A DEA number is a number assigned to specific healthcare providers that allows them to prescribe medications, including controlled substances legally. It includes a series of numbers and letter which identifies the type of provider; for example, nurse practitioner, physician, dentist, etc.

A nurse practitioner is an advanced-practice registered nurse who, along with other skills, can prescribe medications. To obtain a DEA number, the NP must first be licensed in the state in which they practice. Once the license is active, the NP can apply online for a DEA number. Applicants must complete six different sections:

  • Section 1 includes personal information such as name, address, SSN, phone number, etc.
  • Section 2 requires the applicant to report the business activity and drug schedule information. For example, which medications the NP plans to prescribe. The NP must be cognizant of any state restrictions on which controlled medications they can prescribe (Schedule III, IV, etc.).
  • Section 3 requires licensure information
  • Section 4 requires the applicant to provide background information about controlled substances
  • Section 5 is the payment section. According to the DEA website, an NP can expect to pay $731 for a three-year period.
  • Section 6 is the confirmation section in which the applicant reviews/edits all entries and submits the application

Once the application is submitted, it can take four to six weeks to obtain a DEA number. It is crucial that nurse practitioners begin the application process as soon as possible to prevent delays in practice. For more information, the Department of Justice has a list of FAQs that can help nurse practitioners with any needs they may have.

Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Amanda Bucceri Androus is a Registered Nurse from Sacramento, California. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She began her career working night shifts on a pediatric/ med-surg unit for six years, later transferring to a telemetry unit where she worked for four more years. She currently works as a charge nurse in a busy outpatient primary care department. In her spare time she likes to read, travel, write, and spend time with her husband and two children.
Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Latest posts by Amanda Bucceri Androus RN, BSN

Our Visitors Found These Nursing Topics Useful

Pesticides Nurse

Inherent Risks of Pesticides - Nurse's Point of View

The widespread use of pesticides across the globe has been a controversial topic for many decades. Pesticides such as insecticides, herbicides, fumigants, and fungicides are used to protect crops and other plants from infections, weeds, and insects. Typically, direct exposure…

Improving Cultural Competence in Nurses

In a world moving toward globalization more than ever before, nurses must strive to connect to not only patients of differing cultural beliefs, but to colleagues as well. Culturally competent care is the cornerstone of nursing care to best reduce…

RN to Medical Doctor (MD)

The field of nursing can be used as a stepping stone to the next level of the care delivery model. Although few Registered Nurses (RN) choose the path of medical doctor (MD), those who do can find a rewarding and…

Organizations for Nurses to Volunteer With

Nurses are in the business of caring. Their deepest concern is the welfare of others, and for this reason, many nurses choose to volunteer with organizations to help support their cause. Registered nurses have many diverse interests, to include community…

TEAS: Top 10 Study Tips

The Test of Essential Academic Skills ("TEAS" test) is an exam that potential nursing students may be required to take to ensure they have the academic skills and knowledge to succeed in nursing school. The test has 170 multiple-choice questions…