Nurse Gateway
Frequently Asked Questions

Nurse Practitioner

Registration / Approval to Practice (Initial and Subsequent Renewal)

  1. What is Nurse Practitioner Registration?
  2. What is Initial Approval to Practice?
  3. What is Registration/Initial Approval to Practice?
  4. Is current national certification required in order to renew the Nurse Practitioner approval to practice?
  5. What is an Approval Number?
  6. Are Nurse Practitioners required to have a NPI number?
  7. What if I change jobs or primary supervising physicians?
  8. What is the turn-around time for completed applications?
  9. Do I need an Registered Nurse license in order to be approved to practice as a Nurse Practitioner?
  10. Is current national certification required in order to receive registration or approval to practice?
  11. Must I include a photo on both the Registration and the Initial Approval to Practice Application documents?
  12. If I am planning to function as a Nurse Practitioner in an office with one or more satellite sites, which site name should I place on the Nurse Practitioner Approval to Practice Application?
  13. I was recently approved to practice and paid the application fee online. My birthday is now here. Do I need to pay the renewal fee so shortly after receiving my Nurse Practitioner approval?
  14. I have just been initially approved to practice as a Nurse Practitioner, but my Nurse Practitioner renewal is due in a few months. Do I need to obtain 50 contact hours in order to renew for the first time?
  15. My Nurse Practitioner approval to practice was made inactive for failure to renew. How do I reinstate?

Supervision / Scope of Practice

  1. How is the Nurse Practitioners scope of practice defined in North Carolina?
  2. What should I do when I discontinue my relationship with my primary supervising physician?
  3. Are primary supervising physicians and back-up supervising physicians responsible for the medical acts of Nurse Practitioners?
  4. How many supervising physicians are required to be designated for each Nurse Practitioner?
  5. Must a Nurse Practitioner have a back-up supervising physician?
  6. How many Nurse Practitioners can a physician supervise in North Carolina?
  7. Is on-site presence of supervising physician required at all times the Nurse Practitioner is performing tasks pursuant to the collaborative practice agreement?
  8. What should a Nurse Practitioner do if an emergency affects the ability of her/his primary supervising physician to function in the supervisory capacity?
  9. What are the required credentials for physician supervision?
  10. What are the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) certification requirements for Nurse Practitioners providing behavioral health outpatient services?
  11. What are the regulatory requirements for a Nurse Practitioner to provide psychiatric-mental health care for patients?

Prescriptive Authority

  1. May a Nurse Practitioner prescribe controlled substances?
  2. May a Nurse Practitioner prescribe refills for Schedule controlled substances?
  3. Where can I find information about the new controlled substance prescribing rules?
  4. Is a pharmacy permit to dispense required for a Nurse Practitioner to distribute sample medications to patients?

Practice

  1. Do North Carolina rules for Nurse Practitioners apply to those employed by the federal government and working in a federal facility?
  2. What information must be on the Nurse Practitioner's name badge when the Nurse Practitioner is involved in the direct provision of health care to patients?
  3. What does the Medical Board’s Position Statement on Referral Fees and Fee Splitting mean?
  4. Can Nurse Practitioners engage in telehealth/telemedicine?
  5. Can Nurse Practitioners practice in roles that are outside of their area of certification?

Education

  1. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing approve post-licensure and graduate-level nursing education programs in North Carolina and in other states?
  2. Do Nurse Practitioner students need a Registered Nurse license to do clinical rotations in North Carolina?
  3. Is a Doctorate required for entry into practice as a Nurse Practitioner?

Registration / Approval to Practice (Initial and Subsequent Renewal)

1. What is Nurse Practitioner Registration?

Registered Nurses that have completed an accredited Nurse Practitioner program and have national certification may complete an online application for Registration so they may use the title Nurse Practitioner. Registration is required for all Nurse Practitioners seeking approval to practice after December 31, 2004. A Certificate of Registration will be emailed to the Nurse Practitioner after the application is processed by the Board of Nursing. Registration does not confer the authority to practice. (See Approval to Practice below)

2. What is Initial Approval to Practice?

Initial approval to practice is first-time approval to practice as an Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina. An online application for Initial Approval to Practice must be completed and approved by the North Carolina Medical Board and Board of Nursing (the Boards) prior to beginning employment as an Nurse Practitioner. In addition to the online application, all supporting documentation must be received by the Board of Nursing before the application can be processed. The application instructions indicate what information must be submitted.

3. What is Registration / Initial Approval to Practice?

This is a combined online application that consists of both the Registration and Initial Approval to Practice applications. There is only one identification document for this combined application which will need a photo and signature of the Nurse Practitioner.

4. Is current national certification required in order to renew the Nurse Practitioner approval to practice?

Yes. Nurse Practitioners seeking renewal of the Nurse Practitioner approval to practice in North Carolina must provide current evidence of maintaining certification as a nurse practitioner by a national credentialing body identified in 21 NCAC 36 .0801(8) of this Section See 21 NCAC 36 .0806.

5. What is an Approval Number?

The Nurse Practitioner’s approval number is a unique number assigned to the Nurse Practitioner at the time of initial approval. This number must be included on all prescriptions written by the Nurse Practitioner.

6. Are Nurse Practitioners required to have a NPI number?

No. A National Provider Identifier (NPI) number is not a requirement for approval as a Nurse Practitioner in North Carolina. A NPI is a unique 10-digit identification number issued to health care providers in the United States by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The NPI is a payer/reimbursement requirement. The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not have jurisdiction in payer issues. You are advised to contact payers directly to determine in a NPI number is required for reimbursement.

7. What if I change jobs or primary supervising physicians?

Nurse Practitioners that change jobs or add new supervising physician(s) must complete the "Add Physician" online application via the Nurse Gateway. The Nurse Practitioner shall not practice until notification of approval has been received. The approval letter and certificate will be emailed to the Nurse Practitioner upon FINAL approval to practice with the new supervising physician. The approval can also be verified on the Board's website by selecting Verfiy License.

8. What is the turn-around time for completed applications?

All online applications are received by the Board of Nursing office on a daily basis. Due to the volume of applications received, please allow fifteen (15) business days for processing the application from the time all required documents are received in the Board office.

9. Do I need an Registered Nurse license in order to be approved to practice as a Nurse Practitioner?

Yes. The Nurse Practitioner must have an active, permanent, unencumbered Registered Nurse license issued in North Carolina or an active, permanent and unencumbered Registered Nurse license with a multistate privilege to practice issued by another compact state. Applications for individuals with a temporary Registered Nurse license in either North Carolina or a compact state can not be processed.

10. Is current national certification required in order to receive registration or approval to practice?

Yes. Beginning January 1, 2000, all Nurse Practitioners with first-time approval to practice in North Carolina must provide current evidence of certification as an Nurse Practitioner by a national credentialing body accepted by the Boards.. Beginning January 1, 2005, Nurse Practitioners seeking initial approval to practice in North Carolina must be Masters prepared and have current national certification in the Nurse Practitioner’s area of education and intended practice. As part of the registration application process, the Nurse Practitioner must show proof of current national certification. See 21 NCAC 36 .0803 and 21 NCAC 32M .0103.

11. Must I include a photo on both the Registration and the Initial Approval to Practice Application documents?

Yes. A photo must be attached to the Registration application as well as to the Approval to Practice Application or with the combined application – Registration and Initial Approval - only one photo is required.

12. If I am planning to function as a Nurse Practitioner in an office with one or more satellite sites, which site name should I place on the Nurse Practitioner Approval to Practice Application?

If the primary supervising physician will be the same individual at all sites, the main office address should be listed as the principle site and the additional satellite sites(s) should be listed under the practice sites section. The Nurse Practitioner must complete an additional online application for approval to practice for each site where the Nurse Practitioner will have a different primary supervising physician.

13. I was recently approved to practice and paid the application fee online. My birthday is now here. Do I need to pay the renewal fee so shortly after receiving my Nurse Practitioner approval?

Nurse Practitioner rules require that an Nurse Practitioner renew the approval to practice online with the Board of Nursing annually by the last day of the birth month unless initial approval was issued within three months of your birth month. The renewal fee is required.

14. I have just been initially approved to practice as a Nurse Practitioner, but my Nurse Practitioner renewal is due in a few months. Do I need to obtain 50 contact hours in order to renew for the first time?

Between the time you are initially approved to practice as an Nurse Practitioner and your first renewal, you are not required to obtain 50 contact hours. You are only required to obtain 50 contact hours AFTER your first Nurse Practitioner renewal, and every Nurse Practitioner renewal period (birth month to birth month) thereafter.

15. My Nurse Practitioner approval to practice was made inactive for failure to renew. How do I reinstate?

For reinstatement of approval to practice, the Nurse Practitioner must complete the Nurse Practitioner Reinstatement application and pay the fee via the Nurse Gateway. The Nurse Practitioner will be notified upon reinstatement of the Nurse Practitioner's approval to practice. The approval can also be verified on the Board's website by selecting Verify License.

Supervision / Scope of Practice

1. How is the Nurse Practitioners scope of practice defined in North Carolina?

The population-focused Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice is defined by the Nurse Practitioner’s formal academic, graduate educational preparation, national certification and maintained competence. The Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice is set forth and defined by the Nurse Practitioner rules (21 NCAC 36 .0801 (9) and 21 NCAC 36 .0802) & operationalized by the Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA). The Collaborative Practice Agreement identifies what drugs, devices, medical treatments, tests and procedures that may be prescribed, ordered and performed, would be appropriate for the diagnosis and treatment of the common medical problems seen in your Nurse Practitioner practice sites.

2. What should I do when I discontinue my relationship with my primary supervising physician?

The Nurse Practitioner’s approval to practice is terminated when the Nurse Practitioner discontinues working within the approved Nurse Practitioner collaborative practice agreement, and the Nurse Practitioner shall notify the Board of Nursing in writing. See Rules 21 NCAC 36 .0804 (d) and 21 NCAC 32M .0104 (d). This can also be done at: request inactive status (no fee).

3. Are primary supervising physicians and back-up supervising physicians responsible for the medical acts of Nurse Practitioners?

Primary supervising physicians are responsible at all times for the medical acts of the Nurse Practitioners they supervise. Back-up supervising physicians are only responsible for the medical acts of Nurse Practitioners when they are actively supervising the Nurse Practitioner.

4. How many supervising physicians are required to be designated for each Nurse Practitioner?

A Nurse Practitioner is only required to have one primary supervising physician.

5. Must a Nurse Practitioner have a back-up supervising physician?

While it is not required that an Nurse Practitioner have a back-up supervising physician, Nurse Practitioners are encouraged to have a designated physician available to her/him in the absence of her/his primary supervising physician. Back-up supervising physicians must be approved by the Nurse Practitioner and the primary supervising physician. Nurse Practitioners must keep a copy of the form on file at all practice sites for which it applies, but do not send this form to either the Board of Nursing or the Medical Board. The form must be signed by the Nurse Practitioner, primary supervising physician and the back-up supervising physician(s).

6. How many Nurse Practitioners can a physician supervise in North Carolina?

Neither law, rule nor interpretation by either the North Carolina Board of Nursing or the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) limit the number of Nurse Practitioners or Pas a physician may supervise as noted in the following NCMB position statements: Physician supervision of other licensed health care practitioners & Supervision of Midlevel Practitioners: How much is enough?

7. Is on-site presence of supervising physician required at all times the Nurse Practitioner is performing tasks pursuant to the collaborative practice agreement?

On-site physical presence is not required; however, the primary or back-up supervising physician and the Nurse Practitioner must be continuously available to each other for consultation by direct communication or telecommunication.

8. What should a Nurse Practitioner do if an emergency affects the ability of her/his primary supervising physician to function in the supervisory capacity?

Emergency situation is defined as an injury, sudden illness, death or other unforeseen unavailability of the nurse practitioner’s primary supervising physician.

In an emergency situation the staff of both Boards are authorized to grant the nurse practitioner continued approval to practice until a new application is received and processed as follows:

(1) The nurse practitioner shall notify both Boards within two (2) business days of the emergency situation by first calling the Boards and then following up with a letter describing the emergency situation.

(2) The nurse practitioner is given forty-five (45) days from the date of the emergency situation to submit an application for a new primary supervising physician.

(3) The Nurse Practitioner may ask for an extension of up to an additional 30 days if he/she is unable after an exercise of due diligence to find another primary supervising physician.

(4) If an application for a new primary supervising physician is not submitted within forty-five (45) days or if an extension is not granted, the nurse practitioner’s approval to practice will terminate.

9. What are the required credentials for physician supervision?

The supervising physician must be licensed with the North Carolina Medical Board with a population focus, certification and maintained competence that mirrors or exceed that of the Nurse Practitioner’s population focus to avoid limiting the Nurse Practitioners scope of practice. Per 21 NCAC 36 .0802 SCOPE OF PRACTICE (10), (12), Physician supervision is required for Nurse Practitioner approval to practice in North Carolina.

(10) "Primary Supervising Physician" means the licensed physician who shall provide ongoing supervision, collaboration, consultation and evaluation of the medical acts performed by the nurse practitioner as defined in the collaborative practice agreement. Supervision shall be in compliance with the following:

(a) The primary supervising physician shall assure both Boards that the nurse practitioner is qualified to perform those medical acts described in the collaborative practice agreement.

(b) A physician in a graduate medical education program, whether fully licensed or holding only a resident's training license, shall not be named as a primary supervising physician.

(c ) A fully licensed physician in a graduate medical education program who is also practicing in a non-training situation may supervise a nurse practitioner in the non-training situation.

(12) "Supervision" means the physician's function of overseeing medical acts performed by the nurse practitioner.

10. What are the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) certification requirements for Nurse Practitioners providing behavioral health outpatient services?

The policy changes for the credentialing of Nurse Practitioners in the Outpatient Clinical Coverage Policy 8C is effective beginning January 1, 2017.  This policy is a credentialing and reimbursement policy rather than a professional regulatory policy and will include the following:

  1. Removing the current timeline of July, 2017 for Nurse Practitioners to become Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) in order to continue providing services to Medicaid beneficiaries.
  2. Nurse Practitioners certified as pediatric, adult, geriatric or family Nurse Practitioners not yet certified as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners could be eligible to provide psychiatric services to Medicaid beneficiaries if they meet the following:
    1. Provide documentation to the credentialing body of the LME-MCO that they have 5 full-time years of psychiatric prescribing experience under psychiatric supervision including psychiatric assessments and psychotropic medication prescribing;
    2. A signed supervision agreement with a North Carolina Licensed Psychiatrist that covers prescribing activities; and
    3. A minimum average of 20 hours of Category 1 CME/CEUs focusing on diagnosis and psychopharmacology over the preceding three years.
  3. The LME-MCO credentialing body and Medical Director are responsible for assessing the qualifications of Nurse Practitioners not yet certified as PMHNPs and for monitoring supervision and CME/CEU completions.
11. What are the regulatory requirements for a Nurse Practitioner to provide psychiatric-mental health care for patients?

The Nurse Practitioner population-focused scope of practice (SOP) is defined by the Nurse Practitioner's formal academic, graduate educational preparation, national certification and maintained competence as defined by the Nurse Practitioner rules (21 NCAC 36 .0801 (9) and 21 NCAC 36 .0802) & operationalized by the Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA).

As long as the Collaborative Practice Agreement includes, psychiatric management as part of the scope of care for the Nurse Practitioner, there is documentation of education, and maintained competence for this activity AND this is not in violation of institutional policy; it is within the scope of practice for the Nurse Practitioner to provide basic, uncomplicated psychiatric/mental health issues for clients.  

Neither specialty nor acute care PMH management is part of  Generalist Nurse Practitioner educational preparation/certification (i.e. AGNP, FNP , PNP, WHNP, etc.), so if a Nurse Practitioner wishes to work in specialty PMH settings it is vital to document how his skill competency was obtained and maintained through formal academic education, post-graduate fellowship or specialty certification such as PMHNP-BC.  

Prescriptive Authority

1. May a Nurse Practitioner prescribe controlled substances?

Yes. A Nurse Practitioner may prescribe controlled substances consistent with 21 NCAC 36 .0809 and 21 NCAC 32M .0109. A physician must have DEA registration equal to or greater than the DEA registration of an Nurse Practitioner that he or she supervises.

2. May a Nurse Practitioner prescribe refills for Schedule controlled substances?

Yes. Prescriptive authority is part of the Nurse Practitioner approval to practice as stipulated in 21 NCAC 36 .0809. Controlled substances may be prescribed and refilled consistent with controlled substance laws and regulations.

3. Where can I find information about the new controlled substance prescribing rules?

Frequently Asked Questions - Controlled Substance Prescribing Information

4. Is a pharmacy permit to dispense required for a Nurse Practitioner to distribute sample medications to patients?

No. The Board of Pharmacy has indicated that the registration, permitting, and oversight requirements of Pharmacy Rule .1703 do not apply to a Nurse Practitioner who is engaged in traditional sampling – that is, handing out, free of any charge (whether direct or indirect), starter doses or packets of prescription drug samples received from a prescription drug manufacturer in compliance with the Prescription Drug Marketing Act.

Practice

1. Do North Carolina rules for Nurse Practitioners apply to those employed by the federal government and working in a federal facility?

Federally employed Nurse Practitioners are governed by federal rules and regulations in regard to how they practice while working within federal facilities. However, a federally employed Nurse Practitioner who holds a North Carolina approval to practice and wants to maintain the approval to practice must comply with North Carolina rules that pertain to maintaining an active approval to practice (i.e. annual renewal, continuing education and payment of fees). Also, any Nurse Practitioner actively approved to practice is expected to practice competently, act professionally and be of requisite good character no matter where, or for whom, he or she works.

2. What information must be on the Nurse Practitioner’s name badge when the Nurse Practitioner is involved in the direct provision of health care to patients?

The North Carolina Badge Law (GS 90-640) requires every health care professional to wear or display a readily visible form of identification to include the individual’s name and the license, approval to practice or listing title when providing patient care. Standard abbreviations for such titles may be used as in Jane Smith, RN, NP. Exceptions to this requirement are outlined in Rule 21 NCAC 36.0231 Exceptions to Health Care Practitioners Identification Requirements.

Consistent with agency policy, the Nurse Practitioner may choose to include academic or certification designations on the name badge, but these must be in addition to the Nurse Practitioner’s legally approved practice title(s). For example, one might use Jane Smith, RN, NP, MSN or Jane Smith, RN, NP, PhD depending upon one’s level of academic preparation.

3. What does the Medical Board’s Position Statement on Referral Fees and Fee Splitting mean?

The position statement is intended to prevent physicians from sharing revenue they have generated on a percentage basis with a non-physician. The Medical Board’s position statement is not intended to prevent the Nurse Practitioner employees from receiving a percentage of revenue they have generated (often referred to as a productivity bonus).

4. Can Nurse Practitioners engage in telehealth/telemedicine?

Yes. A Nurse Practitioner (NP) may practice within his/her designated scope of practice set forth in North Carolina Laws and Rules using telehealth/telemedicine methods of healthcare delivery. Telehealth (interchangeably termed telemedicine) is the practice of healthcare within a professionally designated scope of practice using electronic communication, information technology, or other means between a licensee in one location and a client in another location with or without an intervening healthcare provider. The North Carolina Medical Board has a position statement on Telemedicine that can be used for guidance on training of staff utilizing telehealth, evaluations and examinations, licensee-client relationship, prescribing, health records, and licensure.

Any Nurse Practitioner using telehealth to regularly provide services to clients located in North Carolina need not reside in North Carolina but must hold either a valid, unencumbered multi-state Registered Nurse license, or a valid, unencumbered North Carolina single-state Registered Nurse license. Additionally, a Nurse Practitioner must be both registered and approved to practice in North Carolina. Approval to practice requires that a Nurse Practitioner have a supervising physician and a Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA). The Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice is set forth and defined by the North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) Nurse Practitioner Rules (21 NCAC 36 .0802 SCOPE OF PRACTICE) and operationalized through the Collaborative Practice Agreement. Telemedicine activities should be clearly defined within the Collaborative Practice Agreement.

In North Carolina, Nurse Practitioners are jointly regulated by both the North Carolina Board of Nursing and the North Carolina Medical Board. Please note that supervising physicians must hold a valid, unencumbered North Carolina license. The North Carolina Board of Nursing recommends that the Nurse Practitioner contact the North Carolina Medical Board to assure full understanding of physician duties and responsibilities when entering into a Collaborative Practice Agreement.

5. Can Nurse Practitioners practice in roles that are outside of their area of certification?

The population focused Nurse Practitioner scope of Practice is defined by the Nurse Practitioner’s formal academic, graduate educational preparation, national certification and maintained competence as defined by the Nurse Practitioner rules (21 NCAC 36 .0801 (9) and 21 NCAC 36 .0802) & operationalized by the Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA). Additional areas of competence can be obtained and validated through additional education, certification (when available) and competence validation. A Nurse Practitioner may expand their areas of competence within their population focus through additional education and competence validation if this is permitted by their employer policy and procedures and is not in violation of any other laws or rules.

To expand the scope of practice beyond the population focus for which the Nurse Practitioner has formal academic, graduate educational preparation, national certification and maintained competence must be approved by the Joint Subcommittee as stipulated in 21 NCAC 36 .0804 (f).

Applications for approval of changes in practice arrangements for a nurse practitioner currently approved to practice in North Carolina shall be submitted by the applicant as follows:

(1) Addition or change of primary supervising physician shall be submitted to the Board of Nursing and processed pursuant to protocols developed by both Boards; and

(2) Request for change(s) in the scope of practice shall be submitted to the Joint Subcommittee

Education

1. Does the North Carolina Board of Nursing approve post-licensure and graduate-level nursing education programs in North Carolina and in other states?

No, the North Carolina Board of Nursing does not have jurisdiction in the approval of post-licensure and graduate-level nursing education programs within North Carolina nor in other states. The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not approve Registered Nurse to BSN programs, Registered Nurse to MSN programs, Registered Nurse to doctoral programs, masters programs, nor doctoral programs. This includes programs which prepare Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) as Nurse Practitioners (NP), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). The method of instruction (face-to-face, online, hybrid, or correspondence) does not influence the North Carolina Board of Nursing approval jurisdiction. Graduate-level nursing education programs are usually nationally accredited and may be required to be Board-approved in some states.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing approves and regulates pre-licensure Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) education programs (i.e., programs leading to initial licensure) located within North Carolina. The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not approve pre-licensure nursing education programs located outside of North Carolina.

Out-of-state nursing education programs should be contacted directly for information and specific questions about the program and the program's approval/accreditation status in their state. It is recommended that individuals research the approval/accreditation status and educational outcomes of any nursing education program before enrolling in individual courses or the entire program of study.

There are two additional sources of information: UNC General Administration, and the North Carolina Board of Nursing website for further information.

UNC General Administration

Regarding the approval of out of state nursing programs, if there is a clinical component to the program that the applicant plans to meet in North Carolina, the program needs to have approval from the University of North Carolina General Administration. Please contact the UNCGA at (919) 962-4558. Please note this requirement is NOT from the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

All out of state institutions offering doctoral degrees licensed to offer specific degrees to North Carolina residents can be found in the preceding hyperlink. Select the institution to confirm if the degree you are interested in pursuing has been approved by the UNC Board of Governors. If you do not see the degree on the list, please contact the UNCGA for further information. This is a mandate from the United States Department of Education and not associated with the North Carolina Board of Nursing. If the education program is truly a 100% online degree program that does not require a field experience, students may enroll.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing has jurisdiction only over generic nursing programs located in North Carolina that prepare graduates to take the initial licensure examination. You can find this citation in the North Carolina Nursing Practice Act 90.171.20 (5). Out of state programs are approved by the Board of Nursing in the state in which they reside. Please see 21 NCAC 36.0223 regarding the continuing education program rules that apply to your institution for graduate level education.

While some states do have jurisdiction over programs beyond those leading to initial licensure, North Carolina does not. Those programs that the North Carolina Board of Nursing does not have jurisdiction over include RN-BSN programs, masters and doctoral programs.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing

The North Carolina Board of Nursing maintains a list of graduate level APRN (MSN, Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Nursing Practice) programs in North Carolina which can provide a quick reference for APRN programs offered in North Carolina.

2. Do Nurse Practitioner students need a Registered Nurse license to do clinical rotations in North Carolina?

Yes. A Registered Nurse license is a requirement for APRN practice. Academic programs are responsible for ensuring that post-licensure students participating in clinical rotations in North Carolina must have a North Carolina license or a multi-state license as defined by the Nurse Licensure Compact. APRN student clinical rotations are conducted under the supervision of an appropriately credentialed preceptor as required by individual state regulation. However, the student must have the foundational Registered Nurse license required by the state where the clinical experience occurs. If the student’s license is not a multi-state license as noted in Nurse Licensure Compact, s/he will need Temporary License.

Please see the following Frequently Asked Questions which provide interpretation and application of current law and rule:

3. Is a Doctorate required for entry into practice as a Nurse Practitioner?

No. As noted in 21 NCAC 36 .0805 EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION AS A NURSE PRACTITIONER, (a) A nurse practitioner with first-time approval to practice after January 1, 2000, shall provide evidence of certification or recertification as a nurse practitioner by a national credentialing body. (b) A nurse practitioner applicant who completed a nurse practitioner education program prior to December 31, 1999 shall provide evidence of successful completion of a course of education that contains a core curriculum including 400 contact hours of didactic education and 400 hours of preceptorship or supervised clinical experience.

On October 25, 2004, the member schools affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) voted to endorse the Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing. This decision called for moving the current level of preparation necessary for advanced nursing practice from the master’s degree to the doctorate-level by the year 2015. This endorsement was preceded by almost three years of research and consensus-building by an AACN task force charged with examining the need for the practice doctorate with a variety of stakeholder groups. While market forces may preferentially choose a Nurse Practitioner with doctoral preparation, the North Carolina Board of Nursing regulations currently require a master's or higher degree for qualification for entry into practice as a Nurse Practitioner.

North Carolina Board of Nursing

The mission of the North Carolina Board of Nursing is to protect the public by regulating the practice of nursing.
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