Nurse Gateway

Internationally Educated Applicants

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.

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
  • *Satisfactory Criminal Background Check

*required prior to license being issued - NCLEX may be taken prior to completion of these requirements

Access the instructional guide for a topic of interest by selecting one of the following. Detailed information will be given about each application process.

  • Step 2: English Proficiency Examination (Choose Either TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Step 3: Submit Examination Application
  • Step 5: Select a date with Pearson Vue for NCLEX
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.

Mailing Address

North Carolina Board of Nursing
P.O. Box 2506
Raleigh, NC 27602

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 NC 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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North Carolina Board of Nursing
All rights reserved

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Contact Information

(919) 782-3211
(919) 781-9461
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon-Fri
North Carolina Board of Nursing