RN/LPN by Examination

Testing candidates may review the Pearson Vue COVID-19 Update Page to learn if their testing experience may be impacted and the latest health & safety requirements at Pearson VUE-owned test centers.

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 may be issued until proof of North Carolina residency is provided to the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

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 the Nurse Portal.

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®.

Educational Eligibility Requirements

All graduates must complete a member Board approved Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse nursing education program.

Testing Restrictions

North Carolina Board of Nursing does not restrict the number of times a candidate can test for NCLEX Registered Nurse or Practical Nurse. If you have completed a nursing program but have never been licensed, current laws and regulations grant you with the opportunity to become licensed upon successful completion of the NCLEX without restriction or mandatory refresher courses.

Submission and Fee Information

How to submit...

  1. Access the Nurse Portal to complete the Examination 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 'Exam Application' in the Licenses/Certificates dropdown
  4. Complete application

Fee Information: $75.00 for Application + $ 38.00 for Criminal Background Check


PearsonVUE registration is required.  Fee: $200.00

Valid Forms of Payment

  • Credit or Debit Card; MasterCard or Visa
  • Third-Party Payment – Credit Card or Business Check
    • To pay by credit card, please visit this page:
      • The confirmation number provided on the applicant confirmation page will be required for payment.
    • Business 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 reduce processing delays. Mail your business check to North Carolina Board of Nursing, P.O. Box 2129 Raleigh NC 27602-2129.
    • Once your payment has been received, allow five banking days for your payment to clear, and then your application will be processed.
    • You will not be declared eligible until the Board of Nursing receives the required documents and fees.
Examination Requirements
  • Your Examination application
  • Your Electronic School Verification or Official Transcript Copies 
    • North Carolina graduates program verification will be provided to the North Carolina Board of Nursing by your Program Director within 30 days of program completion.
    • Out-of-State graduates are required to provide a "FINAL" official transcript, the transcript must include your legal name (first & last), degree awarded and date of completion or conferral. Mail to: NCBON, Exam Department, P.O. Box 2506, Raleigh, NC 27602-2506
      • Transcripts must be delivered directly from the institution or an approved transcript vendor. No other forms or documents are required from the school. Active-in-program transcripts will not be accepted.
      • Electronic transcripts can be accepted from Universities or Transcript Vendors via email
  • Your registration and payment of fees to Pearson Vue
Pearson VUE
  • Register and pay at Pearson VUE Testing Centers ($200.00) at least two (2) weeks prior to program completion.
  • 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 NCBON

Once the application is submitted, your North Carolina program (NC Program Verified) is verified by your Program Director or your Out-of-State Program is verified via transcript and Pearson VUE registration are complete then allow up to 10 business days to receive Authorization to Test (ATT) via e-mail.

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 and results

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

In accordance with the Nursing Practice Act, all candidates applying for Licensure by Examination 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.

North Carolina Residents:

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.

Out-of-State Residents:

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.

**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.

The Application Confirmation which serves as your official receipt will be available on the Nurse Portal upon successful completion of the application process. To access, select the appropriate license and locate the confirmation page under the files heading.

If a valid email address is listed with the North Carolina Board of Nursing, you will receive confirmation via email verifying receipt of your online application.

Upon successful completion of the online application, you may check your application status via the 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.


Any applicant that is unsuccessful with NCLEX may take subsequent examinations. The frequency of testing is determined by the National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). There is a 45-day waiting period to retest. Applicants can schedule an examination but will be unable to reserve a test date earlier than the 46th day after the last examination date.

Prior to each re-examination, candidates are required to obtain an Authorization to Test (ATT). To obtain an authorization, the following must be completed:

  • Examination Application ($75.00)
  • Registration and Payment of Fees to Pearson Vue ($200.00)

Re-examination applicants of International programs must provide a valid English Proficiency Report that includes scores equivalent to North Carolina Board of Nursing requirements.

Registered Nurse testing for Practical Nurse

Candidates that are unsuccessful with the first NCLEX-RN attempt are eligible to test for NCLEX-PN.

Registered Nurse candidates testing for the NCLEX-PN are not required to wait 45 days prior to testing on the first Practical Nurse attempt. All Registered Nurse candidates testing for NCLEX-PN will need to enter US19909900 as the Program Code for both North Carolina Board of Nursing and Pearson Vue.

Last Changed: 12-April-2024