Georgia Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: CNP License in GA, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

The Georgia Board of Nursing is the chief licensing authority in the state for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Georgia is currently facing a nursing shortage that is expected to only get worse by 2030. The pandemic saw overworked nurses resigning at record numbers.

However, legislators are pushing for an increased budget to train more nurses to boost the numbers in the healthcare workforce. And the Emory Nursing Learning Center recently opened to prove the state’s commitment to addressing the nursing shortage head-on.

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Georgia

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

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

A valid RN license to practice in Georgia is a fundamental requirement for applying for an APRN license. There are two major routes for attaining this license: RN by Examination and RN by Endorsement.

RN by Examination

For graduates of US-approved nursing education programs and those that have never been licensed before, applying for licensure by exam is the right option.

Before sending in your application, make sure to complete the following:

  • Register with Pearson Vue to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam. Use the same name for both applications to ensure seamless processing.
  • Register with GAPS/Gemalto to have your criminal background check completed. View the instructions for in-state and out-of-state applicants. You’ll receive an email with further instructions for getting your fingerprints taken.
  • Complete both registrations 48 hours prior to submitting your application for efficient processing.

The application can be submitted through the state’s online licensing portal, or the form can be downloaded. If you’re applying manually, send all documents to: Georgia Board of Nursing, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, GA, 31217.

Sign and notarize the application and pay the required nonrefundable $40 fee. There is also an additional processing charge of $5 if completed online and $10 if done manually.

The following items should also be included with your application:

If you completed a nursing program outside of the US, your application must be mailed in. You will also have to pass the English proficiency exam or the TOEFL if necessary. The fees are the same.

If you have any questions about your status, you can check the Board’s website, or call (404) 424-9966.

RN by Endorsement

If you’ve been licensed in another state and are moving to Georgia, live in a non-compact state, or aren’t eligible for multistate licensure in your home state, apply for licensure by Endorsement.

As with licensure by Exam, all applicants must pass the NCLEX-RN and submit to a background check by registering with GAPS/Gemalto. Instructions for in-state and out-of-state applicants can be found online. It takes about a month for the checks to be completed and the results sent to the Board.

The application fee is $75, and there’s an additional $10 processing fee. The form can only be downloaded and sent by mail. Be sure to include the following:

  • Active Unencumbered License number
  • Official college transcripts sent directly from the institution you attended
  • Verification of current and original licensure can be obtained using the Nursys platform.
  • English proficiency exam, if applicable
  • Proof of graduation from a Board-approved nursing program; or verification of employment showing 500 hours of licensed practice during the four years immediately preceding the application’s date; or fill out the packet to get into a Board-approved re-entry program
  • Background Consent Form
  • Affidavit of Citizenship
  • Secure & Verifiable Document
  • Documentation regarding disciplinary action and sanctions, if applicable

Applications are typically processed in less than 15 business days on a first-in/first-out basis.

Advanced Education Requirements

NPs are required to complete a post-graduate nurse practitioner program accredited by one of the national accrediting agencies.

If the program is out-of-state, it must rise to the standard of Georgia’s in-state board-approved programs. These programs have to prepare those who take them for certification and practice in one or more specialty areas. It is expected that they have coursework and clinical components and include courses such as:

  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Health Assessment

National Certification

We can look at national certification as the end goal of the post-graduate nursing education required for NPs. National certifying agencies issue certificates to APRNs who have completed their post-graduate training. The certification process usually involves a certification examination or a preparatory program. These agencies have the authority to verify whether your post-graduate nursing training is sufficient. Without national certification, one cannot obtain a license to practice as an APRN.

These agencies certify successful candidates in specific specialty areas. Hence, you will need to contact the national certifying agency that applies to your chosen specialty to inquire about the certification process. Here are the approved agencies for certifying prospective NPs who want to practice in Georgia.

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Georgia

You can apply for NP licensure if you are an RN in Georgia or have a multistate license from an Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) state and have a post-graduate degree from a nursing education program in an APRN specialty. You must also be nationally certified in your specialty.

Submit the application online or by mail after downloading the form and include the $90 fee and appropriate processing fee ($5 online, $10 by mail).

Your official transcripts must be sent directly to the Board from the issuing school, showing proof that you completed the advanced master-level courses in your specialty.

You must show proof that practice requirements have been met four years immediately preceding the application’s date. They include:

NPs who have been licensed before in another state can apply for an NP license by Endorsement. The major requirement for this is proof of employment/active practice as an NP for at least 500 hours within the preceding two years from the date of your application. All applicants must have a background check run as described under the initial RN license section.

The APRN license does not give prescriptive authority to those who receive it, so if you want to prescribe medications, you will need to apply for such a permit. Once you have your APRN license, you must apply for a nurse protocol agreement on the Georgia Composite Medical Board’s website via the “Professional Resources” section. Once your nurse protocol agreement has been approved, you can apply for a permit by contacting the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to apply for a DEA number.