How to Become an RN in Delaware (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become an RN in Delaware (A Complete Guide)

Want to become an RN in Delaware?

Don’t know where to begin?

Not sure what step to take next?

You’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’ll take you through ALL the steps to becoming an RN in the state. This way, you know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. 

Not only that, but this will give you a roadmap to make the journey easier to navigate. 

So let’s begin your complete 2023 guide on how to become an RN in Delaware!

The 5 Steps to Becoming an RN in Delaware 

You’ll have to put in the work to get your RN license in Delaware. 

No doubt about that. 

But the process isn’t that complex. In fact, you just need to complete 5 steps, namely:

  1. Re-examine your reasons
  2. Decide on a nursing degree
  3. Select a nursing school
  4. Earn enough clinical hours
  5. Apply for an RN license

Takes take a close look at each one. 

Step 1: Re-Examine Your Reasons

When you come from a family of nurses, it’s logical that you go into the same field. However, it pays to take a good look at your reasons.

Nursing is rewarding, but it’s not an easy field. You may find completing the process difficult if your heart isn’t in it.

It also pays to think about your future career plans at this stage. What kind of RN do you want to be?

Do you want to work in a hospital long-term? Or maybe you want to be a military or flight nurse.

Knowing your possible career paths may affect some of your decisions, like which degree to pursue.

Once you answer all these questions, you can get started in working towards your RN license. 

Step 2: Decide on a Nursing Degree

You can qualify to be an RN in Delaware if you complete either:

  • An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN); OR
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Think of these as two paths leading to the same destination.

And as with all routes, each offers advantages and disadvantages. 

Here is a table showing you what you can expect from both nursing degrees:

Associate Degree in NursingBachelor of Science in Nursing
Program Duration20 to 24 months3 to 4 years
Curriculum FocusClinical skills
Lab training
Core nursing coursework
Clinical skills
Management and leadership
Scope of PracticeTechnical clinical tasks and day-to-day care, such as:

Updating charts
Administering basic procedures
Monitoring patients
Direct patient care plus:

Possibly stepping into leadership, administrative, and management roles
Focus on big-picture healthcare initiatives
Areas of PracticeIntensive Care Unit
Mental Health
Emergency Department
Intensive Care Unit
Mental Health
Emergency Department
Public Health
Nursing Forensics
Case Management
Potential SalaryLowerHigher

Here are some pros and cons if you decide to pursue an Associate’s Degree.


  • An ADN is more affordable
  • Less time in school means joining the workforce faster
  • Finding work earlier allows you to start earning sooner
  • You can still pursue a BSN in the future


  • Salary tends to be lower
  • The probability of passing the NCLEX-RN on your first try is lower
  • Your responsibilities and areas of practice may be limited
  • You won’t be qualified for some high-level nursing roles

And here’s what you can expect if you go for a Bachelor’s Degree.


  • Nurses with BSNs have better compensation
  • You have more options for practice areas
  • You have many opportunities for advancement
  • Higher probability of passing the NCLEX-RN on your first try


  • BSN programs are more expensive since you spend more time in school
  • Delayed work experience

Now that you know what to expect, it becomes easier to choose which path you want to take. 

Step 3. Select a Nursing School

Now that you know what to take up, it’s time to choose a nursing school.

As with all educational institutions, each offers something different. What’s best depends on your preference.

That said, here are some factors to consider:

  • Reputation: Schools accredited by official bodies receive a credibility boost. Accrediting institutions to watch out for are the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • Quality of Teaching Staff: Try to see if their instructors are part-time or full-time. Most students prefer the latter, especially if they have doctorate degrees.
  • Mode of Delivery: Some schools offer their course online — is that something you would consider? If it is, it’s best to check how the material is delivered and if it fits your learning preferences. It may offer you the flexibility that traditional classroom instruction doesn’t.
  • Location: Location becomes a consideration if you prefer to attend face-to-face classes. How far is it from your home? Its distance will affect your schedule and may require more time management than usual. Are you open to living on campus? It may be a good alternative but may increase your expenses.
  • Class Size: How are their student-teacher ratios? Smaller classes may mean your instructor has more time to provide support if you need it.
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: Although this shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all of your choice, it pays to know whether students from a particular school tend to pass the NCLEX. It’s an effective indicator of how well they’re preparing their students for the licensing exam.

Step 4: Earn Enough Clinical Hours

In some states, completing your nursing degree is enough. That is not the case in Delaware.

Before you can graduate, you must earn 400 hours of clinical experience provided by the school.

Sure, this means more work. But think of it as an advantage. You’ll be able to get hands-on experience that helps you develop patient-care skills. 

It’s an opportunity to apply techniques you’ve learned and practice your bedside manner, too. As you go through it, you’ll also slowly build your confidence.

Step 5: Apply for an RN License

You’re almost there!

But don’t get negligent now.

This is probably the part where you need the most focus. This is because this is when you’ll have to take the NCLEX-RN exam. 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

Here are the steps to apply for an RN license in Delaware: 

  1. Create an account through Delaware’s online system, DELPROS. You will complete your application and submit all necessary documents through it. There is also a $170 licensing fee.

Here are the necessary documents you need:

  • A criminal background check (CBC) by the State of Delaware and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Do this early because the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) takes at least 4 weeks to send records to the Board office.
  • A copy of your driver’s license or ID card from the DMV
  • Official transcript showing your nursing degree and when you graduated. Your school must send this directly to the Board office.
  • A copy of your CGFNS CES Report (for applicants who completed their nursing education outside the U.S.)
  1. Register for the NCLEX-RN exam. Pearson Vue administers the NCLEX in Delaware. Make sure that you register with Pearson Vue — the Board cannot approve your application if you haven’t.

Once the Board receives, reviews, and approves your application, it’ll notify Pearson Vue that you are qualified to take the exam. You have to pay the $200 testing fee directly to them.

  1. Pass the NCLEX-RN exam. If you pass, the Board will email you the results. From there, they will issue your RN license online, and you can print it separately.

If you fail, you need to file a Service Request at DELPROS if you want to retake the test.

And there you have it!

If you completed all 5 steps, you now have an RN license!


Frequently Asked Questions

Got some questions? Then let’s answer the most frequently asked ones.

Is Delaware part of the NLC?

Delaware joined the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) in January 2018. This means nurses from other compact states can practice here as long as they hold a multistate license. In the same way, you can practice in other compact states if you hold a multistate license. 

How often do I need to renew my RN license in Delaware?

There are 3 possible renewal dates for RNs in Delaware — February 28, May 31, or September 30 of odd-numbered years, depending on the original issue date.

That said, you must complete 30 CE hours before you qualify for renewal. 

How much do RNs earn in Delaware?

The average salary of RNs in Delaware is 6% lower than the national average. That’s $77,760 (average RN salary) vs. $82.750 (national average).

Helpful Resources for Delaware RNs

List of Associate Degree Programs (ADNs) in Delaware

Here’s a list of ADN programs approved by the Delaware BON:

Delaware Technical Community College
Owens Campus
21179 College Drive
Georgetown, DE 19947
(302) 855-1691

Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus
400 Christiana-Stanton Road
Newark, DE 19713
(302) 454-3948

Delaware Technical Community College
Terry Campus
100 Campus Drive
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 857-1000

Visit the Delaware BON website for updates.

List of Baccalaureate Degree Programs (BSNs) in Delaware

Here’s a list of BSN programs approved by the Delaware BON:

Delaware State University
Department of Nursing
1200 N. DuPont Hwy
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 857-6750

University of Delaware
School of Nursing
25 N. College Ave
391 McDowell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-1253

Wesley College
Department of Nursing
120 N. State Street
Dover, DE 19901
(302) 736-2488

Visit the Delaware BON website for updates.

In Conclusion

So that is how to become an RN in Delaware. 

As we said, if you don’t have the heart for it, each step will feel like a burden. 

But if you’re set to become the best RN out there, then you can go through these 5 steps with wide eyes and great excitement. 

So make sure you keep this roadmap to your journey of being an RN. 

Good luck!

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