Steps to Becoming an APRN in North Dakota

north dakota nursing

Get your Graduate Degree in North Dakota
Earn your National Certification in North Dakota
Apply for your License in North Dakota
Renewing your License in North Dakota

The North Dakota Board of Nursing (701-328-9777, email) regulates and licenses advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in four categories:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

To be approved to work as an APRN in North Dakota, you must hold a valid, unencumbered North Dakota (or Compact state*) RN license. If you do not hold an active RN license in North Dakota, you can obtain one by completing one of the following steps:

North Dakota Job Statistics

  • 2015 mean salary for NPs in ND: $92,750
  • 2013 NCLEX-RN pass rate for North Dakota: 85.4%
  • 2016 APRN licenses in ND: 1304
    • 884 Rx authority licenses
    • 16 CNM licenses
    • 47 CNS licenses
    • 375 CRNA license
    • 856 NP licenses
  • 2016 RN licenses in ND: 14,037
  • If you have never held a North Dakota RN license, and you passed either the SBTPE or the NCLEX examination, you may complete the online Licensure by Endorsement Application.
  • If you are a graduate of a Board-approved nursing education program, you may complete the online Licensure by Examination Application.
  • If you are a graduate of a foreign education program, you may complete the online Licensure by Examination Application if you can submit a certificate issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School, and if your nursing education is deemed compatible with North Dakota’s education requirements.

Nurse Licensure Compact

North Dakota is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Compact offers practice privileges for registered nurses in all compact states which includes: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.


Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

To work toward your APRN license in North Dakota, you must complete an advanced practice nursing education program (post baccalaureate) that is accredited by a national accrediting body. You can review institutional, programmatic, and specialized accrediting agencies listed in the United States Department of Education (USDE) database of recognized accrediting bodies to confirm that your master’s, post-baccalaureate certificate, or doctorate program meets accreditation standards.

Since national certification through a Board-recognized certifying body is a condition for APRN licensure, you may defer to your certifying body of choice to verify that your advanced practice nursing program of choice meets accreditation standards (see Step 2 for information on Board-recognized certifying bodies).

Course Requirements

In accordance with the national APRN Consensus Model, advanced practice nursing programs must include the following core courses:

  • Advanced pathophysiology/physiology (that includes general principles applicable across the human lifespan)
  • Advanced health assessment (that includes assessment of all systems of the body, advanced assessment methods, techniques, and concepts)
  • Advanced pharmacology (that includes pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics of broad categories of agents)

If you intend to become licensed as a CNM or CRNA, your population or specialty will be incorporated in your coursework. If you are pursuing NP or CNS licensure, you can expect coursework to cover the six main population foci:

  • Family/individual health across the lifespan
  • Adult health and gerontology
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s health and gender-related health
  • Psychiatric mental health

Prescriptive Authority

If you want to apply for prescriptive authority in North Dakota, you must complete at least 30 contact hours (or the equivalent) in pharmacology in the last three years. This includes pharmacotherapy in the design, implementation, and monitoring of drug therapy using specialized knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, pathophysiology and therapeutics.


Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

To obtain an APRN license in North Dakota, you must pass a national certification examination within one of the four general APRN roles:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

The following list represents the national certification bodies recognized by the North Dakota Board of Nursing, along with the various population foci and subspecialty certification options offered by each:

Nurse Practitioners:

American Nurses Credentialing Center

Adult Nurse Practitioner – Acute and Primary
Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Gerontological Nurse Practitioner – Acute and Primary
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute and Primary

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

Adult Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute and Primary

National Certification Corporation

Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists:

American Nurses Credentialing Center

Adult Psychiatric & Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Nurse Specialists:

American Nurses Credentialing Center

Clinical Specialist in Adult Health Nursing
Clinical Specialist in Gerontological Nursing
Clinical Specialist in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists:

National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Certified Nurse Midwives:

American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)

Certified Nurse Midwife


Step 3. Apply for your License

To apply for your APRN license in North Dakota, you must complete the APRN Initial Application found here (under “Related Forms”). In addition to a completed and notarized application, you must submit the following:

  • A copy of your current North Dakota RN license or Compact RN license
  • A completed Verification of Program Completion form (found in the application) sent directly from the Director of your program to the Board showing the completion of an advanced practice track within your national accrediting body-certified nursing education program
  • Verification of your current certification by a national nursing certifying body (the verification form must be sent directly from the certification organization to the Board of Nursing)
  • A fee of $100 (or $120 if you are also completing your criminal history record check at this time) in a check or money order made payable to the “North Dakota Board of Nursing”
  • A completed Scope of Practice form (found in the application) that explains your focus of care, elements of care, type of clients and consultation patterns
  • A completed Criminal History Record Check (found in the application), fee and related documents

Criminal History Record Check

You must first contact your local law enforcement agency to make an appointment to be fingerprinted (fees for this service may vary). The law enforcement agency may either provide you with an Acknowledgement form and a completed fingerprint card if they have electronic fingerprinting or two fingerprint cards if the law enforcement agency offers traditional ink and roll fingerprinting. These items, along with a completed Criminal History Record Check form, must be submitted to the Board with your application, along with a cashier’s check or money order in the amount of $44.50 made payable to “BCI.”

Send the completed application, the processing fee and all related documents to the: North Dakota Board of Nursing, 919 South 7th Street, Suite 504, Bismarck, ND 58504-5881.

Temporary Permit

You may apply for a temporary permit to practice as an APRN in North Dakota if you have done the following:

  • You have submitted an application for an APRN license, along with the required fee and all related documentation and are awaiting approval
  • You have applied for a national nursing certification examination in your advanced practice registered nurse category and are awaiting the results of your examination

You may practice for up to 90 days on a temporary APRN permit while you wait for the results of your examination. The temporary permit will automatically be cancelled if you fail your certification examination.

Prescriptive Authority

If you intend to hold prescriptive privileges in North Dakota under your APRN license, you must complete the Application for Initial Prescriptive Authority found here (under “Related Forms”). You must be currently licensed as an APRN in North Dakota to be eligible to hold prescriptive authority.

Submit the following along with your application for prescriptive authority:

  • A processing fee of $50 in a check or money order made payable to the “North Dakota Board of Nursing”
  • A completed transcript detailing your degree from an accredited graduate-level APRN program that includes advanced pharmacology, physical assessment and pathophysiology.
  • Evidence that you completed at least 30 contact hours of your pharmacotherapy education in your scope of advanced practice within the 3 years immediately preceding your date of application for prescriptive authority.

Send the completed application, the processing fee and all related documents to the: North Dakota Board of Nursing, 919 South 7th Street, Suite 504, Bismarck, ND 58504-5881.

Collaborative Agreement

Although there is no legal requirement regarding the supervision of an APRN by a physician in North Dakota, you must have a collaborative agreement with a physician for the prescriptive authority component of your practice. The collaborative agreement between you and a physician must include the nature and extent of your prescriptive practice collaboration, including methods and frequency of same-site practice (at least every two month). As an APRN with prescriptive authority, you may prescribe drugs and dispense pharmaceutical samples.

If you plan to prescribe or order controlled substances under your APRN license, you must first obtain a DEA number by contacting the Drug Enforcement Agency at 1-888-219-8689.


Step 4. Renewing Your License

Both your RN and APRN licenses must be renewed on a biennial basis.  All licenses must be renewed between October and December of the year the license expires. The Board will send a renewal postcard to you at the beginning of October. The cost of APRN renewal is $40 and the cost of prescriptive authority renewal is $50. All licenses can be renewed here using the Board’s online renewal system.

Practice Hour and Continuing Education Requirements

Before applying for APRN license renewal, you must have met or exceeded 400 hours of nursing practice within the preceding four years. Completing a refresher course will satisfy this requirement if you have fewer than 400 hours in practice. If you graduated you’re your advanced practice nursing program within the last four years, you are exempt from having to meet this requirement.

Before applying for prescriptive authority renewal, you must complete at least 15 contact hours of education in pharmacology related to the scope of your practice within your two-year renewal cycle.

Reactivation

If your APRN license has expired, you may apply for reactivation by completing either the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Reactivation Application or the APRN with Prescriptive Authority Reactivation Application, both of which are found here on the Board’s website under “miscellaneous.”

In addition to a completed reactivation application, you must provide the Board with documentation regarding your active RN license, your active national certification, verification of employment, and the completion of at least 12 contact hours of approved CE in the past two years. The cost of reactivation for an APRN license is $70 (or $160 for both RN and APRN reactivation), and the cost of reactivation for an APRN license with prescriptive authority is $140 (or $230 for both RN and APRN with prescriptive authority reactivation).

Send the completed application, the processing fee and all related documents to the: North Dakota Board of Nursing, 919  South 7th Street, Suite 504, Bismarck, ND 58504-5881.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Associations in North Dakota

There are a number of professional organizations that support APRNs in North Dakota:


North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Salary

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ 2011 Salary survey showed that nurse practitioners in the Plains region, which includes North Dakota, earned an average of $76,183. Nurse practitioners in North Dakota enjoyed a significant increase in average salaries in recent years. Advance for NPs & PAs, a peer reviewed industry journal, recently reported that the average salary for nurse practitioners in North Dakota increased 8.9%, from $75,460 in 2010 to $82,206 in 2011. NPs in Bismarck reported an average salary of $74,000.

Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bismarck ND
2130
54160
Fargo ND-MN
1130
64180
Grand Forks ND-MN
930
Estimate Not Released
Far Western North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
610
55910
West Central North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
53780
East Central North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
780
54280
Far Eastern North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
350
59620

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Grand Forks ND-MN
30
43520

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
Bismarck ND
40
51470

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

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bismarck ND
130
73030
Fargo ND-MN
180
77610
Far Western North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
90
65840
West Central North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
64030
East Central North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
80
71780
Far Eastern North Dakota nonmetropolitan area
40
66000

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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