So, you did it. You have graduated and passed boards. Now you are wondering what is next. First, let me say CONGRATULATIONS!!! I was once in your shoes, finally here and but so confused on what to do next. Apply for jobs, license, NPI, etc.


So, let’s talk about it. Okay, there is a few differences depending upon the state that you reside or plan to practice. I will provide the basics.

  1. Pass boards and officially become certified. You can now add your credentials.
  2. Gain your license. This will be an application process through your state board of nursing. It will be just as your current RN license, but now you will apply for your APRN (advanced practice registered nurse) license.
  3. NPI (national provider identifier): This can be done at any time in the process, but I put it here as this is the earliest that you should do this. This is an online application, and you will receive your NPI number as quick as 24 hours. Here is the link to the site. I recommend doing this after you have a job as it requests an address and you want your work items to be mailed to your job and not your home. Also, you don’t want your home address listed under your NPI information, as this can be seen by anyone.
  4. DHEC (prescriptive authority). Not all states require this step, but many do. Ask your state board of nursing if this is a requirement in your area. If it is required, you will need to first have a job with a supervising physician to sign for your prescriptive authority. This process takes a couple of weeks.
  5. DEA (drug enforcement administration): This is for you to be able to prescribe controlled substances. This takes about 3-4 weeks and is also an online application.

Congratulations again! Go be great!

Dr. Brittany Winestock, FNP-BC