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Division of
Professional Regulation

Frequently Asked Questions



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. What is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)?
  2. I am a new graduate from an APRN program. Can I get a permit to practice before I am nationally certified?
  3. How long is the temporary permit for APRNs?
  4. Can I have prescriptive authority while practicing with a temporary permit?
  5. Is an APRN applicant required to apply for prescriptive authority?
  6. What are the requirements to renew prescriptive authority?
  7. I am an APRN with 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?
  8. 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 1,500 hours in the past five years. How do I reinstate my APRN license?
  9. What is a collaborative agreement?
  10. 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?
  11. What are the requirements for a collaborative agreement?
  12. What is a licensed healthcare delivery system?
  13. How do I get a collaborative agreement via a licensed healthcare delivery system?
  14. Do I need a collaborative agreement in order to practice as an APRN?
  15. Who can act as a collaborator with an APRN?
  16. What is the collaborator’s responsibility?
  17. May I collaborate with more than one individual?
  18. If I change collaborators, am I required to acquire two years and 4,000 hours with the new collaborator?
  19. What is required to change or add a certification?
  20. Can I practice without a collaborative agreement and without being granted independent practice?
  21. What is independent practice vs. full practice authority?
  22. How does an APRN obtain approval for independent practice?
  23. I graduated after July 1, 2015, and I intend to seek independent practice. Am I required to maintain a collaborative agreement until I am granted independent practice?
  24. I graduated before July 1, 2015, and I intend to seek independent practice. Am I required to maintain a collaborative agreement until I am granted independent practice?
  25. I already have independent practice under one certification. What are the requirements if I change my role or certification?

 

General Questions

 

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.

 

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.

 

What is the cost of a Nursing license?

Answer: See Fee Schedule.

 

How do I place my Nursing license on inactive status?

Answer: See Requesting Inactive Status/Reactivating.

 

Questions about RN and LPN Licensure

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

What is a compact state?

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

 

I am a new graduate. How do the compact state rules affect me?

Answer: See NLC Information for New Grads.

 

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


 

 

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 Registerd Nurse, see License Verification.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

Answer: Complete the Application for Reinstatement of RN or LPN License. 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.

 

Who offers refresher courses for nurses?

Answer: See DE Nursing Programs.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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


 

 

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 another 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.

 

Questions about APRN Licensure

What is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)?

Answer: See 24 Del. C. § 1902 (c)(1).


I am a new graduate from an APRN program. Can I get a permit to practice before I am nationally certified?

Answer: Yes. Before you are certified as a certified nurse practitioner, clinical nursing specialist, certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist, you may apply for a temporary permit. See Temporary APRN Permit

 

How long is the temporary permit for APRNs?

Answer: A temporary permit is valid for 90 days. Permits can be extended, in 90-day increments, up to two years. It is your responsibility to request an extension of your temporary permit.

 

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

Answer: No. To have prescriptive authority, you must be a licensed APRN. See Prescriptive Authority.

 

Is an APRN applicant required to apply for prescriptive authority?

Answer: No. See Prescriptive Authority.

 

What are the requirements to renew prescriptive authority?

Answer: See Section 8.14.9 of the Board’s Rules & Regulations. The required ten hours of pharmacology/pharmacotherapeutics are part of the 30 hours of continuing education required to renew your Delaware RN license.


I am an APRN with 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. If you meet the requirements to renew your RN license, which includes three contact hours in substance abuse, the CSR requirement is also met. See Section 3.1.3 of Controlled Substance Registration Rules and Regulations.

 

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 1,500 hours in the past five years. How do I reinstate my APRN license?

Answer: You must complete a Board-approved supervised practice plan. To do this, submit all of the following for review at the next Board meeting.

 

What is a collaborative agreement?

Answer: See Section 8.16 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations.

 

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

 

What are the requirements for a collaborative agreement?

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

  • job description
  • clinical privileges
  • written agreement with a Delaware-licensed physician or podiatrist, or with a licensed healthcare delivery system.

 

What is a licensed healthcare delivery system?

Answer: A licensed healthcare delivery system is a hospital or facility that is licensed by the State of Delaware under Title 16. It has a chief medical officer, department head or chair (or equivalent), or a licensed physician practicing in an area substantially similar to the APRN’s role and population focus/foci.

 

How do I get a collaborative agreement via a licensed healthcare delivery system?

Answer: Your collaborative agreement must be signed by a medical director, chief medical officer, department head or chair, or by a licensed physician whose practice is substantially related to your role and population foci.

 

Do I need a collaborative agreement in order to practice as an APRN?

Answer: You must acquire two years and 4,000 hours under a collaborative agreement in the role and population foci in which you intend to practice. In other words, if you practice only 3,700 hours in the first two years, you must maintain the agreement for an additional 300 practice hours. After you have practiced as an APRN for at least two years and at least 4,000 hours, you no longer need a collaborative agreement.

 

Who can act as a collaborator with an APRN?

Answer: A collaborator must be a Delaware-licensed physician or podiatrist or a licensed Delaware healthcare delivery system. The collaborator must be working with a population and foci that is substantially related to the APRN’s population and foci. An APRN cannot act as a collaborator with another APRN.

 

What is the collaborator’s responsibility?

Answer: To ensure APRN competency, the collaborator must agree to provide guidance and feedback on the delivery of patient care within your role and population foci. If you will be applying for independent practice authority, the following benchmarks, competencies, and metrics must be fulfilled:

  • You and the collaborator must discuss the delivery of patient care for at least 10% of your cases over a specific time period, two years or 4,000 hours.
  • At the conclusion of the collaboration, you and the collaborator must agree that you exercised safe and appropriate practice 95% of the time.
  • You must maintain a log. The collaborator must verify your log in writing.

 

 

May I collaborate with more than one individual?

Answer: Yes. You may have more than one collaborator so long as each individual or entity meets the qualifications for a collaborator.

 

If I change collaborators, am I required to acquire two years and 4,000 hours with the new collaborator?

Answer: No. When changing collaborators, you must submit an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse – Report of Collaborative Agreement Change. You will still receive credit for the time and practice hours previously acquired so long as the prior collaborator verifies your time.

 

What is required to change or add a certification?

Answer: If you change or add a certification, thus a new role and population foci, you must practice for two years and 4,000 hours with a collaborator in the new role and population focus.

 

Can I practice without a collaborative agreement and without being granted independent practice?

Answer: Yes. If you have practiced for at least two years and 4,000 hours under a collaborative agreement, you may practice without a collaborative agreement. You are not required to apply for approval of independent practice unless and until you want to practice independently.

 

What is independent practice vs. full practice authority?

Answer: In the Board’s License Law, see 24 Del. C. §1902 (k) regarding independent practice and 24 Del. C. §1935 (c) regarding full practice authority.

 

How does an APRN obtain approval for independent practice?

Answer: See Independent Practice.

If you have already practiced over two years and 4,000 hours, you can attest to your practice via current certification and practice in your population and foci. The APRN Committee will review your application at its next meeting. Committee meetings are open to the public, but you are not required to attend the meeting when the Committee reviews your application.

 

 I graduated after July 1, 2015, and I intend to seek independent practice. Am I required to maintain a collaborative agreement until I am granted independent practice?

Answer: Yes. As a new graduate APRN, you must practice two years and 4,000 hours under a collaborative agreement before applying for approval of independent practice.

 

I graduated before July 1, 2015, and I intend to seek independent practice. Am I required to maintain a collaborative agreement until I am granted independent practice?

Answer: No. If you graduated before July 1, 2015, you may apply for approval of independent practice even if you have already dropped your collaborative agreement.

 

I already have independent practice under one certification. What are the requirements if I change my role or certification?

Answer: If you have been granted independent practice under one certification and then decide to change role or certification, you must practice under a collaborative agreement in the new role or certification. Then, you may submit an Application for Independent Practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.


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