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RN Licensing Requirements by State


It’s time! You have a few years of experience as a nurse under your belt, and you’re ready to take your skills on the road! Having an active RN license is one of the first steps of travel nursing, but each state’s application process can be complicated and confusing. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. We’ve broken down the RN licensing requirements by state, making a note of any unique requirements and listing the cost of each license so you can plan your adventures accordingly.

Do I have to take the NCLEX again?

In short – NO! As long as you hold one active RN license, you can apply for as many others as you’d like. There are two options when applying for an RN license, by examination, and by endorsement.

Licensure by Examination: This is for nurses who are seeking licensure for the first time. To be eligible, you must earn your nursing degree and pass the NCLEX-RN exam before applying.

Licensure by Endorsement: This is the option we’ll be focusing on. Holding an active license in one state makes you eligible for a license in another state without having to retake the NCLEX!

What about a Multistate Designation? Do I have still have to apply with each state?

The Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) was enacted in 2018 to streamline the licensing process. Currently, 34 states are part of the eNLC. That means if you hold an active license with that multistate compact status, you can practice nursing in any state in the eNLC without having to get a new license or pay additional fees. To be eligible for compact status, you must be a resident of an eNLC state with an active license in that state.

New Jersey has approved eNLC legislation, but it will not be fully implemented until sometime later in 2021. However, New Jersey is allowing RNs who have an active multistate license to practice in New Jersey.

Eleven states have pending eNLC legislation: Alaska, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Five states have no plans to join the eNLC at this time: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania.

I’ve heard of walk-through licensing. Can you give me more details?

Walk-through states allow a nurse to be issued a temporary license within 1-2 business days if they apply in person. This is a good option if you’re looking for a contract urgently and don’t hold a compact license. As of the date of this publication, walk-through states include Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

If you’re interested in working in other states, here are the nitty-gritty details of licensing, state by state. We recommend bookmarking this page for future reference ;).

Alabama

Temp. License Time Frame: 48 hrs.

Perm. License Time Frame: Processed when all materials are received.

Cost: $100 application fee, $50 temporary license fee, $3.50 transaction fee.

Additional Application Requirements: Proof of citizenship, official transcripts, license verification.

Renewal Requirements: 24 Continuing Education Credits (CEU) + 12 hrs. of independent study through CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Alaska

Temp. License Time Frame: 10 business days

Perm. License Time Frame: 10 business days after fingerprints received

Cost: $375 for perm. license, $475 for temp. and perm. licenses.

Additional Application Requirements: Proof of citizenship, official transcripts, license verification.

Renewal Requirements: Must complete two of the following: 30 contact hours, 30 hours of professional nursing activities, 320 hours of nursing employment.

Renewal Date: Nov. 30th – Even numbered years only.

Arizona

Temp. License Time Frame: 48 hrs. walk-in, or 2 weeks by mail.

Perm. License Time Frame: 1-2 months.

Cost: $50 for temp. license, $150 application fee, $50 for fingerprints.

Renewal Requirements: One of the following: Practiced as a nurse for 960 hours or more in the past 5 years. Graduated from a nursing program and obtained a degree within past 5 years. Completed an Arizona Board approved refresher course in the past 5 years. Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the past 5 years.

Renewal Date: Every 4 years.

Arkansas

Temp. License Time Frame: 3-5 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 3-5 business days.

Cost: $30 for temp. license, $125 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: Complete CEU requirement by one of the follwing methods: Earn 15 contact hours of appropriately accredited practice-focused activities. Hold a current nationally recognized certificaiton/recertification. 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. Nurses born in odd-numbered years renew in odd years, and those born in even years renew in even years.

California

Temp. License Time Frame: 8-10 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 12-14 weeks.

Cost: $100 for temp. license, $350 for perm. license, $49 for out-of-state fingerprint card

Renewal Requirements: 30 CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years on your birthday.

Colorado

Temp. License Time Frame: 4-5 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 6 weeks.

Cost: $43 application fee

Renewal Requirements: None

Renewal Date: All RN licenses expire on September 30th every 2 years

Connecticut

Temp. License Time Frame: 2-3 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 5-8 weeks.

Cost: $188 (includes cost of temp. license).

Renewal Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every year.

Delaware

Temp. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $40 for temp. license, $141 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: One of the follwing requirements: 1,000 practice hours within the past 5 years. 400 practice hours within the past 2 years. Refresher course within the past two years and 30 CEU, including 3 hours on substance abuse.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Florida

Temp. License Time Frame: 30 days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 30 days.

Cost: $175 for initial license, $75 for renewal.

Renewal Requirements: 24 hours of CEU, including 2 hours on the laws and rules that govern the practice of nursing in Florida and 2 hours of education on human trafficking.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years

Georgia

Temp. License Time Frame: Unspecified.

Perm. License Time Frame: 15 business days.

Cost: $40 application fee, $65 renewal fee.

Renewal Requirements: 20 CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Hawaii

Temp. License Time Frame: Same day if walk-through

Perm. License Time Frame: 15-20 business days.

Cost:

If license will be issued between JULY 1, ODD-NUMBERED years (2019, 2021, 2023) and JUNE 30, EVEN-NUMBERED years (2020, 2022, 2024), $234.00

If license will be issued between JULY 1, EVEN-NUMBERED years (2018, 2020, 2022) and JUNE 30, ODD-NUMBERED years (2019, 2021, 2023), $166.00

Renewal Requirements: One of the follwing requirements:

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: RN licenses expire on Jun. 30th of odd years regardless of issue date.

Idaho

Temp. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents received

Perm. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents received.

Cost: $25 for temp. license, $152 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: One of the following:

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.

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.

Teaching or developing a nursing-related course of instruction or participation in related professional activities.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years on Aug. 31st.

Illinois

Temp. License Time Frame: 2 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $25 for temp, $50 for perm.

Renewal Requirements: 20 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years by May 31st.

Indiana

Temp. License Time Frame: 2 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2-4 weeks.

Cost: $50 for temp. license, $60 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 2 hours of CEU that addresses the opioid crisis and substance abuse prevention.

Renewal Date: Every odd year on Oct. 31st

Iowa

Temp. License Time Frame: 5-10 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 5-10 business days.

Cost: $169.

Renewal Requirements: 36 hours of CEU. 24 hours of CEU if license is less than 3 years. 2 hours of child abuse training.

Renewal Date: Every 3 years.

Kansas

Temp. License Time Frame: 7-10 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2-4 weeks.

Cost: $75.

Renewal Requirements: 30 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Kentucky

Temp. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents received.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2 weeks.

Cost: $165 for temp. and perm. license, $12 for fingerprints.

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 or 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 on Oct. 31st

Louisiana

Temp. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents received.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $240.75 for temp. license, $140.75 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 5 hours of CEU for full-time RNs, 10 hours of CEU for part-time RNs. 15 hours of CEU for inactive RNs.

Renewal Date: Every year.

Maine

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $75 for temp. license, $75 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 75 credits of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Maryland

Temp. License Time Frame: 48-72 hours.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $40 for temp. license, $100 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 1000 practice related hours or a board approved nursing course.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Massachusetts

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $275.

Renewal Requirements: 15 hours of CEU (waived for the first renewal).

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Michigan

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $64.

Renewal Requirements: 25 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Minnesota

Temp. License Time Frame: 1 business day.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2 weeks.

Cost: $105.

Renewal Requirements: 24 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Mississippi

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 7-15 business days.

Cost: $100.

Renewal Requirements: 20 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Missouri

Temp. License Time Frame: Same day walk-through. 2 weeks by mail.

Perm. License Time Frame: 10-12 business days.

Cost: $55.

Renewal Requirements: None

Renewal Date: Every 2 years. Expires on Apr. 30th of even numbered years.

Montana

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 30-60 days.

Cost: $200 license fee, $27.25 fee for background check.

Renewal Requirements: 24 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Nebraska

Temp. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents are received.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-5 weeks.

Cost: $123.

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 goal.

Renewal Date: Oct. 31st of odd-numbered years.

Nevada

Temp. License Time Frame: 1-2 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2-4 months.

Cost: $105.

Renewal Requirements: 30 hours of CEU, including 4 hours on bioterrorism.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

New Hampshire

Temp. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents are received.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $20 for temp, license, $120 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 30 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every year.

New Jersey

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents are received.

Cost: $200.

Renewal Requirements: 30 hours of CEU, including 1 hour of CEU on organ and tissue donation.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

New Mexico

Temp. License Time Frame: 2-3 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents are received.

Cost: $50 for temp. license, $110 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 30 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

New York

Temp. License Time Frame: 6-8 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: Issued when all documents are received.

Cost: $35 for temp. license, $143 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 3 hours of CEU on infection control every 4 years. 2 hours of CEU on child abuse recognition.

Renewal Date: Every 4 years.

North Carolina

Temp. License Time Frame: 5-7 business days. Temporary license only available to those that have never held any license with the NCBON.

Perm. License Time Frame: 6-8 weeks.

Cost: $150.

Renewal Requirements:

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.

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.

North Dakota

Temp. License Time Frame: 3-5 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 7-10 business days.

Cost: $160.

Renewal Requirements: 12 hours of CEU and 400 practice hours within the last 4 years.

Renewal Date: Every year.

Ohio

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $75.

Renewal Requirements: 24 hours of CEU, including one hour of Ohio nursing law.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Oklahoma

Temp. License Time Frame: 10 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2-3 weeks.

Cost: $95 with temp. license included, $85 without temp. license.

Renewal Requirements: 24 hours of CEU.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Oregon

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 3-6 weeks.

Cost: $195.

Renewal Requirements: 7 hours of CEU on pain management, and 960 practice hours within 5 years.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Pennsylvania

Temp. License Time Frame: 10-14 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 8-10 weeks.

Cost: $35 for temp. license. $100 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 30 hours of CEU, including 3 hours of DPW approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years in either April or October.

Rhode Island

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 1 week.

Cost: $135.

Renewal Requirements: 10 hours of CEU, including 2 hours of substance abuse education.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

South Carolina

Temp. License Time Frame: Same-day walk-through.

Perm. License Time Frame: 10-14 business days.

Cost: $10 for temp. license, $100 for perm. license.

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.

South Dakota

Temp. License Time Frame: 2-3 business days.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $25 for temp. license, $100 for perm. license, $43.25 for background.

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.

Board approved refresher course.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Tennessee

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 6 weeks.

Cost: $115.

Renewal Requirements: Proof of practice.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Texas

Temp. License Time Frame: 2 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2 weeks after fingerprint results received.

Cost: $186.

Renewal Requirements: 20 hours of CEU in the area of practice, including 2 hours on bioterrorism.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Utah

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 2-4 weeks.

Cost: $100.

Renewal Requirements: One of the following:

400 practice hours or 15 hours of CEU.

200 practice hours OR 30 hours of CEU

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Vermont

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 3-5 business days.

Cost: $150.

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.

Virginia

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $190.

Renewal Requirements: One of the following:

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.

Washington

Temp. License Time Frame: 1-2 weeks.

Perm. License Time Frame: 4-6 weeks.

Cost: $120.

Renewal Requirements: 45 hours of CEU and 531 hours of active nursing practice.

Renewal Date: Every 3 years.

West Virginia

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable

Perm. License Time Frame: 7-10 business days.

Cost: $25 for temp. license, $100 for perm. license.

Renewal Requirements: 12 hours of CEU, including 2 hours on mental health conditions and one hour on drug diversion.

Renewal Date: Every year on Oct. 31st.

Wisconsin

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable

Perm. License Time Frame: 10-15 business days.

Cost: $10 for temp. license, $82 for perm. license for out-of-state nurses.

Renewal Requirements: None.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.

Wyoming

Temp. License Time Frame: Unavailable

Perm. License Time Frame: 10-14 business days.

Cost: $195.

Renewal Requirements: One of the following:

500 practice hours within the past 2 years.

1600 practice hours within the past 5 years.

20 hours of CEU in the past 2 years.

Refresher or reentry program in the past 5 years.

Renewal Date: Every 2 years.