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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Delaware

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Let us help you land on your dream job here in Delaware! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Delaware, and more!


Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Delaware

  • Popular hospitals in Delaware

  • Nursing associations in Delaware

  • Contact details


Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more information, visit the Delaware licensing page.

As a nursing compact state, Delaware lets nurses hold multi state licenses.

*Fees may change without any notice.

**A background check is required in most states, but prices are not usually indicated.


Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Delaware Board of Nursing website. Delaware has a Verification page for you to verify your license. An email will be sent to the email on record when your license is about to expire in a few months.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Delaware Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. Since Delaware is a compact state, you will not be allowed to apply for a licensure if your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state. You must declare that Delaware is your Primary State of Residency.


Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Delaware.

  • For RN, 30 hours every 2 years (a minimum of 3 hours must be in substance abuse)

  • For LPN, 24 hours every 2 years (a minimum of 3 hours must be in substance abuse)

  • For APRN, 30 hours every 2 years, in which

    • A minimum of 3 hours must be in substance abuse

    • A minimum of 2 hours must be in controlled substance prescribing practices

    • If you are a prescriber, an additional 10 hours must be in pharmacotherapeutic education

    • Must maintain national certification

The Delaware Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.


Licensing and Certification

Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.

Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.

Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.


Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Delaware

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is $77,760.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Delaware is the right place for you.


Popular Hospitals in Delaware

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Delaware or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Delaware. Here are some of them:

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.


Nursing Associations in Delaware

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Delaware.

Delaware Healthcare Association: “The institution intends to give policy and advocate leadership in making an environment that is excellent in encouraging the people of Delaware to become healthy as possible.”

Student Nurses Association: “This organization of nurses would like to give emphasis on contributing to education for nurses so as to give the best quality healthcare.”

Delaware Nurses Association: “This association is giving its members many benefits. They give high regards to leadership and professional growth.They would like to keep the History of Nursing in Delaware.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Contact Details

Delaware Board of Nursing

Phone: (302) 744-4500

Fax: (302) 739-2711


Cannon Building, Suite 203

861 Silver Lake Blvd

Dover, DE 19904

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