INDUSTRY
March 14, 2018

2018 State-by-State Guide to RN Licensure: eNLC Update

By Angelina Gibson 

This article was completed in collaboration with Kathleen Colduvell, BSN, RN, BA, CBC.

Getting a Nurse license in a different state can be confusing due to differences in requirements, processes, and timeframes. Perhaps there will come a time when a single nurse license will enable nurses to work across state lines. We can dream, right? 

With 25 current members of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) such a dream may soon become reality. However, currently, the majority of the United States still require individual licenses each with specific requirements and licensure timeframes. 

We’ve created this state-by-state guide to explain the process and outline the estimated time frames for each state.

While it is true that each state has specific application requirements, there are  basic commonalities between them all, including: 

  • Graduation, or verified completion, from a state-approved nursing program.  
  • Pass the NCLEX® examination.
  • Self-report all criminal convictions (including juvenile convictions), chemical dependencies, and functional ability deficits.
  • Verification of original state of nursing licensure (if applicable) and possibly the most recent state of licensure. It is fairly simple for a Nurse to order their state verification through Nursys. The Nursys licensure and disciplinary database is the repository of the data provided directly by the Nursing Commission to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) and is primary source equivalent. However, not all states participate in that service. If your state is not included in the database, we suggest contacting your state Board of Nursing (BON) for verification details. 
  • Many states require original transcripts sent directly from the college or university to the BON. They will not accept the transcript if it is not mailed from the educational facility. 
  • Current Continued Education Units (CEUs) are required by many states for licensure by endorsement. 
  • English language proficiency is a requirement to work as a Nurse within the United States.
  • Sound physical/mental health and good moral character. 

You may be wondering how BON determines “good moral character”. They first provide a set of questions, if a nurse answers “yes” to any of these questions, they’ll be required to submit further documentation. 

The questions include: 

1. Has any disciplinary action ever been taken against you by a professional and/or trade licensing/certification board located in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or any country/foreign jurisdiction, including removal from a long-term care nurse aide registry program?

2. Are you the subject of pending disciplinary action by a professional and/or trade licensing/certification board located in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or any country/foreign jurisdiction?

3. Have you ever applied for, and been denied, a professional and/or trade license/certification in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or any other country/foreign jurisdiction?

4. Have you ever surrendered or resigned a professional and/or trade license/certificate in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or any other country/foreign jurisdiction?

5. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or any other country/foreign jurisdiction?

6. Are you the subject of any pending or open criminal case (s) or investigation(s), (including for any felony or misdemeanor) in a jurisdiction in the United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territory, or any country/foreign jurisdiction?

Registered nurse licensure requirements change on a continuing basis. We’ve included the most up-to-date information in this guide. However, it is your responsibility to check with each state’s Board of Nursing for current information when it comes time for you to apply. 

License by exam or licensure by endorsement. 

Once you’ve landed on a state’s Board of Nursing website you’ll notice two options for licensure - by exam or by endorsement. It’s important to know the difference and to apply to the correct option. 

License by examination is for nurses who are seeking licensure for the first time. Nurses are required to obtain a nursing degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) prior to applying for licensure. The NCLEX is a standardized exam used by each state’s board of nursing to determine the preparedness of entry-level nurses; it is a national requirement. 

License by endorsement is for nurses who are already licensed to work as Registered Nurses within the United States but, are applying for licensure to be eligible to work in another jurisdiction. 

Take note that nurses who were trained in countries outside of the United States will need to take additional steps towards their licensure to be eligible to work in the United States

Nurse Licensure Compact AKA Multi-State License

Fortunately, many states have joined the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC.) since it was enacted in December 2018. eNLC is an agreement between participating states to honor each state’s RN licenses. Nurses residing in eNLC states are permitted to provide care both within their home state and also within other eNLC states. The eNLC increases access to care while maintaining public protection at the state level. Those with previous compact licenses will be grandfathered into the eNLC. As more states pass legislation to join the compact the process is becoming streamlined and more affordable while creating abundant job opportunities; the eNLC seeks to: 

  • Enable nurses to practice in-person or provide telenursing services to patients across the country without having to obtain additional licenses. 
  • Allow nurses to quickly cross state borders and provide vital services in the event of a disaster. 
  • Facilitate telenursing and online nursing education. 
  • Make practicing across state borders affordable and convenient. 
  • Remove a burdensome expense for organizations that employ nurses and may share the cost of multiple licenses. 

Nurses are eligible for a compact, or multistate nursing license if they meet the following criteria:

  • Legally reside in an Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) state.
  • Hold an active Registered Nurse (RN) license in their state of legal residency. 
  • Declare their primary state of residency within an eNLC state as determined by federal tax returns. 
  • Meet licensure requirements in their home state. 

Walk-Through States License Within 48 Hours. 

Talk about good news for nurses who desire to start working as soon as possible in a different jurisdiction. While licensure times vary greatly by state, a few states process temporary licenses within a day or two. Of course, you do need to already have a license in another state. Temporary licenses do expire quickly, within 6 months. Make sure to apply for a permanent license as well to prevent any hiccups when your temporary license expires. 

Temporary Permits Allow For Quicker Licensing

While many states grant temporary permits to Nurses seeking licensure, some do not. A temporary permit may be granted to newly graduated nurses with pending NCLEX results who wish to work in a facility in a nurse-graduate program. Temporary licensure may also be granted to nurses who apply for licensure by endorsement. Processing, stipulations and expiration times vary, be sure to check with the state’s Board of Nursing.  

Permanent Licensure

Whether you are a new graduate applying for licensure by examination or you are an experienced nurse applying for licensure by endorsement, you’ll eventually receive a permanent license. Once you receive your permanent license, it is your responsibility to keep it in good standing, protect it and follow the steps to keep it active. 

Renewal time frames vary by state. For example, some licenses expire on the nurse’s birthday and others expire every 24 months from activation. 

Requirements for renewal also vary by state. They may require a certain amount of continuing education units (CEU) or a set amount of clinical hours per given period. 

Disciplinary Action and Enforcement

Discipline on nurse licenses is less than 1%. However, violations of the Nurse Practice Act, an act to regulate and guide patient care, can occur. The board of nursing takes these violations very seriously and formal action may be taken if evidence shows that regulations were violated.

Once a complaint has been filed on a nurse license, the state board of nursing will typically take the following steps: 

  • Initial review of the complaint
  • Investigation into the complaint
  • Board proceedings
  • Board action

If action is taken against a nurse license, both the license and action against the license are publicly available on Nursys.com and the state database for nurse licensure.  

Note that if you’ve had action taken against your license it is crucial that you share this information (and any supporting documents) with the board of nursing in the state you are applying. Whereas licensure may be granted if the BON knows about the disciplinary actions beforehand, it will not be granted if the information is withheld. 

A few of the most common actions that cause nurses to lose their license include: 

  • Refusing recovery programs for drug and alcohol addiction
  • Impersonating a licensed Registered Nurse
  • Drug diversion
  • False or fake licensure
  • Mail fraud
  • Falsifying patient records
  • Unprofessional conduct

Inappropriate use of social media platforms can put a nurse’s license at risk for investigation, sanctions, and loss. While social media has made us all more connected it has also made it easy to share confidential information. 

The Board of Nursing may be permitted to investigate reports of inappropriate disclosure or behavior on social media platforms based on: 

  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Unethical conduct
  • Moral turpitude
  • Mismanagement of patient records
  • Revealing privileged communication
  • Breach of confidentiality

Unethical posting on social platforms can lead to complaints, investigations and further disciplinary actions. 

It is vital for nurses to not violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), state privacy laws or employer policies by taking photos or videos of patients without their written consent. Such violations can lead to civil lawsuits, criminal charges, and licensure discipline. 

Furthermore, nurses should not denigrate either their employer or co-workers online. Not only is such posting improper but, it could also be considered cyberbullying and lead to further legal action. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing states, “Online comments by a nurse regarding coworkers, even if posted from home during non-work hours, may constitute lateral violence… Such activity causes concern for current and future employers and regulators because of the patient-safety ramifications…The line between speech protected by labor laws and the First Amendment and the ability of an employer to impose expectations on employees outside of work is still being determined. Nonetheless, such comments can be detrimental to a cohesive health care delivery team and may result in sanctions against the nurse.”

A nurse’s judgment or moral character could be questioned if it is found that they are engaged in such activities: 

  • Posting sexually explicit photos
  • Foul or derogatory language
  • Texting, friending or adding patients on social platforms
  • Being tagged in photos portraying inappropriate behavior

After investigations take place and if allegations are found to be true a nurse could face the following disciplinary action on their license: 

  • Reprimand or sanction 
  • Monetary fine
  • Temporary or permanent loss of licensure 

Tips For Hassle-Free Licensure

While the licensing process can be very lengthy in some states common mistakes can make it even longer. Again, make sure to check with your state’s board of nursing before applying. 

Fingerprints must be collected for every new license that a nurse applies to. Smudged or damaged fingerprints can put a hold on the process. Luckily, many states are offering an alternative to the traditional manual fingerprint card. Thanks to innovations in technology the Livescan service allows for fingerprints to be electronically submitted directly to the Board much quicker than manual fingerprint cards. There is a catch though, the Nurse must be within the State in which they wish to obtain licensure. Livescan cannot be completed from outside of the State, find a location nearest you here.  

Due to the length of the licensing process, we recommend applying for licensure as far in advance as possible. There have been times when California licensure has taken up to 6 months to obtain. We have provided a chart of estimated license time frames by state but keep in mind that processing times could vary based on many factors and errors. 

If you are applying for licensure by endorsement you’ll be asked to verify an active nurse license. We recommend using Nursys.com to complete this requirement. Nursys is the only national database for verification of nurse licensure, discipline and practice privileges for RNs and PN/LVN licensed in participating jurisdictions, including all states in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). However, not every state utilizes this database. If your state does not participate, you’ll need to verify your license through the state’s BON. 

It is never appropriate to submit non-official transcripts to the board of nursing. They will only accept sealed transcripts mailed directly from the college or university. This is another case where processing times can vary, make sure to order your transcripts far in advance. 

Keeping important documents online in a cloud-based platform such as the Google Drive will help to maintain organization and facilitate easy application submission. We suggest creating a folder to include specific documents that will be requested at the time of licensure. These documents include: 

  • Drivers License - color copy
  • Social Security Card - a color copy of both the front and back
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport photo page - color copy 
  • Letters of reference
  • Records of disciplinary actions, encontrances, hearing, and legalities affecting the license
  • Records of any criminal convictions with results
  • Continuing education requirements
  • Current resume

There are a few options for submitting the license application. These include: in person, mail in or applying online. It is generally faster to apply in person. However, if that is not possible, applying online will be quicker than mail-in. We also recommend contacting the BON in your state by phone to inquire about your license, especially if you need it fast. 

While waiting to obtain either your temporary or permanent license, it is important to track its status. Many employers are unable to move forward with interviewing candidates until the candidate’s license is at least in “pending” status. 

Nursys provides a database for nurses to track the status of their license. It will also alert you once your license is active. However, Nursys’ database collects data directly from the board of nursing for each state. While some states submit their data to Nursys on the same day it is received others can take up to three weeks to update Nursys. Therefore, it is recommended to both utilize Nursys services and also monitor your license on the State’s website. 

Unfortunately, it is fairly common for license processing to be delayed. There are a number of reasons that cause delays, the most frequent include: 

  • Submitting an incomplete application  
  • Submitting an illegible application  
  • Issues regarding an applicant’s education 
  • Issues regarding an applicant’s address/declaration of primary state of residency  
  • Need for an eligibility review  
  • Submitting an outdated application  
  • Not submitting the correct endorsement fee  
  • Not signing or dating the application  
  • Not submitting all eligibility documents

We suggest the following tips to avoid delays in licensure: 

  • Print legibly in black ink or type the information on the application. 
  • Provide your current residential address as determined by tax records. Providing a different address, such as an address in a compact state, or a staffing agency’s address could cause delays. 
  • Provide current contact details including an email address. Most BONs send correspondence by snail-mail, however, an email address and phone number may help with urgent communication matters. 
  • List only social security numbers issued by the United States Social Security Administration. If you do not have a U.S. issued social security number we recommend leaving this section blank. An SSN is not required for permanent licensure in most states but, falsifying information will cause delays. 
  • Only provide information regarding your basic RN education. The information provided will be documented and compared to the education information listed in the Exam State. 
  • List important details about the National Licensing Examination, including: which exam you took and passed, the exam date, the state in which the exam took place, and whether or not a license was received in that state. If the license was not obtained in the same state where licensure took place be prepared to submit supporting documents indicating the reason why the license was not obtained.  
  • List all countries, territories, and provinces where you’ve worked, were granted authority to practice or held a nursing license.
  • Record all RN licenses and authorities to practice starting with the initial license. The initial license is the license that was issued by examination. Be sure to include license numbers. 

Registered Nurse Licensing Requirements By State. 

ALABAMA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 48 hours
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: No set time frame - processed when materials are received
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $85 application fee, $50 temporary license fee, $3.50 transaction fee
  • Application Requirements: Proof of citizenship, official transcripts, license verification
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: No
  • Renewal Requirements: 24 CEU, plus 12 hours of independent study through CEU
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: https://www.abn.alabama.gov/apply/
  • Telephone Number: 800.656.5318

ALASKA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 10 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 10 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $275 (permanent license only) or $325 (including temporary permit)
  • Application Requirements:  Proof of citizenship, official transcripts, license verification
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: Must complete 2 of the following: 
    • 30 contact hours
    • 30 hours professional nursing activities
    • 320 hours nursing employment
  • Renewal Date: November 30th - even numbered years only
  • Website: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/professionallicensing/boardofnursing.aspx
  • Telephone Number: 907.269.8161

ARIZONA 

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 48 hours walk-in OR 2 weeks mail
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 1-2 months
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: Yes
  • Cost: $50 temporary, $150 application fee, $50 fingerprints
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following requirements:
    • Practiced as a nurse for 960 hours or more in the past 5 years OR
    • Graduated from a nursing program and obtained a degree within past 5 years OR
    • Completed an Arizona Board approved refresher course in the past 5 years OR
    • Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the past 5 years (i.e. LPN to RN, RN to BSN, masters, or doctorate).
  • Renewal Date: Every 4 years
  • Website: http://www.azbn.gov/Default.aspx
  • Telephone Number: 602.771.7800

ARKANSAS

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 3-5 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 3-5 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $30 (temporary license), $125 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: Nurses born in odd-numbered years renew in odd years, and those born in even years renew in even years. Active licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and advanced practice nurses must complete the continuing education requirement by one of these methods prior to each biennial renewal:
    • Earn 15 contact hours of appropriately accredited practice-focused activities; OR
    • Hold a current nationally recognized certification/recertification; OR
    • Complete a minimum of one college credit hour course in nursing with a grade of C or better during licensure period.
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.arsbn.org/Pages/default.aspx
  • Telephone Number: 501.686.2700

CALIFORNIA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 8-10 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 10-12 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $50 (temporary license), $100 (permanent license), $49 fingerprints
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: 30 CEU
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years on your birthday
  • Website: http://www.rn.ca.gov/
  • Telephone Number: 916.322.3350

COLORADO

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 4-5 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $88 (nurse grads), $164 renewal fee
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: 
  • Renewal Requirements: None
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years - By September 30
  • Website: https://www.colorado.gov/dora/Nursing
  • Telephone Number: 303.894.2430

CONNECTICUT

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 2-3 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 5-7 business days - once all documents received
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $180 (includes the cost of a temporary license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: No
  • Renewal Requirements: None
  • Renewal Date: Every year
  • Website: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3143&q=388910
  • Telephone Number: 860.509.7603

DELAWARE

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $40 (temporary license), $141 (permanent license) 
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: 
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • 1,000 practice hours within the past 5 years, OR
    • 400 practice hours within the past 2 years, OR
    • Refresher course within the past 2 years AND
    • CEU-30 including 3 hours on substance abuse
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.professionallicensing.state.de.us/boards/nursing/index.shtml
  • Telephone Number: 302.744.4517

FLORIDA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 30 days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 30 days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $110
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 24 hours including 2 hours on the laws and rules that govern the practice of nursing in Florida. Starting 1/2019 2 hours of education on human trafficking
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://floridasnursing.gov/
  • Telephone Number: 850.245.4125

GEORGIA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 15 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $50 
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: See Georgia’s state page for more detailed information
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.sos.state.ga.us/plb/rn
  • Telephone Number: 478.207.2440

HAWAII

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 15-20 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $146-$202
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: No
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • National certification or recertification related to the nurse’s practice role
    • 30 contact hours of continuing education activities
    • Completion of a board-approved refresher course
    • Completion of a minimum of two-semester credits of post-licensure academic education related to nursing practice from an accredited nursing program
    • Participation as a preceptor, for at least one nursing student or employee transitioning into new clinical practice areas for at least one hundred twenty hours, in a one-to-one relationship as part of an organized preceptorship program
    • Completion as principal or co-principal investigator of a nursing research project that is an institutional review board project or evidence-based practice project that has been preapproved by the board
    • Authoring or co-authoring a peer-reviewed published nursing or health-related article, book, or book chapter
    • Developing and conducting a nursing education presentation or presentations totaling a minimum of five contact hours of actual organized instruction that qualifies as continuing education
    • Completion of a board-recognized nurse residency program
    • A similar type of learning activity option; provided that the type of activity shall be recognized by the board
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years on June 30th of odd years
  • Website: http://www.hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/pvl/boards/nursing
  • Telephone Number: 808.586.3000

IDAHO

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $25 (temporary license), $152 (permanent license) 
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: Starting 2019 License Renewal 
    • Current nursing specialty certification OR 100 hours of practice or simulation practice
    • 15 contact hours of continuing education OR Completion of a minimum of 1 semester credit hour of post-licensure academic education OR Completion of a Board-recognized refresher course OR Participation in or presentation of a workshop, seminar, or conference
    • Acknowledged contributor to a published nursing-related article OR Teaching or developing a nursing-related course of instruction OR Participation in related professional activities 
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years on August 31
  • Website: http://www2.state.id.us/ibn/index.htm
  • Telephone Number: 208.334.3110

ILLINOIS

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 2 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: Yes
  • Cost: $25 (temporary license), $50 (permanent license) 
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 20 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years by May 31
  • Website: http://www.idfpr.com/dpr/default.asp
  • Telephone Number: 1.800.823.3110

INDIANA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 2 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 2-4 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $50 (temporary license), $60 (permanent license) 
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: None
  • Renewal Date: Every odd year on October 31
  • Website: http://www.in.gov/pla/bandc/isbn/
  • Telephone Number: 317.234.2043

IOWA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 5-10 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 5-10 business days but up to 8 weeks during high volume times
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $169
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 36 hours
    • License less than 3 years - 24 CEU
    • 2 hours child abuse training 
  • Renewal Date: Every 3 years
  • Website: http://www.state.ia.us/government/nursing
  • Telephone Number: 515.281.3264

KANSAS

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 7-10 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: Varies
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $75
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 30 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.ksbn.org
  • Telephone Number: 785.296.4929

KENTUCKY

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 2 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $165 (temporary license), $165 (permanent license), $12 fingerprint fee
  • Application Requirements:  
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following within the past 2 years (waived for the first renewal after licensure):
    • 14 contact hours
    • National, practice-related certification or recertification
    • completion of nursing research project as director, principal investigator, or co-investigator
    • Publication of nursing-related article
    • Professional nursing education presentation
    • 120 hours as preceptor
    • 7 contact hours plus satisfactory employment evaluation for CE
    • 3 contact hours of domestic violence education within the first 3 years after licensure (one time only), AND
    • 2 contact hours of HIV/AIDS education 
  • Renewal Date: Every year - October 31 
  • Website: http://www.kbn.ky.gov
  • Telephone Number: 502.429.3300

LOUISIANA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: Yes
  • Cost: $240.75 (temporary license), $140.75 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: Continuing Education Hours: 
    • Full-time nurses:  5 CEU
    • Part-time nurses: 10 CEU
    • Inactive nurses: 15 CEU
  • Renewal Date: Every year
  • Website: http://www.lsbn.state.la.us
  • Telephone Number: 225.763.3570

MAINE

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 1-2 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $75 (temporary license), $75 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: 
  • Renewal Requirements: None
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.maine.gov/boardofnursing
  • Telephone Number: 207.287.1133

MARYLAND

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 48-72 hours
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $40 (temporary license), $100 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: 1000 practice related hours OR board approved refresher course
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.mbon.org/main.php
  • Telephone Number: 410.585.1900

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $275
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: 
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 15 hours (waived for first renewal)
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/rn/
  • Telephone Number: 617.973.0800

MICHIGAN

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks - Only applies to individuals licensed as a registered nurse in Canada
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $64
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 25 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.michigan.gov/mdch/0,1607,7-132-27417_27529_27542—,00.html
  • Telephone Number: 517.335.0918

MINNESOTA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 1 business day
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: Varies
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $105
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: No
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU- 24 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.state.mn.us/portal/mn/jsp/home.do?agency=NursingBoard
  • Telephone Number: 612.617.2270

MISSISSIPPI

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 7-15 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $100
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 20 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.msbn.state.ms.us
  • Telephone Number: 601.987.4189

MISSOURI

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: In person - Same day, Mail - 2 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 10-12 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: Yes
  • Cost: $55
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: None
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years - Expires 4-30 of even-numbered years
  • Website: http://pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp
  • Telephone Number: 573.751.0681

MONTANA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 30-60 days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $200 , $27.25 background check fee
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 24 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.discoveringmontana.com/dli/nur
  • Telephone Number: 406.841.2340

NEBRASKA 

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-5 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $123
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: 
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following (waived if licensed within the past 2 years):
    • 500 practice hours within the past 5 years AND 20 contact hours of board-approved CE within the past 2 years
    • Graduated between 2 and 5 years ago, and completed at least 20 contact hours of board-approved CE
    • Board-approved refresher course within the past 5 years
    • Current or new certification in nursing specialty
    • Portfolio demonstrating current continuing competency goals and evidence of professional activity to meet those goals
  • Renewal Date: On October 31st of odd-numbered year
  • Website: http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/crl/nursing/Rn-Lpn/rn-lpn.htm
  • Telephone Number: 402.471.2133

NEVADA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 7-10 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 2-4 months
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $105
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 30 hours, including 4 hours on bioterrorism
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://nevadanursingboard.org/
  • Telephone Number: 888.590.6726

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $20 (temporary license), $120 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 30 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every year
  • Website: http://www.nh.gov/nursing/
  • Telephone Number: 603.271.2323

NEW JERSEY

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $140 (temporary license), $200 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 30 hours, 1 CEU on organ and tissue donation
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/nur/Pages/default.aspx
  • Telephone Number: 973.504.6430

NEW MEXICO

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 2-3 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $50 (temporary license), $110 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 30 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://nmbon.sks.com/
  • Telephone Number: 505.841.8340

NEW YORK

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 6-8 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: No set timeline - issued once all documents received
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $35 (temporary license), $143 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: 3 CEU on infection control every 4 years, 2 CEU on child abuse recognition
  • Renewal Date: Every 4 years
  • Website: http://www.op.nysed.gov/nursing.htm
  • Telephone Number: 518.474.3817

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 1-2 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 6-8 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $150
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: Must adhere to the following: 
    • National certification or recertification by a national credentialing body recognized by the Board
    • 30 contact hours of continued education
    • Completion of a Board-approved refresher course
    • Completion of a minimum of two semester hours of post-licensure academic education related to nursing practice OR
    • 15 contact hours of continued education and one of the following
    •  Completion of a nursing project as principal investigator or co-investigator to include statement of problem, project objectives, methods, date of completion and summary of findings
    • Authoring or co-authoring a nursing related article, paper, book or book chapter
    • Developing and conducting a nursing continuing education presentation or presentations totaling a minimum of five contact hours, including program brochure or course syllabi, objectives, date and location of presentation, and approximate number of attendees
    • 640 hours of active practice within previous 2 years.
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.ncbon.com
  • Telephone Number: 919.782.3211

NORTH DAKOTA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 3-5 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 7-10 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $160
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 12 hours and 400 practice hours within last 4 years.
  • Renewal Date: Every year
  • Website: http://www.ndbon.org
  • Telephone Number: 701.328.9777

OHIO

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $75
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 24 hours including 1 hour Ohio nursing law
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.nursing.ohio.gov
  • Telephone Number: 614.466.3947

OKLAHOMA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Varies
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: Varies
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $95 (temporary license), $85 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 24 hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.youroklahoma.com/nursing
  • Telephone Number: 405.962.1800

OREGON

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 3-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $195
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 7 hours on pain management and 960 practice hours (within 5 years)
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years and expire at midnight the day before your birthday
  • Website: http://www.osbn.state.or.us
  • Telephone Number: 503.731.4745

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 10-14 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 8-10 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $35 (temporary license), $100 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 30 hours, including 3 hours of DPW approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years in either April or October
  • Website: http://www.dos.state.pa.us/nurse
  • Telephone Number: 717.783.7142

RHODE ISLAND

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 1 week
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $135
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 10 hours including 2 hours of substance abuse education
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Nursing/Pages/default.aspx
  • Telephone Number: 401.222.5700

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 1 day
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 10-14 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: Yes
  • Cost: $10 (temporary license), $100 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • 30 contact hours of CEU
    • Certification or recertification by a national certifying body
    • Completion of an academic program in nursing or related field
    • Employer certification of competency and number of hours practiced
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/nursing
  • Telephone Number: 803.896.4550

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 2-3 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: Yes
  • Cost: $25 (temporary license), $100 (permanent license), $43.25 background check fee
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • 140 practice hours during any 12-month period within the past 6 years
    • 480 total practice hours within the past 6 years. OR
    • Board approved refresher course
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.state.sd.us/doh/nursing
  • Telephone Number: 605.362.2760

TENNESSEE

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $115
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: Proof of practice
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www2.state.tn.us/health/Boards/Nursing/index.htm
  • Telephone Number: 615.532.3202

TEXAS

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 2 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 2 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $186
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 20 hours in the area of practice including 2 hours on bioterrorism
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.bne.state.tx.us
  • Telephone Number: 512.305.7400

UTAH

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 2-4 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $100
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • 400 practice hours OR 15 CEU hours
    • 200 practice hours OR 30 CEU hours
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.dopl.utah.gov/licensing/nurse.html
  • Telephone Number: 801.530.6628

VERMONT

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 3-5 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): No (pending eNLC legislation)
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $150
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: No
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • 960 practice hours within the past 5 years
    • 400 practice hours within the past 2 years
    • Re-entry program within the past 5 years
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://www.vtprofessionals.org/opr1/nurses
  • Telephone Number: 802.828.2396

VIRGINIA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: Unavailable
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 4-6 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $190
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following activities: 
    • Current specialty certification by a national certifying organization
    • Completion of a minimum of three credit hours of post-licensure academic education relevant to nursing practice
    • Board-approved refresher course in nursing
    • Completion of nursing-related, evidence-based practice project or research study
    • Completion of publication as the author or co-author during a renewal cycle.
    • Teaching a nursing-related course resulting in no less than three semester hours of college credit or specialty certification.
    • Teaching nursing-related continuing education courses for up to 30 contact hours.
    • 15 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences or courses relevant to the practice of nursing and 640 hours of active practice as a nurse.
    • 30 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences or courses relevant to the practice of nursing.
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/nursing/
  • Telephone Number: 804.662.9909

WASHINGTON

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 3 weeks
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 3 weeks
  • Compact (eNLC): No
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $120
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU - 45 hours AND 531 hours of active nursing practice
  • Renewal Date: Every 3 years
  • Website: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/hpqa1/hpS6/nursing/default.htm
  • Telephone Number: 360.236.4700

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 7-10 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 7-10 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $25 (temporary license), $100 (permanent license)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: New graduates only
  • Renewal Requirements: CEU- 12 hours, including two hours on mental health conditions, one hour on drug diversion training and best practice prescribing of controlled substances
  • Renewal Date: Every year - October 31
  • Website: http://wvrnboard.wv.gov/
  • Telephone Number: 608.266.2811

WISCONSIN

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 10-15 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: 10-15 business days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $10 (temporary license), $75 (new graduates), $82 (out of state nurses)
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: No
  • Renewal Requirements: None
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://drl.wi.gov/index.htm
  • Telephone Number: 

WYOMING

  • Temporary License Time-Frame: 10-14 business days
  • Permanent License Time-Frame: Up to 90 days
  • Compact (eNLC): Yes
  • Walk-Through: No
  • Cost: $195
  • Application Requirements:  N/A
  • Nursys: Yes
  • Livescan Fingerprinting: Yes
  • Renewal Requirements: One of the following:
    • 500 practice hours within the past 2 years
    • 1,600 practice hours within the past 5 years
    • 20 CE units in the past 2 years
    • Refresher or reentry program in the past 5 years
  • Renewal Date: Every 2 years
  • Website: http://nursing.state.wy.us
  • Telephone Number: 307.777.7601

Next Up: Top 10 Tips: How To Pass The NCLEX The First Time

Popular Blog Posts

Trending Jobs

Travel Home Health RN in Renton, WA

Nurse PRN needs a Home Health RN in Renton, WA - The Home Health Nurse ...

Nurses PRN Renton, WA

Travel Intensive Care Unit RN Specialty in Hyattsville, MD

Nurse PRN needs a Intensive Care Unit RN in Hyattsville, MD - Intensive Care Unit ...

Nurses PRN Hyattsville, MD

Nurse.org

Find a job, learn, connect and laugh.

Try us out.

Join our newsletter