I’m sure there are many of you who are looking to move, and get your nursing license, out of your home state. I know from personal experience that it is a confusing and tedious process. I moved from Virginia to California, and am smack in the middle of the whole thing. So here’s what I’ve learned about it, so hopefully you will be a little more prepared than I was!
First things first. Keep in mind that each state has slightly different requirements. Some states are part of the compact (so your license is valid when you move among these states), which has its own set of rules, while other states have a completely different set of standards that only work for them. I can’t give those sorts of specifics on all 50 states in this one article. You’ll have to do some research on your own state. However, I can give you some resources so you know where to start! This website, https://www.ncsbn.org/contactbon.htm will let you choose your state, and directs you to their Board of Nursing website. These websites are where you will find the application you will need to submit, what else you should include with your application, the fee, and where to send it to. This will vary state to state, so you will need to look that part up.
If you are going to take anything away from this article, remember this: get your paperwork in AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I mean ASAP. You can submit the application and fee before you graduate. Most states will require your official transcript before they can finish processing your application, and that will need to wait until after you graduate. As a general rule (again, I don’t know if every single state does this, but most do), they want your finalized transcript with “degree conferred” to officially show you graduated from nursing school. But this way, if your paperwork is already in, it will hopefully only be a few weeks to process your transcript.
The reason I say you may want to get the paperwork in so fast is so you can get your Authorization to Test (ATT) as soon as possible after graduating. Most recommend not waiting to take your NCLEX too late. This way, the earlier you get your ATT, the better you are able to schedule your NCLEX when you want to take it!
On that note, after registering for your state board, you also need to register on the Pearson VUE site, the company that administers the NCLEX. The website, http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/ will let you register online. Keep in mind, you will have to pay $200 up front in order to sign up. Just make sure that before you register on Pearson VUE, you have received eligibility from the state you will be applying to for your license. You can register before that, but if for some reason the Board of Nursing deems you ineligible, you could potentially lose the $200.
Once you have submitted your application and fees to the Board of Nursing of your choice, your transcript has come through, and you have registered with Pearson VUE, it just comes down to waiting. Unfortunately, each state board is bombarded with so many applications (especially around graduation!), that it will take them several weeks to process everything. So be patient! That has been the hardest part for me. Know that they are working as fast as they can to get everyone through the system. It just takes time.
Hopefully this answers some basic questions about how to apply for licensure. You should be able to use this information when you search for what you need for your state. But, if there is anything else you need answered, let me know! Good luck with the process, and remember, get it in early, then be patient!
Nursing Love <3