Florida Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022

AKA: CNP License in FL, APRN Licensure

Last Reviewed: October 1st, 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Florida

The Florida Board of Nursing accepts applications all year round, primarily via the online route, and provide advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licenses to qualified candidates. Certified nurse practitioners (CNPs) are considered a subclass of APRNs.

Follow below to learn how to become a certified nurse practitioner (CNP) in Florida.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?Skip to the next section

Becoming a registered nurse is the first step in becoming licensed to practice as a CNP in Florida. The RN license is necessary because a CNP is fundamentally a nurse. There are two major application routes for RN licenses which include RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement.

RN by Examination

This is the preferred route for recent graduates of an accredited nursing program in an approved institution in Florida.

  • The acceptable minimum academic qualification for one intending to become a nurse is an associate‚Äôs degree through a nursing program, but a bachelor’s degree will get you further on your way toward satisfying APRN education requirements.
  • On completing your training program, you are required to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in not more than six months from your completion date. Applicants who fail to comply with the six-month margin will be required to take a board-approved licensure examination preparatory course. You will need to register for the examination online at PearsonVue for a fee of $200. Each applicant is allowed to take the examination two more times if they fail at their first attempt. However, should they fail on the third, they must undergo a remedial program approved by the board before they are allowed to apply for a fourth attempt.
  • Canadian registered nurses are required to take the NCLEX unless they took the Canadian Nurses Association Testing Service (CNATS) examination before August 8th, 1995 which allows them to apply for RN by endorsement instead.
  • After registering for the examination, you can begin the application process online by opening an account here. Once your application has been reviewed, you may be sent a letter of eligibility and your status will also be communicated to PearsonVue if you meet all the requirements.

RN by Endorsement

The board receives applications for RN by Endorsement from applicants who hold a valid license to practice from another state having passed the NCLEX-RN or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE).

  • This is also the route of choice for RNs who have practiced nursing actively in another state or jurisdiction within the last three years without a report of criminal activity or suspension of their license. People who have not practiced actively in the past five years must complete a remedial course.
  • The application process is also completed online. You will be required to provide proof of licensure from the state you were licensed in. This can be done by using the Nursys platform. You should also request verification from your employer to show that you have been employed to practice nursing within the past two years.

All applicants for an RN license must have their fingerprints captured at a Livescan service provider as the Florida Board of Nursing no longer accepts fingerprint cards from applicants. This will be used to run a background check on you. You are required to take a copy of the Electronic Fingerprint form with you to the Livescan service provider. Your fingerprints will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Check here for a list of approved centers for capturing. Note that each service provider fixes its fee for the capturing process.

The application fee for both routes is $110 to be paid online with a credit card. Ensure that all documents to prove your education, citizenship, possession of a valid out-of-state license, and other documents that you may need are made available before you start the application. Successful applicants for the RN license via the examination route usually get their licenses 7-10 days after passing the NCLEX-RN.

Advanced Education Requirement

CNPs are expected to be skilled and knowledgeable in catering to the healthcare-related needs of one or more population foci. Hence, the next major requirement for licensure is to have completed a master’s in nursing (MSN) or post graduate program with a population foci.

The program must be accredited either by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This requirement only applies to applicants who graduated from their bachelor’s program on or after October 1, 1998, for nurse practitioners.

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

You are also required to have taken courses on advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology. As long as you fulfill such academic requirements, you may be issued an APRN license that permits you to prescribe and dispense medications. This license will not cover controlled substances, however.

National Certification

Your postgraduate nursing education must be verified by a national certifying agency. Nursing practitioners can practice in more than one population foci. You must contact the national agency that certifies CNPs in your specialty area to know what programs to enroll for. Some of the recognized certifying agencies for nurse practitioners include;

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

Certifying agencies may hold certification examinations or provide short programs for prospective nurse practitioners. Certification ensures that everyone licensed to practice as a CNP has the basic skill set and knowledge required for the role.

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner Within Florida

The application process is to be completed online by first creating an account here. You must hold a valid RN license in Florida before applying. Note that if your license will expire within 120 days from the date of application, you are required to first renew your RN license before applying for an RN license.

All applicants are required to request that verification be sent from their institution of study for their postgraduate, nurse practitioner preparatory program. Notification of certification must also be sent to the Board from your national certifying agency showing that you have been certified and are now qualified for a license.

Every applicant is required to have a background check run on them. Hence, you must get your fingerprints captured at a Livescan service provider. Each service provider fixes their fee which is why the fees may vary. You will also need to verify your present license, and all licenses ever held. This can be done using the Nursys platform.

You are required to provide proof of professional malpractice insurance or an exemption notice. Once all the required details are provided, an application specialist will review yours and request any other documents that may be required. The application fee is $110. If you intend to prescribe medications, you can apply for a dispensing license for $100 provided that you took advanced pharmacology/pharmacotherapy classes as part of your postgraduate course work.