Children's Hospital Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions About Credentialing and Privileging for Providers at Children's Hospital Colorado

What is credentialing?

Credentialing is the process of obtaining, verifying and assessing the qualifications of a practitioner to provide care or services in or for a healthcare organization. Credentials are documented evidence of licensure, education, training, experience or other qualifications.

What is privileging?

Privileging is the process whereby a specific scope and content of a patient care service (that is clinical privileges) are authorized for a healthcare practitioner by a healthcare organization, based on evaluation of the individuals' credentials and performance.

A "privilege" is defined as an advantage, right or benefit that is not available to everyone. These are rights and advantages enjoyed by a relatively small group of people, usually as a result of education and experience.

All advanced practice providers must go through the Medical Staff Office credentialing and privileging process to practice at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Prescriptive authority

The rules for advanced practice nurse (APRN) prescriptive authority changed in 2015 in Colorado, allowing new graduate APRNs (with at least three years of combined RN/APRN experience) to obtain provisional prescriptive authority upon graduation from an accredited graduate program, acceptance on the State Board of Nursing (SBN) Advanced Practice Registry, and successful completion of the appropriate Board Certification exam.

APRNs with Provisional Rx authority may begin prescribing upon initiating a 1,000-hour Mentorship Agreement with an MD or APRN-RXN with prescribing privileges.

APRNs are eligible to apply for full prescriptive authority upon completion of the Mentorship and creation of an Articulated Plan for prescribing.

General guidance for APRNs practicing at Children’s Colorado:

  • APRNs with prescribing responsibilities must apply to the SBN for prescriptive authority, and must also apply for Children’s Colorado prescribing privileges.
  • APRNs without prescriptive authority and hospital prescribing privileges may not prescribe medications.

What do I do if I am an APN moving to Colorado?

  • New APNs from out of state need to apply to the Colorado Board of Nursing (SBN) for Colorado APN licensure and prescriptive authority before they can prescribe medications in Colorado. Their RN license from out of state may be active in Colorado if they are from a compact state, but they would still need to apply to the Colorado SBN for APN licensure and prescriptive authority before they are eligible for prescribing privileges. Compact licensure only applies to the RN license; the APN has to apply for separate APN licensure in each state. This is from the Department of Regulatory Affairs website: "Twenty five (25) states belong to the NLC: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin."

Do I need to apply for a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) EA license?

  • DEA registration will allow APNs to prescribe certain controlled substances after they have received notification of prescriptive authority from the Colorado state board of nursing.

Helpful links

Colorado Board of Nursing: Applications and Forms

Compact Licensure

National Provider Identification (NPI)

For more information, please email us at

Office of Advanced Practice Contacts

  • Stacey Wall, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC/PC, NEA-BC, Director of Advanced Practice
  • Sarah Kanost, Administrative Service Coordinator