirements for the GS-11 (or equivalent) Grade Level

In addition to the above requirements, applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Successful completion of a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree from a professional nursing educational program or related medical science field; or
  • At least one full year of professional nursing experience (equivalent to the GS-9 grade level) and possession of a diploma, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree from a professional nursing educational program.

Basic Requirements for the GS-12 (or equivalent) Grade Level

In addition to the mandatory license and education described above under Basic Requirements applicants must have at least one or more full years of professional nursing experience that is equivalent to the next lower grade level.

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