Are DNP degrees specific to each state?


Is there a board certification for DNPs specific to each state, or does passing the exam cover your license to practice for all of USA? If I have to get another license for each state I am practicing in, do I have to retake the test again or is it a matter of submitting another application?

I also have the same question for the NP license. I know each state has its own laws on how much independent power the NP has. But will getting a NP license in CA mean I can practice as a NP anywhere else in the USA? And do I have to just reapply to practice in another state or do I have to go through another exam?

Thank you!



95 Posts

The DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) is a degree, not a license or certification. No certifying body requires a doctorate. The individual state boards of nursing vary depending upon whether they require certification in order to obtain a license to practice in the state.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 30 years experience. 9 Articles; 4,336 Posts

The ability to practice as a nurse practitioner is a privilege granted by individual states just like your RN license (or any other healthcare professional license). Regardless of degree (MS, MSN, or DNP) there is one single NP license or certificate granted by each of the individual states similar to the fact that there is one RN license granted to nurses with various pre-licensure educational paths (Associate's, Bachelor's, or Master's).

To practice as an NP, all states require an active RN license and meeting criteria to practice as an NP (graduating from an approved NP program is the common thread in all the states with majority requiring national certification). Should you decide to leave your state of licensure to another state, you must finish the procedure to endorse both your RN license and your NP credential before you could hold yourself out to the public as a nurse practitioner in the new state you moved to.