Montana Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: Montana NP License, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Montana

Follow the process below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Montana:

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Prospective NPs must hold a valid RN license to practice in Montana at the time of application for their APRN permit. These licenses are part of the board’s efforts to regulate the practice of nursing within the state and protect the interest of consumers. You can apply for an RN license by Examination or Endorsement.

RN by Examination

If you recently graduated from a basic nursing program or have never been licensed as a nurse in the US, this is the recommended route of application for you.

  • Applicants who choose this route are required to write and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) which you can register for at PearsonVue for a $200 fee.
  • You are only to apply for the examination after you have completed and sent in the application for your RN license for $100 which should be sent in form of a check or money order made payable to the Montana Board of Nursing. This is because the board must report to the examination vendor on your eligibility to test after which you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT). Your results will be shared with the board and sent to you if you achieve a passing score. You will receive a Candidate Performance Report (CPR) if you do not pass the test. You are allowed to retake the test 45 days after your previous attempt.
  • Educational requirement is an associate’s degree from a board-accredited basic nursing program. Proof of this must be sent to the board by your institution in form of your transcript which must contain your date of graduation and the degree awarded.
  • Foreign-trained applicants are to have their credentials evaluated for equivalence with what is obtainable in Montana by the CGFNS or other credential evaluation agencies.

RN by Credentialing

Also known as RN by Endorsement, this is the application route for those who hold a valid RN license to practice in another state or territory in the US.

  • It is expected that applicants choosing this route have completed an approved basic nursing program and passed the NCLEX-RN in addition to other requirements for obtaining an RN license by examination in the state where they were previously licensed.
  • You are required to request verification of your license from the state in question. Most applicants can get this verification using the Nursys platform provided that their board of nursing reports to Nursys. If this is not the case for you, you must contact your board of nursing for the procedure and fees for license verification. The license verification sent to the board must contain information about your education, otherwise, you will be contacted by the board concerning that. Note that a photocopy of your valid license does not count as verification.
  • The application process is completed by filling out a form and sending it to the board with a check or money order of $200 made payable to the board via mail.

Take care to supply all the information required on the form except in places marked as optional. All applicants are mandated by law to take part in a fingerprint-based criminal background check. To this effect, your fingerprints are to be submitted to the Montana Department of Justice following the instructions on pages 11-13 here. Note that all fees are non-refundable and the submission of an application or payment of application fees does not guarantee the issuance of a license. The application can be completed online or by downloading the respective forms here.

Advanced Education Requirement

Applicants for an APRN license to practice as an NP in Montana must hold at least a master’s degree from an accredited nurse practitioner preparatory program.

The program must prepare participants to take up an NP role serving a particular population focus. The program must include 250 hours of didactic instruction and 500 hours of preceptorship.

Your program must also be accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the USDE. NP preparatory programs should include diagnosis, continuity of care, disease prevention/wellness programs, collaboration with/referral to other healthcare providers, advanced health assessment, and others in their coursework.

If you will be applying for prescriptive authority, you are required to have covered at least 45 contact hours of pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, and the clinical management of drug therapy as it relates to your specialty and population focus.

National Certification

Following your APN education, you must be certified by a recognized national certification agency.

These agencies are given the authority to evaluate the quality of your NP preparatory education. This is usually done with a certification examination where the basic knowledge and skills that will be required of you if you were to occupy an NP role will be tested. Hence, it is necessary to take a program accredited by the credentialing agency specific to your specialty area and population focus.

Note that there are different agencies for different specialty areas and population foci. You will be unable to get a license to practice as an NP in Montana without national certification. These are the recognized certification agencies for prospective NPs in Montana:

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

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse practitioner in Montana

For an application fee of $75, the board takes applications for an APRN license to practice as an NP in Montana.

All applicants must hold a valid RN license to practice in Montana or a multistate RN license from one of the NLC member states.

Each applicant is responsible for requesting that a copy of their transcript be sent to the board by the institution where they had their APN education. The transcript must contain the type of degree issued and the date of issuance.

The board also requires proof of a valid national certification. You can request that such verification be sent to the board by your certifying agency. If your transcript does not include proof of preceptorship, you must request that such proof be sent separately to the board.

You can also apply for an APN license to practice in Montana if you have such a license in any other state. If it is from an NLC state, the procedure is more straightforward.

However, if you are applying by endorsement from a non-NLC state, you will need to apply for an RN license in Montana first or simultaneously. In this case, licensure verification will be required. Your license can be verified using Nursys. However, if your board of nursing does not report to Nursys, you must contact them regarding verification. Licenses held in Montana need not be verified.