Affiliation Guidelines

The purpose of a Constituent League, affiliated with the National League for Nursing, is to support and implement the mission of the NLN to promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the nation’s health at the constituent level. 

Constituent League Standards for Affiliation with NLN:

To be affiliated with the National League for Nursing, a Constituent League agrees that it will comply with the following standards:

  1. Promote the products and services of the NLN
  2. Participate in the securing of funds at the local/state level to promote faculty development and quality nursing education at the constituent level
  3. Serve as a monitor for public policy issues related to education of nurses at the constituent level
  4. Identify, recruit, engage, and develop members for constituent and national leadership work groups and task forces
  5. Develop alliances at the constituent level to advance quality nursing education
  6. Serve as a channel of communication between NLN and the league’s members, and members to members
  7. Promote strategies to advance the science of nursing education at the state and local level

Requirements for Affiliation with the National League for Nursing

  1. Adopt national uniform bylaws for Constituent Leagues
  2. Implement all Affiliation Standards (as noted above)
  3. Implement a conflict of interest policy
  4. Adopt financial policies (including all NLN amendments)
  5. Adopt lobbying guidelines for Constituent Leagues
  6. Adopt NLN communication standards
  7. Conduct a year-end audit
  8. Meet state and national tax filing requirements
  9. All officers and board members of the Constituent League must maintain NLN membership during their tenure
  10. Maintain a membership of at least 50 members
  11. Hold an annual meeting of members
  12. Hold annual election of officers and board members
  13. Create an annual budget
  14. Implement a strategic plan that aligns with NLN goals
  15. Submit completed annual report by January 31 of each year that provides evidence of compliance with all standards and requirements for affiliation

NLN Constituent League Membership Structure

  1. Individual membership - An individual member is any person interested in fostering the development and improvement of nursing services or nursing education that meets the criteria established by the Constituent League’s Board of Directors. Individual membership entitles a member to vote at any annual or special meeting of the members of the Constituent League.


  2. Academic Education Agency memberships - available to any organization that conducts an academic educational program in nursing or offers academic education courses in nursing. Education Agency membership entitles the academic education agency to one vote on each matter being considered at any annual or special meeting of the members of the Constituent League. Faculty at CL-member education agencies receive faculty membership and voting privileges. Constituent Leagues that choose to offer an Academic Education Agency membership category will have the agency dues collected by the league subtracted from the annual funding from the NLN.


  3. Associate Agency memberships - available to agencies other than academic education agencies. Associate Agency members do not have voting privileges within the NLN.

NLN Services Provided to Affiliated Constituent Leagues:

  1. Facilitate the sharing of Constituent League information with Constituent Leagues
  2. Provide each Constituent League with its state roster of NLN individual members, agency members, and ambassadors annually as requested
  3. Provide annual leadership activities for the Constituent League officers and executive directors
  4. Provide public policy guidelines
  5. Provide insurance guidelines
  6. Provide feedback to Constituent Leagues on their annual report
  7. Provide annual funding based on number of NLN agency members from Constituent League’s area so long as the CL does not offer an education agency membership category
  8. Facilitate the arrangements for NLN leaders to speak at Constituent League meetings
  9. Review annually any requests for changes to bylaws, incorporation, league formations, and disaffiliations along with the Annual Report

NLN Constituent League Status 

Affiliate Status

  1. Full Affiliate - Meets all affiliation standards and requirements.
    • Optional consultation with NLN is provided to discuss any recommendations made by the CL Leadership Committee.
    • NLN services are provided.


  2. Provisional Affiliate - One or more affiliation standards or requirements are not met. Automatic provisional status is given to any CL that does not submit a completed Annual Report.
    • Quarterly consultation with NLN to discuss recommendations is recommended.
    • Provisional Affiliate Status is for no more than three consecutive years before CL is dis-affiliated.
    • Constituent Leagues who receive automatic provisional status from not submitting a completed Annual Report will not receive annual funding from the NLN.
    • The NLN is authorized to reorganize a league in provisional status that fails to make progress towards compliance with affiliation requirements.


  3. Dis-Affiliation:This status is only used if the Constituent League chooses not to work on achieving compliance with the requirements for affiliation or if the CL has received provisional status for more than three consecutive years. If the Constituent League has a separate 501(c)(3) ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, action is taken to dis-allow the use of the NLN name, logo, and discontinue NLN services.If the Constituent League is part of the NLN group IRS exemption, action is taken to discontinue the league from being part of the NLN group exemption, change its corporate name, and discontinue NLN services.

Key information outlining an NLN affiliated constituent league responsibilities are outlined on this page. Please share this information with your board. None of the information outlined on this page may be changed by leagues.

Need to print the NLN Affiliation Guidelines Policies for your Board? Download this 3-page PDF file.