Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Delaware

Updated April 27, 2021 • 6 Min Read

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Even a relatively small state like Delaware needs a lot of nurses. In 2014, there were over 10,000 registered nurses working there, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), placing it in the top 10 states with a high concentration of RNs. Nonetheless, the BLS anticipates Delaware will have 16 percent more RN jobs in 2022 than it did in 2012. Keep reading to discover how to be a part of Delaware's nursing field. You'll be able to search for schools, get a checklist of licensure requirements, and review the state's salary and employment statistics.

Top 7 Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Delaware

#1 University of Delaware Newark, DE
#2 Delaware State University Dover, DE
#3 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
#4 Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington Dover, DE is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Delaware's Nursing Schools and Programs

Delaware schools are working to enhance their nursing programs to help both aspiring nurses and current nursing assistants or LPNs qualify for roles as RNs or advanced practice nurses. Though just a handful of schools in Delaware have state-approved nursing programs, they run the gamut from the diploma to the doctoral degree level. Browse through the schools below to find the right match.

  1. University of Delaware

    Newark, DE



  2. Delaware State University

    Dover, DE



  3. Wilmington University

    New Castle, DE



  4. Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington

    Dover, DE



How to Earn a Nursing License in Delaware

The Delaware Board of Nursing is responsible for issuing nursing licenses, as well as protecting public health by ensuring that nurses adhere to the rules and regulations governing the field. In addition, the board investigates complaints against nurses and imposes disciplinary measures in cases of wrongdoing. Nurses who have recently graduated should apply for a license by examination, while RNs practicing in another state can apply for a license by endorsement.

Licensure Eligibility

  • Graduate from a board-approved nursing program
  • Submit to a criminal background check by completing the Authorization for Release of Information form
  • Send a notarized application for licensure along with a copy of an ID from the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles and pay a processing fee of $132; practicing RNs moving to the state must also send a photocopy of their current nursing license
  • After filling in the applicant information section of the Nursing Reference form, which is part of the licensure application, send it to your nursing school for completion and ask the school to send it to the Board of Nursing
  • Have your nursing school send official transcripts to the Board of Nursing; those who received training outside of the country must also submit a certificate from CGFNS showing their credentials have been evaluated
  • Register with Pearson VUE to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and pay a $200 exam fee
  • Schedule the exam for within 90 days of receiving an authorization to test (ATT) and meet the passing standard

License Renewal Process in Delaware

Delaware RN licenses expire on February 28, May 31, or September 30 of odd years. Older licenses may have different expiration dates and the month depends on the date the license was originally issued. All newly issued licenses, however, will expire on September 30. Nurses who wish to renew must attest that they have practiced nursing for either 1,000 hours within the past five years or 400 hours within the past two years. They can renew online through the Delaware Licensee Online Services after receiving a renewal notice. The renewal fee is not published and is subject to change.

Continuing Education hours are also required and the amount depends on the RN's status. Those who received a license by examination will need to complete 30 approved CE hours before renewal. RNs who have held their license for less than two years do not have to fulfill this requirement. Those who received their license by endorsement or reinstatement will need to complete 15 hours if the license has been active at least one year but less than two; licenses of two or more years require 30 CE hours for renewal.

How to Earn an Advanced Practice License in Delaware

RNs with a license from Delaware or a compact state can apply to become advanced practice nurses once they have met the educational and registration requirements. This includes:

  • Earning a master's degree or a certificate in a clinical nursing specialty that is certified from a board-approved national certifying body
  • Having completed either 1,500 hours practicing in the specialty over the last five years or 600 hours over the last two
  • Submitting a notarized application, $132 fee, copy of state-issued ID, and copy of most-recent certification notice
  • Undergoing a criminal background check by completing the Authorization for Release of Information form
  • Requesting that official transcripts be sent directly from the school
  • Arranging for the Verification of National Certification form, which is part of the licensure application, to be sent from the certifying organization to the Board of Nursing

Additionally, new APRNs must fill out a Collaborative Agreement for each place they plan to work as an APRN; this stipulation must no longer be met after an APRN gains 4,000 hours of work experience in the specialty or has been practicing for two years.

The renewal process is the similar for APRNs as it is for RNs, except advanced practice nurses must attest to practicing 1,500 hours in the specialty over the last five years or 600 hours over the last two.

Nurses who are applying for RN licenses simultaneously will be able to submit some information in tandem. APRNs seeking the ability to write prescriptions must meet additional requirements. For more information about the licensure process for advanced practice nurses in Delaware, please visit the Department of State's Division of Professional Regulation.

Delaware Nursing Facts and Stats

According to Delaware's Division of Professional Regulation, about 450 Delaware nursing students pass the NCLEX-RN each year. Those who go directly into healthcare get well-compensated right out the gate, as Delaware RNs tend to earn salaries higher than average. Nurse practitioners and nurse midwives stand to gain from the high rates of compensation as well. Check out the details below.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Delaware

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Wilmington DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division$34.25$71,230
Sussex County Delaware nonmetropolitan area$32.90$68,430

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Delaware vs. National Numbers



YearAnnual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)Annual salary(25th percentile)Annual salary(median)Annual salary(75th percentile)
Registered Nurse$60,940$69,890$79,620$0$54,620$66,640$81,080
Certified Nurse Midwife$78,410$89,050$99,920$0$82,580$96,970$114,090
Nurse Anesthetist$142,030$171,560$0$0$132,380$153,780$181,860
Nurse Practitioner$83,640$93,670$109,060$0$82,720$95,350$113,470

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 



Registered Nurse10,0902,687,310
Certified Nurse Midwife405,110
Nurse Anesthetist036,590
Nurse Practitioner510122,050


Registered Nurse11,6803,238,400
Certified Nurse Midwife507,700
Nurse Anesthetist043,900
Nurse Practitioner590147,300

AVG. ANNUAL OPENINGS (2012 – 2022)

Registered Nurse360105,260
Certified Nurse Midwife0290
Nurse Anesthetist01,560
Nurse Practitioner205,850

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Delaware Nursing Organizations

Delaware Action Coalition

The coalition is part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. The coalition foresees a future in which all people in the state receive high-quality care when they need it.

Delaware Board of Nursing

The Delaware Board of Nursing provides nursing licenses to professionals around the state. It is filled with information for nurses in just about any circumstance.

Delaware Emergency Nurses Association

The state's emergency care nurses receive support from the DENA in various forms. The organization is particularly helpful for linking RNs to Certified Emergency Nurse review courses.

Delaware Nurses Association

The state branch of the American Nurses Association works to promote the nursing profession through education, advocacy and research. Paying members enjoy special discounts on insurance and participation privileges at the national level, state level or both, depending on their membership level.

Delaware Organization of Nurse Leaders

This affiliate of the American Organization of Nurse Executives is made up of nursing leaders, administrators, educators and researchers. The DONL funds research into nursing administration, makes professional development opportunities available to its members, and uses a unified voice to impact public policy.

Delaware School Nurse Association

Part of the National Association of School Nurses, the DSNA supports the needs of nurses who work in public, private and charter schools around the state. It represents 320 Delaware school nurses, 210 of whom are members.

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