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RN Licensing Requirements by State

Nursing Requirements

 

Requirements by State – RN

Nursing is a profession that requires patience and dedication. As a nurse, you not only provide healthcare, but also compassion and solace to your patients. If becoming a Registered Nurse is your passion, there will be certain educational and career paths you must follow. The requirements for RN licensure differ from state to state. A helpful resource for you will be the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It has up to date information about nursing news, opportunities, and requirements. Here is a list of requirements by state to guide you on your nursing journey:

 

Note: any fee amounts shown are correct at the time of publication. Please confirm fee schedules with your particular state prior to application.

 

1

Alabama

Nurses in Alabama are licensed through the Alabama Board of Nursing. To become a Registered Nurse accredited in the state of Alabama you must :

  • Provide a completed endorsement application, which include questions about past licenses and criminal history.
  • Show official nursing school transcripts.
  • Pay appropriate fees, which include an $85.00 application fee, $200.00 for the nursing exam, and a temporary permit after graduation cost $50.00.
  • As well as have have proof of citizenship or residency to work in the United States.

Nursing candidates must also register with the Pearson Vue for the NCLEX-RN. Once they are considered eligible, met all requirements, and passed the test, they will receive license from the Alabama Board of Nursing. In addition to initial requirements, RNs in Alabama must complete Continuing Education(CE) to remain active. For more information visit the Alabama Nursing Board here.

 

2

Alaska

Registered Nurses in Alaska will have one accredited University as a choice for Nursing School, a well as some online schools, that can cover most classes . The University of Alaska-Anchorage has the only nursing program in the state, however, can be completed at 13 locations to help serve more rural areas. Once the education portion is completed, RN candidates must start the application process for licensure. These steps include:

  • Prospective RNs must have a passport style photo available to supply along with their application to apply for licensure.
  • They must also complete a background check which includes being fingerprinted.
  • There are a few fees also associated with licensure such as- $284.00 application fee, an initial licensing fee for $50.00, and applicable testing fees.
  • Register with the Pearson Company for testing, and pass the NCLEX-RN.

Once all of these components are met, you are well on you way to becoming a Registered Nurse in Alaska.For more info on the licensure process, check this out.

 

3

Arizona

RNs in Arizona are licensed through examination by the Arizona Board of Nursing. Monetary resources are available to every student in nursing school. Prospective nurses are given a scholarship from $500-$1,000. An encouraging aspect of nursing in Arizona is that it is a compact state(multi-license state), which makes it easier to relocate from another compact state. For initial licensure in the state of Arizona one must:

  • Complete a state approved nursing program.
  • Pay all appropriate fees to the Board as well as the Pearson Vue in order to qualify for testing. Some of these fees include- $300.00 to be paid to the Board, $50.00 for background check processing, and $200.00 for the RN exam.
  • Undergo a complete background check, which includes being fingerprinted.

Once the board reviews all materials and fees have been paid, a candidate is eligible to take the Nursing Exam. Completion of the educational component as well as testing, qualifies the candidate as a licensed Registered Nurse.

 

4

Arkansas

There are various paths to becoming an RN in Arkansas. The first step to becoming an RN is completion of an approved nursing program. One may then become licensed through Examination or endorsement (if you hold a license in another state).

For initial licensure as an RN is Arkansas one must:

  • Start the application process early. It is recommended that you start the ball rolling within the last two months of their program. The application costs $75.00, with an additional cost of $25.00 for a temporary permit.

An applicant may work under a temporary permit for a while(90 days), while waiting to take the Registered Nursing Examination. Unless, there is a problem with the background check, then an applicant will have to wait until an agreement has been reached for that matter. For more information on licensure in Arkansas, stop by the Arkansas Nursing Board website.

 

5

California

Prospective Registered Nurses in California have many requirements to meet. The first, of course, is completion of an approved nursing program. Once all educational requirements have been met, steps toward licensure can start. The steps to a complete application include:

  • Start the actual application. The online application can be found here.
  • include a photograph, and pay appropriate fees.
  • Then, one must be fingerprinted with Live Scan for criminal background checks.
  • Register for the Registered Nurse Exam through the Pearson Vue. The cost to apply for the test is $150.00, while the test itself is $200.00.

While you are waiting to take the Nursing Exam, you may also work as under an initial license that will work until you take the NCLEX. There is an additional fee of $50.00 for that additional license. If you would like more detailed information for Registered Nursing, Here is more information regarding licensure in California.

 

6

Colorado

RN candidates must enroll in and complete a board approved nursing program. They will then need to apply to the Colorado Board of Nursing for permission to test be sure to attach official transcripts to the request, because otherwise testing will be delayed. Candidates must register with Pearson Vue and pass the NCLEX-RN Exam. This test is very important in the career of an RN. Passing or failing is the difference between licensure and job delay. Be sure to study, because the board only allows a maximum of three examination attempts. When all educational and testing requirements have been met, the candidate is ready start working. While joining the Colorado Nursing Association is completely separate from licensing, it is an amazing resource for jobs in the state. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to join, to maximize career potential.

 

7

Connecticut

Nurses in Connecticut are regulated by the Board of Examiners for Nursing, a division of the Department of Public Health. RN candidates will have to graduate from a professional nursing program. The Connecticut League for Nursing is a great resource to get you on the path to becoming an RN. Upon completion of an appropriate nursing program, RN candidates will have to send their transcripts to the Department of Public Health along with a recent photo that must be taped to the application. Then, candidates must register with Pearson, to take the NCLEX-RN, pay appropriate fees, and have their nursing application notarized. At that point it is just a waiting game to see the outcome of testing. Assuming the candidate passed the exam, they will become Registered Nurses.

 

8

District of Columbia

There are currently seven nursing programs in DC. Nursing perspectives with education from outside of DC are certainly eligible for licensure, however there are additional requirements. Licensure in Washington DC is under the The District of Columbia Board of Nursing, which is a subsection of the Department of Health. According to the Department of Health, Once a completed nursing program is completed, the RN candidate should secure all official transcripts or a letter of recommendation from an Administrator.  The application to become a Registered nurse is found on The Board’s website. Be sure to save a few pennies for your application fee, which is currently $187.00.  Along with your application, you will also have to mail in (2) passport sized photos. There are then three distinct phases of the application process:

  • Phase one is Processing, which basically means sending in a completed application with supporting materials the the Board.
  • Phase two includes taking your nursing examination, the NCLEX.
  • Phase three is the review portion. This is when all documentation will be thoroughly reviewed. The Dept. of Health will decide if you meet all necessary requirements.
  • Phase four iis the final hurdle. This is the point in your application where is is determined either eligible for licensure or denied.

The entire application process takes around 45 days to complete.

 

Delaware

Delaware

The State of Delaware’s Board of Nursing requires new RN applicants to have completed an approved program that includes at least 600 clinical hours before applying for licensure.

New graduates apply by licensure by examination in Delaware unless your state is a compact state. If your state of residence is a compact state, you would apply for licensure in your home state instead.

RNs with existing licenses in other states (but not in Delaware) can apply for their license by endorsement rather than examination. Endorsement only applies if:

  • Your current home state of residence is Delaware
  • Your current home state of residence is not a compact state
  • Your current home state of residence is another compact state but you plan to move to Delaware or to a non -compact state

If you have already initiated a licensure process with the State of Delaware but have a job offer that starts prior to your examination or endorsement date, you can apply for a temporary RN permit that will allow you to start orientation/employment prior to the date of your official license.

The application fees for Delaware nursing applicants can be found on the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation’s Nursing Fee Schedule page.

Delaware maintains a list of nursing jobs available through the state itself, along with salary ranges and benefits.

 

Florida

Florida

For licensure by examination, the Florida Board of Nursing requires:

  • Completion of a Florida-approved nursing education program;
  • Graduation from an Accreditation Commision for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited nursing program, an MSN program, or a military nursing program that has been issued an NCLEX code;
  • Graduation from a program determined to be equivalent if in a non-NCSBN jurisdiction (Puerto Rico, etc.).

Fees for licensure examination include $110.00 licensing fee, and $200.00 to Pearson VUE for testing.

For licensure by endorsement, Florida allows applicants who:

  • Are licensed nurses in other states or U.S. territory
  • Have completed the State Board Test Pool Examination or the NCLEX
  • Das actively practiced nursing in another state or territory for 2 of the preceding 3 years without having his or her license acted against by the licensing authority of any jurisdiction.

Keep in mind that Florida does require electronic fingerprinting through a Livescan provider as part of their licensure process and must disclose any convictions or pleas to any criminal charges, including dispositions and arrest records. Applicants with criminal backgrounds should view the board’s website for reporting and rehabilitation requirements prior to applying. Fees for electronic fingerprinting to the Livescan vendor vary.
Georgia

Georgia

Registered Nurses in Georgia are licensed by the Georgia Board of Nursing. To receive an RN license, one must attend an approved course of study, undergo a background check, and pass a national exam. There are two different pathways to certification in the state- traditional and nontraditional. The nontraditional pathway is for prospective RN candidates who are already licensed as an LPNs, trained as paramedics, or were medical corpsmen in the military. They have fewer requirements to complete. The traditional pathway is for someone who is essentially starting from scratch. There are several steps to the licensing process:

  • The first step is a criminal background check, and people can register online.
  • Then you will have to register with Pearson for the NCLEX-RN exam. This step shouldn’t be skipped or delayed. The Georgia Board of Nursing states that if this step is not done by the time the application review, it will seriously impede licensure. RNs are expected to pass the exam within three years of graduation, and students who fail must re-apply to the State Board.
  • Perspective nurses will then be able to complete the application online. Official transcripts, an application fee, and fingerprints are also required.

 

Hawaii

Hawaii

The Hawaii Board of Nursing requires RN applicants who are applying via examination to complete a qualifying nursing program and to send transcripts to to the Board for review prior to examination. Applicants may also provide and official letter from their school ceritfying the successful completion of a nursing program, but official transcripts will be required prior to licensure.

Please note that Hawaii requires all documentation to be received in advance of testing authorization, so you’ll need to allow 2-3 weeks for processing.

The board has a path to licensure through endorsement for nurses with existing credentials. They require any one of the following credentials for endorsement:

  • The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) in another state or U.S. jurisdiction; having passed or received a score of at least 1600 for RN, or 350 for LPN
  • The SBTPE (State Board Test Pool Exam) in another state or Canadian province (prior to 1970); having passed or received a score of at least 350 in each part
  • A state board constructed exam prior to the inception of the SBTPE in that jurisdiction.

Hawaii also requires endorsement candidates to be a graduate of an accredited board-recognized bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or hospital nursing program with curriculum approved by the Hawaii Board or another state’s board of nursing.

The fees for the endorsement application vary based on the date and year of your application; they’re partially pro-rated as renewal is June 30th on odd-numbered years regardless of issue date.

 

Idaho

Idaho

The Idaho Board of Nursing requires you to establish an account with their Nurse Portal to begin the licensure application process, whether by examination, by endorsement, or by renewal.

Idaho is a compact state and, therefore, has reciprocity with licenses from any other compact state.

The Idaho Board requires completion of an approved in-state nursing program or an out-of-state nursing program with board of nursing approval in that program’s jurisdiction and has substantially similar basic educational requirements as graduates of Idaho’s programs.

 

Illinois

Illinois

The Illinois Center for Nursing requires completion of a state-approved nursing education program, whether in Illinois or out-of-state. They maintain a list of Illinois approved nursing programs within the state.

For licensure by examination, Illinois requires:

  • Certificate of Education demonstrating graduation of an approved program
  • Passing grade on the NCLEX licensing examination
  • A US Social Security Number or SSN affidavit
  • A clear criminal background check
  • An application for examination, online, with payment at the time of application
  • Registration for testing at Continental Testing
  • Completion of Supporting Document CCA

For licensure by endorsement, Illinois requires:

  • Certificate of Education demonstrating graduation of an approved program
  • Completion with a passing grade of the NCLEX exam
  • Current licensing in another state
  • A US Social Security Number or SSN affidavit
  • Completion, submission, and clearance of fingerprint cards
  • Completion of Supporting Document CCA

 

Indiana

Indiana

Indiana’s process for licensure by examination includes these steps:

  • Initial application, including a 2½ x 3½ photo and a $50 application fee
  • The NCLEX application for examination with a $200 payment
  • A certificate of completion by the Dean or Director of your nursing program, sent directly to the Illinois Professional Licensing Agency
  • Verification of licensure, currently or previously held in any state

Indiana allows for licensure by endorsement for out-of-state RNs. Indiana’s process for licensure by endorsement include:

  • Submission of a completed application form
  • A photograph, 2½ x 3½, professional quality, head and shoulders view
  • Submission of a $50 application fee
  • Proof of current, active license in another state – verification through Nursys or a Verification of State Licensure form
  • Completion of a Criminal Background Check
  • If licensure verification doesn’t include it, official documentation of graduation from a state accredited nursing program, sent directly to the Board

A temporary permit may be available with the above qualifications and includes a $10 application fee.

16

Iowa

The Iowa Board of Nursing requires graduation from a state-approved nursing program for application by examination, as well as a passing NCLEX test for licensure. Prior to receiving authorization for testing, the applicant must submit”

  • Completed Application for Exam (either Online or on Paper), $93
  • Two Completed Fingerprint Cards and Signed Waiver Form, $50
  • Official Transcripts from the School of Nursing denoting date of graduation and degree conferred. Transcripts must be mailed hard copy by the school.

A separate application must be made to NCLEX for testing approval and includes a separate free of $200.

For application by endorsement, the IBN requires:

  • Graduation from a board-approved nursing program
  • Passing the NCLEX exam
  • Completed application
  • Two completed fingerprint cards,
  • A fee of $169 to the board
  • Official Transcripts
  • Verification of original license in another state

 

17

Kansas

The Kansas Board of Nursing requires official transcripts and fingerprinting to be submitted prior to the application to the NCLEX testing application – all of which need to be completed prior to testing and licensure. The KBN site has an application flow chart for ease-of-use. Keep in mind that processing may take up to a month before authorization to test is issued, and fees for fingerprinting vary by agency.

Out-of-state RNs can apply for licensure by endorsement, which carries a $75, non-refundable fee for the application. Kansas requires proof of licensure in the other state, and RNs can apply for a temporary permit to secure employment while official licensure is pending.

 

18

Kentucky

The Kentucky Board of Nursing has a very straightforward application process for licensure by examination. Kentucky requires completion of an approved program of nursing, but they allow out-of-state programs to contact the Board of Nursing to submit a certified list of graduates or official transcripts. They also require:

  • Completion of an online application and payment of a $125 fee
  • Completion of a KY background check
  • Submission of a fingerprint card with a fee of $14.75 to the KY State Police
  • Completion of the KY Jurisprudence Exam
  • Provision of a certified list of nursing program graduates
  • Successfully passing the NCLEX

Kentucky’s endorsement procedure for out-of-state RNs with existing licenses is similar, requiring:

  • Completion of an online application, but with a payment of $165
  • Completion of a KY background check
  • Submission of a fingerprint card with a fee of $14.75 to the KY State Police
  • Completion of the KY Jurisprudence Exam
  • Verification of licensure in another state
  • Submission of official transcripts

Endorsement candidates need to also have worked in nursing for at least 500 in the previous 5 years, otherwise KY requires the completion of continuing education and a refresher course. Competency requirements can be found here.

Kentucky also allows endorsement candidates to obtain a temporary license with which to secure employment while endorsement is pending.

19

Louisiana

Louisiana’s application process is complicated, requiring many steps to fulfill licensing requirements. Louisiana requires all RNs to successfully complete of a diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s, or master’s degree nursing education program that is approved by Louisiana State Board of Nursing or another US state board in which the program meets or exceeds Louisiana’s standards.

For out-of-state RNs wishing to apply for licensure in Louisiana, you can apply for licensure by endorsement via your existing license. The eligibility requirements include:

  • Evidence of initial RN licensure from another state, territory, or country
  • Evidence of a current license from your last jurisdiction of employment
  • Successful completion of the State Board Pool Test with a score of 350+ on each area OR completion of the NCLEX with a score of at least 1600.
  • Completion of a Criminal Background Check

In addition to the above education requirements, applicants for initial licensure and new graduates in Louisiana, the Board requires the following items to meet eligibility requirements:

  • Freedom from restriction of any form by any nursing or health regulatory board in any state
  • No civil or criminal charges pending
  • No allegation of cause for denial of licensure
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN within four attempts and within four years of graduation
  • Submit application to the Board at least 60 days prior to graduation
  • An official transcript verifying RN degree conferred or RN Diploma Granted must be
    submitted to the LSBN directly from the educational institution
  • Submission of fingerprint cards for a criminal background check

20

Maine

RN applicants who are applying for initial licensure by examination can send an application with a $75 processing fee to the Maine State Board of Nursing. They’ll also need to include a photograph, 2×2”, no more than two years old, signed, and dated. In addition, initial license applicants from out of state need to include official transcripts with their application. The applicant must also register to complete the NCLEX exam, which will cost $200.

Maine is a Compact State, but RN applicants who already hold a license in another, non-compact state will apply by endorsement. The applicant must have finished a 2 year (at minimum) nursing program and hold a degree, diploma, or certificate. They must also have been licensed by examination, in English, in another US State or Territory, with the examination being acceptable to the State of Maine. Finally, the applicant must meet all of the educational qualifications required by Maine. It is important to note that the endorsement application must be notarized and have a signed, 2×2” photograph, and be accompanied by a $75 payment, as well.
21

Maryland

Maryland is a Compact State, allowing RNs from other Compact States to practice there with no further licensure requirements.

Maryland requires completion of a nursing program that Applicants who have graduated from out-of-state programs to complete programs that are substantively equivalent to approved nursing programs within the State of Maryland. And programs that are not equivalent to in-state approved programs may carry the requirement to complete a Preceptorship covering any lacking theoretical learning and clinical experience.

To apply for a license by exam, you must:

  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Complete satisfactorily and meet all requirements for a diploma from:
    • A practical nursing education program approved by the Board; or
    • A practical nursing education program in any other state that the Board finds substantially equivalent to the program in this State; or
    • A registered nursing education program approved by the Board or that the Board finds substantially equivalent to the registered nurse program in this state.
  • Complete the following separate applications:
  • Out-of-State RNs who are from non-Compact States can apply for licensure by endorsement. Endorsement candidates must have:
  • An unencumbered RN license from another state
  • Documentation of a supervised clinical component to their nursing education *OR*
  • Proof of 1,000 hours of active nursing practice in the last 12 months

22

Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing requires attendance of a board-approved nursing education program, but may accept similar out-of-state programs provided they do not appear on the non-approved list of programs.

Initial licensure requires two applications, one to the Board via their application website ($230), and one to NCLEX for your examination ($200)

The Board also requires compliance with their Good Moral Character requirements.

Nurses currently licensed in another state may apply for licensure in Massachusetts via Reciprocity/Endorsement. You will just need to complete the application form and verify your licensure. If your state participates in Nursys, you can request verification here. If it does not, use this form for verification. The fee is $275.

 

23

Michigan

The Michigan Board of Nursing has application for licensure by examination, which required these items for eligibility:

  • Graduate from an approved registered nurse education program in the U.S. or Canada, or be certified by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), or have a Professional Report evaluation of your education completed by the Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) of CGFNS.
  • Submit the RN by Examination license application, found here, with a $54 fee.
  • A fingerprint report and criminal background check are required if not previously taken for a Michigan health care license. Fingerprints must be taken using the instructions and ID numbers that are sent to the applicant after the license application and fee are received.
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN examination administered by Pearson Vue

Michigan also has licensure by endorsement, in which the RN candidate must meet these points of eligibility:

  • Arrange for verification of licensure in any state or province where licensed, even if the license is not active.
  • If the applicant’s education was obtained outside of the U.S. and Canada and have not held a license in another state for at least five years, the applicant must be either certified by CGFNS or have a Professional Report evaluation of your education completed by CES.
  • Submit the RN by Endorsement license application, found here, with a $54 fee.
  • A fingerprint report and criminal background check are required. Fingerprints must be taken using the instructions and ID numbers that are sent to the applicant after the license application and fee are received.

 

24

Minnesota

Minnesota has fairly straightforward requirements for RN licensure. The Minnesota Board of Nursing accepts nursing programs from all around the country. For licensure by examination for US students, Michigan requires:

  • Provide evidence that you have not engaged in conduct warranting disciplinary action
  • A Confirmation of Program Completion from your school
  • Registration with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX

For licensure by endorsement, the Board in Minnesota wants:
Completion of an Endorsement Application, found online

  • Submission of initial licensure and, if applicable, current licensure in your active state of employment
  • Submission of  a Confirmation of Nursing Employment for Licensure by Endorsement form.

 

25

Mississippi

Mississippi has an online form for application for licensure, but the final document must be printed and notarized for submission, with the application fees for an RN being $100. An examination applicant must also:

  • Provide evidence of completion of a nursing program through official transcripts or a notarized letter of eligibility to graduate from the school’s registrar
  • Complete and notarize an Authorization to Release Information form
  • Complete fingerprinting and a criminal background check

Application by examination can be initiated up to three months prior to graduation.

Mississippi is a Compact State, allowing employment as an RN for any Compact State member. RNs from other states must apply for licensure by endorsement. The he application must:

  • Be completed online, printed, and notarized
  • Include a 2×2” passport-style photograph, signed and dated
  • Indicate your primary state of residence
  • Verification of your original nursing license, through Nursys or a notarized Verification of Original Licensure form.
  • Include official transcripts
  • Include payment of a $100 fee

26

Missouri

Similar to Mississippi, an applicant should start the application process three months prior to graduation from a nursing program to avoid a gap in employment after graduation.

Three months prior to graduation, the Board of Nursing must receive:

  • A completed, signed, notarized application for licensure
  • A 2×2” signed photograph
  • A $45 fee, payable to the Missouri State Board of Nursing (non-refundable)
  • A completed background check. More information can be found in the document linked above.

Anywhere from 3 months to 4 weeks prior to graduation, you must register for the Pearson Vue NCLEX examination.

For transferring out-of-state, non-compact-state RNs into Missouri, the endorsement process requires:

  • A completed, signed, notarized application
  • A $55 check or or money order payable to the Missouri State Board of Nursing (non-refundable)
  • Verification of your existing nursing license, through Nursys or official transcripts sent by your education program
  • A completed criminal background check

27

Montana

Montana is another Compact State, meaning if you hold a current license in another Compact State, you do not need to apply for licensure in Montana to work as an RN.

Licensure by Examination requires a $100 application fee payable to the Montana State Nursing Board, as well as a fee to Pearson Vue for the NCLEX test.

Licensure by Examination in Montana requires:

  • Successful completion of an approved nursing program
  • Successful completion of a Board recognized licensure exam
  • Fingerprint background checks
  • Official transcripts, sent directly by the educational institution

A temporary, 90 day permit to work while you wait for testing is available, and carries a $25 application fee.

Licensure by Credentialing, Montana’s endorsement option, requires:

  • Payment of a $200 application fee
  • Verification of licensure in another state, either through Nursys or directly from your state board of nursing
  • Verification of educational requirements. If your license verification does not include this, the Board will contact you with further instructions.
  • Fingerprint background checks

 

28

Nebraska

Nebraska is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact. If you hold a current license in another Compact State, you don’t need to (and cannot) apply to receive licensure in Nebraska unless you’re moving your permanent residency to Nebraska.

For other out-of-state applicants who already hold a Registered Nurse license, they do have application by endorsement, which requires:

  • Proof of citizenship or Lawful Presence
  • Either 500 hours of nursing practice, have graduated from an approved nursing course, or have completed a Board approved refresher course, each within the last five years
  • Completion of the Nebraska Verification of Licensure Form, or verification of licensure through Nursys
  • A license fee
  • A criminal background check

A temporary permit can be issued for 60 days to ease transition while applying for a Nebraska nursing license.

  • For licensure by examination, the Nebraska Board requires:
    Proof of citizenship or Lawful Presence
  • Official transcripts
  • Fingerprinting for a background check
  • A wallet-sized photograph, signed on the front
  • Payment of a license fee
  • Completion of the Pearson Vue NCLEX examination

29

Nevada

Nevada requires all nursing applicants to have their fingerprints taken and have a criminal background check conducted. Fingerprint cards, provided by the board, can be sent in or your fingerprints can be done electronically at any Livescan facility within the State of Nevada.

Nevada’s licensure by examination requires graduation from an approved school of nursing with a diploma or nursing degree for Registered Nurses. Licensure by exam also requires:

  • Submission of an application form and a payment for application and fingerprint fees
  • Application to the NCLEX examination
  • Official transcripts – Nevada students will get an affidavit of graduation for an Interim Permit, but must still request official transcripts
  • A Social Security Number

In addition to the standard fingerprinting and criminal background check, Nevada’s licensure by endorsement requires:

  • A completed application form including payment for application and fingerprint fees
  • A copy of evidence of graduation from a nursing education program, including a copy of your diploma or official transcript, indicating degree and graduation date
  • Verification of your original state of licensure by examination, through Nursys or a completed NSBN Endorsement Form

Nevada also requires you to pass an English proficiency exam if you’ve been licensed as a Registered Nurse for less than 5 years.

 

30

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a Compact State, which allows RNs from other compact states to work in New Hampshire without application for a license unless you’re moving to the state permanently.

For new graduates or applicants seeking initial licensure, New Hampshire has these steps for licensure by examination:

  • Completion of fingerprinting and background check – your application will not be finalized until this is complete
  • Completion of the Application for License by Examination
  • Completion of the Declaration of Primary State of Residency with a copy of your driver’s license
  • Submission of an official transcript, sent directly to the board – it should state the type of degree and date of graduation
  • Registration with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX exam

For out-of-state applicants who are not licensed in a Compact State, New Hampshire’s licensure by endorsement requires:

  • Completion of fingerprinting and background check
  • Completion of the Application for Licensure by Endorsement
  • Completion of the Declaration of Primary State of Residency
  • Registration with Nursys for license verification, or have a copy of your license sent to the board

Temporary licenses are not typically needed unless there is a delay in your license verification.

 

31

New Jersey

New Jersey requires applicants to graduate from an approved nursing program, but allows out-of-state programs to be considered.

For licensure by examination, you must:

  • Register with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX exam
  • Complete an application for Licensure by Exam – online or on paper
  • If applying on paper, the application needs to be notarized
  • Submit a 2×2” passport photograph, signed on the back, taken within the last 6 months
  • Submit a copy of your U.S. birth certificate, passport, or naturalization certificate
  • If applicable, submit your USCIS immigration document
  • Submit a letter of completion for your nursing program or full transcripts for out-of-state programs
  • Completion of the Certification of Authorization form for a criminal background check
  • Completion of digital fingerprinting if within the NJ Metro area, otherwise request fingerprint cards and send them in with a payment of $61.44

For licensure by endorsement, you must:

  • Complete the application in the presence of a Notary Public, or apply online
  • Attach a 2×2” passport photograph, signed on the back
  • Submit a copy of your U.S. birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization
  • If applicable, submit your USCIS immigration document
  • Completion of the Certification of Authorization form for a criminal background check
  • Completion of digital fingerprinting if within the NJ Metro area, otherwise request fingerprint cards and send them in with a payment of $61.44
  • Provide written verification of license in good standing from every state in which you are or have ever been licensed, through Nursys where applicable
  • Submit a personal check or money order for $200
  • Complete and submit the Checklist for Endorsement

32

New Mexico

New Mexico is a compact state. If you’re licensed in a compact state and are not moving your primary residence to New Mexico, then you do not need to apply for licensure there.

The New Mexico Board of Nursing requires graduation from an approved course of study for Registered Nurses.

The process for application for licensure by examination can be done online or by paper application, and requires:

  • For NM graduates, a Certificate of Eligibility or official transcripts are needed prior to gaining permission to take the NCLEX exam
  • A criminal background check with fingerprints – out of state applicants must order fingerprint cards, to be submitted with a $44 fee
  • Registration for the NCLEX with Pearson Vue
  • To avoid delays in processing, the board asks that you do not submit your application until you have completed your course of study.

For licensure by endorsement, NM requires the following:

  • Must have graduated from a state approved program for the preparation of nurses, Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse, and
  • Have a license in another state or territory of the United States, and
  • Licensed by passing a national licensure examination in English
  • A criminal background check with fingerprints – out of state applicants must order fingerprint cards, to be submitted with a $44 fee

45

New York

New York requires completion of an approved two-year nursing program for Registered Nurses. Approved in-state programs are listed here; out-of-state program that has gone through similar verification in its own state may be acceptable. NY also requires Registered Nurses to complete training on child abuse and infection control.

To qualify for licensure through testing, you must:

  • Submit an application for licensure with a $143 processing fee
  • Have your school verify your education directly to the NYSED on Form 2
  • Register with Pearson Vue for the NCLEX examination

If you are licensed in another state, you must submit:

  • An application for licensure with the $143 fee
  • Certification of professional education
  • Verification of licensure in another state (Nursys or Verification form)

 

46

North Carolina

North Carolina is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact, and has reciprocity with other Compact States, allowing you to work there without applying for a North Carolina nursing license unless you’re changing your primary residency.

For new graduates and first-time licensure applicants, North Carolina requires the following for application by examination:

  • Completion of a Board-approved nursing program
  • Complete registration for the Nurse Gateway
  • Complete the Examination Application
  • Submit the NCBON ID Document
  • Complete registration for Pearson Vue for the NCLEX ($200)
  • Provide proof of graduation from a North Carolina program or official transcripts for out-of-state programs.

For licensure by endorsement, North Carolina requires:

  • For Registered Nurses (RN), completion of a nursing program approved by the original jurisdiction of licensure
  • Successful completion of the NCLEX or SBTPE
  • Self-certification of mental and physical health necessary to competently practice nursing
  • An unencumbered license in all previous jurisdictions
  • Current license in another jurisdiction – if lapsed more than 5 years, you’ll need a refresher course
  • A criminal background check

47

North Dakota

North Dakota is a Nursing Licensure Compact State, meaning that if you are coming from another compact state but are not changing your primary residence to North Dakota, you are eligible to work without applying for licensure in ND. North Dakota does not recognize Minnesota’s reciprocity of border state’s law.

For licensure by examination, North Dakota requires completion of an in-state nursing education program, or an out-of-state program that is both board-approved in its own state and includes supervised clinical experience in an amount equivalent to North Dakota’s own approved programs. They also require:

For licensure by endorsement for out-of-state Registered Nurses, ND requires that applicants have completed a nursing program that prepared you for the level of licensure sought and included supervised clinical experience throughout the life of the program.

ND also requires any one of the following:

  • 400 hours of licensed nursing practice in the last 4 years or;
  • Completion of your nursing program within the last 4 years or;
  • Completion of a board-approved refresher course within the last 4 years

They also require endorsement applicants to provide proof of licensure by examination from another state that meets ND’s own requirements, as well as:

  • Official transcripts
  • Verification of licensure in another state

 

48

Ohio

Ohio is a Nursing Licensure Compact State, meaning that if you’re from another compact state and aren’t changing your primary residence to Ohio, you don’t need to apply for a state-specific license to work there.

For licensure by examination, applicants must:

  • Complete the Examination Application and include a $75 fee
  • Complete BCI and FBI criminal records checks
  • Request a program completion letter from your school school (transcripts for out-of-state applicants)
  • Complete and submit Form B if out of state (in the above link)
  • Complete the NCLEX registration

Endorsement applicants must:

  • Complete Form A (in the above link)
  • Verify licensure in another jurisdiction, either through Nursys or by mail if applicable
  • Complete the Examination Application and include a $75 fee
  • Complete BCI and FBI criminal records checks.

 

49

Oklahoma

Oklahoma now processes its licensure applications and details online, and all applications have a $3.50 application fee for the provider in addition to all normal licensure fees.

For initial licensure in Oklahoma, the Board of Nursing requires a payment of $85 and the following requirements:

  • Verification of citizenship status
  • Graduation from a state Board-approved program of Registered or Practical Nursing
  • Provision of official transcripts
  • Completion of the NCLEX licensure examination
  • Completion of a background check

As for endorsement, the Oklahoma Board of Nursing also requires an $85 application fee and the following:

  • Verification of citizenship status
  • Graduation from a Board-approved program as verified by the Board where you were initially licensed and that is equivalent to an approved program in Oklahoma
  • Completion of the NCLEX licensure exam
  • Verification of licensure in another state
  • Submission of evidence of continuing education after licensure
  • Completion of a background check

 

50

Oregon

For all licensure applicants, the Oregon State Board of Nursing requires a fingerprint and background check by Fieldprint Inc., which carries a fee of $64.50.

For licensure by examination, the Board requires:

  • A completed application, online or paper
  • A $169 licensure fee payable to the Oregon Board of Nursing
  • A passport-sized picture
  • Official transcripts to be sent directly from the school

In addition, Oregon requires RNs to have graduated from an OSBN-approved qualifying RN nursing program and completion of the NCLEX exam

For licensure by endorsement, the Board requires the fingerprinting and background check mentioned above, as well as:

  • A completed application, online or paper
  • A $195 licensure fee payable to the Oregon Board of Nursing
  • Official transcripts
  • Verification of licensure in another state through Nursys or directly with the board overseeing your RN licensure
  • Verification that your RN nurse program was completed or you have completed at least 960 practice within the last 5 years.

51

Pennsylvania

In order for a candidate to become a Registered Nurse in the state of Pennsylvania, they will have to graduate from an approved nursing school. When it comes time to get licensed, in state graduates are allowed to apply for licensure online, while out of state graduates must fill out the paper application. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing handles the licenses of Nurses in the State.  As the application process can take up to six weeks, it is advised that prospective candidates get their applications started as soon as possible. Here is a list of the fees associated with licensing, just so you know how much to save up:

  • There is a $35.00 fee for materials and eligibility review.
  • Another $35.00 fee if a candidate would like a temporary permit.
  • For out of state candidates, there is an additional $100.00 fee.

Once the candidate takes the the nursing exam and passes, they will receive their certification in the mail.

 

33

Rhode Island

Registered Nurses are licensed through the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Nursing candidates that have graduated from an approved program are allowed to work as a Graduate Nurse, up to 90 days while they are waiting to take the NCLEX Exam.

Other requirements include:

  • Register and pay for the RN nursing exam, before even applying to the Board. Once you are deemed eligible, you will then be able to schedule the exam at a later date.
  • Get fingerprinted for a background check as soon as possible. People are not allowed to even talk the NCLEX without clearance.
  • If you are seeking Rhode Island as your primary place of licensure, you must provide a copy of driver’s license, lease, or tax returns.
  • Official Transcripts from the Nursing school.
  • Take and pass the Nursing Exam

Once all requirements are met, you will be a licensed RN in the state of Rhode Island.  

 

34

South Carolina

A Registered Nursing candidate must complete a state approved program for professional nursing. Here is a compilation of several nursing programs in the state as well as contact information. Once the educational component is finished, the application process will start. All prospective RNs will:

  • Apply to the South Carolina Board of Nursing, which is attached with a 90.00 fee.
  • Attach a passport style photo to the application.
  • Register and take the nursing exam.

Nursing candidates are eligible to take the RN exam as many times as necessary within the first year after graduation,  however there is a 45 day wait between each exam, as well as a $65.00 fee per reexamination, payable to the board. Since that can become extremely expensive, it is probably best to study a lot before retaking the exam. Once the candidate passes the test, and becomes registered, there are lifelong Continuing Education (CE) Credits. At the time of publication, the Board was offering CE credits on Domestic Violence.  

 

35

South Dakota

Prospective Registered Nurses in South Dakota are required to complete a state approved nursing program. It is also important to note that South Dakota is in need of Registered Nurses, and as such there are several scholarships available to nursing students in the state. One notable scholarship is offered through the South Dakota Nurses Association. According to their website, “The South Dakota Nurses Foundation (SDNF) awards scholarships to nurses who reflect the foundation’s purposes of education, research and service.”

Once the educational portion in met, the application process begins. The requirements for the application are as follows:

  • Pay the $100.00 application fee and an additional $25.00 to apply for a temporary permit.
  • Background testing
  • Register and take the NCLEX, as well as pay the $200.00 fee.

Once the RN candidate passes the NCLEX, they will be a Registered Nurse.

 

36

Tennessee

RNs in Tennessee must pass an appropriate nursing program approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. In order for a candidate to become licensed in Tennessee one must:

  • Start the application process and pay $110.00 to the Board.
  • Get electronic fingerprinting through Identogo.
  • Affix a passport photo to the application. The photo must be newer than six months old, signed and dated, be a straight on pose, and be sized 2 ½” by 2 ½”.
  • Have signed affidavit in the presence of a notary public stating that everything is true on the candidate’s application.
  • Declaration of citizenship along with documentation.

Prospective nurses will also have to sign up for and pass the NCLEX in order to obtain licensure. Processing of applications can take up to six weeks, so start the application process as soon as possible to minimize delay.
37

Texas

The state of Texas requires Registered Nursing candidates attend an approved program, which includes at least two years of coursework. In order to become licensed in the state, a prospective candidate must:

  • Apply for licensure early through the Texas Board of Nursing. It is recommended that candidates apply as early as 120 days before graduation, to ensure an appropriate timeline for licensure.
  • Pay the Texas Board of Nursing $139.00, which is due before testing approval can take place.
  • Undergo a criminal background check.
  • Get a signed form by the dean.
  • Register for the Pearson Vue NCLEX, which once granted the permission to test, allows up to 75 days to take the exam.

Upon graduation, nurses can work under an initial certification known as a Graduate Nurse, or GN. Then the RN candidate is expected to take and pass the NCLEX-RN, before their GN expires. Once a person becomes an RN in Texas, their education never really ends. Nurses are required to take continuing education courses, as well as renew their licenses every other year.

 

38

Utah

Registered Nurses in Utah must complete an approved state program. Associate level programs must be accredited by the NLNAC and Baccalaureate level pre-licensure programs must be accredited through NLNAC and/or CCNE, while most are accredited through the CCNE. The state of Utah urges students to start the application as soon as possible, one they are eligible to do so. RN candidates must also undergo background testing as a part of their licensure. This includes paying for two separate background checks. Potential nurses will first be tested with the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), then with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

In order to qualify to test a potential candidate must:

Once the nursing exam has been passed, along with the other requirements, a nursing candidate can expect their license in the mail in about three weeks.

 

39

Vermont

Prospective Registered Nurses must first complete a Board approved nursing program. Upon the completion of education, candidate must have the school fill out proof of education. Only of out of state candidates must send official transcripts. Once that is done candidates must:

  • Start the Registered Nurse application process.
  • Attach a two by two photo along with application. Please note that the photo must be different from the candidate’s driver’s license photo.
  • Within 30 days of graduation, Vermont will grant nurses a temporary license so that they can work under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.
  • Register and take the NCLEX, as well as pay the $200.00 fee.

Any authorization to test and become licensed is granted only when the candidate has met all requirements and paid all applicable fees. It is also important to note that candidates who fail the Nursing exam the first time are given the opportunity to retest, however a second failure requires a testing review program.
40

Virginia

The Virginia Board of Nursing requires prospective nursing students to have a high school diploma or GED, as well as a certificate from a professional nursing program. One unique thing about the the state of Virginia’s licensure process is that all nursing candidates are expected to have field experience. RN programs include 500 hours of direct patient care, that is supervised by a seasoned nurse. It’s kind of like the student teaching equivalent that teachers have, but for nurses. This is an exceptional component to any nursing program, as it ensures competency in a nurse before granting a license. In addition to the practicum and educational requirements prospective RNs must:

  • Apply for licensure through the Board.  
  • Undergo a background test
  • Register and pass the NCLEX, as well as pay the applicable fee.

Upon receiving a license in Virginia, Registered Nurses are encouraged to apply for membership to the Virginia Nurses Association. Membership is completely optional, but may be helpful when looking for a job.

 

41

Washington

Washington RNs are licensed by the the Nursing Commission of the Washington State Department of Health. A really neat tid bit about licensure in Washington is that the licensing process is expedited for the spouses or domestic partners of military personnel.

All prospective nursing candidates must first complete an approved nursing program by the state of Washington. A nursing student may register as a nursing technician so that they can earn a living while in school. In order to obtain a nursing license students must:

  • Verify program completion
  • Start application process through the board, and pay applicable fee.
  • Register to take the NCLEX, as well as pay the $200.00 fee.

Once the exam has been taken and passed, the nursing license will be issued shortly after. The state of Washington also expects nurses to take continuing education courses, with newly licensed nurses encouraged the most.  

 

42

West Virginia

An RN candidate must complete an approved program by the West Virginia RN Board. Then they will:

  • Undergo background testing through L-1 Identity Solutions. Conveniently, the scheduling can be done online, and applicants will be able to do their fingerprinting as early as twelve months prior to graduation.
  • Apply for licensure through the board. There is currently a $51.50 fee to apply.
  • Take the Registered Nurse NCLEX.

The application packet for licensure is actually filled out by other people. The first portion of the packet is given to a person who has known the applicant for a minimum of five years. They must be willing to swear that the applicant is of high moral standing. The second portion is given to the dean of the nursing program. They must state that the candidate has either graduated, or is expected to graduate shortly, is known to be of good academic and moral standing, and has never plagiarized or engaged in any intellectual property theft. Candidates will have the opportunity to work under a temporary permit, if they apply for one promptly. The temporary permit is good for up to 90 days, then they will have to pass the NCLEX to become licensed permanently.  

 

43

Wisconsin

Registered Nurses in Wyoming must complete a Board approved nursing program. However, students in Wisconsin are also urged to turn in their nursing applications at least six weeks prior to graduation to avoid any delays. Applicants are asked to:

  • Start their online application process early.
  • Pay the $90.00 application fee, and also an additional $10.00 fee for a temporary permit.
  • Register for the NCLEX-RN
  • Have their school send appropriate form to the Board.

Candidates who requested a temporary permit are asked to note that it can take a few weeks for their temporary permit or Graduate Nurse (GN) Permit to be approved. From the time is it issued, the applicant is granted a 90 day period where they can practice nursing. However, they must also pass the nursing exam before those 90 days are up. If an applicant fails the NCLEX-RN, they are able to take the exam again(after 45 days) for a nominal fee, but it does invalidate their temporary permit. Once students pass their exam, they are encouraged to join the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA).

 

44

Wyoming

To receive licensure in the state of Wyoming, candidates will have to complete a Board approved program. Programs in other states are also acceptable. After completion of a program, prospective RNs will apply to take the NCLEX-RN, where the current fee is $200.00. Additionally, the candidate must also pay the Wyoming Board of Nursing $130.00 for an application fee, as well as $60.00 for a background check. Once those things are completed a candidate will then:

  • Send all official transcripts to the board.
  • Await eligibility for testing.
  • Take the NCLEX-RN

At the board’s discretion, a temporary permit may be issued to a candidate awaiting the NCLEX-RN examination. The Wyoming Board will keep candidates up to date on their licensure status via email, and make sure they understand actions that must be taken if their exams have failed. If a candidate is unsuccessful on the first attempt at the exam, they will need to fill out a retake application along with any applicable fees.

 

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