How hard is it to relocate as a new grad NP?

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    I am trying to get a feel for some things on relocating as a new grad NP. I am graduating in 2014 and would like to relocate, unfortunately I am not in a compact state, would it be easier to already have my RN for the states I am will to relocate to? Also, should I wait until boards are passed until I start applying. I have heard of it taking 3-4 months to be accepted for a position and listen sure itself can take time.

    Anyone know of a site that neatly displays the states requirements for NP or RN without have to go to the board of nursing for each state, I have been searching like crazy but end up of the beaten path! Thanks in advance!
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    If you're thinking about relocating, the RN License Compact will not be of help. One, it only applies to nurses who choose to practice along state lines without having to change their primary address (i.e., nurses taking travel nursing assignments on a temporary basis). Two, the RN License Compact does not cross over to APN territory.

    Waiting for boards can be beneficial. One, all but three states require national certification from either ANCC, AANP, PNCB, or NCC (CA, KS, IN being the exception, see map, click on certification on the left to load specific map). On this map I linked you to, CA is shown as a state that does not require national certification. However, if you are educated in a program outside of CA, you are required to have national certification to receive a certificate to practice as an NP. Two, being certified is a qualification employers may prefer over taking a chance on a candidate who hasn't taken the boards.

    If you are looking for an interactive map on APN regulation. NCSBN has a link in their website as part of the Consensus Model which the council is spearheading. The link can be found here. Tabs on the left of that website brings up various maps by state on issues such as licensure vs certification, education, and state readiness toward consensus model implementation.
    Last edit by juan de la cruz on Aug 8, '12
    CCRNDiva likes this.
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    You can't apply for licensure until after you pass the boards. In my experience, many or most potential employers prefer to interview candidates that already obtained a license and have NPI and DEA numbers. Not everyone is going to require that, but having all of those certainly makes you a stronger candidate. Getting them all can take several months after graduation. You are either going to have to have enough savings to live on for 4 to 6 months, or work as a RN while you wait for the paperwork to go through the channels. Having a RN license in the state before you apply for APN licensure could save you 2-4 weeks.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd apply for a RN license in the state to which I wanted to relocate about 3 months before graduation. After graduation, move, take boards in that state (because there too, is another delay while waiting to be cleared to sit for boards, it took over a month IIRC), and then apply for your APN license there. You can be working as a RN if you need to while you job search.

    We graduated in June, and most of us were beginning our new jobs in late fall, or early winter. A few lingered until after the first of the year.
  5. 0
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    You can't apply for licensure until after you pass the boards. In my experience, many or most potential employers prefer to interview candidates that already obtained a license and have NPI and DEA numbers. Not everyone is going to require that, but having all of those certainly makes you a stronger candidate. Getting them all can take several months after graduation. You are either going to have to have enough savings to live on for 4 to 6 months, or work as a RN while you wait for the paperwork to go through the channels. Having a RN license in the state before you apply for APN licensure could save you 2-4 weeks.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd apply for a RN license in the state to which I wanted to relocate about 3 months before graduation. After graduation, move, take boards in that state (because there too, is another delay while waiting to be cleared to sit for boards, it took over a month IIRC), and then apply for your APN license there. You can be working as a RN if you need to while you job search.

    We graduated in June, and most of us were beginning our new jobs in late fall, or early winter. A few lingered until after the first of the year.
    Thank you for the info, it just might be best for me to stay in my state and work on my certification and go from there! I do plan on getting a few state RN licenses as you suggested and plan on working as an RN until certified. I appreciate the info and perspective!


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