A Guide to Nursing in Delaware
Delaware may be one of the smallest states in the union but it has a lot going for it. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution but that’s not its only claim to fame. Take advantage of the coastline and visit the famous Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk or the huge doctor’s bag with a stethoscope (HUGE!). Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it in Delaware.
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Delaware whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Delaware from another state. For more information visit the Delaware licensing page.
Licensing fee by examination (first-time nurses):
NCLEX fee: $200
Application fee: $156
Licensing fee by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
Application fee: $156
Upgrade to multistate license: $25
Delaware is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
Steps for renewing a Delaware nursing license
Verify the status of your license Visit the Verification page to confirm your license. A few months before the expiration date of the license, a renewal notice will be sent to the email address on the record.
Complete your Delaware nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
Go to the Delaware Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application Visit the Renewal Information page for specifics. Delaware is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in Delaware unless you are declaring Delaware as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
RN: 30 hours every 2 years (at least 3 hours must pertain to substance abuse)
LPN: 24 hours every 2 years (at least 3 hours must pertain to substance abuse)
APRN: 30 hours every 2 years
At least 3 hours must pertain to substance abuse
At least 2 hours must pertain to controlled substance prescribing practices
Additional 10 hours must pertain to pharmacotherapeutic education if a prescriber
Maintain national certification
Job and salary outlook for nurses in Delaware
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean salary is $74,330.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Delaware is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Delaware ]
Top hospitals in Delaware
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call the movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Delaware will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
ChristianaCare Hospitals – Newark, DE: This facility is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and fulfills its mission by “creating innovative, effective, affordable systems of care that our neighbors value.” Some specialties include:
Colon & lung cancer
Cardiology & heart surgery
Gastroenterology & GI surgery
Neurology & neurosurgery
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital – Dover, DE: This facility is a part of the Magnet Recognition Program® and its mission is to “to strengthen the health of our community, one life at a time.” Specialties include:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Beebe Healthcare-Lewes – Lewes, DE: This highly decorated facility is “a leader in the delivery of exceptional medical care, exceeding patient expectations, while maintaining high patient, provider and staff satisfaction!” Some specialties include:
Colon & lung cancer
Hip & knee replacement
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations and associations in Delaware
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Delaware:
Delaware Nurses Association: This association provides members with many benefits. The focus is on leadership, advocacy, and professional development. They are also tasked with “preserving and celebrating all of Delaware’s nursing history.”
Delaware Healthcare Association: The mission is to “provide policy and advocacy leadership in creating an excellent environment for enabling every Delawarean to be as healthy as they can be.”
Student Nurses Association: One of the focuses of this association is “to assume responsibility for contributing to nursing education in order to provide for the highest quality health care.”
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
Delaware Board of Nursing
Phone: (302) 744-4500
Fax: (302) 739-2711
Cannon Building, Suite 203
861 Silver Lake Blvd
Dover, DE 19904