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

Education Requirements for Nursing Licenses in Kentucky
Nursing Licenses in Kentucky Master’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

Kentucky Nursing Salaries
KY Nurse Career State-Wide Annual Mean Wage Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Annual Mean Wage Lexington-Fayette Annual Mean Wage Bowling 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!

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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

Sponsored

Earn an MS in Nursing online from Georgetown University.
  • Earn your MS in Nursing in as few as 19 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
Earn a Master of Science in Nursing online from Simmons University.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Preparation to pursue certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Part-time, full-time, and extended plans of study
Earn your MSN online from USC's Top-Ranked School of Social Work.
  • Prepares RNs to pursue board certification as family nurse practitioners
  • Earn a CCNE-accredited MSN in as few as 21 months
  • Choose from part-time and full-time study options

Sponsored