Become a Nurse in Kentucky – Licensure & Requirements

Nursing requirements change rapidly. Make sure to confirm licensing requirements with the Kentucky Board of Nursing before applying for licensure. Last updated: 1/27/2020

Nursing Licenses in KentuckyMaster’s Required?
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
Yes
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Yes
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Yes
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Yes
Registered Nurse (RN)
No
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
No

Kentucky Nursing Salaries

KY Nurse CareerState-Wide Annual Mean WageLouisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Annual Mean WageLexington-Fayette Annual Mean WageBowling Green Annual Mean Wage
Licensed Practical Nurse
$41,920
$43,760
$44,560
$42,160
Registered Nurse
$63,100
$64,590
$63,810
$60,830
Nurse Practitioner
$99,790
$108,390
$96,810
$98,790
Nurse Anesthetist
$172,780
Not Available
$161,220
Not Available
Nurse Midwife
$101,990
$110,060
Not Available
Not Available

Careers as a nurse salaries above were retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Kentucky in January 2020.

There are many paths to becoming a nurse in Kentucky. The path you take will mostly depend upon the type of nurse you’d like to become and your current or prospective level of education. The higher your level of education, the more opportunities you’ll have to choose where and how you pursue your career in nursing.

In addition to nursing salaries in Kentucky, you’ll find information on acquiring and maintaining several types of Kentucky nursing license. We’re constantly making updates, but with the speed of change in the healthcare sphere it’s difficult to stay current. If you have any comments or suggestions for our information on nursing in Kentucky, please email us at info@nursinglicensemap.com!

Sponsored Online Nursing Programs

Georgetown University

info

Master of Science in Nursing

Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 23 months. 

  • Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
  • Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
  • Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice

Simmons University

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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Earn an MSN online from Simmons University. Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP — and prepare to raise the standard of patient care.

  • Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP
  • Complete in as few as 24 months
  • Full-time and part-time tracks available

University of Southern California (USC)

info

Master of Science in Nursing – FNP Program

Nursing@USC delivers the online Master of Science in Nursing program from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing. RN and BSN req’d.

  • Designed for registered nurses (RNs) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Offers a part-time option for active RNs to earn a Master of Science in Nursing online
  • Can be completed in as few as 21 months

St. John Fisher University

info

Master of Science in Nursing

Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing. Bachelor’s in nursing and RN license-required. 

  • Part-time and accelerated tracks available
  • Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP

info SPONSORED

Compact State Status

Kentucky is a Nursing Licensure Compact state.

Prescriptive Authority in Kentucky

Advanced practice registered nurses in Kentucky may apply for prescriptive authority for Schedule II-V controlled substances with some limitations on refills in collaboration with a physician.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in Kentucky

Education: Master’s Degree or Higher in Specialty Area

Examination: Varies for Different Certifications

Fees:

  • $65 Application Fee
  • $13.25 Fingerprinting Fee
  • Examination Fee (Varies for Different Certifications)

Experience: Varies for Different Certifications

Certification Required: National Certification in Specialty Area

Endorsement: Endorsement applicants must complete three domestic violence continuing education contact hours, 1.5 pediatric head abuse trauma contact hours, provide proof of either 120 hours of clinical experience or a 120-hour clinical internship, and submit payment of a $165 application fee, a $13.25 fingerprinting fee. Registered nurses who hold an active license in another compact state need not apply for licensure in Kentucky, unless they plan to change their permanent residency to Kentucky.

Additional Information: An Active Registered Nurse License from a Compact State Is Required

Renewal: Renewal fees include the RN license plus $55 for each APRN certification that is renewed. APRNs are required to complete 14 contact hours during each renewal period or complete one of the following: national certification, a nursing research project as principal investigator, or publication in a nursing journal. All APRNs must earn five contact hours in pharmacology each renewal period. For APRNs with prescriptive authority, one and a half of the five hours on pharmacology must be on the use of KASPER, pain management, or addiction disorders.

Learn more on how to become an advanced practice registered nurse.

Registered Nurse (RN) in Kentucky

Education: Completion of an Approved Registered Nurse Program

Examination: NCLEX-RN

Fees:

  • $125 Application Fee
  • $200 Examination Fee
  • $13.25 Fingerprinting Fee

Experience: 120-Hour Clinical Internship

Endorsement: Individuals licensed as a registered nurse in another state may apply for licensure through endorsement. Endorsement applicants must complete three domestic violence continuing education contact hours, 1.5 pediatric head abuse trauma contact hours, provide proof of either 120 hours of clinical experience or a 120-hour clinical internship, and submit payment of a $165 application fee, a $13.25 fingerprinting fee. Registered nurses who hold an active license in another compact state need not apply for licensure in Kentucky, unless they plan to change their permanent residency to Kentucky.

Renewal: All Kentucky licenses should be renewed between September 15 and midnight of October 31. Fee is $65 for the registered nurse (RN) license. Any advanced licenses should be renewed separately and for an additional fee. RNs are required to complete 14 contact hours for renewal or complete one of the following: national certification, a nursing research project as principal investigator, or publication in a nursing journal.

Learn more on how to become a registered nurse.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in Kentucky

Education: Completion of an Approved Licensed Practical Nurse Program

Examination: NCLEX-PN

Fees:

  • $125 Application Fee
  • $200 Examination Fee
  • $13.25 Fingerprinting Fee

Experience: 120-Hour Clinical Internship

Endorsement: Individuals licensed as a licensed practical nurse in another state may apply for licensure through endorsement. Endorsement applicants must complete three domestic violence continuing education contact hours, 1.5 pediatric head abuse trauma contact hours, provide proof of either 120 hours of clinical experience or a 120-hour clinical internship, and submit payment of a $165 application fee, a $13.25 fingerprinting fee. Licensed practical nurses who hold an active license in another compact state need not apply for licensure in Kentucky, unless they plan to change their permanent residency to Kentucky.

Renewal: Renewal fees include the R.N. license plus $65 for each LPN certification that is renewed. LPNs are required to complete 14 contact hours during each renewal period or complete one of the following: national certification, a nursing research project as principal investigator, or publication in a nursing journal.

Learn more on how to become a licensed practical nurse.


Information for the nursing careers above: advanced practice registered nurse, registered nurse, and licensed practical nurse was retrieved from the Kentucky Board of Nursing, as of January 2020.

Sponsored Online Nursing Programs

Georgetown University

info

Master of Science in Nursing

Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 23 months. 

  • Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 23 months
  • Choose from one of four APRN specialty areas: AG-ACNP, FNP, NM/WHNP, or WHNP
  • Gain hands-on clinical experience in evidence-based practice

Simmons University

info

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Earn an MSN online from Simmons University. Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP — and prepare to raise the standard of patient care.

  • Choose from two program options — FNP or PMHNP
  • Complete in as few as 24 months
  • Full-time and part-time tracks available

University of Southern California (USC)

info

Master of Science in Nursing – FNP Program

Nursing@USC delivers the online Master of Science in Nursing program from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing. RN and BSN req’d.

  • Designed for registered nurses (RNs) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Offers a part-time option for active RNs to earn a Master of Science in Nursing online
  • Can be completed in as few as 21 months

St. John Fisher University

info

Master of Science in Nursing

Earn an M.S. in Nursing online at the Wegmans School of Nursing. Bachelor’s in nursing and RN license-required. 

  • Part-time and accelerated tracks available
  • Four program options: PCFNP, PMHNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP

info SPONSORED