Frequently Asked Questions
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Licensure by Examination

  1. How can I access information regarding the temporary permit to practice?

  2. How long does it take to receive eligibility from the North Carolina Board of Nursing and Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson Vue?

  3. My "NC Program Verified" checklist item is marked as incomplete; how do I update or provide this information?

  4. How many days will it take my license to post if I am successful?

  5. I reside in another compact state, can I apply for licensure in North Carolina?

  6. Do I have to reside in North Carolina to apply for the NCLEX?

  7. My Driver’s License is from another state, can I still test?

  8. How long will my license be effective?

  9. I attend school in North Carolina but live in another state, which state should I apply to?

  10. Due to reasons associated with COVID-19, my school will only send transcripts electronically. Is this an acceptable delivery method?

  11. I forgot to add my middle name on my application OR I have two last names, what should I do to make sure my application is submitted correctly?

  12. What should I do if my name changes prior to the exam?

  13. What if I have changes to my NCLEX registration information?

  14. What am I going to show my employer? They always want to see my license.

  15. I am currently a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) student, I would like to test and obtain licensure in North Carolina, is that possible?

  16. I am a graduate of an International Educated Nursing program, how can I obtain approval to test for NCLEX in North Carolina?

  17. How many times am I allowed to test?

  18. Can I challenge the NCLEX exam?

  19. Are there review courses for NCLEX?

  20. I am experiencing difficulties locating the Identification Document. Where can I locate it?

  1. How can I access information regarding the temporary permit to practice?

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing will offer “Temporary Permits to Practice” to new graduates that have completed approved nursing education programs on or after 03/10/2020.

    Eligible students will automatically receive the permits via email upon completion of the following:

    • The NCBON online application for licensure by examination
    • Payment of the $38 or the criminal background check (CBC)
    • Registration and payment to Pearson VUE ($200)
    • Nursing education verification (Provided by DON for in state grads—a final transcript is required for out of state grads)

    The temporary permit will be issued within 5 days of completing all requirements and will be valid for 6 months with no renewal option. Within the 6-month time frame provided, candidates should have access to complete fingerprinting.

    Fingerprinting/CBC is not required to test.  This permit is not offered to reexam candidates or students that have graduated prior to 03/10/2020.

    The Temporary Permit is only valid for North Carolina.

    • Candidates are not eligible to begin work as an RN/LPN until the permit can be verified through the “Verify A License” link on our website.
    • If a candidate schedules an exam is unsuccessful with their attempt (meaning they test and fail) prior to the 6-month expiration, the permit will be automatically deactivated.

    Additional Notifications:

    Applicants that were completed applications prior to 04/10/20 --- The legal implementation date of the permit will not see a tab for the “Emergency Graduate Permit”.  Applicants are still eligible and will automatically receive the permit via email within 10 days of completing requirements for testing.

  2. How long does it take to receive eligibility from the North Carolina Board of Nursing and Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson Vue?

    Allow up to 10 business days to receive eligibility from the North Carolina Board of Nursing and your Authorization to Test (ATT) via e-mail from Pearson Vue after the following are marked as complete:

    • Application and payment are marked as RECEIVED
    • Your North Carolina program (NC Program Verified) is verified by your Program Director or your Out-of-State Program is verified via transcript
    • Pearson VUE registration is complete

    Note: We are unable to expedite the Examination process.

  3. My "NC Program Verified" checklist item is marked as incomplete; how do I update or provide this information?

    Program verification for North Carolina graduates will be provided to the North Carolina Board of Nursing by the Program Director within 30 days of program completion.

  4. How many days will it take my license to post if I am successful?

    Licensure will usually post within 5 business days unless all Criminal Background Check requirements have not been fulfilled, if unsuccessful re-examination packets will be provided to candidates within 30 calendar days.

  5. I reside in another compact state, can I apply for licensure in North Carolina?

    North Carolina does not require residency to test for the NCLEX. When completing an application, you must provide honest and accurate responses.

    Primary State of Residence: The State in which a nurse declares a principal residence for legal purposes. Sources used to verify a nurse’s primary residence may include Driver’s License, Federal Income Tax Return, Military Form #2058 or Voter Registration.

    For detailed information, read the fact sheet: Nurse Licensure Compact Fact Sheet

  6. Do I have to reside in North Carolina to apply for the NCLEX?

    Interested candidates do not have to reside in North Carolina to obtain North Carolina licensure.

    All out-of-state applicants MUST provide the Board with an official copy of the final transcript.

  7. My Driver’s License is from another state, can I still test?

    Candidates are not required to be a resident of North Carolina to test for North Carolina.

    Below are two ways to answer this question:

    • All information provided on the application to the North Carolina Board of Nursing & Pearson Vue should match what is on your current Driver’s License.
    • Candidates that apply for licensure in North Carolina but reside in another Compact state will be issued single state North Carolina licensure upon completion of all requirements.  Multistate privileges can be appended once proof of North Carolina residency has been provided to the Board.
  8. How long will my license be effective?

    Licenses expire on your birth month. On-time renewal of licensure will be for two (2) years and will expire the last day of your birth month.

    For initial licensure or reinstatement of a lapsed license, licensure may be for less than two (2) years [13-24 months] in order to place the expiration on the birth month.

  9. I attend school in North Carolina but live in another state, which state should I apply to?

    An out-of-state candidate does have the option to complete testing in the state they currently live in or the state in which they plan to work. Each state's guidelines, requirements, and policies do vary.

  10. Due to reasons associated with COVID-19, my school will only send transcripts electronically. Is this an acceptable delivery method?

    The Board recognizes the significant disruption caused by COVID-19 and has taken that into account for transcripts from spring 2020.

    Your transcript does not meet the requirements.

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing requires the following:

    • Completion of coursework required for the degree
    • Official stamp, seal, and/or embossed marking from the school
    • Title of degree earned and date the degree was conferred (If the degree and confer date are not on the transcript, include the degree certificate or diploma)

    Acceptable Delivery Method

    E-Scripts can be sent to transcripts@ncbon.com.

    If your degree has not been conferred yet, please do NOT order your final transcripts until after your degree has been conferred. No other documents will be accepted in lieu of the final transcript.

  11. I forgot to add my middle name on my application OR I have two last names, what should I do to make sure my application is submitted correctly?

    The first and last name printed on your identification must match exactly the first and last name printed on their Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. If the name with which you registered is different from the name on your identification, you must bring legal name change documentation to the test center on the day of the test.

    Maiden/Middle names are optional and will not affect your ability to test or obtain licensure.

    For more information concerning name requirements, visit: https://www.ncsbn.org/1221.htm

  12. What should I do if my name changes prior to the exam?

    The first and last name printed on your identification must match exactly the first and last name printed on their Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. If the name with which you registered is different from the name on your identification, you must bring legal name change documentation to the test center on the day of the test.
    The only acceptable forms of identification in test centers in the U.S.* are:
    • U.S. Driver's License (Department of Motor Vehicle-issued) (if expired, a renewal slip including a photograph and a signature must be presented in order to be admitted)
    • U.S. State Identification (Department of Motor Vehicle-issued)
    • Passport
    • U.S. Military Identification
    Submit name change requests and supporting legal documents to the Examination Department (examdept@ncbon.com).
    Maiden/Middle names are optional and will not affect your ability to test or obtain licensure.
    For more information concerning name requirements, visit: https://www.ncsbn.org/1221.htm
  13. What if I have changes to my NCLEX registration information?

    To make any changes to your NCLEX registration information:

    • You cannot have a test date scheduled
    • You must provide some form of identifying information (Social Security number, Date of Birth, Mother's Maiden name, etc.)
    • You must provide what you want changed-corrected

    Inform the North Carolina Board of Nursing Examination Department (examdept@ncbon.com), and the change-correction will be made.

    The information on your North Carolina application can be changed at any time, but the above identifying information must be provided.

  14. What am I going to show my employer? They always want to see my license.

    Your employer can access your licensure information directly from the Board of Nursing database, which is the primary source for nurse licensure information.

  15. I am currently a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) student, I would like to test and obtain licensure in North Carolina, is that possible?

    Currently, all DACA students are eligible to apply and test for NCLEX upon successful completion of member Board approved nursing education program. North Carolina does not require residency or citizenship as a requirement for testing and obtaining licensure. Future changes in legislation could impact North Carolina's ability to issue licensure for DACA students. For additional information, contact uscis.gov.

    Effective October 1, 1997, in accordance with U.S. Title 42 U.S.C. 405 et al and Section 343 of Public Law 104-208 (1996) and North Carolina General Statute 93 B-14, individuals, foreign graduates or otherwise, who are seeking licensure by examination must have a valid Social Security number to be issued a license to practice nursing.

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does require a Criminal Background check before a license can be issued, but it is not required for you to be eligible to apply for and take the NCLEX.

    For additional information, contact Candice Moore at candicem@ncbon.com.

  16. I am a graduate of an International Educated Nursing program, how can I obtain approval to test for NCLEX in North Carolina?

    To access the instructional guide, visit Internationally Educated Applicants.

  17. How many times am I allowed to test?

    Testing attempts are currently unlimited.

  18. Can I challenge the NCLEX exam?

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not allow any challenges (including Military Corpsmen and those that partially completed a Registered Nurse program) to the Board for eligibility to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). To be eligible to apply for the NCLEX-PN, you must have completed an approved Practical Nursing Education program.

  19. Are there review courses for NCLEX?

    The North Carolina Board of Nursing does not offer review courses, study guides or other test prep help. You may also contact your school of nursing to seek additional guidance.

  20. I am experiencing difficulties locating the Identification Document. Where can I locate it?

    Effective March 1, 2019, the Identification Document is no longer required to test for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®) or gain licensure in North Carolina. 

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