Steps to Becoming an APRN in Idaho

idaho nursing

1Get your Graduate Degree in Idaho
2Earn your National Certification in Idaho
3Apply for your License in Idaho
4Renewing your License in Idaho

The Idaho Board of Nursing (208-334-3110 or [email protected] ) issues licenses to qualified Advanced Practice Professional Nurses (APRN) in the state.

Idaho licenses four separate categories of APRN:

  • Nurse practitioners (NP)
  • Certified nurse midwives (CNM)
  • Clinical nurse specialists (CNS)
  • Registered nurse anesthetists (RNA)

Before applying for APRN licensure, you must hold an RN license in Idaho or one of the compact states.

Idaho Job Statistics

  • As of May 2020, nurse practitioners (NPs) in Idaho earn $113,890 per year on average.
  • NPs in Idaho earn about 104% more than the state’s median household income.
  • Registered nurses (RNs) working in Idaho make an average of $71,640 annually.
  • 2020 NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates for nursing school graduates in Idaho: 89.2%
  • Approximately 12,800 RNs and 810 NPs are licensed in Idaho.
  • If you seek RN licensure and have never been licensed in Idaho or any others state, apply for RN Licensure by Examination.
  • If you already hold an RN license in a compact state, do not apply for Idaho RN licensure unless you plan to declare Idaho as your permanent residence.
  • If you seek RN licensure and already hold an RN license in another state, apply for RN Licensure by Endorsement.
  • If your Idaho RN license has lapsed, apply for Reinstatement of RN Licensure.
  • If you completed your RN training in another country, your credentials must be evaluated for equivalency with Idaho’s standards. Contact the Board of Nursing for details.

With an active RN license issued by the Idaho Board of Nursing, you can follow these steps to become licensed as an APRN in the state.

Step 1. Get Your Graduate Degree

You must complete a Board-approved graduate-level APRN program resulting in at least a master’s degree. Requirements for programs may be found in Section 600 of the Administrative Rules of the Idaho Board of Nursing.

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Qualified Graduate Programs

The program you choose must be approved by the Idaho Board of Nursing and accredited by an institutional, specialty, or programmatic accrediting body listed in the United States Department of Education (USDE) database of accreditation agencies.

Course Requirements

Coursework that you take in preparation for APRN licensure should contribute to the competency of your APRN category, according to the APRN Standards of Practice and Scope of Practice. All APRNs are expected to have taken courses in advanced physical health assessment, advanced physiology/pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology and non-pharmacologic agents.

Beyond the core competency courses required of all APRNs, there are coursework requirements specific to each APRN category:

  • Certified Nurse Midwife students study women’s health care, pregnancy, childbirth, post-partum period, newborn care, well woman gynecological needs
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist students study assessment, diagnosis, planning, health promotion, and preventive care within their specialized area of practice
  • Nurse Practitioner students study comprehensive health assessment, diagnosis, health promotion, management of acute and chronic illness and disease
  • Registered Nurse Anesthetist students study the selection, ordering and administration of anesthesia

Prescriptive Authority

If you elect to hold prescriptive authority as an Idaho APRN, you must have at least 30 contact hours of graduate-level education in pharmacotherapeutics related to the scope of practice for your APRN category. This education must include:

  • Principles and application of pharmacokinetics
  • Using pharmacologic agents to prevent illness, restore health, and maintain health
  • Federal and state laws regarding possessing, purchasing, administering, dispensing and prescribing pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic agents
  • Writing prescriptions
  • Selecting medications, dosage, and administration routes
  • Drug interactions


Depending upon your career goals, you may take more specialized programs and coursework during your graduate nursing studies. Clinical nursing tracks that may be offered by your graduate nursing school include dual major programs (i.e., for future nurse practitioners who wish to specialize in two populations such as adult and family), post-master’s certificates in areas such as specialty practice and leadership, doctoral and post-doctoral degree programs in advanced nursing practice or research, and specializations in nursing education for those who wish to teach others about advanced nursing practice.

Step 2. Earn Your National Certification

Prior to being eligible for state licensure, you must become nationally certified by a recognized national certification agency, meeting their specific educational, experience, and examination requirements.

Advanced Practice Professional Nursing Designation Options

The Idaho Board of Nursing recognizes the following APRN categories:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP)
  • Certified nurse-midwife (CNM)
  • Registered nurse anesthetist (RNA)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Certification Exams

If you complete a national certification exam offered by one of the following agencies, the Idaho Board of Nursing will recognize your credentials as meeting eligibility requirements for licensure:

Contact the national certification agency representing the specialty in which you wish to practice for more information before proceeding with Idaho’s APRN licensure process.

Step 3. Apply for your License

You must include your US social security number or Federal Tax ID number on your APRN application for licensure. Applications without a social security number or Federal Tax ID number will not be accepted. Contact the Idaho Board of Nursing at 208-334-3110 for more information.

Use one of the following APRN licensure applications, as relevant to your situation:

Along with your completed application:

  • Sign the application and have it notarized
  • Submit a 2” x 2” recent photo of your face
  • Submit the correct licensure fee (as indicated on applicaton) via personal check, money order or cashier’s check payable to the Idaho Board of Nursing
  • Attach a copy of your current RN license
  • Request that your graduate school send an official transcript directly to the Board
  • Attach a copy of your current national certification
  • Complete the fingerprint card and submit with correct fee (see below)
  • Indicate at the top of the application which type of APRN license you are applying for (NP, RNA, CNS or CNM)

Mail all of the above items to the Idaho Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0061.

Prescriptive Authority

If you elect to hold prescriptive authority, complete the Application for Prescriptive and Dispensing Authorization (included in the application packet) and submit with your application and an additional fee of $50.

Make sure your graduate transcript reflects your completion of the necessary 30 hours of advanced pharmacology coursework

This will only authorize you to dispense legend drugs and Schedule II to V controlled substances. If you also wish to apply for controlled substance registration, contact the Idaho Board of Pharmacy at 208-334-2356.

Criminal History Background Check

You must undergo a criminal history background check as part of the APRN licensure process in Idaho. Use an official fingerprint card provided by the Board (obtained by contacting the Board directly). Take it to your local law enforcement agency to complete (for a fee).

Submit the completed card, payment for the $30 processing fee, and the signed Non Criminal Justice Applicant Privacy Statement (included in application packet) along with your APRN licensure application.

Step 4. Renewing Your License

Your Idaho APRN license expires August 31 of every odd-numbered year and may be renewed online.

You must undergo a criminal background check at the end of each renewal cycle.

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If you are a CNM, NP or CNS, you must undergo a peer review process at the end of each renewal cycle. Contact the Board for more information.

Required Practice Hours During Each Renewal Cycle

You must be able to verify completion of 200 hours of advanced practice nursing in the preceding two-year period in order to qualify for renewal.

Continuing Education

The Idaho Board of Nursing requires you to complete 30 contact hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to keep your license current.

If you hold prescriptive authority, you must also complete 10 hours of advanced pharmacology (which may be counted toward the 30 total hours of CE necessary for renewal).

Continuing education may be reported via the Advanced Practice Professional Nurse Continuing Education Activities Report. You do not have to submit this form to the Board unless you are selected for an audit, but you are required to maintain current records of CE you’ve participated in.

Additionally, you must maintain national certification in order to maintain APRN licensure. Each certification agency has its own requirements for continuing education. Contact your agency for details:

Expired Certificate Renewal Application

Licenses may be renewed up to one year after their expiration date. After that, you must file an application for reinstatement:

Advanced Practice Professional Nurse Associations in Idaho

The following elective membership organizations support advanced practice professional nurses in Idaho:

Idaho Nurse Practitioner Salary

Living in the Potato State? Becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) isn’t a bad idea. These folks make an average of $113,890 per year. Those at the top of the proverbial food chain make even more: at least $163,830 annually. That’s a fantastic living for a relatively low-cost state.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Boise City
Coeur dAlene
Idaho Falls
Northwestern Idaho nonmetropolitan area
Southeast-Central Idaho nonmetropolitan area
Twin Falls

Registered Nurse Salary

Registered nurses (RNs) in Idaho make a respectable living. The average annual salary for an RN in this state is $71,640 per year. That salary only goes up with time. The top-earning RNs in Idaho make, at minimum, $95,480 per year.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Boise City
Coeur dAlene
Idaho Falls
Northwestern Idaho nonmetropolitan area
Southeast-Central Idaho nonmetropolitan area
Twin Falls

Nursing Instructors and Teachers Salary

If you’re inclined to teach, consider becoming a nursing instructor. These folks make $81,050 per year on average of in Idaho.

Area Name
Annual median wage
Boise City

Nurse Administrator Salary

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

Think you have the makings of a manager? In Idaho, nurse administrators pull in an average $99,830 a year, with senior admins making more than $156,730 a year. That’s a fantastic living in a low-cost state with views of the Rocky Mountains.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Boise City
Coeur dAlene
Idaho Falls
Northwestern Idaho nonmetropolitan area
Southeast-Central Idaho nonmetropolitan area
Twin Falls

Nurse Anesthetists Salary

Want to make six figures right out of the gate? Look into becoming a nurse anesthetist. In Idaho, these specialists make $156,250 per year, on average. The top 10 percent of anesthetists make $178,260 annually. It’s safe to say you’ll live a comfortable life.

Area Name
Annual mean wage
Boise City

Nurse Midwife Salary

A nurse midwife in Idaho makes a respectable living: $72,150 per year, on average. That rate only goes up as midwives build experience. The top earners in this specialty report making north of $117,180 per year.

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for 1) Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Midwives; 2) Medical and Health Services Managers (Nurse Administrators); 3) Registered Nurses; and 4) Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers reflect state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. 2019 US Census Bureau figures for state median household income provided for comparison. Data Accessed December 2021.

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