Registered nurses (RNs) looking to advance into lucrative and fulfilling roles in their field should consider nurse practitioner (NP) programs in Idaho. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), NPs in Idaho earned an annual mean wage of $102,600 in 2018. RNs can also choose NP programs in Idaho to specialize their employment and shift into different work environments. NPs engage in practices beyond the scope of RN work, such as performing diagnostic tests or prescribing medication.
This guide shows aspiring professionals how to become NPs in Idaho, including what to expect from an online NP program, Idaho's job outlooks, and information about obtaining licensure.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Idaho
Applicants select their specialization track when applying to online NP programs in ID. Potential specializations include family, pediatric, and adult-gerontology. Specializations influence how many credits the student needs to graduate and the length of the program. At this time, nursing students also choose between a master of science in nursing (MSN) and a doctor of nursing practice (DNP).
While enrollees can take online MSN and DNP courses, students must complete in-person clinical hours within their field at healthcare facilities under the supervision of licensed NPs.
A typical online MSN program in Idaho takes 2-3 years, including clinical experience. A DNP takes 2-5 years or more, depending on whether the applicant is a practicing NP or possesses a BSN without a master's degree. While enrollees can take online MSN and DNP courses, students must complete in-person clinical hours within their field at healthcare facilities under the supervision of licensed NPs. Online MSN and DNP programs require each applicant to possess a current RN license in Idaho and hold 1-2 years of professional nursing experience.
Students should plan on completing an MSN program first, then completing a DNP. Idaho's licensing board does not require candidates to obtain DNPs, but healthcare facilities are gradually trending toward preferring NPs with a DNP. Many NP programs in Idaho have similar requirements and program lengths, though specifics vary by program. Always research potential schools, specializations, and programs before committing to a degree.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Idaho
Idaho Nurse Practitioner Career Information
While NPs in Idaho still earn high mean annual wages, their income still lags regionally and nationally. The BLS reported a mean annual wage of $110,030 for NPs nationally, which ranks higher than Idaho's mean annual wage of $102,600. Other states in the region also outpaced Idaho.
The BLS projects lower NP job growth in Idaho than the nation as a whole. Idaho's projected growth only outpaces Washington, but the Gem State's 34.8% figure remains higher than most other positions. Idaho's Department of Labor projects an annual demand of 37 APRNs, though only 10 graduate in Idaho each year. Of those graduates, only five remain, meaning Idaho needs an additional 32 APRNs each year.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Idaho and Nearby States
Idaho requires each NP to earn an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license. The APRN application process requires nurses to currently hold an RN license in Idaho. Idaho is a nurse licensure compact (NLC) state, meaning an RN license earned in a different compact state transfers to Idaho. If applicants are not from compact states, they must separately apply for RN licenses. Each APRN applicant must also complete a board-approved APRN education program.
Idaho is a nurse licensure compact (NLC) state, meaning an RN license earned in a different compact state transfers to Idaho.
Before applying for APRN licensure, each aspiring NP must earn certification from a national organization. Each certification maintains distinct requirements, including examination and continuing education. Finally, APRN applicants must prove their physical and mental well-being and pay a $250 application fee.
NPs must renew their APRN licenses by August 31 every odd-numbered year. NPs also renew their RN licenses at the same time. For renewal eligibility, NPs must meet continued competency requirements, including 30 hours of continuing education and 100 hours of nursing practice within their field.
Other Requirements for Idaho Nurse Practitioners
While NPs renew their APRN licenses every odd-numbered year, Idaho does not require nurses to meet continued competency before their first renewal. After, each NP must complete 30 hours of continuing education, 10 of which must focus on pharmacology. NPs complete the remaining 20 hours within their specialized field. NPs must maintain RN licensure, which may require additional continuing education or renewal fees. RN requirements depend on the NP's RN licensure state.
While NPs renew their APRN licenses every odd-numbered year, Idaho does not require nurses to meet continued competency before their first renewal.
Idaho also requires NPs to maintain national certification. Depending on the certification required for the specialization, nurses must meet minimum continuing education requirements. Some credits could count toward certification and license renewal continuing education. NPs must send all documents proving continued competency to the Idaho Board of Nursing when renewing. Idaho does not accept license renewals sent after the deadline. If this occurs, the APRN license lapses, and NPs must reinstate their license.
New NPs in Idaho automatically earn prescriptive authority with their APRN licenses. However, NPs can only prescribe medication related to their specialized field. The 10 pharmacology continuing education hours satisfy prescriptive authority renewal requirements. Finally, NPs pay a $100 reinstatement fee.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Idaho maintains membership in the NLC and the advanced practice registered nurse compact. These compacts standardize licensure across multiple states to ease the process of transferring licenses. As long as an out-of-state NP holds an active RN and APRN license, along with national certification, their license easily transfers to Idaho. Idaho conducts a criminal background check as part of the licensure process for out-of-state NPs and awards temporary licenses to NPs while processing background checks. Recently graduated nurses who await licensure also may earn a temporary license.
All new APRN licensees in Idaho obtain prescriptive authority, though out-of-state NPs must meet continuing education requirements. Each state maintains distinct requirements for NP licensure and prescriptive authority.
Resources for Idaho Nurse Practitioners
Nurse Practitioners of Idaho This professional organization offers continuing education for NPs, including credit hours in pharmacology. Members also receive professional development opportunities, access to industry resources, and discounts for other organizations.
American Nurses Association-Idaho ANA-Idaho emphasizes professional development and advocacy for all nurses. Other benefits of joining include discounts on books, access to special content, and a discount to ANA's national conference.
Idaho Board of Nursing The Idaho Board of Nursing regulates nursing within the state, rewards licensure for various nursing positions and specialties, and handles the license renewal process.
Nurse Leaders of Idaho As the Idaho affiliate of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, NLI collects and analyzes nursing data to promote better industry practices.
Idaho Action Coalition The Idaho Action Coalition aims to improve nurses' abilities to respond to challenges and improve the accessibility and affordability of healthcare.