RN/LPN by Endorsement

The initial application for Licensure by Endorsement, and the Criminal Background Check will be held active for one (1) year. If the application process is not completed within one year, you will be responsible for repayment of fees.

If you have declared another compact state as your primary state of residence and plan to change your primary state of residence to North Carolina, you may continue to practice nursing under your current compact state license while working on obtaining your North Carolina nursing license, provided that license remains active and multistate. You will not be issued a North Carolina license until you declare North Carolina or a non-compact state as your primary state of residence. Once you declare North Carolina as your primary state of residence, you must immediately change your address via the Nurse Portal.

A nurse will need to apply for a license by endorsement in the new residency state immediately upon moving. They can only practice under the former multi-state license until issued a new multi-state license from the new home state, which replaces the former license.

An active North Carolina license cannot be issued when another Compact State is declared as the primary state of residence.

You will need the following to apply:
  1. Name, location and year of graduation of your basic school of nursing.
  2. State, year and license number of original license by examination.
  3. State of current license and license number.
  4. Dates of employment and position(s) held for last two (2) nursing employers. 
  5. All U.S. Member Boards in which you have EVER been licensed.
  6. Social Security number issued by U.S. Social Security Administration.
  7. Verification from original state of license and, if different, last state practiced.
  8. Criminal Background Check conducted by the North Carolina Board of Nursing.
Submission and Fee Information

How to submit...

  1. Access the Nurse Portal to complete the Endorsement application.
  2. 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.
  3. Select 'Endorsement Application' in the Applications dropdown menu.
  4. Complete application.

Fee Information: $150.00


Valid Forms of Payment

  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa only
Active-Duty Military Credit

Active-duty military and/or their spouse may be eligible for an Endorsement application credit and/or waiver of application fee. Request for credit must be submitted within 90 days of the credit/debit card payment for active-duty military applicants. For active-duty spouses, the proof of eligibility document must be received before the license can be issued. Applicants must submit a copy of one of the following documents as evidence of eligibility:

  • DEERS Enrollment Form
  • PCS orders bearing the name of the applicant
  • Dependent ID Card

Evidence should be emailed to:

Only active-duty military and/or their spouse are eligible for the credit.

North Carolina Session Law 2020-87 added provisions to § 93B-15.1 regarding expedited occupational licensure for military-trained and military spouse endorsement applicants.

Nurse Licensure Compact

Determine your eligibility to seek licensure in North Carolina

To determine if you are eligible to endorse your nursing license to North Carolina, you must show evidence of:

  • For Registered Nurses (RN), completion of a program of nursing education which was approved by the jurisdiction of original licensure.
  • For Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), completion of a program in practical nursing approved by the jurisdiction of original licensure; or course of study within a program shall be comparable to that required of practical nurse graduates in North Carolina, combined with the successful completion of said program.
  • Successful completion of NCLEX or SBTPE.
  • Active license held in another jurisdiction within the past 5 years. If the license has been inactive or lapsed for five or more years, applicant must complete a respective Board Approved RN or LPN Refresher Course.
  • Unencumbered license in all jurisdictions in which a license is or has ever been held, including any occupational licensing board.
  • Completion of all court conditions resulting from any misdemeanor or felony convictions.
  • Written explanation and all related documents if the nurse has been (1) disciplined in any state in which the nurse has been licensed, and/or (2) listed as a Nurse Aide with finding(s).
Temporary License

You may be eligible for a non-renewable Temporary License which permits employment as a licensed nurse in North Carolina while the application is in process. A Temporary License can only be issued within the first six (6) months of submitting the endorsement application.  It is valid for up to six (6) months, or until the permanent license has been issued (whichever comes first).

Prior to the issuance of a Temporary License, the Criminal Background Check hard-copy fingerprints, forms and fee must be received in the Board office for Out-of-State applicants. If you are a resident of North Carolina, the Live Scan Application must be submitted online and the Criminal Background Check results received, or hard-copy card of the fingerprints submitted prior to being reviewed for a temporary license.

Temporary licenses can only be issued once per lifetime and cannot be renewed or extended for any reason. An applicant must have a valid North Carolina or non-compact state primary address on file in the Nurse Portal and must not hold an active multistate license in another compact state. An active single state license is required at the time of issuance of the temporary license.

How to request verification of original license and current license (if different from original)

NURSYS: Most states participate in the online verification database. Visit NURSYS and select "Request Verification" located in the green box on their home page.

  • Search for your license
  • Select license to be verified
  • Choose North Carolina (NC) as the state to receive the verification on step #2
  • Complete payment process and print receipt

The fee to verify a license(s) is $30.00 per license type for each state being endorsed into.

NON-NURSYS: If your original and/or current state of licensure does not participate in NURSYS, please contact your nursing board to request the verification be sent directly to the NC Board of Nursing.

Criminal Background Check

In accordance with the Nursing Practice Act, all candidates applying for Licensure by Endorsement are required to undergo a fingerprint-based State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history check.

The Board of Nursing may deny an applicant on the basis of a conviction of a crime only if the board finds that the applicant's criminal conviction history is directly related to the duties and responsibilities for the licensed occupation or the conviction is for a crime that is violent or sexual in nature. The Board of Nursing must specifically consider the following factors by law when denying an applicant for licensure due to a criminal conviction:

  1. The level and seriousness of the crime.
  2. The date of the crime.
  3. The age of the person at the time of the crime.
  4. The circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime, if known.
  5. The nexus between the criminal conduct and the prospective duties of the applicant as a licensee.
  6. The prison, jail, probation, parole, rehabilitation, and employment records of the applicant since the date the crime was committed.
    1. The completion of, or active participation in, rehabilitative drug or alcohol treatment.
    2. A Certificate of Relief granted pursuant to G.S. 15A-173.2.
  7. The subsequent commission of a crime by the applicant.
  8. Any affidavits or other written documents, including character references.

Applicant’s denied licensure in whole or in part because of a criminal conviction have the right to appeal the decision of the Board within 30 days after receipt of the Board’s decision to the superior court located in the county where the applicant resides or where the Board is located pursuant to NC. Gen. Stat §90-171.37B(a) and §150B-43 et al .

In order to complete the criminal history check, please follow these instructions:

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.

Within North Carolina:

Within North Carolina: If you are currently located within North Carolina, complete the Live Scan process to have your digital fingerprints electronically transmitted to the SBI/FBI. Most North Carolina Sheriff offices will provide this service.

Outside of North Carolina:

If you are currently located in another state or country, a fingerprint card will need to be mailed in. Please check your confirmation page for current instructions on how to complete this process. Fingerprinting must be performed by authorized fingerprinting personnel. Contact your local fingerprinting agency for assistance and additional details.

Upon submission of your application, you will receive a confirmation page which serves as your official receipt. Additionally, the application confirmation page will be available in the Nurse Portal.  Please note: The application process is not complete until licensure verification(s) and fingerprints/criminal background check are received and processed.

You can always check the status of your application via Nurse Portal. Licensure information can be verified on the Board's website.  The Board of Nursing’s electronic database serves as the primary source of licensure information for nurses in North Carolina. 

Last Changed: 13-March-2024