General Questions

  1. How do I become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
  2. Do I have to have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for a Nursing license?
  3. What is the cost of a Nursing license?
  4. How do I place my Nursing license on inactive status?

Questions about RN and LPN Licensure

  1. Do I need a job offer to receive a temporary permit?
  2. How long is a temporary permit good for?
  3. Do the same rules apply for graduate nurses in regard to temporary permits?
  4. What is a Compact State?
  5. I am a new graduate. How do the Compact State rules affect me?
  6. How many contact hours of continuing education do I need to renew my RN or LPN license?
  7. I am applying to another state for RN/LPN licensure. They require verification of my DE license. What do I need to do?
  8. I am a new graduate who has submitted my application to both Delaware and the testing company. When will I receive my approval to test (ATT)?
  9. I was unsuccessful at taking the NCLEX. How often can I re-take the test?
  10. I held a nursing license that has since lapsed. How do I reinstate it?
  11. Who offers refresher courses for nurses?
  12. Am I allowed to take the licensure exam if my undergraduate nursing education did not include the required hours of clinical experience?
  13. Can I be licensed by endorsement if my prelicensure program within the past two years did not include the required minimum hours of clinical experience - 200 hours in an LPN program and 400 hours in an RN program?
  14. If I am applying for licensure by endorsement, do I have to meet a practice hour requirement?
  15. What constitutes patient abandonment?
  16. Can a hospital or other employer receive notification when nurses that it employs are disciplined or their licenses expire?

Questions about APRN Licensure

  1. I am a new graduate from an advanced registered nurse program (certified nurse practitioner, clinical nursing specialist, certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist). Can I get a permit to practice before I am certified?
  2. I was previously licensed as an APRN in Delaware. However, I do not meet the practice requirement of 600 hours in the past two years or 1500 hours in the past five years. How do I reinstate my license?
  3. Do I need a collaborative agreement in order to practice as an APRN? If so, what are the requirements for the agreement?
  4. Can my employer require me to maintain a collaborative agreement even if I have practiced as an APRN more than two years and over 4,000 hours?
  5. Can I have prescriptive authority while practicing with a temporary permit?
  6. How long is the temporary permit for APRNs? How many permits can be issued?
  7. I am an APRN with prescriptive authority. Will the three hours of substance abuse continuing education required to renew my Delaware RN license also count for the two credits of substance abuse continuing education required to renew my controlled substance registration?
  8. What is independent practice? Can I practice independently?

General Questions

 

Question: How do I become a Certified Nursing Assistant?

Answer: Contact the Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection at (302) 577-6661 or visit the division’s website.

 

Question: Do I have to have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for a Nursing license?

Answer: If you have been issued a U.S. SSN, you must enter it on your license application. Your license will not be issued until you provide your SSN. However, if you have never been issued a U.S. SSN, you must submit a Request for Exemption from Social Security Number Requirement. If you are later issued a U.S. SSN, you should report it to the Board office.

 

Question: What is the cost of a Nursing license?

Answer: See Fee Schedule.

 

Question: How do I place my Nursing license on inactive status?

Answer: See Requesting Inactive Status/Reactivating.

 

Questions about RN and LPN Licensure

 

Question: Do I need a job offer to receive a temporary permit?

Answer: Yes. The Board office must verify the position offered. The Temporary Permit Fee as well as the application processing fee must accompany your application.

 

Question: How long is a temporary permit good for?

Answer: A permit can be extended for a total of six months. The first period is 90 days, then 60, then 30. You can use the permit only at the facility indicated on your application. Your permit will be mailed; you cannot pick it up at the Board office.

 

Question: Do the same rules apply for graduate nurses in regard to temporary permits?

Answer: No. In addition to a job offer and temporary permit fee, proof of meeting the educational requirements for your degree is required. The permit is valid for up to 90 days from the date your degree was awarded. However, the permit expires if you are unsuccessful on the NCLEX.

 

Question: What is a Compact State?

Answer: For FAQs about compact, or multi-state, licenses, click Compact (Multi-State) Licensure.

 

Question: I am a new graduate. How do the Compact State rules affect me?

Answer: See NLC Information for New Grads pdf.

 

Question: How many contact hours of continuing education do I need to renew my RN or LPN license?

Answer: For full information about the continuing education (CE) requirements, see Section 9.0 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations.

The number of hours of CE you need depends on whether you are an RN or LPN, when your Delaware license was issued and how you were licensed.

IF your license was issued by this method:

AND IF you’ve had your Delaware license…

THEN you need this number of hours:

examination

less than two years

0 – you don’t need any CE for the first renewal only

two or more years

RN – 30

LPN – 24

endorsement or reinstatement

less than one year

0 – you don’t need any CE for the first renewal only

at least one year but less than two years

RN – 15

LPN – 12

two or more years

RN – 30

LPN – 24

Three of the CE hours must be in the area of substance abuse (Section 9.2.1.1.1). The following rules apply to the substance abuse CE:

  • The CE provider must be an “approved provider” (Section 9.1.1).
  • You must earn the contact hours by an “approved method” (Section 9.3).
  • The specific topic may be one of your choosing.  Examples include:
    • Chemical dependency and the workplace
    • Colleague chemical dependency
    • Warning signs of substance use disorder
    • Drug diversion

 

Question: I am applying to another state for RN/LPN licensure. They require verification of my DE license. What do I need to do?

Answer: If you are an RN or LPN, ask your state for the NurSys form or go to NCSBN License Verification to complete the process online. Delaware does not issue written verifications for RNs and LPNs. If you are an Advanced Practice Nurse, see License Verification.

 

Question: I am a new graduate who has submitted my application to both Delaware and the testing company. When will I receive my approval to test (ATT)?

Answer: If your application is in order, the Board office will make you eligible to test when the official transcript from your school arrives.

 

Question: I was unsuccessful at taking the NCLEX. How often can I re-take the test?

Answer: You may re-apply every 45 days to take the NCLEX up to eight times per year for five years.

 

Question: I held a nursing license that has since lapsed. How do I reinstate it?

Answer: Complete the Application for Reinstatement. If you were an RN, you must submit proof of 30 hours of continuing education along with the application form and fee. If you were an LPN, submit proof of 24 hours of continuing education.

 

Question: Who offers refresher courses for RNs and LPNs?

Answer: See DE Nursing Programs.

 

Question: Am I allowed to take the licensure exam if my undergraduate nursing education did not include the required hours of clinical experience?

Answer: No. Section 2.4.1.7.4 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations requires nursing programs to include minimum hours of clinical experience. To take the NCLEX-PN, your LPN program must include at least 200 hours. To take the NCLEX-RN, your RN program must include at least 400 hours. In addition, Section 2.4.1.7.2 requires both LPN and RN programs to include concurrent or correlated theory and clinical practice in the physical and/or mental health care of individuals of all ages, the nursing care of mothers and newborns, children, adults, the aged, individuals with mental health problems, and individuals in diverse settings, not necessarily in separate courses.

 

Question: Can I be licensed by endorsement if my prelicensure program within the past two years did not include the required minimum hours of clinical experience - 200 hours in an LPN program and 400 hours in an RN program?

Answer: It is determined on an individual basis. Your application would be presented to the Board for a decision regarding an appropriate action.

 

Question: If I am applying for licensure by endorsement, do I have to meet a practice hour requirement?

Answer: Yes. If you are applying for an RN or LPN license by endorsement, you must have practiced 1,000 hours in the past five years or 400 hours in the past two years. If you have not practiced the required hours, the Board may consider alternate methods of evaluating your current knowledge in professional and practical nursing.

 

Question: What constitutes patient abandonment?

Answer: In general, patient abandonment means that a nurse

  • accepts a patient assignment, which establishes a nurse-patient relationship, and then
  • disengages the nurse-patient relationship without giving reasonable notice or reporting to a qualified person (such as a supervisor or nurse) so that continuation of the patient’s nursing care could be arranged.

Note that acceptance of a patient assignment varies from setting to setting and requires a clear understanding of workload and the agreement to provide care.

Examples of patient abandonment include, but are not limited to:

  • Leaving without giving the supervisor or qualified person adequate notice
  • Leaving without reporting to a qualified person
  • Accepting a patient care assignment and then leaving the nursing unit or patient care setting without notifying a qualified person

Some situations are not considered patient abandonment because they involve employer-employee or contract issues (such as salary, work conditions, or hiring and termination policies) over which the Board has no jurisdiction. Examples of these situations include:

  • Not showing up for work or not calling in
  • Refusing to accept an assignment or a nurse-patient relationship
  • Refusing to work mandatory overtime
  • Refusing to work additional hours or shifts
  • Ending the employer-employee relationship without giving the employer a period of time to obtain replacement staff for that specific position
  • Refusing to work in an unfamiliar, specialized, or “high tech” area when there has been no orientation, educational preparation or employment experience
  • Resigning from a position without fulfilling the remaining posted work schedule
  • Refusing to “float” to an unfamiliar unit to accept a full patient assignment

 

Question: Can a hospital or other employer receive notification when nurses that it employs are disciplined or their licenses expire?

Answer: If you represent an institution or other nurse employer, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing offers a service that will notify you by email about license status changes (e.g., expirations) and disciplinary actions against RNs and LPNs that you employ. The information comes from NurSys, a national database which receives its data from participating boards of nursing nationwide, including the Delaware Board of Nursing. For more information about this service, click

NurSys

 

Questions about APRN Licensure

 

Question: I am a new graduate from an advanced registered nurse program (certified nurse practitioner, clinical nursing specialist, certified nurse midwife, certified registered nurse anesthetist). Can I get a permit to practice before I am nationally certified?

Answer: Yes. See Temporary APRN Permit.

 

Question: I was previously licensed as an APRN in Delaware. However, I do not meet the practice requirement of 600 hours in the past two years or 1500 hours in the past five years. How do I reinstate my APRN license?

Answer: Submit the Application for Licensure as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Application for Temporary Permit for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, a letter from your potential supervising APRN or physician and the job description for the Board to review at its next meeting.

 

Question: Do I need a collaborative agreement in order to practice as an APRN? If so, what are the requirements for the agreement?

Answer: You need a collaborative agreement only if you have practiced as an APRN for less than two years or fewer than 4,000 hours. For example, if you are a new graduate of an advanced practice registered nursing program, you will need a collaborative agreement until you have practiced as an APRN for at least two years and at least 4,000 hours; after that, you no longer need an agreement.

A collaborative agreement must describe the process for consultation and referral of clients. The three kinds of collaborative agreement are:

  • job description
  • clinical privileges
  • written agreement with a Delaware-licensed physician, podiatrist or licensed health care facility.

 

Question: Can my employer require me to maintain a collaborative agreement even if I have practiced as an APRN more than two years and over 4,000 hours?

Answer: Your employer may require you to maintain a collaborative agreement even if you are not required to maintain one for licensure purposes.

 

Question: Can I have prescriptive authority while practicing with a temporary permit?

Answer: It depends on national certification. If you meet all requirements for prescriptive authority, including national certification, you can be issued a temporary permit with prescriptive authority. However, if you are not yet nationally certified, you cannot have prescriptive authority while practicing under a temporary permit. 

 

Question: How long is the temporary permit for APRNs? How many permits can be issued?

Answer: Each permit is for 90 days. Permits can be extended, in 90-day increments, to a maximum period of two years.

 

Question: I am an APRN with both prescriptive authority and a Delaware-issued controlled substance registration (CSR). Will the three hours of substance abuse continuing education required to renew my Delaware RN license also count for the two credits of substance abuse continuing education required to renew my CSR?

Answer: Yes, as long as you have a Delaware RN license and you meet the requirements for RN renewal. See Controlled Substance Registration Renewal.

 

Question: What is independent practice?  Can I practice independently?

Answer: Independent practice means “practice and prescribing by an advanced practice registered nurse who is not subject to a collaborative agreement and works outside the employment of an established health-care organization, health-care delivery system, physician, podiatrist, or practice group owned by a physician or podiatrist.” (24 Del. C. §1902 (j)). The law does not automatically give APRNs independent practice.  A new Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Committee, established in 24 Del. C. §1934, will develop the rules and regulations on granting independent practice. These rules will establish the competencies, benchmarks, and metrics for independent practice within each APRN role and population focus. Applications for independent practice will not be provided until the new rules are effective.