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Nursing License Requirements by State

Here are Nursing License Requirements by State. Click on a state below to see the Nurse Requirements for that state. Most states require as little as an associates degree in nursing to qualify for a license. If you are already a nurse, you may consider going on to attain a bachelors degree through an RN to BSN program. DegreeTree offers several online nursing degrees, including an LPN to RN program through The College Network.

Earn your associates in nursing online.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho
Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma
Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

Alabama Nursing Requirements

There are two ways to become licensed as a nurse in Alabama: by examination or by endorsement. Licensure by examination uses the NCLEX. In order to qualify to take the NCLEX, Alabama law requires that you graduate from a registered nursing program accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Alabama does not license individuals who took the PN exam after partial completion of an RN program. The program must have theory and clinical in adult, maternal-child, and psychiatric nursing to be eligible for the NCLEX. In addition, to receive your RN, you must also be of good moral character, a citizen of the U.S., and sucessfully pass the NCLEX. By endorsement is for nurses that have an RN from another state, and you must present proof of your license, transcripts of your nursing program, along with 24 hours of continuing education. For an LPN license, the requirement is graduation from a practical nursing program to be eligible for an LPN. Alabama nursing requirements can be found at the Alabama Board of Nursing Website.

Alaska Nursing Requirements

Alaska offers nursing licensure by examination and by endorsement. For examination, you must have completed an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX. For endorsement, you must have a current nursing license from another state. Information on Alaska nursing requirements can be found on the Alaska Board of Nursing website.

Earn your associates in nursing online.

Arizona Nursing Requirements

Arizona offers nursing licensure by examination and by endorsement. For examination, you must take and pass the NCLEX. For endorsement, you must possess an RN license from another state. For both, you must have documentation of citizenship/nationality/alien status for RN licensure.

Requirements include:

  1. Submit a complete application and fees.
  2. RN applicants hold a Diploma, Associate Degree, or Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from an approved program. LPN applicants hold a Diploma or Certificate from an approved program.
  3. Have passing score on NCLEX exam.
  4. Arizona Graduates only – Proof of completion of an approved nursing program.
  5. Graduates of out-of-state schools – Transcripts, including graduation dates and type of degree, sent by your school to AZBN.
  6. Fingerprint results from Arizona Department of Public Safety and the FBI.
  7. Board approval for applicants who are under investigation.
  8. Applicants educated in the Armed Forces: Military programs designed to prepare persons for positions as corpsmen or technicians are not approved programs for licensure in Arizona.

 

Complete requirements for Arizona nurses can be found on the Arizona Nursing Board website.

Arkansas Nursing Requirements

Arkansas Nursing Requirements Arkansas offers RN licensure by examination and by endorsement. In order to sit for the NCLEX examination, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit to a criminal background check
  • Graduated from an approved registered nursing education program. This may include an RN associate degree, RN baccalaureate degree, RN diploma program or practical nurse program

Application by endorsement is offered for the following:

  • Canadian Registered Nurses licensed by NLN State Board Test Pool Examination in the following provinces during the years indicated: Alberta, 1952-1970; British Columbia, 1949-1970; Manitoba, 1955-1970; Newfoundland, 1961-1970; Nova Scotia, 1955-1970; Prince Edward Island, 1956-1970; Quebec (English language), 1959-1970; Saskatchewan, 1956-1970. These applicants may be endorsed, provided they are otherwise qualified.
  • LPTN endorsement applicants are accepted from California and Kansas only.
  • Portion of RN Program: candidates who have completed equivalent courses in a state approved program of nursing may be endorsed provided they are otherwise qualified. Evidence must be provided verifying successful completion of classroom instruction and clinical practi ce substanti ally similar to the minimum requirements for practical nursing programs.
  • RN examinati on failures: Graduates of Board-approved RN programs holding LPN licensure by examinati on in other jurisdictions may be endorsed, provided they are otherwise qualified.

California Nursing Requirements

California requires the submission of fingerprints for a background check, along with the completion of a nursing degree program and passing score on the NCLEX in order to become an RN. If you hold an RN in another state or Canada, and have passed he NCLEX-RN, you may apply for licensure by endorsement. More information may be found at the California Nursing Board website.

Colorado Nursing Requirements

Colorado offers licensure by examinationa and by endorsement. For examination, you must have completed a state approved professional nursing or practical nursing educational program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. For endoresment, you must hold a current nursing license from another state or U.S. territory. More information Colorado nursing requirements may be found at the Colorado Nursing Board website.

Connecticut Nursing Requirements

For license by examination, you must:

  • Successfully complete a nursing program that meets the requirements outlined in the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RSA). This includes associates and bachelors degree programs in nursing.
  • Successfully complete the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN)

For license by endorsement, you must hold a current RN license from another state or Canada in addition to holding a nursing degree. Canadian applicants must pass the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. More information on Connecticut Nursing Requirements can be found at the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Delaware Nursing Requirements

Delaware is part of a compact agreement. If one of the following compact states other than Delaware is your home state of residence, you must apply for licensure by examination in your home state, not in Delaware. This includes:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

If you hold an RN license in another state, you may apply for a Delaware RN by endorsement. If you are applying for an RN license through examination, you must have completed a nursing education program in addtion to passing the NCLEX exam.

Florida Nursing Requirements

Florida requirements for nursing include:

  • Graduate of a practical nursing program or a registered nursing program. A degree from a generic MSN or higher program may be acceptable if the education is deemed equivalent.
  • Successfully complete courses, equivalent to practical nursing education in a registered nursing program. Practical Nurse examination based on practical nursing equivalency (PNEQ).
  • Fingerprint clearance and background check

Graduates of Approved (Florida or National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)) or Accredited (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)) Programs:

  • Canadian Registered Nurses who took the Canadian Nurses Association Testing Service (CNATS) Examination after August 8, 1995 must take the NCLEX Examination unless licensed in another state or territory. If test scores are in an acceptable range, Canadian Registered Nurse applicants who took the CNATS prior to August 8, 1995 may be eligible for endorsement. Unless licensed in another U.S. state or territory, Canadian Licensed Practical Nurses are required to apply by examination.
  • Military nursing programs must be recognized by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to qualify to sit for the examination. Other military health related programs are not equivalent to professional nursing programs in Florida.
  • Programs completed to qualify as a hospital corpsman, technician, physician or a physician’s assistant are not classified as registered or practical nursing programs and are not equivalent.

More information can be found on the Florida nursing application.

Georgia Nursing Requirements

Georgia nursing requirements include:

  • Completed an approved nursing education program, as follows
    • A unit of the University System of Georgia accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
    • An institution of the Technical College System of Georgia accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
    • A nonprofit postsecondary institution of higher education that is accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education
    • A proprietary institution of higher education that is accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education
    • A nonprofit postsecondary institution of higher education that is a four-year institution that is not accredited in accordance with subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, but whose curriculum has been determined by the board to meet criteria similar to and not less stringent than criteria established by the board for other approved nursing education programs.
  • Pass a board recognized licensing examination
  • Have satisfactory results from a fingerprint record check report conducted by the Georgia Crime Information Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • If applying by endorsement, submit verification of initial and current licensure in any other licensing jurisdiction administering a board recognized licensing examination
  •  

More information on Georgia nursing requirements can be found in the Georgia nurse practice act.

Hawaii Nursing Requirements

Complete Hawaii nursing requirements may be found at the Hawaii Board of Nursing.

Idaho Nursing Requirements

Complete Idaho nursing requirements may be found at the Idaho Board of Nursing.

Illinois Nursing Requirements

Complete Illinois nursing requirements may be found at the Illinois Board of Nursing.

Iowa Nursing Requirements

Complete Iowa nursing requirements may be found at the Iowa Board of Nursing.

Kansas Nursing Requirements

Complete Kansas nursing requirements may be found at the Kansas Board of Nursing.

Kentucky Nursing Requirements

Complete Kentucky nursing requirements may be found at the Kentucky Board of Nursing.

Louisiana Nursing Requirements

Complete Louisiana nursing requirements may be found at the Louisiana Board of Nursing.

Maine Nursing Requirements

Complete Maine nursing requirements may be found at the Maine Board of Nursing.

Maryland Nursing Requirements

Complete Maryland nursing requirements may be found at the Maryland Board of Nursing. Maryland has a compact agreement with the following states. If you hold an RN license in these states, it will be recognized in Maryland.

  • Arizona
  • Kentucky
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Arkansas
  • Maine
  • New Mexico
  • Tennessee
  • Colorado
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Missouri
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • South Carolina
  • Wisconsin

Massachusetts Nursing Requirements

Complete Massachusetts nursing requirements may be found at the Massachusetts Board of Nursing.

Michigan Nursing Requirements

Complete Michigan nursing requirements may be found at the Michigan Board of Nursing.

Minnesota Nursing Requirements

Complete Minnesota nursing requirements may be found at the Minnesota Board of Nursing.

Mississippi Nursing Requirements

Complete Mississippi nursing requirements may be found at the Mississippi Board of Nursing.

Missouri Nursing Requirements

Complete Missouri nursing requirements may be found at the Missouri Board of Nursing.

Montana Nursing Requirements

Complete Montana nursing requirements may be found at the Montana Board of Nursing.

Nebraska Nursing Requirements

Complete Nebraska nursing requirements may be found at the Nebraska Board of Nursing.

Nevada Nursing Requirements

Complete Nevada nursing requirements may be found at the Nevada Board of Nursing.

New Hampshire Nursing Requirements

A nurse compact agreement means your nursing license in one states is valid for use in a state with a compact agreement. New Hampshire has a compact agreement with the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Complete New Hampshire nursing requirements may be found at the New Hampshire Board of Nursing.

New Jersey Nursing Requirements

Complete New Jersey nursing requirements may be found at the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

New Mexico Nursing Requirements

Complete New Mexico nursing requirements may be found at the New Mexico Board of Nursing.

New York Nursing Requirements

Complete New York nursing requirements may be found on the application at the New York Board of Nursing.

North Carolina Nursing Requirements

Complete North Carolina nursing requirements may be found at the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

North Dakota Nursing Requirements

North Dakota offers licensure by exam and licensure by endorsement. Complete North Dakota nursing requirements may be found at the North Dakota Board of Nursing.

Ohio Nursing Requirements

Complete Ohio nursing requirements may be found at the Ohio Board of Nursing.

Oklahoma Nursing Requirements

  • A valid, unexpired immigrant or nonimmigrant visa status for admission into the U.S.;
  • A pending or approved application for asylum in the U.S.;
  • Admission into the U.S. in refugee status;
  • A pending or approved application for temporary protected status in the U.S.;
  • Approved deferred action status; or
  • A pending application for adjustment of status to legal permanent residence status or conditional resident status.

Complete Oklahoma nursing requirements may be found at the Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

Oregon Nursing Requirements

Complete Oregon nursing requirements may be found at the Oregon Board of Nursing.

Pennsylvania Nursing Requirements

Complete Pennsylvania nursing requirements may be found at the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing.

Rhode Island Nursing Requirements

Complete Rhode Island nursing requirements may be found at the Rhode Island Board of Nursing.

South Carolina Nursing Requirements

Complete South Carolina nursing requirements may be found at the South Carolina Board of Nursing.

South Dakota Nursing Requirements

Complete South Dakota nursing requirements may be found at the South Dakota Board of Nursing.

Tennessee Nursing Requirements

Complete Tennessee nursing requirements may be found at the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

Texas Nursing Requirements

Complete Texas nursing requirements may be found at the Texas Board of Nursing.

Utah Nursing Requirements

Complete nursing requirements can be found on the Utah nursing application at the Utah Board of Nursing website.

Vermont Nursing Requirements

Complete Vermont nursing requirements may be found at the Vermont Board of Nursing.

Virginia Nursing Requirements

Complete Virginia nursing requirements may be found at the Virginia Board of Nursing.

Washington Nursing Requirements

Complete Washington nursing requirements may be found at the Washington Board of Nursing.

West Virginia Nursing Requirements

West Virginia requires completion of a nursing program to attain your RN. Here is a list of list of state approved nursing programs. Complete West Virginia nursing requirements may be found at the West Virginia Board of Nursing.

CEU Requiremtents

12 contact hours all at one time through one class or spread the hours over the reporting period by taking several classes.

Wyoming Nursing Requirements

Complete Wyoming nursing requirements may be found on the registered nursing application may be found at the Wyoming Board of Nursing.


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