Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Wyoming evaluate patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, implement treatment plans, and prescribe medications. These advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) hold full practice authority in Wyoming to provide patient care independently of a supervising doctor, with official state recognition as primary care providers.
Several national trends contribute to the growing reliance on NPs, including anticipated physician shortages, an aging population who need both primary and preventive services, and an increase in patients with chronic conditions like arthritis and diabetes. NPs rank among the 10 fastest-growing occupations in the U.S, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting a growth rate of 36.1% from 2016-2026. The anticipated employment increase for NPs in Wyoming during this same period is even higher at 38.1%.
Some online programs may require on-campus residencies or hybrid courses that include in-person attendance.
Admission requirements, program lengths, and online delivery formats vary from school to school. Some online programs may require on-campus residencies or hybrid courses that include in-person attendance. Degree-seekers typically take 2-3 years to complete MSNs, depending on the level of nursing education already acquired when admitted. A DNP may require three or more years to complete. While both degrees prepare graduates for advanced clinical practice, a DNP provides additional training in leadership, healthcare policy, research, and information systems.
Before entering any degree program, prospective NPs should check with the state board to verify current licensing regulations.
NP programs in Wyoming allow students to choose from six population-focused specializations in family care, women's health, psychiatric-mental health, neonatal care, pediatrics, or adult-gerontology. The state board requires degree-holders seeking licensure to complete certification from an approved national credentialing agency in their intended practice area.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Wyoming
Wyoming Nurse Practitioner Career Information
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Wyoming and Nearby States
Employment for Wyoming NPs continues to expand. Over a quarter of Wyoming's residents live in primary care shortage areas where the supply of primary care physicians falls below federally defined standards. The projected 38.1% growth in NP employment from 2016-2026 in Wyoming reflects the state's growing reliance on NPs as primary care providers.
Because NPs in Wyoming hold full practice authority, providing patient care without the direct supervision of a physician, their annual average salary ranks much higher than the national average. The mean annual wages of $116,030 for Wyoming NP in 2018 ranks among the highest in the northwest, with the highest salaried NPs in the state earning close to $157,000 a year.
Licensure for Nurse Practitioners in Wyoming
An applicant for an NP license in Wyoming must hold an unencumbered RN license, an MSN or DNP from an accredited program, and national certification in their intended advanced practice role and population focus. The state recognizes examination-based national certifications from multiple nursing organizations that issue credentials in the six population area specializations. NPs must also complete a minimum of 500 clinical practice hours in their population focus.
A license-seeker who has graduated from a recognized degree program but not yet passed the certification examination may apply for a graduate advanced practice registered nurse (GAPRN) license. This temporary permit restricts nurses to practice under the supervision of a doctor or an APRN certified in their specialization. The GAPRN license terminates if the applicant fails to pass the certification exam.
A license-seeker who has graduated from a recognized degree program but not yet passed the certification examination may apply for a graduate advanced practice registered nurse (GAPRN) license.
Wyoming NP licenses expire every two years. Renewal depends on maintaining an active license and continuing national certification. APRNs recognized before July 1, 2015, without national certification must provide evidence of 60 hours of continuing education credit in specialized practice and 400 hours of active nursing practice.
Wyoming charges a $120 initial application fee and $60 for a required fingerprint-based criminal background check. NPs seeking renewal must submit a $110 fee to maintain their RN licenses and $70 for APRN recognition.
Other Requirements for Wyoming Nurse Practitioners
Wyoming licensure regulations grant NPs full practice authority (FPA), which allows them to practice without the oversight of a doctor. As described by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, FPA states permit NPs to provide the same kind of patient care as physicians, evaluating patients; ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests; and initiating treatments including prescribing medications and controlled substances
NPs in Wyoming may seek optional prescriptive authority approval when applying for their initial APRN recognition through the state board of nursing. Already recognized APRNs who want to add prescriptive authority to their scope of practice must submit a separate application for prescriptive authority. In Wyoming, NPs with prescriptive authority may prescribe medications and schedule II-IV controlled substances. Eligibility requires candidates to complete 30 contact hours in pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics within five years prior to the application.
In Wyoming, NPs with prescriptive authority may prescribe medications and schedule II-IV controlled substances.
In addition to maintaining national certification, NPs must renew their prescriptive authority approval every even-numbered year, along with their RN license renewal. Renewing prescriptive authority requires 15 hours of continuing education in pharmacology and clinical management of drug therapy/treatment.
State licensing and national certification requirements often change. Prospective NPs should verify current regulations with the state board of nursing and thoroughly research certification credentials well in advance of applying for APRN recognition in Wyoming.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
In response to the pressing need for NPs, Wyoming joined the nurse licensure compact (NLC) in 2018. The 34 member states in the NLC have agreed to allow RNs who hold a license issued in their home state to practice in other compact states.
NPs must claim residency in a compact state to apply for a multistate license. Out-of-state NPs who are not residents of compact states may apply for licensure by endorsement in Wyoming, contingent on meeting state board of nursing requirements. While each state regulates prescriptive authority differently, states like Wyoming that allow full practice generally grant NPs the same privileges as physicians to administer prescription medications and controlled drugs.
Resources for Wyoming Nurse Practitioners
Wyoming Council for Advanced Practice Nurses WCAPN provides continuing education opportunities and sponsors a statewide job board. The Council plays an active role in monitoring legislative issues and advocates for the interests of its members in policy matters.
Wyoming Nurses Association Membership in this state affiliate of the American Nurses Association includes full voting rights in the association. The WNA offers members-only discounts for online continuing education modules, along with personal and professional insurance coverage.
Wyoming State Board of Nursing The state board administers nursing licenses and renewals, establishes standards, and regulates the nursing practice in the state. WSBN publishes the Wyoming Nurse Reporter online and mails physical copies to every licensed nurse in Wyoming.
Wyoming Center for Nursing Established in 2008, the WCN administers grants to support nursing recruitment, retention, and educational capacity. The Center has developed a nursing curriculum, Revolutionizing Nursing Education in Wyoming, offered at the University of Wyoming and state community colleges.
Wyoming Action Coalition The WAC collaborates with healthcare providers and other partners across the U.S. to strengthen nursing and healthcare access. Through its Campaign for Action, the Coalition promotes health equity, quality nursing education, and diversity in the nursing profession.