New Jersey Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: New Jersey APN-NP License, APN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

New Jersey, much like other states in the nation, is experiencing a shortage of skilled healthcare workers. Insufficient staffing at hospitals was a problem that the pandemic exacerbated. The nursing shortage is expected to worsen by 2030, which leaves thousands of positions open.

There’s a high demand for qualified nurses to fill these vacancies, making the Garden State a good place to become licensed. As a nurse practitioner, you’ll be able to diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medications, order lab and diagnostic tests, and perform various other functions as outlined by the state.

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in New Jersey

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

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Nurse practitioners are required to hold an unencumbered RN license to practice in New Jersey when applying for an advanced practice nurse – nurse practitioner (APN-NP) license.

New Jersey is a member of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC); those who hold operational multi-state RN licenses from NLC member states also fulfill this requirement and do not need to apply for an RN license in New Jersey unless they are changing their permanent residency. The NLC allows nurses to offer physical and virtual services in member states without requiring them to apply for licensure. 

The RN application forms for the two major routes of licensure, Examination, and Endorsement, have been combined into one “Candidate” application form. However, the requirements for both routes are the same as before.

RN License by Examination

If you have never been licensed to practice as an RN in the US before, you can apply for licensure by Examination. You’ll need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which you can register for at Pearson Vue for $200.

The application process can be completed online. If you cannot self-register online, contact the Division of Consumer Affairs at (888) 656-6225 if you’re in NJ and (973) 424-8150 for out-of-state applicants. Either way, the application of $200 is to be paid to the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

Registration for the test should come after submitting the application to the Board, as this gives them time to communicate your eligibility with the exam organizers. Following that communication, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT).

New Jersey requires anyone who fails the exam three consecutive times to submit proof of completing a 30-hour Board-accredited remediation course and fill out a re-examination application.

Candidates will have to complete a criminal background investigation (CBI). Fingerprints are captured electronically with MorphoTrak.

RNs also need to complete sexual assault (SANE) certification. The application is available on the Board site, and you will need to complete additional education and clinical work. The application fee is $100, and the certification fee is $100.

When the Board receives your test score, and you’ve fulfilled all other requirements, your application will be processed, and an RN license will be issued.

RN License by Endorsement

If you hold an RN license in another state, apply for licensure by Endorsement. You will be required to provide proof of licensure by paying the $30 fee to use the Nursys Verification of Licensure. If your state Board doesn’t report to Nursys, you should contact them regarding the verification process.

Submit the completed application with the appropriate fees. Other supporting documents that may be requested include:

  • Official transcripts (to be sent directly from the degree-awarding institution to the Board)
  • CGFNS report (for foreign-trained applicants)
  • English proficiency test results (for foreign-trained applicants who trained in another language)
  • Valid Photo ID
  • Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check

You will be issued a multi-state license if you meet the requirements and have permanent residency in New Jersey. However, you will receive a single-state license if you do not.

All applicants are required to provide accurate documentation and evidence to support the information provided. The discovery of any falsehood in an application might lead to the revocation of your license if discovered in the future. Prospective nurse practitioners are to have at least a bachelor’s degree from a basic nursing program.

Endorsement candidates with SANE certification in another state need to submit multiple documents if they want the accreditation added to their New Jersey license. Proof of 40 hours of coursework, 40 hours of clinical work, and a copy of the issuing state’s statutes and rules are required with the NJ application.

Finally, note that all fees paid during the application process are non-refundable.

Advanced Education Requirement

Advanced education is a core requirement for getting licensed as an APN-NP in New Jersey. You are expected to have obtained at least a master’s degree through a Board-approved nurse practitioner program that prepares participants to serve a specific population focus.

The program must be accredited by an agency recognized for accrediting nursing programs by the United States Department of Education (USDE). An ideal program will include clinical hours in the coursework to help students accumulate useful APN-NP experience.

Education requirements also include a 3-credit graduate-level pharmacology course or 45 hours of pharmacology integrated into the master’s program. You should provide proof of completing the program within the immediate two years preceding your date of application.

National Certification

Becoming nationally certified is the step that evaluates the quality of your education. Once prospective APNs have completed their advanced education program, they are subjected to an examination organized by a national certifying body to obtain national certification.

Certifying agencies are specific in the roles and population foci for which they offer certification. Therefore, prospective APN-NPs must only contact accredited agencies that certify professionals in their desired practice area. To become certified, NJ applicants must also pass their specialty’s highest-level practice exam.

Agencies such as the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) are acceptable. Here are the certifying agencies recognized by the board for the certification of NPs:

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse practitioner in New Jersey

It is illegal to practice as an APN in New Jersey without obtaining a license from the Board of Nursing.

The board processes applications for a fee of $100. You’ll need to email a request for the application to be sent to you or apply online. You will also be required to pay an additional certificate fee anywhere between $80 – $160 depending on the date your RN license expires.

The board requires an original copy of your transcript to be sent to them from the institution attended. The transcript must contain the date of graduation and the degree awarded. You are also required to provide proof of your valid national certification. That can be requested from the certifying agency.

All applicants must show verification of an RN license to practice in New Jersey. That may either be a single-state license or a multi-state license from any NLC member state. Most applicants can verify their licenses using Nursys. If your Board of Nursing does not report to Nursys, you must contact them for the verification procedure. Note that you do not need to verify your RN license if it was issued in New Jersey.

If you have been licensed as an APRN-NP in another state, you can apply for an APN license in New Jersey by Endorsement. Such licenses will also need to be verified.

APNs have prescriptive authority in NJ and need to enter a collaborative protocol with a physician licensed in the state before prescribing medication. They will have to apply for Controlled Dangerous Substance registration and pay the $40 fee. That allows them to prescribe Schedule II, II, IV, and V drugs.

Schedule I controlled substances are issued to qualified researchers and analytical laboratories. If you fall within that scope, you have to initiate the registration process with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The Board will review your application, and if all requirements are met, your APN-NP license will be issued. All applicants are encouraged to read the instructions for Advanced Practice Nurse Certification before applying.