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New York Nursing License Requirements

Nurses in the state of New York are licensed through the New York State Education Department Office of the Professions. The Office of the Professions licenses nurses at three levels: practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners. Education, certification, and experience requirements for each level of licensure are defined by the Office of the Professions and the laws of New York. Learn more about the steps to nurse licensure in New York 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)

3 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in New York

1. Complete a Program in Practical Nursing.

Practical nurses in New York must complete a program at least nine months in length in practical nursing to become eligible for licensure.1,2 The New York Office of the Professions advises students to ensure that the program attended is recognized by a state education department.2 A list of programs approved by the New York Professional Education Program Review unit can be found on the New York Office of the Professions website.3 Note that mandated training in infection control must be completed for licensure; programs based in New York state typically meet this requirement.4

2. Complete the Application for Licensure.

The New York Office of the Professions provides Nurse Form 1, Application for Licensure for prospective practical nurses to apply for a practical nursing license.2 Where signatures are requested, all signatures must be original; note that the signature on Nurse Form 1 must be notarized.2 Graduates of licensure qualifying programs in New York state do not need to submit Nurse Form 2, Certification of Professional Education; the school should automatically notify the New York Office of the Professions of the candidate’s education qualifications.2 Graduates of nursing schools located outside of New York should request that a school administrator complete the Certification of Professional Education located in the application packet and send it directly to the New York Office of the Professions.2

Candidates who have submitted the application for licensure and have not yet taken the National Council Licensure Examination can request a limited permit, which allows the practice of practical nursing under immediate supervision in an employment situation.2 A limited permit can be requested by submitting Nurse Form 5, Application for Limited Permit, along with the application for initial licensure and required fees.2 Note that the Application for Limited Permit requires the attestation of the director of nursing or physician at the employment location.2

3. Register for and Sit the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

Practical nurses in New York must achieve a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).2 A third party company, Pearson VUE, administers and scores the NCLEX-PN and reports results to the New York Office of the Professions.2 After submitting an application for licensure candidates should register for the exam with Pearson VUE.5 The New York Office of the Professions will make the candidate eligible to test after reviewing the application materials.5 A license is typically issued two to three weeks after a passing score on the exam is posted.6

3 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in New York

1. Earn a Diploma or Degree in Professional Nursing.

Registered nurses in New York must have at least a two-year diploma or degree in professional nursing.1,2 The education completed must include training in the identification and reporting of child abuse through a provider approved in the state of New York.2 In addition, the New York mandated training in infection control must be completed; approved New York state based programs typically include this training as part of the curriculum.3 A list of programs that have been reviewed and registered with the New York Professional Education Program Review unit is available on the New York Office of the Professions website.4

2. Complete the Application for Licensure.

Prospective registered nurses should complete Nurse Form 1, Application for Licensure and submit the form to the New York Office of the Professions.2 Note that original signatures are required wherever a signature is indicated, and that the applicant’s signature on the application must be notarized.2 Candidates who have graduated from a nursing degree program in New York are not required to request that the school graduated submit Nurse Form 2, Certification of Professional Education; the school should automatically notify the New York Office of the Professions of the candidate’s education qualifications.2 Those who graduated from schools outside of New York state, however, should request that a school administrator complete the Certification of Professional Education, which can be found in the application packet, and send the completed form directly to the New York Office of the Professions.2

Applicants for licensure who have not yet taken the National Council Licensure Examination and have submitted the initial application for licensing may request a limited permit.2 A limited permit allows a graduate registered nurse to work in an employment situation under immediate supervision.2 A limited permit can be requested by submitting Nurse Form 5, Application for Limited Permit, along with the application for initial licensure and required fees.2 Note that the Application for Limited Permit requires the attestation of the director of nursing or physician at the location of employment.2

3. Register for and Sit the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

Registered nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to earn a license in New York.2 The New York Office of the Professions uses Pearson VUE, a testing company, to proctor and score the NCLEX-RN.2 Candidates should therefore register for the NCLEX-RN directly with Pearson VUE after the initial license application has been submitted to the New York Office of the Professions.5 Once the application has been reviewed, the applicant can be made eligible to test and attempt the exam. A license is typically issued two to three weeks after a passing score on the exam is posted.6

6 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in New York

1. Become a New York Licensed Registered Nurse.

Nurse practitioners in New York must have an active New York registered nursing license.7 Therefore, prospective nurse practitioners who wish to practice in New York should begin by meeting the licensure requirements for a registered nurse, including earning a passing score on the NCLEX-RN.

2. Earn an Advanced Degree in Nursing.

The New York Office of the Professions requires nurse practitioners to earn an education in nursing at the graduate level.8 Advanced certificate and master’s and doctoral degree programs recognized by the New York Professional Education Program Review unit is available on the New York Office of the Professions website.3 Note that the education acquired must include at least three semester hours in pharmacotherapeutics, or the passage of a nationally recognized examination in pharmacotherapeutics.9

3. Earn a Certificate in a Specialty Area for Nurse Practitioners.

The New York Office of the Professions requires nurse practitioners to acquire and maintain national certification.9 Nurse practitioners must declare at least one specialty area in which they are nationally certified, and may certify in more than one specialty.9 A list of recognized specialty areas for nurse practitioners is available on the New York Office of Professions, Nursing website.7 A list of recognized certifying associations for nurse practitioners is provided in the application packet for licensure.8

4. Complete the Nurse Practitioner Application Packet.

The Nurse Practitioner Application Packet provided by the New York Office of the Professions contains all necessary forms for initial nurse practitioner licensure in most cases.8 A separate Nurse Practitioner Form 1, Application for a Certificate, should be submitted for each specialty area the nurse practitioner intends to declare.8 Each Nurse Practitioner Form 1 submitted must be completed and signed by the applicant and notarized.8

In addition, the registrar at the graduate program attended should complete and submit directly to the New York Office of the Professions Nurse Practitioner Form 2, Certification of Professional Education form.8 Applicants whose graduate education occurred at a school not registered by the New York State Education Department as qualifying for nurse practitioner education may also be required to submit additional verification forms for prescriptions, record keeping, and pharmacotherapeutics as outlined in the application packet.8

Applicants must also request that the national association at which nurse practitioner certification was obtained complete Nurse Practitioner Form 3, Verification of National Nurse Practitioner Examination, and forward the form directly to the New York Office of the Professions.8

5. Execute a Collaborative Agreement with a Physician.

Although nurse practitioners may practice independently in New York, all nurse practitioners are required to have a written collaborative agreement with a licensed physician.7 The collaborative agreement must be executed prior to beginning practice, and must include an approved protocol text as described by the New York Office of the Professions.9 Evidence of the collaborative agreement should be submitted to the New York Office of the Professions using Form 4NP, Verification of Collaborative Agreement and Practice Protocol, no later than ninety days after the nurse practitioner begins professional practice.9 A copy of this form is available in the application packet for initial licensure.8

6. Register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Although nurse practitioners are automatically granted prescriptive authority upon licensure in New York, a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) control number is required to administer, dispense, or prescribe controlled substances.9 Nurse practitioners may apply for a DEA control number following licensure at the DEA website.10

New York Nursing Associations

New York nursing associations can connect current and future nurses to opportunities in education, networking, and the job market.

New York Nursing Salary

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants98,340$31,840
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses48,520$44,250
Registered Nurses166,950$74,100
Nurse Practitioners8,990$97,730

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

References:
1. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: Education Law, Article 139 – Nursing
2. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: Nursing Licensing Application Packet
3. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: New York State Nursing Programs
4. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: Mandated Training Related to Infection Control
5. Pearson VUE: The NCLEX Examination
6. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: Length of Time to Receive Nursing License
7. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: Nursing
8. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: Nurse Practitioner Application Packet
9. New York State Education Department Office of the Professions: License Requirements – Nurse Practitioner
10. US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration: Application for Registration Under Controlled Substance Act of 1970