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Initial RN or LPN License by Endorsement

This process is for licensed individuals who have never been licensed in the state of North Dakota and meet the following requirements for License by Endorsement:

  1. You must have a United States Social Security Number
  2. You must have completed a nursing program:
  • that prepared you for the level of licensure sought (NDCC 43-12.1-09(2) (b) and
  • which includes supervised clinical experience across the life span as part of the curriculum.
  1. You must have:
  •  400 hours of licensed nursing practice in the last four (4) years for the level of licensure sought (if practice occurred outside of the United States complete the Verification of Employment form) OR
  • You must have completed your nursing program in the past four (4) years OR
  • You must have completed a board approved refresher course within the past four (4) years.
  1. You must submit proof of initial licensure by examination with the examination.  The examination must meet North Dakota requirements for licensure examinations in effect at the time the applicant qualified for initial licensure.

You are not eligible for licensure in ND if your primary state of residence is another state that belongs to the Nurse Licensure Compact.  For more information on the Nurse Licensure Compact and for a list of states belonging to the compact see www.ncsbn.org/nlc.htm

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC):

  • A multistate (compact) license will automatically be issued for those that claim ND as their primary state of residence if they meet the Uniform License Requirements (ULR) of the NLC. 
  • "Primary state of residence" is the state a nurse refers to as their "home state" under the NLC and means that it is their "declared fixed permanent and principal home for all legal purposes".
    • Foreign Educated Applicants - To obtain a multistate license designation you must submit additional documents to meet ULR of the NLC.  Click here for additional requirements.  Licenses will be processed as a single state ND license and may only be used in ND until all required documentation is received in our office.

If the applicant has not completed all steps of the application process within one year, the application fee will be forfeited and a new application will be required. 

To Apply 

If you have never held an RN/LPN license in North Dakota complete ALL of the following four (4) items.  Complete all four (4) of these items as soon as possible to avoid any delay of license issuance.

  1. Official Transcripts
  • The Board requires an official transcript from your "basic" education program.  Request your college to send the official transcript of your grades with the degree posted directly to the ND Board of Nursing office.  If your nursing program is closed, it is your responsibility to locate the custodian of the school records.  Copies of transcripts sent by applicants or faxed transcripts will not be accepted.  Only official transcripts sent directly from the nursing program to the Board office are accepted. 
  1. Verification of Licensure
  • Verification of licensure is required from your original state of license by exam.
  • If you do not hold an active license in your original state of license by exam, you are required to submit a second verification of licensure from the state in which you hold an active license and were most recently employed.
  • To obtain this verification, please go on-line at http://www.nursys.com/ to complete the electronic verification process. Choose Nursys Licensure Verification on the far right in green.  We will check this website for your verification upon receipt of your application.
  • The following states do not participate in the above on-line Nursys verification process:  


If you need verification from one of these states, print the Verification of Licensure form here.  Complete the top section and forward the form to the appropriate state you are needing a verification from.  Contact the state for fee information as most states charge a fee for completing a verification form.

  1. Complete the online Initial RN/LPN Endorsement Application below
  • You will be prompted to pay at the end of this online application via credit card or debit card.  The non-refundable initial endorsement/processing fee is $170.  A receipt will display when your application has been submitted.  Print or save this receipt electronically as proof of payment.  
  1. Complete a Criminal History Record Check for the ND Board of Nursing. 

Track the Progress of your Application

  • Track the progress of your application in the "Application Status" section of this website.  Items without dates next to them have not been received in the Board office yet.

Temporary Permit

A 90-day non-renewable temporary permit is issued to applicants if a portion of the initial requirements listed in items 1-4 under "To Apply" are received in the Board office.  

To receive a 90 day non-renewable temporary permit the following must be received in the Board Office and applicant must provide evidence of meeting all requirements for licensure in North Dakota:

  • The online Initial RN/LPN Endorsement Application and fee
  • Verification of licensure OR official transcripts

Make sure to complete all four (4) items listed under "To Apply" within 90 days as your temporary permit will expire at that time.

Temporary permits are posted online in the Verify section of this site.  There are no paper temporary permits issued.  

Full Licensure

To receive a full license the following must be received and approved in the Board Office: 

  • The online Initial RN/LPN Endorsement Application and fee
  • Verification of licensure
  • Official transcripts
  • Clear or approved criminal history record check

Once all of the above are received in our office and approved, allow up to seven (7) business days for full licensure to be issued.  Applicants for initial licensure by endorsement shall receive a license expiring December 31 of the following year as part of the application fee.  All licenses are posted online in the Verify section of this site.


Keep all demographic (name, address, phone number, email address) changes updated with the Board Office - click here to reach the Demographic Update section