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Licensure by Examination

All applications MUST be submitted online. No exceptions.
The examination application is not optimized for mobile devices. As a result, we recommend using a desktop or laptop computer.
Submitting this online examination application does not guarantee approval for taking NCLEX. You must meet all eligibility requirements as outlined in the application, and the North Carolina Board of Nursing must declare you eligible to test with the testing service (Pearson VUE).
The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not provide examination results by phone; however, you can pay for “Quick Results” through Pearson Vue, which grants you access to your results within 2 business days of the examination. Telephone inquiries and letters requesting information will not accelerate the process.
The initial application for Licensure by Examination, and the Criminal Background Check will be held active for one (1) year from the date the candidate is determined to be eligible to test. The Authorization to Test is valid for 180 days from the date of eligibility. If you do not take NCLEX prior to the expiration date, you will be responsible for repayment of fees.
An active North Carolina license is not issued when another Compact State is claimed as the primary state of residence.
Upon successful completion of the online application, you may check your application status via Nurse Gateway. Licensure information can be verified on the Board's website. The Board of Nursing’s electronic database serves the primary source of licensure information for nurses in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Board of Nursing no longer issues wallet size license cards or mail licensure certificates. Your licensure certificate will be available for download or print on your Nurse Gateway profile.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) uses the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®) prepared by National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to measure competence for entry-level practice for graduates of Board-approved nursing education programs. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has contracted with Pearson VUE to administer NCLEX®.

Educational Eligibility Requirements

All graduates must complete a member Board approved Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse nursing education program.

Testing Restrictions

North Carolina Board of Nursing does not restrict the number of times a candidate can test for NCLEX Registered Nurse or Practical Nurse. If you have completed a nursing program but have never been licensed, current laws and regulations grant you with the opportunity to become licensed upon successful completion of the NCLEX without restriction or mandatory refresher courses.

Fee Information:
  • License by Examination: $75.00

FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE

Valid Forms of Payment:
  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only 
  • Electronic Check (E-Check)*
  • Third-Party Payments require a Certified Check or Money Order

*Per N.C.G.S. 25-3-506, a $25.00 processing fee will be charged for a Electronic Check (E-Check) refused by the bank due to insufficient funds or closed account.

Examination Requirements:
  • Your Examination application 
  • Your submittal of the North Carolina Board of Nursing Identification Document. You can reprint your prefilled Identification Document by completing the steps below upon submission of your Examination application.
    • Access-Log in to your Nurse Gateway portal
    • Select the tile labeled 'RN or LPN NCLEX CANDIDATE'
    • Select the 'Exam Status' tab on the next page, then select 'View/Reprint Application' to access your prefilled Identification Document
  • Your Electronic School Verification or Official Transcript Copies 
    • North Carolina graduates program verification will be provided to the North Carolina Board of Nursing by your Program Director within 30 days of program completion.
    • Out-of-State graduates are required to provide a "FINAL" official transcript, the transcript must include your legal name (first & last), degree awarded and date of completion or conferral.
      • Mail to: NCBON, Exam Department, P.O. Box 2506, Raleigh, NC 27602-2506
      • Transcripts must be delivered directly from the university or an approved transcript vendor. No other forms or documents are required from the school.
      • Active-in-program transcripts will not be accepted.
    • Graduates of International nursing education programs must complete a Credentials Evaluation Service (CES Professional Report) or provide a CGFNS Certificate or VisaScreen. English proficiency testing is required for many Internationally educated nurse applicants.
  • Your registration and payment of fees to Pearson Vue
Re-Examination

Any applicant that is unsuccessful with NCLEX may take subsequent examinations. The frequency of testing is determined by National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). There is a 45-day waiting period to retest. Applicants can schedule an examination, but will be unable to reserve a test date earlier than the 46th day after the last examination date.

Prior to each re-examination, candidates are required to obtain an Authorization to Test (ATT). To obtain an authorization, the following must be completed:

  • Examination Application
  • Identification Document (required once annually)
  • Registration and Payment of Fees to Pearson Vue ($200.00)

Re-examination applicants of International programs must provide a valid English Proficiency Report that includes scores equivalent to North Carolina Board of Nursing requirements.

Registered Nurse testing for Practical Nurse

Candidates that are unsuccessful with the first NCLEX-RN attempt are eligible to test for NCLEX-PN.  Candidates interested in this testing option must complete the North Carolina Board of Nursing online sponsored workshop, Understanding the Scope of Practice and Role of the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).

Registered Nurse candidates testing for the NCLEX-PN are not required to wait 45 days prior to testing on the first Practical Nurse attempt. All Registered Nurse candidates testing for NCLEX-PN will need to enter US19909900 as the Program Code for both North Carolina Board of Nursing and Pearson Vue.

A Criminal Background Check is required

All applicants must provide their fingerprints and the appropriate forms and fee to facilitate a Criminal Background Check prior to the issuance of a license.

North Carolina Residents Only:

If you reside in North Carolina, complete the Live Scan application and follow instructions to have your digital fingerprints electronically transmitted to the SBI/FBI. Most North Carolina Sheriff office's will provide this service. Live Scan is only available to applicants living in North Carolina.

Out-of-State Residents:

If you reside in another state or country, North Carolina Board of Nursing issued fingerprint cards and instructions will be mailed directly to you following submission of your application for licensure. Fingerprinting must be performed by trained law enforcement personnel. Contact your local Sheriff or Police office for assistance and additional details.

Submission Information

To submit an application for examination, access your Nurse Gateway profile and select 'EXAM APPLICATION' under the 'Licenses/Certificates' menu item.

  • The Application Confirmation which serves as your official receipt will be available on your Nurse Gateway profile upon successful completion of the application process. To access, select the appropriate tile under the "Licenses/Approval to Practice/Certifications" tab on the Home screen, then select the "Files" tab on the License Information screen.
  • If your email address is listed with the North Carolina Board of Nursing, you will receive a confirmation via email verifying receipt of your online application.

Nurse Gateway

Create a Username and Password to access your information and applications. If you have already created a Username and Password, you will only need to log in to your profile. Please keep your Username and Password in a secure location as you will need this information to access your Nurse Gateway profile.
For security reasons, please logout and exit your web browser when you are finished accessing services that require authentication. The North Carolina Board of Nursing cannot be held responsible for unauthorized access to the information you have entered in the browser if you do not exit this application.

North Carolina Board of Nursing

The mission of the North Carolina Board of Nursing is to protect the public by regulating the practice of nursing.
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(919) 782-3211
(919) 781-9461
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North Carolina Board of Nursing