Washington Nurse Practitioner Licensure Guide - 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensing Guide for the state of Washington

Last Reviewed: October 4th, 2022

One of the most advanced positions available in nursing is the role of the nurse practitioner. It’s this role that allows registered nurses (RNs) to pursue advanced training and increase their scope of practice. The legal authority given to nurse practitioners varies on a state-by-state basis. In the Evergreen State, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) are given full practice authority, making it a very desirable location for nurse practitioners (NPs) to settle.

If you’ve chosen Washington State as your home to become licensed as an ARNP, you need to be well-informed of the process. The best place to check current licensing requirements is the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) section on the Washington State Department of Health website. The first requirement is to acquire a Washington State license as a registered nurse. If you haven’t yet applied for your RN license, you can apply for both RN and ARNP licenses simultaneously.

Next, you must have an active national certification in a focus-specific program that is commission-approved. With your education, state RN license, and valid national certification, you are ready to apply for an ARNP license in Washington. A few other requirements include background checks, transcripts, and proof of clinical practice hours. Once you have obtained a valid ARNP license, you will be ready to legally practice as a nurse practitioner in the state.

One thing to consider before committing to Washington State for your practice is that it is not part of the Nursing Licensure Compact. This compact allows multi-state licenses that can be used to legally expand your practice to include more than 75% of the United States. Since Washington State has not joined, it means that your Washington ARNP license will be limited to the physical location of Washington State unless you pursue additional licensing in another state.

Washington NP Licensing & Scope of Work