The Costs Related to Entering NP Practice

You have probably heard the phrase “nothing worth having comes easily.” That is especially true in regards to attaining your family nurse practitioner certification and beginning your first job using your new credentials.

Along with the time spent behind a desk, late nights studying, and long clinical hours, there are financial costs associated with starting your career. To complicate matters, these costs usually occur within a short span of time. Without adequate planning, covering these various fees and charges can be challenging — especially on top of your tuition payments.


To avoid any surprises, prepare yourself for the following costs related to entering NP practice:

NP Association Memberships: $55+

Nurse practitioner associations play a vital role in protecting and advancing the work of NPs:

    • Advocating for or against legislation that affects NPs

    • Providing education and support for initiatives that improve patient care

    • Performing studies and presenting research on impactful topics

    • Ensuring through leadership that NPs have a voice in important healthcare-related conversations

While membership in an NP association is not compulsory, it can be considered a professional responsibility. NPs with a family nurse practitioner certification should consider membership with their state NP association and with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Membership with these organizations supports the ongoing activities that further the NP role, and gives you access to important tools and resources that help you increase the quality of your practice.


AANP members also have access to financial benefits, such as special rates on professional liability insurance, free subscriptions and clinical resources, discounted AANP National Conference registration, free CE courses, and discounted AANP certification board applications.


Newly graduated NPs in their first year of practice can secure an annual membership for $95, and entry-level NP students pay only $55.


Certification Exam Fees


National certification for family nurse practitioners is required in almost all states. Beyond that, all third-party insurers require FNPs to be nationally certified, as well as most employers. Family nurse practitioner certification board exams can be completed through either the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).


Certification application costs are as follows:


    • AANPCB: $315 for non-AANP members, $240 for for AANP members

    • ANCC: $270 for American Nursing Association members, $340 for AANP members, $290 for AANP student members, and $395 for non-members

Certification Review Course

An inability to pass your FNP certification exam has short-term and long-term costs:


    • For both the AANPCB and ANCC exams, you will pay a retesting fee.

    • If you need to retake the AANPCB exam, you will be required to complete a 15-hour advanced practice CE from an accredited provider in the area of weakness indicated by the score report, adding an additional expense to the retesting fee.

    • There is a 60-day waiting period to retake the ANCC exam, delaying the start of your lucrative new career and reducing your earning potential.

    • Most candidates who need to retake their FNP exam have paid for and used only practice question banks and practice tests, which are not sufficient as standalone study tools.


To avoid the expenses, hassle, delay, and discouragement associated with retaking your FNP certification exam, candidates should consider a certification review course from a reputable provider with excellent pass rates.


Fitzgerald Health Education Associates offers a Family NP Certification Review with a 99%+ pass rate along with a pass guarantee. Not only will you be successful in your first exam attempt, you will emerge fully equipped and confident as you enter FNP practice.


Fitzgerald’s FNP Certification Review starts at $395, and includes resources far beyond the basics. The course is presented by practicing, renowned FNP experts and includes the most up-to-date, evidence-based materials, a practice exam, hundreds of prep questions, a comprehensive printed workbook, and format options to suit your study preferences and lifestyle.


Certification review content is sequential and covers ALL exam domains for both the AANP and ANCC FNP exams. For more details on our pass-guarantee and resources, view our Exam Review and Prep catalog.


State License Fees

Another cost related to entering NP practice is your state license. Before you can practice as an NP, you must apply for and receive a license from the board of nursing in the state in which you will practice. The application fee and other requirements for licensure vary by state.


In general, application fees range between $100 and $300. In many states, the state NP licensure application also includes a prescriptive authority application fee. For example, in Oregon the initial advanced practice licensure fee is $225, which includes a $150 application fee and a required $75 prescriptive authority fee.


As you look for employment, check the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website for information about the state in which you would like to work.


DEA Registration Number Fee

NPs have the authority to prescribe controlled substances in every state. In order to prescribe controlled substances, NPs must obtain a federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration number.


The DEA number fee is $888 for 3 years. During your job search, keep in mind that employers will often pay the fee for initial DEA registration or DEA renewal IF you negotiate this in advance.


Keep in mind, however, that the requirements NPs must meet to obtain a DEA number also vary from state to state; before you apply, you should check with the state board of nursing to determine the specific requirements in the state where you will practice.

Malpractice Insurance

Experts recommend getting as much malpractice coverage as you can afford. We recommend at least $1 million per occurrence for your own personal protection. NPs will need to purchase malpractice insurance if their employer does not cover them under their policy and should consider purchasing their own policy if an employer’s policy has limits below $1 million.


One of the most compelling reasons to carry your own liability insurance is that your policy will provide you with additional legal counsel if you are sued.


Premiums vary by area of certification, length of time in practice, the state in which you practice, and the liability limit you select. Generally, the total cost per year for an FNP will range from approximately $500 to $1500.

Preparedness is Key

The tenacity and dedication that helped you earn your FNP certification will also help you push through the challenges and costs related to entering NP practice. Best of luck to you, future family nurse practitioner!

Let Fitzgerald Help

For FNP students, new practicing FNPs, and beyond, Fitzgerald Health Education Associates provides the resources and tools you need to accomplish your goals and sharpen your skills. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about FNP certification or continuing education options.




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