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Steps to Becoming an APN in Delaware

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Get your Graduate Degree in Delaware
Earn your National Certification in Delaware
Apply for your APN License in Delaware
Renewing your License in Delaware

The Delaware Board of Nursing (302-744-4500) licenses qualified RNs to work as advanced practice nurses (APN) in the state.

Four categories of APNs may become licensed to practice in Delaware:

  • Nurse practitioners (NP)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA)
  • Certified nurse midwives (CNM)
  • Clinical nurse specialists (CNS)

Before being eligible for APN licensure, you must hold a RN license in Delaware, or in one of these participating Nurse Licensure Compact states: Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Delaware Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in DE: $101,440
  • NCLEX-RN 2015 pass rate in Delaware: 87.72%
  • As of 2015, APRNs in Delaware only need a collaborative agreement with a physician if they have practiced less than two years/4000 hours
  • As of 2015, APRNs in Delaware may be designated by healthcare insurance or services as a primary care provider
  • As of 2015, APRNs in Delaware may sign death certificates

If your RN license is from a compact state, do not apply for Delaware RN licensure unless you plan to name Delaware as your permanent residence.

Once your RN licensure status has been confirmed, follow these steps to apply for APN licensure in Delaware.


 

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

As a candidate for APN licensure in Delaware, you must have a master’s degree or a graduate certificate in a clinical nursing specialty, as well as national certification from a national certifying body recognized by the Board.

All graduate nursing education programs must meet Delaware’s standards, listed in Section 1919 of the Delaware Code, Title 24, Chapter 19.

Qualified Graduate Programs

The Delaware Board of Nursing defers to the national certification agencies it recognizes to determine program viability. If your program of interest is acceptable to your certification agency, the Board will, in turn, accept it:

To be considered viable for preparing nurses to qualify for advanced practice licensure in Delaware, institutions or programs with accreditation pending must be slated to obtain it by December 30, 2016.

Practice Hour and Recency Requirements

APNs must fulfill a certain number of practice hours or meet a recency requirement prior to licensure:

  • If national certification is not available for your specialty, you must complete one of the following options:
    • Have at least 1000 hours of practice in your specialty over the last two years
    • Complete supervised practice of at least 1000 hours
  • If national certification is available for your specialty, you must complete one of the following options:
    • 600 hours of practice in your specialty over the past two years or 1500 hours over the past five years
    • Graduated from your specialty program within the past two years

Prescriptive Authority

If you wish to apply for prescriptive authority, you must have completed the following courses:

  • Advanced health assessment
  • Diagnosis and management of problems in your clinical specialty
  • Advanced pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics
  • Advanced pathophysiology

Specialization for APNs

As a nurse practitioner (NP) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS), you may choose to pursue a degree specific to a patient population focus. This is a requirement for specialty or patient population-specific certification maintained by the recognized national certifying bodies. The Delaware Board of Nursing recognizes the following specialties and patient population foci:

  • Acute care
  • Adult health
  • Pediatric
  • Psychiatric/mental health
  • Emergency nursing
  • Family
  • Geriatric
  • Neonatal
  • Women’s health
  • School health

Temporary APN Permit

You may choose to apply for a temporary APN permit in Delaware after graduation from your graduate program but prior to full licensure. This permit allows you to work under supervision but does not give you prescriptive authority.

You must have already applied to take the national certification examination for your specialty in order to qualify for a temporary permit.

This temporary permit is valid for 90 days. You may use the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse and check the box indicating that you are applying for a temporary permit.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

The Delaware Board of Nursing licenses four areas of advanced practice nursing (NP, CNM, CRNA, CNS). If national certification is available for the area in which you intend to practice, you must become nationally certified prior to applying for Delaware APN licensure:

  • As a nurse practitioner (NP), you must become nationally certified in a specific population focus
  • As a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), you must be nationally certified if certification exists for your specialization
  • All certified nurse-midwives (CNM) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) must become nationally certified by their respective agencies (see below)

Each certification agency maintains its own eligibility requirements, which include meeting education, experience and examination qualifications.

Advanced Practice Nursing Designation Options

The Delaware Board of Nursing recognizes the following APN titles:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Certification Programs

The Delaware Board of Nursing recognizes national certification programs for APNs offered by the following agencies:

If national certification is available for your specialized area, you must become nationally certified before proceeding with Delaware’s APN licensure process. Get in touch with the appropriate national certification agency for further details.


Step 3. Apply for Your APN License

As an applicant for advanced practice nursing licensure, you must provide your social security number on your licensing application. If you do not have a social security number, you must file the Request for Exemption from Social Security Number Requirement.

Nurse Practitioner

File the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Make sure it is completed, signed and notarized.

  • Complete the Authorization for Release of Information (included within application packet) unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for APN licensure
  • Enclose the processing fee of $100 payable to the State of Delaware
  • Enclose a copy of your driver’s license (unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for APN licensure)
  • Have your advanced nursing graduate program send an official transcript directly to the Delaware Board of Nursing
  • Complete the Verification of National Certification form (included within application packet) and send it to your national certification agency, who must return it to the Board (exception: If you are certified as a Neonatal NP, complete the NCC online verification request)

Certified Nurse Midwife

File the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Make sure it is completed, signed and notarized.

  • Complete the Authorization for Release of Information (included within application packet) unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for Delaware APN licensure
  • Enclose the processing fee of $100 payable to the State of Delaware
  • Enclose a copy of your driver’s license (unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for Delaware APN licensure)
  • Have your advanced nursing graduate program send an official transcript directly to the Delaware Board of Nursing
  • Complete the Verification of National Certification form (included within application packet) and send it to the American Midwifery Certification Board, which will complete it and return it to the Delaware Board of Nursing

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

File the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Make sure it is completed, signed and notarized.

  • Complete the Authorization for Release of Information (included within application packet) unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for Delaware APN licensure
  • Enclose the processing fee of $100 payable to the State of Delaware
  • Enclose a copy of your driver’s license (unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for Delaware APN licensure)
  • Have your advanced nursing graduate program send an official transcript directly to the Delaware Board of Nursing
  • The Delaware Board of Nursing will verify your national certification online (no documents need to be sent to do so)

Clinical Nurse Specialist

File the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Make sure it is completed, signed and notarized.

  • Complete the Authorization for Release of Information (included within application packet) unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for Delaware APN licensure
  • Enclose the processing fee of $100 payable to the State of Delaware
  • Enclose a copy of your driver’s license (unless you are applying for Delaware RN licensure at the same time you are applying for Delaware APN licensure)
  • Have your advanced nursing graduate program send an official transcript directly to the Delaware Board of Nursing
  • Complete the Verification of National Certification form (included within application packet) and send it to your national certification agency for verification. The agency must return the form directly to the Board.

Collaborative Agreement

You may either file a Collaborative Agreement at the same time as you file for APN licensure, or after receiving your APN license, but you may not practice in Delaware until the Collaborative Agreement Information Form has been filed.

You must have a Collaborative Agreement on file for each clinic or practice in which you will work.

If you are pursing prescriptive authority over standard medicinal pharmacological agents (non-controlled substances), either a designee of your health care system, or a physician, dentist or podiatrist that is licensed in Delaware can sign the Collaborative Agreement. If you are also applying for prescriptive authority over controlled substances, a physician, dentist, or podiatrist licensed in Delaware must sign the agreement.

Prescriptive Authority and Controlled Substance Registration

You must have a Collaborative Agreement established with a licensed physician, dentist, or podiatrist in order to apply for prescriptive authority.

Your graduate program transcript must also show that you have taken the necessary coursework to receive prescriptive authority.

No additional fee is required to apply for prescriptive authority.

If you are applying for prescriptive authority while applying for your APN license, simply check the correct box on the APN licensure application and submit supporting documentation as required.

If you are applying for prescriptive authority after already being licensed as an APN, complete and submit the Advanced Practice Nurse Application for independent Practice/Prescriptive Authority, along with supporting documentation.

If you wish to prescribe controlled substances, you must also apply for Delaware Controlled Substance Registration (CSR). You must first have an APN license and prescriptive authority to do so. See the Controlled Substances Application for Practitioners for more information. After receiving Delaware CSR, you must apply for Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration.

Submitting Applications and Documentation

Your application for APN licensure, collaborative agreements, original applications for prescriptive authority, and supporting documentation must be mailed to State of Delaware, Division of Professional Regulation, Board of Nursing, Cannon Building, 861 Silver Lake Blvd, Suite 203, Dover, DE 19904-2467.

Your APN licensure application status may be verified online at any time.

Criminal History Background Check

When applying for APN licensure, you must complete a state and federal criminal history background check. Detailed instructions are included on the licensure application.

Call (800) 464- 4357 to make an appointment for fingerprinting. You must be fingerprinted at a Board-approved facility (listed on the application), and pay a $69 fee to the Delaware State Police at the time of fingerprinting.

You must also complete the Authorization for Release of Information (included within licensure application packet) and bring it with you to your fingerprinting appointment.


Step 4. Renewing Your License

Advanced practice nurse licenses expire every two years, at the same time your Registered nurse license expires (February 28, May 31, or September 30 of all odd numbered years).

The Delaware Board of Nursing will mail a license renewal notice to you several weeks before your license is set to expire. Instructions on renewing your license online and paying renewal fees (APN – $110 and RN- $110) will be included with this notice. You may apply for renewal up to one month prior to the expiration of your license.

Your licensure status may be verified online at any time. This information is available to you, potential or current employers, and potential or current patients.

Required Practice Hours During Each Renewal Cycle

Being nationally certified in your specialty requires you to complete one of the following to satisfy the practice hour requirement for renewal (an exemption applies if you graduated from the specialty area or population focus graduate program in the past two years):

  • 1500 practice hours over the past five years in your specialty
  • 600 practice hours over the past two years in your specialty

If national certification is not available for your specialty, you must complete one of the following to satisfy the practice hour requirement during each two-year renewal cycle:

  • 1000 practice hours over the past two years in your specialty
  • 1000 supervised general practice hours over the past two years

While you need not provide documentation to support your CE and practice hour claims, you must maintain such documentation in case of a Board audit.

Continuing Education

If you are a Delaware licensed APN without prescriptive authority, you need not fulfill continuing education (CE) requirements to maintain licensure. However, if you are an APN with prescriptive authority, you must show proof of completing 10 hours of pharmacology coursework during each-two year renewal cycle.

You must also meet your national certification agency’s continuing education requirements. Contact the appropriate agency for further details:

Your national certification must be maintained and in active status to be eligible for Delaware APN license renewal.

Reinstatement of Expired Licenses

If you fail to renew your RN or APN license by the expiration date, you will be subject to a late fee. If you renew the license after its expiration but within the month it expired, you must pay an additional $10. After two months, you must apply to have your license reinstated, which costs $165.

If you wish to reinstate your inactive license, submit the Application for Reinstatement of RN or LPN License along with the $165 fee for each license you are reinstating (RN and APN), as well as supporting documentation of practice hours and CE requirements fulfilled.

If you wish to have your RN and/or APN license placed on inactive status, you must pay $35 for each license that is being made inactive. This will disqualify you from practicing in Delaware, but you will still receive a renewal notice at the usual expiration date of your license. If you wish to maintain your license in inactive status, you must still renew it by the expiration date (with no practice requirements or CE requirements necessary).

Advanced Practice Nurse Associations in Delaware

Consider joining one of the professional organizations supporting advanced practice nurses in Delaware, such as:


Delaware Nurse Practitioner Salary

Advance for NPs & PAs, a healthcare journal directed toward the needs and interests of nurse practitioners, found in their 2011 National Salary Survey that NPs in Wilmington, enjoy an average salary of $92,600. In fact, the eastern seaboard has the highest paid nurse practitioners in the country. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners reported in their 2011 National NP Compensation Survey that nurse practitioners in the Mideast region, including Delaware, earned an average base salary of $94,337 and enjoyed an average total income of $101,112.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Dover DE
1070
66990
Wilmington DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division
8110
71980
Sussex County Delaware nonmetropolitan area
1710
67920

Nurse Administrator Salary
(Includes Nurse Managers, Directors, and Chief Nursing Officers)

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Dover DE
110
84060
Wilmington DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division
580
109400
Sussex County Delaware nonmetropolitan area
90
121190

These tables provide salary and employment information compiled by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2011. The data contained herein does not include self-employed nurses in independent practice.

When responding to the salary survey, some advanced practice registered nurses identified themselves as RNs while others identified themselves as health diagnosing and treating practitioners. When available, both sets of data were included for comparative purposes.

* These figures represent earnings that are at or above $90.00 per hour or $187,199 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish earnings beyond $90.00 hourly or $187,199 yearly.

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