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Guidelines for Employment of
Graduate Nurses before Licensure

  1. An individual who has graduated from an approved nursing education program must submit to the North Dakota Board of Nursing (Board):
    1. A completed application
    2. The appropriate fee, and
    3. An official transcript verifying program completion
    4. The candidate must also register with NCLEX Candidate Services.
  2. A Work Authorization may be issued after the above information has been submitted and approved. 
    1. A Work Authorization allows the graduate nurse to be employed according to the following guidelines. 
    2. The Work Authorization expires 90 days after the date of issue or upon notification of the NCLEX results, whichever occurs first.
    3. A Work Authorization for license by examination will remain effective if the applicant has passed the NCLEX but the Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) results are pending.
    4. A Work Authorization is valid only for North Dakota employment, is non-renewable and available only to graduates who complete application for licensure within 60 days of graduation.
    5. A paper Work Authorization will not be mailed.
      1. To view the Work Authorization number, issue date and expiration date check the Application Status section here or the Verify site here.
  3. CHRC results must be processed prior to issuance of a license.
  4. The candidate who has applied to the Board to write the licensing examination must have a Work Authorization from the Board to practice as a graduate nurse.  The Board considers orientation to be nursing practice.
    1. The graduate nurse:
      1. Must practice under the supervision of a registered nurse while the "Work Authorization" to practice is valid.
      2. Must practice utilizing standards of practice for registered nurses or practical nurses which includes appropriate assignment of components of the nursing care plan. Therefore, assignment by the registered nurse to the graduate nurse of those skills acquired while in the nursing program is appropriate.
      3. Shall NOT be assigned to function in clinical leadership roles where on-unit supervision is not available.
      4. Shall NOT be employed in administrative positions that require licensed personnel according to the standards of the external regulating agency.
      5. Shall use the approved titles as follows:
  • Registered Nurse candidate - "G.N." or "Graduate Nurse"
  • Licensed Practical Nurse candidate - "G.P.N." or "Graduate Practical Nurse"

Adopted: 05/10/1988
Reviewed/Revised: 03/19