Georgia Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022

AKA: CNP License in GA, APRN Licensure

Last Reviewed: October 1st, 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Georgia

The Georgia Board of Nursing is the chief licensing authority in the state, issuing licenses to nurses and CNPs who meet certain requirements as will be spelled out in the following paragraphs. The seriousness of the jobs that registered nurses and CNPs do make it necessary for only qualified persons to be licensed. Hence, the academic requirements, as well as certification requirements must be met before a license is issued. During the application process, applicants are advised to fill in only correct information as any falsehood will lead to the revocation of whatever license was issued.

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

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

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

RN by Examination

This is the route of choice if you have never been licensed in Georgia or any other state in the U.S. before or if you just completed your basic nursing degree program.

  • For prospective APRNs, a bachelor’s is the ideal degree due to being closer to the APRN requirement of a master’s degree; however, an associate’s degree in nursing is the minimum qualification for registered nurses in Georgia. This degree must have been obtained from an accredited program in an institution approved by the board.
  • The second major requirement for this route is passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). All applicants are required to register for this examination at PearsonVue, at least 48 hours before applying for an RN license via the online portal. This is to prevent delays in the evaluation of your credentials by the board which then reports to PearsonVue on your eligibility for the examination. Once you have been pronounced eligible, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) by mail. The results of your examination are sent to the board and if you passed, your license is issued to you.
  • For graduates from Georgia institutions, a copy of your transcript will be sent to the board by your institution. The transcript will contain your date of graduation and the type of degree obtained. If you did your program outside Georgia, you might need to request for your transcript to be sent by your institution.

RN by Endorsement

This is the application path for holders of valid single-state RN licenses from NLC member states or other states.

  • It is expected that an applicant using this route has passed the NCLEX-RN and has never been licensed to practice in Georgia. The application process is also completed online for a non-refundable fee of $75.
  • In addition to a completed application, you are required to request a copy of your transcript to be mailed to the licensing board.
  • You are also expected to verify your initial license by examination and your current valid license. This can be done using the Nursys platform. If your state of initial licensure is not on the Nursys platform, you can download the verification from the platform, fill it and mail it to the board. Note that the boards of different states charge differently for the verification of licensure.
  • For the practice requirements, you are to present proof of practicing nursing actively for at least 500 hours over the last four years or proof that you just graduated from a nursing education program within the preceding four years to the date of application. If you are unable to provide the above, you will need to enroll in a Georgia Board of Nursing approved reentry program.

All applicants are required to have their fingerprints captured and background checks run on them by Gemalto/GAPS. This is to be done after applying for your license. It will take about a month for the checks to be completed and the results sent to the board. You are expected to provide secure and verifiable documents (SVD) for U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. passport, driver’s license, or qualified alien documentation, as well as an affidavit of citizenship.

These documents are to be uploaded online, sent by fax (877-371-5712), or by email (nursing@sos.ga.gov). Avoid sending multiple copies of individual documents and ensure that information such as your full name and date of birth are consistent on all documents and in all fields filled during the application process (including your NCLEX registration).

Advanced Education Requirements

CNPs are required to complete a postgraduate nurse practitioner preparatory program that is approved by the board.

Here you can find a list of all schools offering nurse practitioner degree programs in Georgia.

If the program is an out-of-state one, it must be of the same standard obtainable in in-state board-approved programs. These programs must 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 postgraduate nursing education required for CNPs. National certifying agencies issue certificates to APRNs who have completed their post-graduate training. The certification process usually involves a certification examination or a program of some sort. These agencies have the authority to verify your postgraduate nursing training as sufficient or not. Without national certification, one will be unable to 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 certification of prospective CNPs who want to practice in Georgia.

  • National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Georgia

CNPs are only allowed to practice in Georgia when they have a license. The application process is done on paper and costs $75. All applicants are required to have a valid RN license to practice in Georgia. Since the role of a CNP requires advanced skills and knowledge, all applicants are expected to have completed a post-graduate program that awards at least a master’s. You are required to provide proof of having completed such a program within the immediate preceding two years to the date of your application. You should request that a copy of your transcript be sent from the institution where you had your post-graduate nursing program. The transcript should contain the date of your graduation and the type of degree obtained.

For CNPs who have been licensed before in another state, they can apply for a CNP license by endorsement. The major requirement for this is proof of employment/active practice as a CNP for at least 500 hours within the preceding two years from the date of your application. All applicants are required to have a background check run on them as described under the initial RN license section. You are also required to submit verification of your active national certification. Finally, you are required to submit a correctly filled form and pay the prescribed fee.

The APRN license does not confer prescriptive authority on those who receive it hence 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.