North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: North Dakota NP License, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in North Dakota

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

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

To get a Nurse Practitioner (NP) license to practice in North Dakota, the first requirement is a Registered Nurse (RN) license valid in the state. North Dakota is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) which provides multistate licensure privilege to practice in other NLC states without having to obtain additional licenses.

If you do not have a North Dakota or multistate RN license, you can obtain the license either by endorsement or through an examination.

RN by Examination

This is the method for those who have never been licensed as an RN in the United States. To qualify for RN licensure by examination in ND, you must meet the following requirements.

  • You must have a United States Social Security Number
  • You must have gone through and completed an ND-approved nursing program in preparation for the level of licensure he/she seeks.
  • If you are a graduate of an international nursing program, you can test for eligibility here.
  • If you meet the above requirements, you can apply for the license here.

You must have the official transcript of your grades and degree posted directly to the Board of Nursing office.  You must not send the transcript  (as it will not be accepted), but rather the college or nursing school you graduated from should send it. You are required to register with NCLEX candidate services for the exam with a fee of $200 at After the registration, the board will be notified by NCLEX candidate services.

The initial RN exam can be completed for a non-refundable initial exam fee of $145.  Payment is required at the end of the application via a credit or debit card. Thereafter, an electronic receipt is displayed after the application has been submitted.

The NDBON requires all applicants to complete the Criminal History Record Check (CHRC).

RN by Endorsement

This is a preferred route for applicants who are licensed RNs but not in the state of North Dakota. For RN licensure by Endorsement in ND, applicants must have:

  • At least 400 hours of licensed nurse practice for the level of licensure you seek in the last 4 years. Alternatively, you must have completed a refresher course approved by the board within the past four years or must have completed your nursing program in the past four years.

Those who practiced outside the US should fill out the Verification of Employment form.

  • A proof of the initial licensure by exam as well as the examination. This will only be valid if it meets the ND requirements for licensure examinations effective at the time the license was issued.

To apply for an RN license by endorsement, applicants should go here. Just like in RN licensure by exam, official transcripts should be sent directly to the board from the college or nursing program he/she graduated from.

Then the initial RN licensure from the original state must be verified. You can complete this process electronically at the Nursys site. The board checks the Nursys site for verification when they receive your application.

The online initial RN endorsement application can be completed here at a nonrefundable initial endorsement fee of $170. Upon submission of the application, a receipt is displayed.

All applicants must complete a Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) for the board. For further instructions on this, go here.

Advanced Education Requirements

In all states in the US, a master’s degree in nursing is needed to become a nurse practitioner. Those who intend on getting an APRN license in North Dakota must complete an advanced practice nursing program (that is nationally accredited) in one of the four roles and in at least one population foci.

Before December 31, 2015, those who had previously completed an Advanced Nursing Education program and were issued a license can apply for and may receive an advanced practice license provided they met the requirements effective at the time they qualified for the initial advanced practice licensure.

National Certification

National certification is a way of validating an APRN’s qualifications and knowledge for NP practice.  Applicants for APRN licensure in North Dakota must have evidence of present certification by a national certifying body.

For various APRN jobs and population foci, several certification bodies exist. Depending on their preferred specialization, NPs can obtain their certification from:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center, ANCC
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioner Certification Board, AANPCB
  • American Association of Critical care Nurse, AACN
  • National Certification Corporation, NCC
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, PNCB

Each of these bodies is specific to a different NP specialty. Aspiring NPs must visit the website of the appropriate certification body depending on their NP specialty. The next outline contains brief details of certain NP specialties and the body to obtain certification.

Getting Licensed to Practice as an NP Within North Dakota

If you’re a prospective NP, you must first have an RN license from an approved nursing program. Then you must undergo further training and education to qualify. Every aspiring NP in North Dakota must take a certification exam from the appropriate nationally accredited certification agency. The agency to apply to is dependent on the NP specialty. For example, certified nurse midwives can obtain certification through American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Clinical nurses can apply to AACN or ANCC for certification. For certified registered nurse anesthetists, the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) is accredited to issue certification to those qualified.

To legally practice as an NP in North Dakota, qualified persons must seek the NP license here by applying at an initial licensure fee of $100. A criminal history record check is also required. An extra processing fee of $20 is required when the answer to the criminal test question is ‘no’. For more information on the advanced practice licensure, go here.