Arizona Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022

AKA: CRNP License, APRN Licensure

Last Reviewed: October 1st, 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Arizona

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Arizona.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?Skip to the next section

To qualify to become a nurse practitioner (NP), you are initially required to hold an RN license to practice in Arizona. The application for an RN license is not compulsory for holders of a valid multistate RN license from an NLC member state.

If you do not currently have an RN license, there are two routes of application: RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement.

RN by Examination

This route of application is for fresh graduates from an accredited nursing program taken from an approved institution. For prospective NPs, the minimum academic qualification is a bachelor’s degree. The following are the list of requirements for licensure:

  • Applicants going via this route are expected to write and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). You are expected to register for this examination at PearsonVue. The examination fee is $150. This is the major recognized licensing examination for nurses in the US. Hence, if you have previously passed it in another state but have not been licensed, you might not be required to write it again.
  • You are required to request a copy of your transcript to be sent to the board by your awarding institution. The transcript must contain the type of degree granted and your date of graduation.
  • Foreign applicants must have their academic credentials validated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International.
  • Those who were educated in a country where the principal language is not the English Language, are required to pass an English Language Proficiency Test such as IELTS or TOEFL-iBT. For your TOEFL test results to be sent to AZBN, you should include code 9680 in your application. For more information on this check for “validation of English Language skills” under Foreign Educated Requirements here.
  • The application process is to be completed online and a $150 application fee is required.

RN by Endorsement

This is the route of application for people who have completed an accredited nursing program from an approved institution, passed the NCLEX-RN, and have been licensed in another state. This is only valid for non-holders of a multistate license from an NLC member state.

  • Verification of your original state of licensure which can be obtained by submitting an application using the Nursys platform.
  • Applicants for RN by endorsement must submit proof of practice as a nurse for at least 960 hours in the last 5 years or obtain a degree from a nursing program in the last 5 years.
  • The application process needs to be completed online.

Regardless of your chosen route of application, you are expected to submit a fingerprint card for background checks to be done at the state and federal levels. The AZBN will not provide you with fingerprint cards. However, you can get them from any licensed fingerprint capturing center in Arizona. If you have submitted one in the past two years, you are exempt. The fee for fingerprint card processing is $50.

All applicants for an Arizona license are required to submit proof of lawful presence/citizenship/alien status. You can find a list of acceptable documents here. You are allowed to obtain a temporary license to practice for $50. The temporary license allows you to work under supervision while you await your examination date, results, or process your licensure all together. This license is nonrenewable.

Advanced Education Requirements

Advanced education is necessary due the level of tasks that nurse practitioners are required to handle and the degree of responsibility that is expected of them is higher than basic nursing education can support. You will need to complete an accredited nurse practitioner preparatory program from an approved institution which awards at least a master’s degree.

Here you can find all schools offering nurse practitioner degree programs in Arizona.

Your program must include at least 500 hours of clinical practice. The courses covered must prepare you for practice as an NP and should include advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment. If you intend to apply for prescriptive authority, you should also cover at least 45 contact hours in pharmacology coursework. Here is a list of the approved nurse practitioner preparatory programs as provided by the AZBN.

National Certification

National certification after obtaining your postgraduate degree is the last step before you can apply for a license to practice as an NP in Arizona. This is done by one of the approved certification agencies.

Depending on your specialty focus during your postgraduate degree, you are to contact the national certifying agency that certifies professionals in that field. Certifying bodies usually conduct certification examinations or hold certification programs for postgraduate degree holders. The following agencies are recognized for nurse practitioners in Arizona;

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • National Certification Corporation for Obstetric, Gynecological, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner Within Arizona

Certified nurse practitioners can apply to the AZBN for a license to practice in Arizona as an NP. All applicants are required to request that a copy of their transcript be sent from the institution where their postgraduate degree was obtained. The transcript must be sent in a sealed envelope and contain your date of graduation and the type of degree awarded. It should be sent to transcripts@azbn.gov or mailed to the following address;

Arizona State Board of Nursing

1740 W Adams Street, Suite 2000

Phoenix, AZ 85007

In addition to the transcript, you are also required to verify the institution or department that you completed the program. This should be signed by your dean or any other authorized personnel.

Request for verification to be sent from your certifying agency to the board to show that you have satisfied all their requirements.

All applicants are expected to complete and submit fingerprint cards for background checks to be conducted on them. Only those who have submitted a copy in the past two years before applying are exempted. Applications are done online for an application fee of $150 and $50 for fingerprint card processing.

Temporary licenses can be issued to those who are seeking NP licensure by endorsement or those who have applied for their certification examination and are waiting to sit for it or awaiting results. These licenses are issued for $50 and are non-renewable. You must show proof of registration and eligibility for the appropriate national certification examination for your specialty.

Since the NP license does not come with the authorization to prescribe, nurse practitioners who intend to prescribe and dispense medication must apply for prescription authority separately. This application will include documentation showing that you have had at least 45 contact hours of pharmacology coursework. This application is also done online for a fee of $150 and applicants are not permitted to prescribe or dispense medication until they receive a notification that their application has been approved. For authorization to handle controlled substances, you must apply to the Drug Enforcement Administration here for a number.