DEA license, apply now or when offered a job?


Hello all!

Just looking for some advice in regards to DEA licensing. Graduated and passed my boards in December and in process of waiting for state NP license. Once I have all of that do you recommend applying for a DEA license before or after securing a job? In school they said we should have it included in contracts but I'm just wondering if that's for the renewal and that you are expected to have it before you start.

Just trying to find a job and want all my ducks in a row! I thought I had a job lined up with one of my clinical sites but due to some "structural changes" I'm now scrambling.

Thanks for any help!


1 Article; 2,077 Posts

Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 22 years experience.

For me, I can't get that until the prescriptive authority and controlled substance license are obtained, and I needed my collaborative physician's signature for those. The rx auth. Required me to have my APRN first.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Get it as soon as you can.


219 Posts

My employer paid for it and it was completed (by them) during my on boarding process.


23 Posts

Flipper, like you I thought I had a job, two in fact, lined up for me when I completed my NP program. One employer had to the the fill the position sooner and the other one gave me a similar excuse as the one that was given to you. I'm finding that every job that is posted requires experience and a DEA number. I live in Austin where the need for NPs is not so great and all the jobs I interviewed for where given to another applicant with experience...grrr... I finally found a job that is not ideal however it seems like a good starting point. It's a per diem position so there was no benefits or perks other than the flexibility of the schedule and the work itself. Texas requires that we have a supervising physician so I could not get my DEA number until I accepted a job that provided a supervising physician. I'm not sure what the job market is in your area but if it's similar to mine, I had to pay for my own DEA number. It did make me more marketable when applying to companies and I found getting interviews a little easier.

Specializes in Adult Nurse Practitioner. Has 40 years experience.

As per Jules...get it if you can. It is not cheap, but if you can swing the $731.00, it is nice to have. You just have to update your work area as necessary.


116 Posts

I have been applying everywhere and working with a couple recruiters. I also reached out to some preceptor and professors. I actually have a phone interview tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

There are lots of positions posted for my area, just seems impossible to break through the new grad barriers.

I'm still waiting for my state license to be processed. I feel like I'm at a standstill, no interviews lined up, no studying, I'm just waiting for someone, anyone to contact me!


131 Posts

I did my DEA before having a job and glad I did because it took forever.....I did not actually get the DEA number until I was in credentialing process for my position


23 Posts

I know what you are talking about. As an RN I've always received an offer for every job that I applied for. As an NP I received a fair amount of offers for part-time work, (some where kind of ridiculous... one day a week position) every full-time job I applied and interviewed with as an NP I've never heard back from despite sending thank you for email and doing what the experts recommend etc. Because I was not getting hired for a full time position I when ahead on an excepted a PRN position that provided me with a supervising physician so I could get my DEA. After having my DEA I found that it was easier for me to get job interviews but again no offers. After four months I of looking I am now working one part time position and three other PRN positions which I hope combined will consistently add to full time hours.


26 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 6 years experience.

When applying for DEA license the form requires to state the address of the practice where you are prescribing. What do you put there if you are not working/prescribing yet?


3 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Hi, looking for my first NP job in Oregon. Did you find out what address to use for DEA application if you don't have a job yet? Thanks.


2 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

So frustrating! Has anyone gotten their DEA recently? Approximately how long did it take?