Frequently Asked Questions
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Licensure by Examination

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

  2. What are the required steps to re-test for the NCLEX?

  3. 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?

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

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

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

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

  8. Does the Board accept electronic transcripts?

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

  10. How long will my license be effective?

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

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

  13. How many times am I allowed to test?

  14. Can I challenge the NCLEX exam?

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

  16. 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?

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

  18. Are there review courses for NCLEX?

  1. 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.

  2. What are the required steps to re-test for the NCLEX?

    • Log in to the Nurse Gateway
    • From the top ribbon, select Applications > Exam Application
    • Follow the prompts to complete the application
    • Submit payment
    • Contact Pearson Vue to pay the $200 testing fee
    • The Authorization To Test (ATT) will be released within 5 business days of completing the steps above. The ATT cannot be released prior to both payments being submitted.

    Note: Applicants must wait 45 days from the date of a failed exam to reapply. 

  3. 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.

    During NCLEX registration, if your first or last name has a special character, such as a dash, hyphen or space between two last names, Pearson Vue will remove the special character and join the names together. For example, if your name is John Smith-Jones, you will notice that Pearson Vue lists your name as John SmithJones. This will not affect your ability to test of obtain licensure.

    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

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

    North Carolina does not require residency to test for the NCLEX or obtain licensure. 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.

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

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

  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Does the Board accept electronic transcripts?

    Yes, the Board accepts transcripts from Board-approved vendors, colleges and universities. 

    Acceptable Delivery Method

    Electronic transcripts 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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
  12. 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.

  13. How many times am I allowed to test?

    Testing attempts are currently unlimited.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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