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Advanced Practice Nurse License Requirements in New Jersey: Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anesthetist

New Jersey recognizes nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives. All are under the banner of the Division of Consumer Affairs. However, they don't all have the same licensing authority. Nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists are certified by the Board of Nursing as Advanced Practice Nurses, or APNs. Nurse midwives are licensed by the Midwifery Liaison Committee as Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs).

In each case, the nurse must also hold an RN license issued by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. (A midwife who is not an RN may be a Certified Midwife or a Certified Professional Midwife, but not a Certified Nurse Midwife.)

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Requirements for Advanced Practice Nurses: Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Anesthetists

Prospective APNs must complete graduate education and then pursue national certification. They may apply for temporary credentialing pending national examination.

A student may complete 1) a graduate degree program in the advanced practice role or 2) a master's in nursing and a post-master program in the advanced practice role.

The Board will require a three semester hour pharmacology course or 45 hours of integrated pharmacology coursework. An individual who completed pharmacology coursework more than five years in the past will need to 1) take another course or 2) complete 30 hours of relevant continuing education. Continuing education coursework is to include pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, practical application, and use of pharmacological agents to prevent illness and restore health; it is to be related to the APN’s practice area.

APN Certification

There are multiple national certifying agencies for advanced practice nurses. Selection will depend on specialty. There are far more advanced practice specialties than there are categories or roles; the New Jersey Board recognizes fully 17. The New Jersey Board will accept advanced practice certifications issued by certifying agencies that hold accreditation through American Board of Nursing Specialties (http://nursingcertification.org/accreditation-exams.html) or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (http://www.credentialingexcellence.org). The Board stipulates that the certification be the highest examination available in the nurse's specialty area. It should be designed for clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, or nurse anesthetists. Among the accredited agencies that certify advanced practice nurses are the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, Inc., and the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists.

A prospective APN may make up to two attempts at the certification examination while working under temporary authorization. During this time, he or she will have a more limited scope of practice that does not include prescriptive authority.

Pursuant to 13:37-7.6 of state regulation, out-of-state certificate holders can be endorsed into New Jersey if their state has similar educational requirements. Out-of-state advanced practice nurses will need to submit evidence of national certification.

New Jersey APN certificates are renewed biennially.

The APN Application Process

Prospective APNs may request application materials from the Board. The request may be sent by email at ‘apn at dca.lps.state.nj.us’. The applicant will identify the type of application needed (initial, endorsement, or reinstatement) and provide other pertinent information such as contact information, degree, and specialty (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Pages/applications.aspx).

The applicant should arrange to have official transcripts sent directly to the licensing agency. A nurse who is seeking certification on the basis of a post-master program will need to submit both master's and post-master transcripts. In cases where pharmacology coursework was integrated into the program and not included as a separate course, the applicant will have the dean or director complete a certifying form.

The licensing agency will also require primary source verification of national certification.

A professional who has held advanced practice licensing in another state will need to verify license status.

The application fee is $100; a separate certification fee will be assessed later.

Nurses are directed to read advanced practice regulations before submitting their applications.

Certified Nurse Midwife Requirements and Application Process

The Midwifery Liaison Committee licenses both nurse-midwives and nurse-midwives. However, they do not hold the same credential.

A nurse who wants to progress to nurse-midwife status will enter a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education, or ACME, and ultimately seek certification through the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

A nurse midwife who seeks prescriptive authority must have at least 30 contact hours of pharmacology coursework. Pharmacology coursework may be taken as part of the midwife program or may be taken through an accredited college. Qualifying coursework must be from the prior two years, unless the nurse midwife is an out-of-state licensee.

An applicant who was previously fingerprinted for RN licensure will not need to be fingerprinted again, but will, in most cases, need to pay a fee to have another background check run.

Application forms are available for downloaded from the Committee website (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/mid/Pages/applications.aspx).

The Midwifery Liaison Committee requires transcripts and certification verification sent directly from the source. Additionally, the applicant must provide verification of any professional licenses (not just those in midwifery or nursing).

The CNM applicant pays $125; there is an additional $50 fee if applying for prescriptive authority.

Licenses are renewed biennially.

Additional Information

Information about nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse anesthetist certification is available from the New Jersey Board of Nursing (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur). The Board can be reached by telephone at (973) 504-6430.

Information about Certified Nurse Midwife licensure is available from the Midwifery Liaison Committee (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/mid). The Committee can be reached at (609) 826-7100.

State professional associations include the following:

Advanced Practice Nurses of New Jersey http://www.apn-nj.org/

New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists http://www.njana.com/

New Jersey Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives http://www.newjerseymidwife.org/

New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists http://www.njana.com/

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