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Initial RN or LPN License by Exam  

To qualify for licensure by examination in the state of ND you must have:

  1. A US Social Security Number
  2. Completed a program preparing you for the level of licensure sought:
  • a board approved in-state nursing education program; or
  • an out-of-state nursing education program that meets the following requirements:
    • Is approved by another board of nursing; and
    • Includes supervised clinical experience across the life span as part of the curriculum and is equivalent in amount and time to the ND Board of Nursing approved programs.

Click here for Graduates of an International Nursing Education Programs Eligibility to Test

You are not eligible for licensure in ND if your primary state of residence is another state that belongs to the Nurse Licensure Compact.  Primary state of residence is the state a nurse refers to as their "home state" under the Nurse Licensure compact and means that it is your "declared fixed permanent and principal home for legal purposes".  For more information on the Nurse Licensure Compact and for a list of states belonging to the compact see www.ncsbn.org/nlc.htm

To Apply 

If you have not taken an RN/LPN licensing examination and wish to have North Dakota as your original state of licensure complete the following:

  1. Official Transcripts
  • Upon completion of your nursing program, you must request your college to send the official transcript of your grades with the degree posted directly to the Board of Nursing office. Copies of transcripts sent by applicants or faxed transcripts will not be accepted. 
    • You may use the Request for Release of Transcript form if you are requesting a paper copy from the college.
    • Transcripts may be sent electronically through one of the following:
      • the National Student Clearing House -  if prompted to enter an email address for the ND Board of Nursing use transcripts@ndbon.org 
      • e-script
      • Parchment
  1. Register with NCLEX Candidate Services for testing
  • Register at www.pearsonvue.com/nclex or phone 1-866-496-2539 ($200 fee required). 
  • NCLEX Candidate Services will notify the Board when you have registered with them.
  • If you need to change your appointment, you must contact NCLEX Candidate Services one full business day (24 hours) prior to your scheduled appointment.
  1. Complete the online Initial RN/LPN Exam Application below
  • You will be prompted to pay at the end of this online application via credit or debit card.  The non-refundable initial exam/processing fee is $130.  A receipt will display when your application has been submitted.    
  1. Complete a Criminal History Record Check for the ND Board of Nursing. 

Authorization to Test

NCLEX Candidate Services will e-mail you an Authorization to Test (ATT) when:

Track the Progress of your Application

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

Work Authorization

A Work Authorization will be issued when you have completed the items listed under Authorization to Test above. 

  • Work Authorizations are only posted online in the "Verify" section of this site.  There will be no paper work authorizations issued.
  • The candidate who has applied to write the licensing examination must have a "Work Authorization" from the Board of Nursing to attend orientation or practice as a graduate nurse. The board considers orientation to be nursing practice.
  • The Work Authorization is valid for 90 days or until you are notified of the test results, whichever occurs first.
  • The Work Authorization is nonrenewable.
  • The Work Authorization is available only to graduates who complete application for licensure within sixty days of graduation.

Keep all demographic (name, address, phone number, email address) changes updated with the Board Office here