Delaware Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: CNP License, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Delaware

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

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Aspiring certified nurse practitioners (CNPs) who want to practice in Delaware are required to apply for a Delaware registered nurse (RN) license as the first professional requirement. However, holders of valid multi-state RN licenses from Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) states are not required to apply unless they intend to change their primary state of residence to Delaware. This is because Delaware is a party to the NLC, allowing nurses to practice in member states physically and virtually as long as they hold a valid multi-state RN license.

The enhanced NLC ensures that a nurse can discharge their duties as needed in member states. The expectation is that more states join the compact encouraging the smooth transfer of nursing services from state to state. Holders of multi-state licenses are only expected to practice within the jurisdiction of nurses as permitted by the law in any given state.

If you need to apply for a Delaware RN license, there are two routes of application for an RN license: RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement.

RN by Examination

This is the route of choice for recent graduates of approved nursing programs from accredited institutions in Delaware.

  • The minimum academic requirement for a registered nurse is an associate’s degree in nursing. However, if you intend to advance to the APRN level, a bachelor’s degree is a more practical option.
  • The Delaware Board of Nursing specified rules for accreditation of programs in section 2.4.1 of the administrative code, one of which includes the inclusion of at least 400 hours of clinical work.
  • The application process is to be completed online by first creating a DELPROS account. You will also be required to have your academic transcripts sent to the Delaware board of nursing.
  • This route requires you to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) which you can register for at PearsonVue. The fee for the examination is $200. It is the final examination for nursing graduates which confers on them the status of a nurse and makes them eligible for licensure.
  • The best period to take this examination is within the first five years of your graduation from your nursing program, as the failure to do this disqualifies you from qualifying for a license. If you do not write the examination during the first year, you will be required to request to retake the exam in DELPROS. If you do not write the examination within the first two years after your graduation, you will be required to take an NCLEX review course which issues you a certificate of completion and is approved by the Delaware nursing board. After this, you will then be able to take the test. For applicants who will need to take the exam multiple times due to failure, a 45-day break must be observed between each trial.

RN by Endorsement

This is the suitable application route for holders of a valid single-state RN license in another state. The application process is also completed online.

  • All applicants via this route must either have graduated from an accredited nursing program within the last two years, practiced nursing actively for 400 hours in the previous two years, or for 1000 hours within the previous five years before applying. To this effect, you are expected to submit verification of employment from your past employers and verification of your license.
  • You can obtain license verification using the Nursys platform. If your state of initial licensure is not a Nursys state, you will need to download this form, fill it, and mail it to the board of nursing in that state.
  • In addition to the above, all applicants are expected to have taken part in continuing education exploits. Registered nurses are expected to show proof of at least 30 hours of continuing education. These details are entered into the CE Tracker on the DELPROS platform.
  • Finally, you are required to request for verification to be sent to the board by your nursing school.

All applications are valid for six months once commenced. This means that your application will be retained in the DELPROS system for 6 months from when you begin filling it. All applicants are required to provide proof of the state of primary residence. This can be done by submitting a copy of your driver’s license or voter’s card. According to state laws, a background check must be run on every applicant for a professional license. Therefore, you are expected to submit your fingerprints to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and allow up to four weeks for your results to be sent back to the board. Also, Foreign-trained nurses are expected to have their credentials evaluated by the CGFNS. The application for an RN license regardless of the route is $170.

Advanced Education Requirements

CNPs are required to have completed a postgraduate training program that leads to a master’s degree or higher.

The program must be centered around a given specialty area and must equip all who participate with the knowledge and skills to serve one or more population foci.

The program must also comply with the standards set by the government of Delaware as can be seen in section 1919 of the Delaware administrative code and must be accredited by an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The training should also include both coursework and clinical components. The program should prepare you to pass certification examinations which are the final requirement before you can apply for an APRN license.

National Certification

Following the completion of your postgraduate program, you are expected to get certified by the national certifying agency for professionals in your specialty area. The following specialty areas are recognized for nurse practitioners in Delaware;

  • Psychiatry/Mental health
  • Adult/Gerontology
  • Women’s Health/ Gender-related
  • Neonatal
  • Pediatric
  • Family

The certifying agencies hold examinations or programs that lead to certification. They are given the authority to validate your nurse practitioner training. Hence, it is safe to opt for a program that covers all you could be tested on. Here are the approved certification agencies for nurse practitioners in Delaware;

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Delaware

The board issues licenses to CNPs who meet certain requirements. The board of nursing is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the quality of nursing services in the state. Regardless of the kind of APRN that you are, you are given an APRN license, since the licenses are not title-specific. The application process is done online using the DELPROS platform. Applicants are required to be holders of valid RN licenses to practice in Delaware or a multistate RN license from an NLC member state.

You must have completed a postgraduate degree or post-basic training program for nurse practitioners within the last two years before they send in their application. After completing such a program, they must have obtained national certification from a recognized national certifying agency for their chosen population focus. They must also have practiced in their chosen specialty area for at least 600 hours over the past two years or 1500 hours over the past five years.

All applicants are to complete the application online with a fee of $170. You are to request that verification be sent from the institution where you did your postgraduate nursing program. They are also required to send a copy of your transcript specifying your year of graduation and the type of degree obtained. A copy of your driver’s license or voter’s card suffices as proof of your primary state of residence.

All applicants are required to have their fingerprints captured for a thorough background check to be run on them, regardless of how long ago one was done on you. Your national certifying agency must also send a notification to the board. Finally, you are required to request a self-query from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). This report will be mailed to your address and you are required to submit the original report to the board office.