Arizona board of Nursing and APRN Licensure and Certification

Arizona board of Nursing


Federal Drug enforcement Agency

            Website: execution=e1s2


How to get certified

I live in the state of Arizona and getting certified as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse has been a major goal of mine all my life. With that in mind, there a various steps and processes to be complete on my quest of getting certified as an APRN. The first step to getting certified is by completing a master’s in Nursing Degree at a certified university, at this point I am in my final stages of completing my master’s in Nursing Degree at the Walden University. The state of Arizona also requires me to take the national ANCC exam at the completion of coursework to be certified as a Psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner (Arizona Board of Nursing, 2021). After the exam, I will be required to apply for a prescriptive authorization and undergo a background check. I will also be required to apply for a DEA from the Federal Drug enforcement Agency in order to prescribe controlled medication (AANP, 2021).

Scope of Practice in the state of Arizona

            In Arizona, a PMHNP is permitted to examine, diagnose and develop treatment plans for patients based on the patient’s history, physical examination, clinical tests and other criteria. The PMHNP is also allowed to prescribe administer and dispense therapeutic measures if authorized under the R4-19-511. The state of Arizona allows Nurse practitioners to practice without supervision but NPs are prohibited by state law from prescribing controlled substances to themselves, family or people with close relations (Arizona Board of Nursing, 2021). Nurse practitioners in Arizona are allowed to prescribe drugs on schedules II through V (U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, 2021).


U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (2021). Diversion Control Division. Retrieved from:

Arizona Board of Nursing. (2021). Retrieved from:

AANP (2021) How to Get Information About Obtaining a DEA Number. Retrieved from

It is nice to know that Arizona allows nurse practitioners to practice independently. I currently live in Massachusetts (MA) and due to the recent pandemic of COVID-19, the state of Massachusetts recently passed a law stating NPs can practice independently without a physician overseeing them. Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts recently signed legislation that allows nurse practitioners to practice independently Jan. 1, 2021, making it the 23rd state to adopt full practice authority (Cuccovia, Heelan-Fancher, & Aronowitz, 2021). The law makes permanent earlier executive orders that temporarily expanded the scope of practice for several types of practitioners amid the pandemic. Full practice authority enables nurse practitioners to “evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribe medications (Craven, & Ober, 2021). Research shows that states with Full Practice Authority maintain strong safety and quality outcomes and improve both access to care and cost savings. Massachusetts is the latest state to embrace a better care delivery model that recognizes NPs as part of the solution for addressing healthcare needs. The legislation also expands telehealth coverage and requires all Massachusetts insurance carriers to cover COVID-19 services, among other provisions (Gonzalez, 2021).


Cuccovia, B. A., Heelan-Fancher, L., & Aronowitz, T. (2021). A policy analysis of nurse practitioner scope of practice in Massachusetts. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Craven, G., & Ober, S. (2021). Massachusetts Nurse Practitioners Step Up as One Solution to the Primary Care Access Problem: A Political Success Story. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 10(2), 94–100.

Gonzalez, S. (2021, February 23). Governor Charlie Baker shares updates to Massachusetts’ COVID-19 policies. UWIRE Text, 1.

Thanks for sharing your state information, Mathilda. I am  happy to learn that NPs in Arizona have  full practice authority and  Arizona state, does not require nurse practitioners to be supervised by, or collaborate with, a physician and can practice independently. Besides, during my researches on your state NPs scope of practice, I learn that NPs must first apply for prescribing authority from the Arizona Board of Nursing after completion of 45 hours of education in pharmacology or drug therapy in the three years preceding the application. Then, nurse practitioners must apply for a DEA number if he/she wishes to prescribe controlled substances. Once prescribing authority is granted, it can only be used in Arizona, NPs cannot prescribe in other states (ThriveAP, 2014). Moreover, Arizona Revised Statues § 36-2606, effective December 31, 2015, requires every Arizona medical practitioner, including Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who intend to obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration number or who hold one or more DEA registration numbers to also hold a Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Program registration issued by the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. There is NO fee to the practitioner for this registration (Arizona State Board of Nursing, n. d.)


Arizona State Board of Nursing (n.d.). Apply for a license. Retrieved from

ThriveAP (2014). Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice: Arizona Advanced Practice Legal Issues. Retrieved from

In addition to your post as i read about your state Arizona, i gained the knowledge that with the Practice Authority: No formal physician collaboration agreement required. However, Arizona Department of Health regulations require that patients admitted to an acute care facility must have an attending physician (Med Source Consultant, n.d.). It is very interesting getting to know the difference in regulations from other states. Great post.


I am glad to know that unlike New Jersey, Arizona, allows full practice, which grants nurse practitioners the ability to evaluate, order diagnostics, diagnose and treat patients independently. I have checked the Arizona Board of Nursing website and found it very helpful. They have included a scope of practice APRN questions and answers with comprehensive answers that also include links to resources (Arizona State Board of Nursing, 2020). It is also nice to know that prescriber’s in your state are required to check the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP), which aims to reduce abuse, misuse, and diversion of prescription medications, before prescribing (Davis et al., 2015). 

I found a tool that helps integrate PMP reports from several states directly into the prescribing work flow. Is it called MDToolbox, and it allows prescriber’s to go directly to a patient’s PMP report, making the process easier (MDToolbox, 2021)? Another resource is the OSBN prescriptive authority booklet, which reviews laws and regulations regarding prescriptive and dispensing privileges for nurse practitioners (Oregon State Board of Nursing, 2018). I hope you find these resources helpful as you prepare to fully practice as an advanced registered nurse practitioner. 


Arizona State Board of Nursing. (2020). Arizona Board of Nursing scope of practice APRN questions & answers.

Davis, C. S., Johnston, J. E., & Pierce, M. W. (2015). Overdose epidemic, prescription monitoring programs, and public health: A review of state laws. American Journal of Public Health, 105(11), e9-e11.

MDToolbox. (2021). State prescription drug monitoring programs.

Oregon State Board of Nursing. (2018). Prescriptive and dispensing authority in Oregon for advanced practice registered nurses.

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