Steps to Becoming an Advanced Practice Nurse in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Board of Nursing is responsible for granting practice authority to RNs, including those that practice at a level that may be considered similar to that of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the US (including nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists). Puerto Rico’s Board of Nursing administers two different exams that are designed for nurse licensure applicants with varying levels of preparatory education, and that are specific to the two distinct levels of licensure the Board grants.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has made an attempt at determining equivalency among Puerto Rico nurse licensure standards and those maintained by US jurisdictions as they pertain to education, certification, and examination; including exam security measures, assessment standards and pass rates, as well as validation procedures. The NCSBN’s ongoing comparison also looks to determine equivalency with regard to scope of practice for RNs and advanced practice registered nurses in the US and Puerto Rico.

At this time, the NCSBN has yet to receive information from the Puerto Rico Board of Nursing necessary to make a final determination as to the level of equivalency that may or may not exist between licensing standards and practice privileges in the US and Puerto Rico. The NCSBN has addressed the lack of definitive information on the equivalency of Puerto Rico’s nurse licensing exam to that of the NCLEX-RN in its publication titled, Puerto Rico Exam Comparison.

As the Puerto Rico Board of Nursing is not currently a member of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and does not have a website that provides information on its nurse licensing process, all process inquiries should be directed to the Board:

Phone: 787-999-8989
Fax: 787-725-7903
Mail: 800 Roberto H. Todd Avenue, Room 202, Stop 18, Santurce, PR 00908

Puerto Rico Nurse Practitioner Salary

The overwhelming majority of registered nurses in Puerto Rico work in the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo area, where they earn the highest average salary of any other RNs in the territory at $33,040. It is recognized that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) RN classification inclusive of both advanced practice and associate’s or bachelor’s level RNs shows salaries that are less than what would be expected for graduate degreed APRNs. Nurse administrators averaged $79,000, a figure that is believed to be closer to what APRNs would make, while the top 10 percent in this BLS classification earned $137,590 on average.
Registered Nurse Salary

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastian PR
620
25490
Fajardo PR
320
30190
Guayama PR
330
27540
Mayaguez PR
610
29980
Ponce PR
1480
26560
San German-Cabo Rojo PR
590
28230
San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo PR
13050
33040
Yauco PR
170
26890
Puerto Rico nonmetropolitan area 1
120
21580
Puerto Rico nonmetropolitan area 2
40
19590

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary
Area name
Employment
Annual median wage
San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo PR
260
25890