Licensure

To obtain licensure as a registered nurse, certain criteria must be completed. In addition to the basic criteria, the state you are applying to may have additional requirements.

The minimum requirements for registered Nurse Licensure are:

  • Graduation from or provide verification of completion & eligibility for graduation from a state approved nursing program
  • Pass the NCLEX Exam
  • Self reporting of any criminal convictions, functional ability deficits, chemical or substance abuse, as well as any court orders not met such as child support


In addition, your state board of nursing may require additional criteria prior to obtaining licensure to practice nursing. For example New York state requires child abuse training and infection control continue education credits (CEU). Be sure to research your state's specific criteria.  Find RN License Requirements in Your State

Licensure Tips:

Board Of Nursing

A brief overview of the Board of Nursing is important for any new Registered Nurse. Each state contains a regulatory agency that oversees and is responsible for nursing practice. The state board of nursing is this regulatory agency. It consists of members who ensure nursing practice is followed based on local, state, and federal regualations and regulatory bodies such as the Department of Health (DOH),  and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

Take your practice seriously, know and understand the laws and regulations, and ask for guidance whenever possible. Your license must be protected and preserved. You worked very hard for it! 

The Nurse Practice Act

The Nurse Practice Act is the law of nursing for each state. You must comply with the laws of your state in order for licensure. The Nurse Practice Act contains the states scope of practice (what the nurse is allowed to do), titles allowed to be used, licensure qualification, and actions against a nurse if laws are not followed.


The Nurse Practice Act was created over 100 years ago in an effort to protect the public and overall welfare of healthcare by regulating nursing standards and ensuring safe nursing practice.

Arm yourself with Education By Checking out the Nurse Practice Act Toolkit!

PROTEct your license!

Practice to the scope of your license and always questions things you aren't sure can do. Collaborate with your peers, supervisors, and nurse leaders to make sure you are following the scope f practice. Understand the policies and regulations specific to the organization you work for. Think of it as layers - National Regulations, State Regulations, Local Regulations, and Facility Regulations. There is a lot to know! Your education does not end with nursing school.

click below for great books on the 
nurse practice act