Clinical Nurse Specialist

Click on the appropriate tab below to see the Initial Licensing Requirements, Process, Fees, Statutes and Administrative Rules for a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

For Certification as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, the requirements are as follows and can be found in Section 464.0115, F.S.:

Any nurse seeking certification as a clinical nurse specialist must apply to the department and submit proof that he or she holds:

a) a current license as a Registered Nurse

b) a master’s degree in a clinical nursing specialty

c) and either:

1.   Proof of current certification in a specialty area as a clinical nurse specialist from a nationally recognized certifying body as determined by the board;


2.   Proof that he or she holds a master’s degree in a specialty area for which there is no certification within the clinical nurse specialist role and specialty and proof of having completed 1,000 hours of clinical experience in the clinical specialty for which he or she is academically prepared, with a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practice after graduation. The applicant for certification as a clinical nurse specialist must submit an affidavit to the Board of Nursing affirming the required hours of clinical experience. Falsification of the affidavit constitutes grounds for discipline in accordance with s. 464.018(1)(f).

Electronic Fingerprinting

Applicants can use any Livescan service provider that has been approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to submit their fingerprints to the Department. Please ensure that the Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number is provided to the service provider when you submit your fingerprints. If you do not provide an ORI number or if you provide an incorrect ORI number to the service provider, the board office will not receive your fingerprint results. The applicant is fully responsible for selecting the service provider and ensuring submission of the prints to the Department.

The Department of Health accepts electronic fingerprinting service offered by Livescan service providers that are approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and listed at their site. You can view the service provider options and contact information on the Livescan Service Providers List.

Please take the CNA Exam Electronic Fingerprinting Form with you to the Livescan provider. Please check the service provider’s requirements to see if you need to bring any additional items. Please verify the Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number submitted by the livescan service provider matches the information provided.

  1. Applicant must hold a valid Florida Registered Nurse License
  2. Applicant submits application and appropriate fee.
  3. Applicant has education institution mail transcripts directly to the Board of Nursing.
  4. Applicant has national certifying board submit proof of certification to the Board OR Applicant completes and submits affidavit to the Board of Nursing affirming required hours or clinical experience.
  5. Applicant schedules an electronic fingerprint appointment with Livescan Service Provider and gets fingerprinted.
  6. Once all materials are submitted, an application specialist will review them. It may be necessary for the application specialist to request additional information.
  7. When application is complete, the upgrade (Certification) of the Registered Nurse license will be approved.

Application and Certification Upgrade fee: $75.00

Click on Chapter or Section Number to View

Florida Statutes

Section 464.0115: Certification of Clinical Nurse Specialists

Florida Administrative Codes

Chapter 64B9: Board of Nursing