A Guide to the California NP License Process (Part 2: NP and Furnishing Application)

Continuation from Part 1: The RN License

Now that the RN license application has been sent off (this is several months in advance), you can work on the California NP license application.  If you haven’t taken your boards yet, don’t worry — still submit both applications. All you need for California is to have graduated from an accredited nurse practitioner program. If you’re really pressed for time, you can send both the RN license application and the NP license application together. Just leave the RN license number blank on the NP license application. You will also most likely need to have a furnishing number, so you can send that application along with it.

Also note: this guide is made based on what I learned from applying myself.  I do not work for the California BON (Board of Nursing) so this is not their official guide! Things may have changed since publishing, so if you have any questions, call the board directly at 916-574-7666.

Step 5: The NP application (link here) + Furnishing application (link here)

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Complete this application, pay the fee, and send it. I used Certified Mail for peace of mind. Note: you will need to attach another 2×2 passport style photograph on this application too.

Step 6: Have your NP program fill out forms + send your transcript

Verification of your Nurse Practitioner Academic Program

Have your academic programs office fill out one of these forms:

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I had one of my academic advisors sign it in front of me and then I mailed it to the California BON along with my application. I learned that the less number of separate envelopes you send to the BON, the better. Having them tell you that your forms are nowhere to be found after waiting on hold for almost an hour is the most infuriating thing to hear.  Since you’re already at your school, also order a transcript and have them send it to the BON.

If you plan on prescribing drugs then you’ll need to have your program do the pharmacology verification form from this application too.

They need to complete this part:

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Step 7: Verification of Nurse Practitioner Certification

This form is almost useless:

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Do not wait until you finish the boards before sending the rest of the application.  If you’ve already passed your boards then you can usually have the certification body mail the board of nursing directly.

For example, if you took your boards with AANP, use this form. If you took the ANCC exam, find your paper and online forms here.

Step 8: Complete a supplemental Schedule II controlled substance course

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Chances are, if you didn’t graduate from a California NP program your advanced pharmacological course doesn’t meet California’s Schedule II Controlled Substances requirements.  Thankfully, all you have to do is complete a three hour, Schedule II controlled substances course through a continuing education provider, like the California Association for Nurse Practitioners.  I signed up for a CANP membership here, and a perk of the membership is the required course is free! Here’s a link to their course. Once you complete it then you can fax it to the California board and your furnishing number gets updated to include Schedule II controlled substances privileges.

Step 9: Wait, call every once in awhile, get really excited when you get that license in the mail

This process is pretty tedious, but eventually it will all sort itself out and you will be able to start working in the great state of California!  Make sure that they have the correct mailing address for you because all communication is done via USPS snail mail.  If your address changes, immediately notify the board so you don’t miss any messages from them.

Also, if you haven’t taken your boards, now would be a great time to study and take them. You’ll have to wait for your license to come through the mail anyway, so study away! It will be great for when you start practicing as well. I will post my study method in a future post.

I hope this was helpful! If you have any suggestions for future content, please do not hesitate to let me know!

3 responses

  1. I recently moved to San Diego from Pennsylvania. One month before graduating from my NP program and moving, I came across your site with all the helpful information!! I followed the helpful information closely as I worked through the application process for licensure. I can’t thank you enough. I took the boards and passed the first time (AMEN!) As of today, received my official “active” license numbers from the CA BRN. I appreciate the “The Real NP!!” GREAT resource.

  2. Hi,

    I am working on my California NP application but have not taken the certification exam yet. Should I leave out the “Verification of NP certification by a national organization” page (#10) completely from my application? Is there a way to request from AANP directly to send my certification once I pass the exam? Thanks for the help!

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