Whether you’re ready to obtain your first-ever license, renewing, or requesting a license to practice in a new state, there is a lot to know about the licensure process. Luckily, all 50 states have a licensing board website with information on steps to obtaining licensure.
Some general tips:
- Know the licensing authority within your state of practice.
- Read your state’s discipline-specific scope of practice to learn and understand all laws, rules and regulations.
- Determine if your state of practice requires any additional testing beyond the national licensing exam, i.e.: Jurisprudence exam.
- Know all fees required to obtain and maintain your license.
- Re-read all rules and requirements. If you miss submitting a form or pay the incorrect fee, your licensure application will become further delayed, preventing you from patient care.
- Understand all continuing education requirements prior to renewing your license. Some states have limits on the number of hours that can occur via web-based training. States will have a breakdown of in-person training, web-based/electronic training, allowable hours as a clinical instructor, etc.
- New licensees should file for a Medicare NPI (National Provider Identifier) number. The NPI is a unique 10-digit identification number for covered health care providers and required by most employers in order to treat Medicare beneficiaries.
- Practice patience. Getting a license for the first time or in a new state takes time—administrative time by the licensing board and possibly by state authorities if a background check is also required.
- PTs and PTAs whose state of residence is actively participating in the PTLC may also want to familiarize themselves with information on the Physical Therapy Compact website.