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Wyoming Nursing License Requirements

The practice of nursing in Wyoming is overseen by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing. The Wyoming State Board of Nursing licenses practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners, as well as other nursing specialties. All categories of nurse licensure require candidates to begin with an education at the appropriate level of practice. Learn more about the steps to becoming a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner in Wyoming by reading below.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

4 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Wyoming

1. Complete a Program in Practical Nursing.

To become licensed, prospective practical nurses must graduate from a nursing education program designed for practical nurses.1 Such a program may be located in Wyoming or another state, but should have the approval of the state board of nursing in the state in which it is located.1 A list of nursing programs offered in the state of Wyoming is available on the Wyoming State Board of Nursing website.2

2. Submit the Application for Licensed Practical Nurse by Examination.

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing uses the same form for practical nurse and registered nurse licensure; applicants for a practical nurse license should check the Licensed Practical Nurse by Examination box on the form.3 Note that candidates must submit with the application a copy of their social security card as well as a secondary identification card, such as a driver’s license.3 A sealed copy of the official transcript from the nursing program graduated should also be included with the application.3

Applicants can request a temporary practice permit by marking the appropriate box on the application form.3 Permits are typically issued within 48 hours of receipt of the application and required fees.4 Once issued, a temporary permit is valid for 90 days and can not be renewed.1

3. Complete the Required Criminal Background Check.

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing provides fingerprint cards which should be used for the criminal background check by mail; these are sent out upon receipt of the application materials.4 Alternatively, for potentially expedited processing of the license request candidates may obtain and have completed through local law enforcement two Federal Bureau of Investigation “blue” fingerprint cards.3 These may be forwarded to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation via the Wyoming State Board of Nursing with the original application materials for processing.3 Note that processing of either type of card can take 35 to 45 days after submission.3

4. Register for and Take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

Registration for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) should be completed through Pearson VUE, a third party testing service used by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing, as soon as possible after submitting the initial application for licensure.5 Once this registration is completed and the application has been reviewed the Wyoming State Board of Nursing will issue an Authorization to Test letter that permits the applicant to sit for the exam.3 Test results are usually known in five to seven business days.3 Candidates who are notified that their exam results were not satisfactory may re-apply to sit for the NCLEX-PN by submitting the Application for RN/LPN Licensure by Re-Examination form.6

4 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Wyoming

1. Complete a Program in Registered Nursing.

Registered nurses in Wyoming must first complete an education program in professional nursing, typically an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.1 The program attended may be located in Wyoming or in another state, but should hold the approval of the state board of nursing for the state in which it is located.1 The Wyoming State Board of Nursing website provides a list of nursing schools in the state of Wyoming.2

2. Submit the Application for Registered Nurse by Examination.

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing uses the same form for practical nurse and registered nurse licensure; applicants for a registered nurse license should check the Registered Nurse by Examination box on the form.3 Along with the application, candidates must provide a copy of their social security card in addition to a secondary form of identification, such as a driver’s license.3 Candidates must also provide sealed copies of official transcripts from the nursing program attended.3

Graduate registered nurses have the option of requesting a temporary practice permit by marking the appropriate box on the application form.3 If all application materials are received timely, the Washington State Board of Nursing typically issues the temporary permit within 48 hours of receipt of the required materials.4 Once issued, a temporary permit is valid for 90 days and can not be renewed.1

3. Complete the Required Criminal Background Check.

All registered nurse candidates must complete a Wyoming criminal background check, which should be completed using fingerprint cards provided by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing.4 Such cards will be mailed to applicants upon receipt of the completed initial application.4 Potentially expedited processing may be realized by candidates who obtain two Federal Bureau of Investigation “blue” fingerprint cards and have fingerprint impressions taken on these cards through local law enforcement.3 Completed “blue” cards can be sent in with the initial application for licensure for forwarding to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.3 Note that processing of either type of card can take 35 to 45 days after submission.3

4. Register for and Take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

As soon as practical after submitting the initial application for licensure, registered nurse candidates should register for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) through Pearson VUE, a third party testing service used by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing.5 Following registration and application review, the candidate will receive an Authorization to Test that allows the candidate to take the NCLEX-RN.3 Release of test results typically occurs five to seven business days following the exam.3 Candidates who are not successful in the first attempt at the exam may re-apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN by submitting the Application for RN/LPN Licensure by Re-Examination form.6

6 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Wyoming

1. Obtain Licensure as a Registered Nurse in Wyoming.

Nurse practitioners must first hold registered nurse licensure in the state of Wyoming to be eligible for nurse practitioner licensure.7 Prospective nurse practitioners should therefore complete a registered nursing education and pass the NCLEX-RN.

2. Earn a Graduate Level Degree in Nursing.

All nurse practitioners in Wyoming must have a graduate level degree in nursing from a pre-accredited or fully accredited college or university.7 For the purposes of accreditation, the Wyoming State Board of Nursing recognizes agencies that are recognized by the US Department of Education or the council for Higher Education Accreditation.7 Such a program may be located in Wyoming or another state. For a list of programs in Wyoming, candidates can visit the Wyoming State Board of Nursing website.2

3. Earn National Level Certification as a Nurse Practitioner.

National level certification as a nurse practitioner is a prerequisite to nurse practitioner licensure in Wyoming. The certification must have at least one population focus area, and the certification program must be nationally accredited by the American Board of Nursing Specialties or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.7 Certification must be kept current in order to qualify for an active nurse practitioner license on an ongoing basis.7

4. Submit the Application for Wyoming Registered Nurse Licensure with Advance Practice Recognition.

The Wyoming State Board of Nursing provides the Application for Registered Nurse Licensure with Advance Practice Recognition for initial nurse practitioner licensure.8 The application may be typed or printed but must be completed in ink.8 Candidates must provide with the application copies of their social security card as well as a second form of identification, such as a driver’s license.8 An official transcript from the master’s degree program completed must be sent directly to the Wyoming State Board of Nursing from the program.8 Candidates must also provide evidence of national certification.8

Candidates who meet all ordinary requirements for licensure but have not yet sat for a national certifying examination pending availability may be eligible for a Graduate Temporary Permit.7 To request such a permit candidates must submit all application materials along with proof that a national certifying examination has been applied to and mark the appropriate box for requesting a graduate temporary permit on the application form.7 Graduate temporary permits are not renewable and are valid for 90 days after issue or until a candidate receives notice of having failed the qualifying exam.7

5. Complete the Required Criminal Background Check.

All nurse practitioners must undergo a criminal background check to qualify for initial licensure in Wyoming.8 After receipt of an application, the Wyoming State Board of Nursing will mail the applicant fingerprint cards which must be used for the criminal background check for nurse practitioners.8 The fingerprint impressions required may be taken at local law enforcement, with the completed fingerprints to be returned according to the instructions provided to the applicant with the original fingerprint cards.8

6. Apply for Prescriptive Authority, If Desired.

Applicants may request prescriptive authority either on the initial application form during the licensure process or after receiving a license by submitting the Application for Prescriptive Authority or Additional Recognition.9 To be eligible for prescriptive authority, candidates must have completed at least 30 hours of pharmacologic or pharmacotherapeutic education within the five years preceding application.8 Evidence of this education must be submitted with the application for consideration.8 Note that prescription or dispensation of controlled substances requires an additional application to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which must be done following issuance of prescriptive authority at the state level.10

Wyoming Nursing Associations

Wyoming nursing associations can provide current and prospective nurses with opportunities in employment, continuing education, and professional networking.

Wyoming Nursing Salary

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants 2,980 $27,840
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses 740 $41,740
Registered Nurses 4,460 $60,690
Nurse Practitioners 180 $86,480

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

References:
1. Wyoming Legislative Service Office: Wyoming State Statutes Title 22, Chapter 21 – Nurses
2. Wyoming State Board of Nursing: Nursing Education Programs in Wyoming
3. Wyoming State Board of Nursing: Application for Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse by Examination
4. Wyoming State Board of Nursing: Frequently Asked Questions
5. Pearson VUE: The NCLEX Examination
6. Wyoming State Board of Nursing: Application for RN/LPN Licensure by Re-Examination
7. Rules and Regulations of the Wyoming State Board of Nursing, Chapter 4: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
8. Wyoming State Board of Nursing: Application for Wyoming Registered Nurse Licensure with Advance Practice Recognition
9. Wyoming State Board of Nursing: Application for Prescriptive Authority or Additional Recognition
10. US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration: Application for Registration Under Controlled Substance Act of 1970