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U.S. Nursing Boards (by State)

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. 

U.S. States beginning A, B, C


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

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


Registered Nurses in Alaska will have one accredited University as a choice for Nursing School and some online schools that can cover most classes. The University of Alaska-Anchorage has the only nursing program in the state, however, it 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:

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


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:

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.


There are various paths to becoming an RN in Arkansas. The first step to becoming an RN is completing 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 in Arkansas, one must:

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.


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

While you are waiting to take the Nursing Exam, you may also work 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 on Registered Nursing, Here is more information regarding licensure in California.


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 to 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.


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 the testing. Assuming the candidate passed the exam, they will become Registered Nurses.

U.S. States beginning D, E, F


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 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:

The entire application process takes around 45 days to complete.


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:

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.


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

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:

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.

U.S. States beginning G, H, I


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 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 Hawaii Board of Nursing requires RN applicants who are applying via examination to complete a qualifying nursing program and to send transcripts to the Board for review prior to examination. Applicants may also provide an official letter from their school certifying 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 an endorsement for nurses with existing credentials. They require any one of the following credentials for endorsement:

Hawaii also requires endorsement candidates to be a graduate of an accredited board-recognized bachelor’s degree, associate degree, or hospital nursing program with a 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 the issue date.


The Idaho Board of Nursing requires you to establish an account with their Nurse Portal to begin the licensure application process, whether by examination, 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 the board of nursing approval in that program’s jurisdiction and has substantially similar basic educational requirements as graduates of Idaho’s programs.


The Illinois Center for Nursing requires the 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:

For licensure by endorsement, Illinois requires:


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

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

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


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

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

For application by endorsement, the IBN requires:

U.S. States beginning J, K, L


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.


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:

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

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.


Louisiana’s application process is complicated, requiring many steps to fulfill licensing requirements. Louisiana requires all RNs to successfully complete a diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s, or master’s degree nursing education program that is approved by the 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 an endorsement via your existing license. The eligibility requirements include:

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:

U.S. States beginning M, N, O


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.


Maryland is a Compact State, allowing RNs from the 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:


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.


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

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


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:

For licensure by endorsement, the Board in Minnesota wants:


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:

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 application must:


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:

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:


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:

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:


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 an application by endorsement, which requires:

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


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:

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

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


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

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

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

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


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:

For licensure by endorsement, you must:


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 licensure by endorsement, NM requires the following:


New York requires completion of an approved two-year nursing program for Registered Nurses. Approved in-state programs are listed here; an 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:

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


North Carolina is part of the Nursing Licensure Compact, and has reciprocity with the 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:

For licensure by endorsement, North Carolina requires:


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:

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


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:

Endorsement applicants must:


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:

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


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:

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:

U.S. States beginning P, Q, R, S


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:

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


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, for up to 90 days while they are waiting to take the NCLEX Exam.

Other requirements include:

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


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:

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.


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:

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

U.S. States beginning T, U, V


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:


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 the delay.

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:

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.


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.


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


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.

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 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 of 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:

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

U.S. States beginning W, X, Y, Z


Washington RNs are licensed by the Nursing Commission of the Washington State Department of Health. A really neat tidbit 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:

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.


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

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.


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:

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 exams, they are encouraged to join the Wisconsin Nurses Association (WNA).


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 have been completed a candidate will then:

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.

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