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Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Requirements in Wyoming

Wyoming's nurse practitioners and other graduate level clinical nurses are licensed as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, or APRNs. The state has fully 450 nurse practitioners. Other advanced practice roles include clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist.

RN licensure is a prerequisite. Wyoming is not a nurse license compact state. An APRN who is not licensed as an RN in Wyoming will also need to submit an RN license application.

APRN requirements include graduate education and national certification.

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Education and Certification Requirements

A prospective APRN will need to earn a master's degree. The program is to focus on an advanced practice role and population focus.

The program will need to meet the requirements of a recognized certification agency. Among the typical certification prerequisites: that the student have 500 clinical hours in the intended role and population focus.

Individuals who completed their education before 1999 are not required to hold degrees at the master's level.

After meeting educational prerequisites, the nurse will pursue an examination-based national certification that conforms to his or her education. The certification must be acceptable to the Wyoming Board. There is one nationally recognized certification agency for nurse anesthetists: the National Board for Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists. There is one current nationally recognized certifying agency for nurse midwives: the American Nurse Midwifery Board. There are multiple organizations that certify nurse practitioners. Indications of national recognition may include 1) accreditation or approval by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and/ or the American Board of Nursing Specialties or 2) having met the criteria of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Ultimately, though, acceptability is determined at the state level.

An RN who has graduated from a qualifying program may be granted a temporary permit to practice pending the first specialty examination that he or she is eligible to take. The nurse will hold status as a Graduate Advanced Practice Nurse, or GAPRN. The GAPRN will be supervised by a doctor or by an APRN who practices in an equivalent role. Prescriptive authority will not be granted until certification and licensure have been awarded. A graduate permit expires after examination failure.

Criminal Background Check Requirement

The Wyoming Board requires fingerprint-based background checks (CBCs) even of those who have had background checks performed in the past. The applicant will have fingerprints made on two standard FBI blue cards. The applicant may complete the process beforehand and submit the cards with the application. Otherwise, the Board will send fingerprint cards after application receipt. There is a $60 fee for background check processing. The CBC may take 35 to 45 days. An applicant may be granted a temporary permit before results are known.

Additional Requirements for Prescriptive Authority

An APRN who seeks prescriptive authority will need 30 contact hours of recent coursework in pharmacotherapeutics or pharmacology/ management of patient drug treatment. Two semester hours or three quarter hours will be accepted as the equivalent. Coursework must have been completed during the five year period preceding application.

The Application Process

Application forms are available for download from the Wyoming State Board of Nursing (WSBN) website (https://nursing-online.state.wy.us/Default.aspx?page=3).

The applicant is to include a copy of his or her national certification.

The transcript is to be sent straight from the nursing school.

The licensing agency will also need evidence of lawful presence within the United States.

The application includes questions about criminal history or charges, adverse professional history, and conditions which could impair nursing practice. Applicants who answer “yes” to any of these questions will need to provide personal statements and other supporting documents, as applicable. Applications are considered on an individual basis. The Board considers factors such as the nature of crimes, compliance with orders, passing of time, and results of evaluations.

An individual applying for graduate status must have a letter from a supervisor as well as evidence of having applied for the appropriate examination. The supervisor will need to confirm his or her understanding of the laws governing supervision.

An endorsement applicant who seeks a temporary permit should include a copy of his or her out-of-state credential.

An applicant pays $120 for a first APRN recognition. An applicant who is seeking recognition in more than one area will pay $70 for each additional one.

Prescriptive authority costs an additional $70.

Application packages are mailed to the WSBN office in Cheyenne.

Licenses are issued electronically. The licensee can verify status online.

Renewal Requirements

Licenses and recognitions are renewed on even years.

Renewal is, in most cases, based on continued national certification. Certification agencies set continuing education/ competency standards. However, APRNS who were recognized before July 1, 2005 and are not nationally certified will submit evidence of active practice and continuing education to the Board.

Renewal of prescriptive authority requires 15 contact hours of continuing education in pharmacotherapeutics (or pharmacology and clinical management).

Additional Information and Contacts

APRN information is available from the Wyoming State Board of Nursing (https://nursing-online.state.wy.us). WSBN can be reached by email at ‘wsbn-info-licensing at wyo.gov’.

The following state professional associations may serve as additional resources:

Wyoming Council for Advanced Practice Nursing http://www.wcapn.org/

Wyoming Association of Nurse Anesthetists http://www.wyomingana.com/

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