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Internationally Educated Applicant

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.

A multi-state North Carolina license is not issued when another state is claimed as the primary state of residence, however, a single state license will be issued until proof of North Carolina residency is provided to the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

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®.

Non-negotiable requirements for licensure by examination for applicants who were educated outside of the United States and other member board jurisdictions include:

  • Documentation of Education
  • English Proficiency Examination
  • *Valid Social Security Number/Card - required prior to issuance of a license 
  • *Satisfactory Criminal Background Check - required prior to issuance of a license 

*NCLEX may be taken prior to completion of (a) Valid Social Security Number/Card and (b) Satisfactory Criminal Background Check requirements

*A Social Security Number is Required

Individuals or foreign graduates, who are seeking Licensure by Examination, must have a valid Social Security number to be issued a license to practice nursing. While submitting an application for a Social Security number, you may take the NCLEX. No license will be issued until proof of the Social Security number is submitted to North Carolina Board of Nursing.

Licensure by Examination

Access the 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.

English Proficiency Examination (Choose either TOEFL or IELTS)

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
Passing score: TOEFL- written overall score of 560, CBT overall score of 220, iBT overall score of 83. NCBON code: 3236

IELTS (Academic) - International English Language Testing Service
Passing score: IELTS-overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 on all modules.

The English Proficiency examination expires two (2) years after the date the examination was taken. A CGFNS certificate or VisaScreen is also accepted to meet the English proficiency examination.

For applicants to be EXEMPT from the English Proficiency requirement, the applicant must have completed their entry-level professional nursing education program in the United States, Canada (except Quebec), the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or the U.S. Territories of Samoa, Guam, Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is not eligible for exemption.

Copies of the education evaluation and/or English Proficiency examination will not be accepted from the applicant, but only from the official agencies.

Even if your nursing courses were taught in English and/or English textbooks, the applicant will still need an English proficiency examination.
There are no exceptions for this requirement.
Documentation of Education (Choose one Agency)

Do not send transcripts to the North Carolina Board of Nursing. All official transcripts must be sent to the Education Evaluation Agency.

International Education Evaluations, Inc. (IEE)
7900 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd., Suite 300
Charlotte, NC 28227
Phone: (704) 772-0109

International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
6133 Bristol Parkway, Suite 300
Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: (310) 258-9451

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
3600 Market St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
Phone: (215) 222-8454

  • Credentials Evaluation Service (CES Professional Report), or
  • CGFNS Certificate or VisaScreen is accepted
Complete Online Application

Once the education evaluation has been completed and a passing score received on the English Proficiency examination, then the applicant becomes eligible for licensure by examination.

Assure eligibility requirements have been met, or all fees will be forfeited.

  • Apply for licensure by examination ($75.00) with the North Carolina Board of Nursing.
  • To apply for licensure by examination, access your Nurse Gateway profile and select 'EXAM APPLICATION' under the 'Licenses/Certificates' menu item.
Valid Forms of Payment
  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only
  • Electronic Check (E-Check)*
    • *Per N.C.G.S. 25-3-506, a $25.00 processing fee will be charged for a Electronic Check (E-Check) on which payment has been refused by the payor bank because of insufficient funds or because the drawer did not have an account at that bank.
  • Third-Party Payments require a Certified Check or Money Order
    • Money order and certified checks must be made out to the North Carolina Board of Nursing and we request that candidates provide a copy of the confirmation page to decrease processing delays.
    • Once your payment has been received, allow 3-5 banking days for your payment to clear and then your application will be processed.
    • You WILL NOT be declared eligible until required documents and payment are received by the Board of Nursing.

Pearson VUE

  • Register and pay at Pearson VUE Testing Centers ($200.00)
  • Visit Pearson VUE for more information on the Testing Centers
    • This site includes information about registering, Authorization to Test (ATT) letters, scheduling and rescheduling and acceptable Identification Documents.
    • Questions? Email:
  • Pearson Vue will send an AUTHORIZATION TO TEST (ATT), by email if you have provided an email address on your registration, otherwise, it will be sent by mail. Your Authorization to Test will provide instructions on scheduling your examination. You must have your Authorization to Test prior to scheduling an appointment to take NCLEX examination.

Receive eligibility from the North Carolina Board of Nursing

The Authorization to Test (ATT) is valid for 180 days from the date of eligibility. If you miss your NCLEX appointment or the ATT expires, you are required to re-register and pay at Pearson Vue Testing Centers.

This site includes the candidate bulletin and information that is necessary to review for the NCLEX® examination.

Examination Appointment


Schedule your examination appointment with Pearson VUE. Arrive for your examination appointment and present your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter and acceptable identification.

Receive your official results from the North Carolina Board of Nursing approximately four (4) weeks after your examination.

Criminal Background Check

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:

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.

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.

** The Criminal Background Check is required for licensure only, it does not affect an applicant’s ability to test. To avoid delays in the issuance of a license, we recommend completing this prior to testing.

Application Status



  • 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 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.
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.


Nurse Gateway

Last Changed 11-Jul-2019

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(919) 782-3211
(919) 781-9461
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North Carolina Board of Nursing