North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: NP License in NC, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in North Carolina

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

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Becoming a licensed professional nurse is the first step towards acquiring a nurse practitioner (NP) license in North Carolina. To get an RN license, there are requirements you must meet.

Educational requirements

The major educational requirement for RN license qualification is a nursing degree. To qualify, you must earn either a hospital diploma, bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

The hospital diploma typically lasts between eighteen to thirty-two months; the ADN will usually take two years to complete, while the BSN usually lasts for a minimum of four years. However, since you intend to earn an NP license, you should opt for a BSN at the least. Only nurses who hold a BSN can apply for the NP license. You have the liberty to take either a full-time or a part-time program. You should, however, note that the part-time program will elongate the period of completion of the degree program. It is important to ensure that your institution of choice runs an NCBON approved program. Check here to verify.

After getting a BSN, the next step in your RN pursuit is to apply for and write the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX or NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX is run by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The NCSBN has partnered with and mandated Pearson VUE to administer the NCLEX-RN. To apply for the NCLEX, first, submit an application to the NCBON requesting eligibility for the NCLEX. Afterward, visit the Pearson VUE website to fill out and submit the application form. Next, create a nursing gateway profile on the nursing gateway portal, where you will later receive your application confirmation which will act as your receipt.

You can complete your registration for the NCLEX by paying either through a card or a third party (nursing schools and agencies). You will require a program code to activate your registration. Check here to find the program code for your area. After confirming your eligibility, an authorized-to-test (ATT) email will be sent to you. The ATT message will communicate the validity period (180 days) within which you must take the test. A failure to request and receive eligibility clearance within 365 days after your NCLEX registration will cancel your application. The board will not refund your application or exam fee in this case. Make sure not to register again before the validity of your first registration expires as such registration will not be approved and the exam fee forfeited.

You can apply for and receive the RN license by endorsement if you move from another state to North Carolina. Your former multistate license will still be operational but only for ninety days until you change your home state from your previous state of residence to North Carolina. You should proceed to your Nurse Gateway portal to change your current residence to your current one in North Carolina. Ensure to complete your application within 365 days after initiating the application to avoid forfeiting your application fee.

Associated Fees

The registration fee for the NCLEX is a non-refundable $75 payment through examination, $150 through endorsement, and $200 for licensure without an examination.

Other requirements

You can only apply for an RN license if you are above eighteen. Also, the board will conduct a background check to ensure that you are of sound moral character. Your application will not be approved if the board discovers any criminal history related to the operations that your license will allow you to carry out. Other requirements include your social security number,

Advanced Education Requirements

In addition to the BSN, you need to complete at least a Master’s degree in nursing or any related field.

National Certification

The next step to getting your NP license is by attaining national certification. You can achieve national accreditation by applying for training at any nationally accredited institution. There are several areas you can practice as a nurse practitioner. The NCBON approves specific certification programs for each. Therefore, it is important to apply for the certification program that will prepare you for your preferred practice area. Here are the approved national certification bodies for North Carolina.

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • National Certification Corporation (NCC)
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)
  • National Board of Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN)

Apply for the North Carolina Nurse Practitioner License

The final step towards getting your nurse practitioner license is registering for it. First, you are to register online at the NCBON website. Completing this registration is not enough to begin your practice. You also need to complete an approval to practice application. Only then will you have the authorization to function as a nurse practitioner. When your registration is complete, your certificate of registration will arrive in your mail to confirm that your application has been successful. Your approval to practice application could either be on a volunteer or non-volunteer status.

During the application for approval to practice, you will need to submit the name or license number and email address of the physician(s) who will join you in collaborative practice. A fee applies for each physician you list. This fee varies depending on your status as a volunteer or non-volunteer. The approval to practice is granted jointly by the Medical Board and the North Carolina Board of Nursing. You should also attach the following documents along with your application: Identification Document, An updated copy of your national certification, and the report of possible malpractice claims in the claims information form. You will also need to fill out your application’s practice information like name, address, official phone number, and email address.

You can also register through the Nursys verification and pay a verification fee of $30 to verify and track the status of your license including receiving e-notifications.

Associated fees

Your registration will not be complete unless a non-refundable payment of $25 is made. The application fee for approval to practice for volunteer or unpaid prospective NPs is $20 for each listed physician. While the application fee for the prospective non-volunteer or paid NP is $100 for each physician. These payments are non-refundable, and you can send them through MasterCard and Visa.