Becoming a Nurse in Delaware
Nursing programs in Delaware offer various paths for different types of nurses, including obtaining the necessary licenses and certifications to become a professional nurse. Each nursing program teaches the required skills to attend patients in hospitals, physicians' offices, care facilities, and other healthcare service organizations.
The Delaware Board of Nursing is the state-run entity that issues licenses for all nursing schools in Delaware. They outline the professional standards that all nurses must meet and develop the rules and regulations all nurses must adhere to.
There are different tracks to choose from for careers in nursing, from becoming a registered nurse (RN) to getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or even a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Online nursing programs in Delaware offer these types of programs in addition to licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs. There's also pathways to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
Each nursing track offers a different specialization, or area of focus. For example, LPN programs in Delaware offer less intensive training, as LPNs are only required to administer basic patient care — such as checking blood pressure and vitals. Another difference comes from BSN programs in Delaware. which provide nurses with a traditional bachelor's degree that only includes licensure training if attached to a BSN to RN track.
There can be a lot to learn before becoming a nurse. This guide is designed to help students understand the different programs, licenses, and regulations to become a professional nurse in Delaware.
Nursing Degrees by State
How To Get CNA Certification in Delaware
To become a certified nursing assistant in Delaware, candidates must be certified and registered by the Delaware Division of Healthcare Quality. CNA hopefuls must complete a CNA training program that's approved by the Division of Healthcare Quality and pass an exam in order to be certified. Those who pass the program and the Delaware Certified Nursing Assistant Competency Exam must then submit their applications, along with a $30 fee.
In some situations, prospective students may provide their applications to the representative present when they take their exam. They will need to provide at least one of the following documents:
A copy of their diploma or certificate
A letter from their school
A signature from their instructor
Verification of their past CNA training
A copy of the out-of-state records of their training (if applicable)
CNA Certification Renewal
Delaware CNA registry requires renewal every 24 months. CNAs must also complete continuing education in order to continue practicing. The Delaware CNA renewal fee is $25.
How To Get an LPN License in Delaware
Licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, are medical professionals who practice under the supervision of an RN or licensed physician. Nursing licenses for LPNs are obtained after successful completion of one of the many state-approved online LPN programs in Delaware and the NCLEX-PN.
Students must fill out the authorization form for the release of their information in order for a background check to be performed, and they must also choose an appropriate time to be fingerprinted. In addition, they must apply for licensure as an LPN by answering all the necessary questions on their application and by signing the application, which must be notarized. Aspiring LPNs must also pay a processing fee of $170 — or $255 if their license is being reinstated. They must provide a copy of their driver's license as well. If they are offered a job before they are able to take the NCLEX, arrangements can be made for a temporary permit.
LPN License Renewal
Delaware LPN licenses expire every February 28 on even-numbered years. To renew their LPN license, individuals must prove that they have completed all necessary continuing education and that they have practiced their position for a minimum of 1,000 hours in the previous five years or 400 in two.
How To Get an RN License in Delaware
Students can obtain a Delaware nursing license to become a registered nurse in one of several ways. They can either take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and apply for a Delaware RN license by examination or gain their license via endorsement if they already hold a nursing license in another state and require a Delaware nursing license.
Aspiring RNs must complete a release of information form, submit their application for licensure, and pay a nonrefundable processing fee of $170. They must also submit a copy of their driver's license. The candidate must register for the NCLEX before submitting their application and take the exam after their application is approved.
To become an RN in Delaware, an applicant must successfully complete an approved nursing program and submit an official transcript showing the degree earned. A candidate who finished nursing school more than a year before applying to take the NCLEX must apply for special approval to take the test more than one year after the end of the program.
RN License Renewal
Licenses expire on September 30 of all odd-numbered years. Licenses can be renewed through proof of completing 1,000 hours of nursing in the past five years or 400 in the past two and through completing all continuing education requirements. Renewing RNs must also pay a renewal fee.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
, more than 11,700 individuals were employed as registered nurses in Delaware, as of 2021. RNs in Delaware make an annual mean wage of $77,760, which is slightly higher than the national average.
How To Get an APRN License in Delaware
Nurses can also obtain a Delaware nursing license to become an APRN, which requires students to have a master's degree in their chosen nursing specialty or a certificate in clinical nursing from a post-basic program recognized by the Delaware Board of Nursing. Also, at the time of applying, the individual must either apply for an RN license or already hold one.
To apply for an APRN license, a candidate must have recently graduated from a program specializing in the role and population focus for which they are applying. Alternatively, the candidate must have completed 600 hours of practice in their chosen specialty and population focus during the previous two years or 1,500 hours during the previous five years. The APRN licensee must also be certified by the national certification board that's relevant to their APRN specialty.
To apply, candidates must submit an application for licensure and pay a nonrefundable fee of $170. The application requires that applicants answer all questions, sign the affidavit in front of a notary, arrange for a copy of the necessary transcripts to be sent along with their application, and ask for the National Practitioner Data Bank to perform a self-query report.
APRN License Renewal
The APRN license expires the same day as an individual's RN license in Delaware. In order to renew their license, an applicant must have proof of practice in their specialty (1,500 hours in five years or 600 in two years), or the applicant must have graduated from the necessary specialty program in the past two years.