Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Requirements in Montana

Montana’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are licensed by the Board of Nursing. The Montana Board recognizes four APRN roles:

  • Certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife

APRNs must hold licensure as registered nurses; the advanced practice credential may be considered a license endorsement.

Montana joined the nurse license compact in October of 2015; base RN licensure can be held in any nurse compact state, provided it is the nurse’s primary place of residence. A nurse who lives in a state that is not part of the license compact will still need to apply for RN by endorsement.

Select a Montana Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Topic:

APRN Educational Requirements

APRNs are expected to have graduate degrees (Nurse Practitioner programs in Montana). The APRN program is to be accredited. It must include preceptorship.

Some Montana APRN educational regulations were repealed in 2015. However, individuals who pursue advanced practice education will need to meet the standards of an accepted third party certification agency. Certification agencies grant permission to sit for examination to candidates who have met discipline-specific educational prerequisites.

APRN Certification Requirements

The prospective APRN will need to take a national examination. Certifications are issued by third party organizations and are specific to role and population focus. The certification sought is to be consistent with education.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) earn certification through the National Board of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetist. Certified Nurse Midwives earn certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board. Pediatric, adult, and neonatal critical care nurse specialists earn certification through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Other clinical nurse specialists, including psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialists, earn certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Neonatal and women’s health nurse practitioners will pursue certification through the National Certification Corporation. Pediatric nurse practitioners can earn primary or acute care certification from the National Pediatric Certification Board. Nurse practitioners in adult, adult-gerontology, or family practice can demonstrate certification through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Acute care nurse practitioners may earn certification through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The American Nurses Credentialing Center also offers multiple approved nurse practitioner certifications, among them, adult or child psychiatry and mental health; some AANC certifications are similar in scope to those offered by other certification organizations.

The Board has provided a list of approved certification agencies and examinations (

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The Application Process

License applicants are required to have fingerprint-based criminal background checks. Fingerprints can be made at a local law enforcement agency; the applicant will need the code found in the application. The completed card will be mailed to Montana Criminal Records along with a $27.25 fee.

Application forms can be downloaded from the website of the Board of Nursing (

The applicant should request an official transcript, to be sent directly to the Montana Board.

If preceptorship is not evident from the transcript, this should be documented separately.

Out-of-state APRNs are to provide license verification for the prior two years (

Applicants who provide “yes” responses to professional fitness questions (for example, addictions, criminal history, or civil charges) will need to provide explanations and, in most cases, supporting documents.

The application fee is $75.

Application materials should arrive 15 days in advance of a Board meeting.

Applicants who submit applications classified as non-routine could be asked to appear at a Board meeting; in other cases, the Board may make its decision based on materials submitted.

An incomplete application file may be held for up to one year.

Additional Requirements for Prescriptive Authority

Montana APRNs apply separately for their prescriptive authority.

Advanced practice nurses who graduated in the most recent five-year period will be expected to demonstrate coursework in 1) advanced pharmacology and 2) differential diagnosis/ disease management. Pharmacology coursework is to include pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapeutics; it is to comprise at least three semester hours. The applicant will provide evidence of having had a supervised practice experience that integrated pharmacological interventions.

Applicants who graduated more than five years in the past may complete a three semester hour course or 45 hours of continuing education that includes the three required pharmacology topics.

There is a $100 application fee.

Out-of-State Licensees

Montana can issue APRN licenses by endorsement; prescriptive authority can also be granted on the basis of endorsement. An endorsement candidate will need to verify national certification.

An individual may apply simultaneously for Montana RN and APRN licensure.

APRN Renewal Requirements

APRNs are expected to complete 24 hours of continuing education during each two-year renewal period (

If the APRN has prescriptive authority, at least 12 hours must be drawn from among the following areas: clinical management of drug therapy, pharmacology, and pharmacotherapeutics.

Additional Information

APRN licensing information is available from the Montana Board of Nursing ( Individuals with license or application questions may call (406) 841-2202 or email ‘DLIBSDLicensingUnitB at’.

The Montana Nurses Association is an additional professional resource (

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