Texas Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: CRNP License, APRN Licensure


by NursePractitionerLicense.com Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Texas

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Texas. The steps below is specifically for new nurse practitioner applicants. If you are coming from another state, you will be looking to acquire an APRN endorsement. For more information about the process for endorsement, see the Texas Board of Nursing licensing endorsement information.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

Having a registered nurse (RN) license is the first prerequisite to qualifying for a nurse practitioner (NP) license. There are two ways to go about it. If you haven’t taken the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) before, you’ll have to apply for the RN license by exam. If you have a license in a non-compact state, application for the license by endorsement is the route for you.

RN by Examination

  • To qualify for an RN license, you must have graduated from an approved nursing program with a minimum of an  Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Check here to see some approved nursing programs in Texas.
  • You can choose to apply online or print the forms and send a completed form to the board. A fee of $139 is required for the application.
  • The board requires a criminal background check (CBC). If you reside in Texas, you’ll need to book an appointment with an approved vendor to capture the prints electronically.
  • You’ll also need to register for the NCLEX exam. Registration for this exam is done at a fee of $200 via Pearson Vue. NCLEX candidate services will notify the board when your registration is received.
  • If you qualify, you’ll be sent an authorization to test, ATT which is only valid for 75 days. The exam will need to be scheduled within that time frame.
  • In Texas to become an RN, you’ll also need to pass the online jurisprudence exam. No fee is required for this exam

Applicants can take the exams as many times as possible, although application fees apply each time.

RN by Endorsement

If you have an RN license from a non-compact state, you can apply for licensure in Texas by endorsement provided you have worked in nursing within the preceding 4 years.

  • Complete a criminal background check.
  • Apply for RN licensure by endorsement here at a non-refundable fee of $150.
  • The jurisprudence exam is compulsory for all applicants. The exam is taken at a fee of $25.
  • You’ll have to verify your current license from the non-compact state at nursys.com. For states who do not use Nursys, the verification of licensure form should be filled out by your state’s board and submitted to the Texas Board of Nursing.

When you get a receipt for the application,  you can expect a 120-day temporary license within 15 days.

Advanced Education Requirements

To become an NP in Texas, you must complete a post-basic advanced educational program appropriate for practice in an APRN role and population focus area recognized by the Texas Nursing Board. A master’s degree in nursing is an example of a post-basic advanced educational program.

Your chosen advanced educational program in Texas must be accredited by a nursing accrediting body that is recognized by the Texas Nursing Board and the U.S. Secretary of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Outside of Texas, the program accreditation should meet the relevant licensing body accreditation standards in the state where the school is located.

The following core courses are required by the board, in line with the APRN Regulatory Model:

  • Advanced health assessment including human systems assessment, advanced assessment techniques, concepts and approaches.
  • Advanced pharmacology that includes pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics of all broad categories of agents.
  • Advanced physiology and pathophysiology, including general principles that apply across the lifespan.

For more detailed requirements of APRN education requirements, see the Texas Administrative Code Rule 221.7(e).

If you graduated before January 1, 1996, you will be excluded from the master’s degree requirement. Nurse-midwives and healthcare nurse practitioners who finished their bachelor’s degrees between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2006, may be eligible for a master’s degree waiver. For more information, please contact the Board.

National Certification

After acquiring your graduate degree from an NP preparatory program, you become eligible for national certification in your area of specialty through an exam. The exam is conducted by a national certifying body. In order to become an APRN-NP in Texas, this certification is required. Some of the national certifying bodies recognized by the board include (but are not limited to):

Experience or Supervised Practicum Hours

For those completing their education and looking to acquire their initial APRN license as a nurse practitioner, you will need 500 supervised clinical hours as defined by the Texas Board completed within the last 24 months.

Or, if you are already practicing as an APRN, or nurse practitioner, in another state, you will need 400 hours of practice within the last 24 months.

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner in Texas

You are now required to complete the application online. Alongside the application, the following documentation is also required:

  • An official transcript including your APRN graduate degree
  • A document showing the verification of your current national certification in a given specialty
  • For applicants who hold a compact RN license, a copy will be required by the board.
  • An application fee of $100 is required for Advanced Practice licensure. If you include prescriptive authority, a fee of $150 is required.

For an example of the online APRN license application, the Texas Board of Nursing has published a tutorial that goes through all of the steps to complete an initial license application and an endorsement application ==> Texas Board of Nursing licensing tutorial.