Top Delaware Nursing Schools and Programs

by NurseJournal Staff

Top Delaware Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs. There is a nursing shortage of between 1,300 and 3,000 nurses in the state of Delaware at the moment. This shortage is not as acute as it is in many other parts...

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Schools, Licensing Requirements, and Resources

With nearly 12,000 registered nurses (RNs) working in Delaware, nursing ranks among the most popular professions in the state. If you want to join the nursing profession in Delaware, you can learn how with our helpful guide.

We cover nursing programs for certified nurse assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), RNs, and nurse practitioners (NPs). Our guide also includes a database of online nursing programs in Delaware. You can find plenty of information about how to earn different types of Delaware nursing licensure, along with statistics about salaries and employment in the state.

Why Attend Online Nursing Programs in Delaware?

If your goal involves becoming a nursing professional in Delaware, you should consider completing a nursing program in the state. Delaware requires nursing education programs to cover certain topics and meet a specific number of clinical hours, which curricula in other states might not meet. Attending an approved nursing program in Delaware guarantees students that their programs meet state requirements.

Delaware students hoping to become NPs can consider participating in the state's student loan repayment plan for health professionals. If they work for up to two years in medically underserved areas of Delaware, the state could cancel $35,000 in loans.

Featured Online Programs

How to Become a Nurse in Delaware

Most professionals seeking careers in nursing undergo similar training to meet industry standards. Some details regarding training, job placement, and advancement vary by state. Delaware requires a fee for licensure. Additional fees depend on the type of licensure and degree held by the applicant. While pursuing your online nursing degree, teachers and advisors can help you meet your state's requirements.

  • 1. Choose the Path That's Right for You

    Earning an associate degree in nursing (ADN) offers the quickest path to entering the nursing workforce. Most often, competitive candidates in this field hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). As with other states, BSN programs at nursing schools in Delaware are preparatory degrees for students aiming to pursue master of science in nursing (MSN) degrees. An individual who plans to teach at the college or university level needs a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
  • 2. Earn Your Nursing Degree

    Choosing an online nursing degree can save time and money. Enrolling in nursing school online in Delaware allows for flexible scheduling. Typically, prerequisite coursework includes microbiology, chemistry, and statistics. Some nursing schools in Delaware offer optional internships to help students transition from the online classroom to practical experience. Students in online nursing programs must complete in-person clinical rotations. Online RN programs in Delaware usually require 2-3 years of full-time study. Some online nursing colleges in Delaware offer RN-to-BSN degrees, which help students earn bachelor's degrees after obtaining licensure.
  • 3. Pass the Licensing Exam and Earn Your License

    While the coursework to earn an online nursing degree constitutes a large part of exam preparation, students can also prepare by becoming familiar with the test format and procedures. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing offers videos and resources to prepare students for licensure exams. Attending a nursing school in Delaware and obtaining licensure does not guarantee employment, but healthcare professionals with these credentials become strong candidates for job opportunities.

Online Nursing Degree Programs in Delaware

To become a nursing professional in Delaware, you must complete the proper education and experience requirements. The state requires nurses of all levels to enroll in programs. Online nursing programs in Delaware can help students master these educational requirements by offering them some added flexibility and independence, which you can read about in greater detail below.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Nursing Degree Program in Delaware?

It's impossible to say exactly what to expect from nursing courses, as each online nursing school in Delaware offers a unique curriculum. However, nursing programs usually cover the same fundamental concepts. In addition, nursing courses often involve theoretical components and clinical requirements, or at least simulated practice. Read more about frequently offered courses from online RN programs in Delaware below.

Introduction to Nursing Practice

Nursing programs usually start with an introductory course covering the foundations of nursing. Students learn about how nurses care for basic human physiological and safety needs. They may also learn about the necessary soft skills, like communication and problem-solving.

Health Assessment

This course focuses on how to assess health conditions through data collection, questions, and physical examination. Students become familiar with devices, tools, and procedures needed for these assessments.


Pharmacology involves the study of medication. Students learn about how controlled substances affect the human body, in addition to the risks that come with prescription drugs. They also study dosage calculations and chemical formulations.

How Do Online Nursing Degree Programs Work?

It may rank as the second smallest state in the country, but Delaware offers plenty of educational programs for aspiring nurses. In addition to traditional on-campus programs, students can find online nursing programs in Delaware. Generally, these programs allow learners to complete their regular coursework through distance learning.

Some online nursing schools in Delaware offer hybrid courses, in which students must occasionally head to campus for some components.

Online enrollees watch lectures, turn in assignments, and participate in forum discussions. However, students still need to complete any required clinical hours at healthcare facilities. Some online nursing schools in Delaware offer hybrid courses, in which students must occasionally head to campus for some components.

The amount of time a student will spend in school largely depends on their licensure goals and their full or part-time status. LPN programs typically last about one year, while an associate degree lasts two years. A bachelor's degree traditionally takes four years to complete, a master's degree takes two years, and a doctorate can take 3-4 years. Online nursing schools in Delaware may offer accelerated or part-time options, which can affect how quickly students earn their degrees.

Nursing Licensure in Delaware

To work as a nursing professional in Delaware, candidates need to obtain the proper legal credentials. The Delaware Board of Nursing (BON) regulates nursing licensure in the state. NPs must apply for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure, and CNAs must apply to appear on a state registry. The requirements differ for each nursing licensure type.

For NPs to obtain the authority to prescribe medications, they must fulfill additional requirements. Specifically, they must enroll in graduate courses that cover advanced health assessment, diagnosis and management of problems within their clinical specialty, advanced pathophysiology, and advanced pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics.

State Requirements by Nursing Type

The following table compares the different nursing licenses available in Delaware, along with detailed information about licensure requirements.

Certified Nurse Assistant CNAs must complete a training program consisting of 150 hours. Half of these hours cover theory and occur in the classroom, while half should cover clinical training. CNAs can usually find these courses at community colleges, high schools, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. At the end of their training programs, CNA candidates should pass a competency test. Once they find employment, CNAs must then complete anywhere from 32-80 hours of mandatory orientation in supervised clinical work. The number of hours depends on the site where CNAs find employment. At an assisted living facility, for example, CNAs must undergo 32 hours of orientation. CNAs must renew their license every two years. These professionals qualify for renewal upon completing 64 hours of clinical work and 24 continuing education hours during the two-year licensing period.

Delaware Licensure Requirements

  • Education: State-approved training program consisting of 150 hours
  • Additional Clinical Hours: 32-80 clinical hours of orientation at their workplace
  • Exams: Competency test
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: 24 continuing education hours within the two-year licensing period
Licensed Practical Nurse LPNs must graduate from state-approved LPN diploma programs. Students can typically find these programs at community colleges or special training centers. Delaware publishes a list of five approved practical nursing programs on the nursing board's website. The programs usually last around one year, although some allow students to finish in 10 months. These programs also include at least 200 clinical hours, per state law. After students complete their training, they can take the NCLEX-PN. LPN licenses expire every Feb. 28 of even-numbered years. To renew, LPNs should complete at least 400 clinical work hours over the two preceding years or 1,000 clinical work hours in the five preceding years. LPNs must also enroll in 30 continuing education hours during the two-year cycle, but they do not need to complete these hours during their first licensure cycle.

Delaware Licensure Requirements

  • Education: State-approved LPN training program
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Included in the training program
  • Exams: NCLEX-PN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: No continuing education for the first cycle; 24 continuing education hours every two years following.
Registered Nurse Each RN in Delaware needs a state-approved nursing diploma, associate degree, or bachelor's degree. The BON has approved one diploma program and seven degree programs in the state. Many RN candidates opt for a bachelor's degree because it can lead to more advanced employment and salaries. Students must complete 400 clinical hours while enrolled in their educational program to qualify for licensure. Finally, they must pass the NCLEX-RN. RNs must renew their licenses every two years, during odd-numbered years. Like LPNs, RNs do not need to fulfill any continuing education requirements during their initial licensure cycle. After that, they must complete at least 30 continuing education hours during every two-year cycle. They must also have worked at least 400 clinical hours during the previous two years or 1,000 clinical hours during the previous five years.

Delaware Licensure Requirements

  • Education: ADN or BSN
  • Additional Clinical Hours: Included in the training program
  • Exams: NCLEX-RN
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years
  • Continuing Education: No continuing education for the first cycle; 30 continuing education hours every two years following.
Nurse Practitioner The Delaware BON requires each NP to obtain an RN license and earn either an MSN or DNP. While pursuing their degrees, NP candidates should choose a concentration, like family practice, neonatal care, or mental and psychiatric health. After graduation, NP candidates must then obtain national certification within the field of their specialization by taking a certification exam. Only after that, NPs can apply for APRN licensure. Once they initially receive licensure, each NP needs to enter collaborative practice with a physician. They should complete at least 4,000 clinical hours under the collaborative agreement before they can practice independently. NPs must renew their state licenses every two years at the same time they renew their RN licenses. To qualify for renewal, they must have worked either 600 hours in the past two years or 1500 hours over the previous five years. NPs with prescriptive authority must also complete 10 hours of continuing education in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics. In addition, NPs need to fulfill any requirements specific to their national certification for renewal.

Delaware Licensure Requirements

  • Education: MSN or DNP
  • Additional Clinical Hours: 4,000 clinical hours with a collaborative agreement before NPs can work independently
  • Exams: Certification exam administered by a national certifying agency
  • Renewal Frequency: Every two years; certification must be renewed as determined by the certifying agency
  • Continuing Education: 10 hours of pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics courses every two years; addition continuing education hours depend on certifying agency

Online Nursing Degree Programs and Licensing in Delaware FAQ

How Should I Choose What Nursing Field to Go Into? Weigh several factors, such as your salary expectations, your ideal population, and how quickly you'd like to enter the workforce.
Does an Online Nursing Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree? As long as you choose an online nursing program that holds accreditation and state approval, then an online degree has the same value as an on-campus degree. Try to find a program with accreditation from an agency like the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
How Hard Is It to Get Into Nursing School in Delaware? This depends on the program. Typically, a student can enter a training program for CNAs if they possess a high school diploma. However, a bachelor's or graduate program might require a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 3.0.
Can Someone Become a Nurse in Two Years? Yes. RNs can earn licensure with an associate degree, which typically takes two years to complete. In addition, LPNs and CNAs only need to complete training or diploma programs that last a year or even months.
Is Delaware a Nurse Compact State? Yes, the nurse licensure compact includes Delaware. LPNs and RNs who move to Delaware from other compact states do not need to apply for licensure again. However, NPs and other advanced practice nurses must still apply by endorsement when moving to Delaware.

Delaware Nurse Salaries and Employment Trends

Delaware might rank as one of the smallest states in the U.S, but it holds the third-highest concentration of RNs, and projections indicate that the number of RNs will only continue to grow. Nurses in Delaware also make salaries about on par or above national averages. The tables below demonstrate how much nursing professionals earn in comparison to the rest of the U.S. and its neighboring states.

These figures represent a mean amount, indicating that nursing professionals across the state earn a range of salaries. Earnings depend on many factors, like education and location, and a degree does not guarantee a certain income or employment.

Nurse Salary and Projected Job Growth in Delaware, by Type

  Annual Mean Wage Projected Job Growth(2016-2026)
Certified Nurse Assistant $30,780 12.4%
Licensed Practical Nurse $52,860 10.1%
Registered Nurse $74,800 14.3%
Nurse Practitioner $108,340 26.8%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Projections Central

Annual Mean Nurse Wages in Nearby States

  Certified Nurse Assistant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nurse Practitioner
United States $29,580 $47,050 $75,510 $110,030
New Jersey $30,380 $56,290 $82,750 $122,100
Pennsylvania $30,630 $48,120 $70,390 $98,250
Maryland $31,310 $63,650 $76,820 $115,060

Source: BLS

Certified Nurse Assistant

CNAs in Delaware earned a mean annual wage of $30,780 in 2018, slightly more than the national average of $29,580. As of May 2018, nearly 5,000 CNAs worked in the state, and the projected job growth for nursing assistants from 2016-2026 could reach 12.4%. This surpasses the national projected job growth rate of about 11.5% in the same period.

Licensed Practical Nurse

Compared to LPNs in the rest of the country, LPNs in Delaware earn considerably more when it comes to average salary figures. BLS data shows that Delaware LPNs made a mean annual wage of $52,860 in 2018, while the national mean annual wage came out to $47,050 over the same period. However, while growth projections show the LPN profession increasing by about 10% from 2016-2026, this growth rate lags behind the projected national growth rate of 12.3%.

Registered Nurse

Although it boasts one of the highest concentrations of RNs, Delaware remains about on par with the rest of the country for RN salary and employment figures. RNs in Delaware earned a mean annual wage of about $74,800 in 2018, only marginally less than the national RN mean annual wage of $75,510. In addition, BLS projections indicate the number of RNs in Delaware to increase by 14.3% from 2016-2026, while the national growth rate could reach 14.8% in the same period.

Nurse Practitioner

NPs in Delaware earned a mean annual wage of about $108,340 in 2018, just below the national figure of $110,030. In addition, BLS projects the number of NPs in the U.S. to grow by about 36% from 2016-2026. In Delaware, the job growth rate for NPs doesn't quite reach as high at 26.8%, but still indicates a sharp increase. This high demand likely comes down to the growth of the United States' aging population and more NPs functioning as the primary care provider for patients.

Nursing Resources for Delaware

  • DNA functions as a professional association and an advocacy group. Members can earn continuing education credits through DNA, attend an annual conference, and access the job board.
  • This coalition aims to advocate for NP interests in the state legislature. The group also runs a job board and offers members discounts to conferences and networking events.
  • The BON regulates the nursing profession and approves applications for nursing licensure, along with providing several resources for nurses. Nursing candidates and nurses can research information on prescriptive authority and continuing education, and obtain and renew Delaware nursing licensure.
  • This group serves Hispanic nurses in the state. The chapter offers scholarships to nursing students and runs a career center for job seekers. Members can also attend conferences and other events.
  • This nonprofit organization invites nurse executives, administrators, managers, educators, and researchers to join and discuss the state of nursing in Delaware. In addition, members can participate in a mentorship program.

Jump to Another State is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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