California Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022
AKA: CRNP License, APRN Licensure
What's Here? - Table of Contents
Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in California.
Already have your RN License?Skip to the next section
All prospective NPs are required to hold a valid RN license to practice in California which is issued by the California Board of Registered Nursing. There are two types of application for this license: RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement.
Graduates of nursing programs in or out of California are required to apply via this route if they have never been licensed to practice as RNs in any state.
This is the route for holders of a valid single-state RN license from another state, district, or territory in the US or Canada.
All transcripts must be submitted in English and sent by the institution where the program was completed. The transcript must contain the date of graduation and the type of degree obtained. All applicants are required to submit their fingerprints for a background check either by LiveScan or Hard Card. The fee for RN by Examination for California graduates is $300. The fees for RN by Endorsement and RN by Examination for graduates from another state, district, or territory is $350. Finally, the fee for both routes for international graduates is $750. All fees are to be paid with a valid credit card.
Prospective NPs are required to complete postgraduate training from a program that results in the conferment of at least a master’s degree (MSN).
The program must be approved by the National League of Nursing (NLN) or any other agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE). Programs are approved by participating voluntarily in an accreditation program by the board.
Here you can find all schools offering nurse practitioner degree programs in California. The programs should equip those who complete them with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to practice as NPs serving one or more population foci. They should include coursework and clinical components and should cover advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and clinical management.
Following your postgraduate nursing education, you must be certified as an NP in a given specialty area. This is done by national certifying agencies with the authority to verify the quality of your nurse practitioner education. The board recognizes the following agencies for nurse practitioner certification:
Certifying agencies either hold certification programs or examinations for nurses willing to be certified as NPs in a given specialty area. You should contact any of the above agencies that certify professionals in the area that you want to practice in.
The CA Board of Registered Nursing receives applications all year long. The application process is to be completed online for a fee of $500. Applicants are expected to hold a valid RN license to practice in California, have completed a board-approved postgraduate nurse practitioner preparatory program, and obtained national certification from board-approved national certifying agencies.
For people who had their nurse practitioner training in a California-based institution, they only need to request that verification of their nurse practitioner program and national certification be sent to the board by their institution and the applicable certifying agency. Those who completed their program in another state or territory, are to apply for certification and submit the same documents as above.
If your nurse practitioner training did not meet California standards, verification of clinical competency as a nurse practitioner forms must be submitted for you by a physician and a nurse practitioner. Verification of clinical experience as a nurse practitioner must also be submitted by a physician/or a nurse practitioner for you. The forms can be found here. Processing times vary for many reasons hence there is no fixed duration for when to expect your license.
The NP license does not come with prescriptive authority. NPs who intend to prescribe and dispense medication must apply for an NP furnishing number for $400. This application is also completed online. If you intend to handle controlled drugs, you are required to obtain a permit for such from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).