Click on the appropriate tab below to see the Initial Licensing Requirements, Process, Fees, Statutes and Administrative Rules for a Licensed Practical Nurse & Registered Nurse by Examination.
The requirements for licensure by examination can be found in Section 464.008, F.S, and include:
- Graduation from a Florida approved or accredited nursing education program as defined in Section 464.003, F.S.
- Graduation from an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited nursing program that has been issued an NCLEX code by NCSBN.
- Graduation from a nursing education program that is approved or recognized by the jurisdiction in which it is based and that has been issued an NCLEX code by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
- Graduation from a military nursing education program that has been issued an NCLEX code by NCSBN.
- Graduation from a generic Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or higher program that has been issued an NCLEX code by NCSBN.
- Graduation from a non-NCSBN jurisdiction, i.e. Puerto Rico, or international nursing education program that the board determines to be equivalent to an approved program (NON-NCSBN/International Grads)
- Canadian Registered Nurses who took the Canadian Nurses Association Testing Service (CNATS) Examination after August 8, 1995, must take the NCLEX Examination unless licensed in another state or territory. If test scores are in an acceptable range, Canadian Registered Nurse applicants who took the CNATS prior to August 8, 1995, may be eligible for endorsement. Unless licensed in another U.S. state or territory, or have taken the NCLEX, Canadian Licensed Practical Nurses are required to apply by examination.
Successful completion of courses in a registered nursing education program that are equivalent to a practical nursing education program – Practical Nurse examination based on practical nursing equivalency (PNEQ)
See the Examination application for more information.
Applicants for initial licensure must use a Livescan service provider to have their fingerprints submitted electronically to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for conducting a search for any Florida and national criminal history records that may pertain to the applicant. The results will be returned to the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and made available to the board office for consideration during the licensure process. The Livescan fingerprints submitted by the applicant will be retained by FDLE and the Clearinghouse. All costs for conducting a criminal history background screening are borne by the applicant. The Board of Nursing is no longer authorized by law to accept hard fingerprint cards or results from the applicant. All results must be submitted electronically from a Livescan service provider.
It is important to use the correct Originating Agency Identification (ORI) when submitting fingerprints. If you do not provide an ORI number or if you provide an incorrect ORI number to the service provider, the board office will not receive your fingerprint results.
Applicants who reside outside of the State of Florida must have their prints taken on a hard fingerprint card and contact an approved Livescan service provider who converts cards.
If you need hard cards please contact the board office.
Applicants can use any FDLE approved Livescan service provider to submit their fingerprints. The applicant is fully responsible for selecting the service provider and ensuring the results are reported to the board office. For more information, FAQs, and a list of all approved Livescan service providers please visit the Background Screening website and click on the Livescan Service Providers tab. Please take the Nursing Electronic Fingerprint Form with you to the Livescan provider. Please check the service provider’s requirements to see if you need to bring any additional items. Please verify the ORI number submitted by the Livescan service provider matches the information provided by the Florida Board of Nursing.
Applicants with Criminal History
Any applicant who has ever been found guilty of, or pled guilty or no contest/nolo contendre to any charge other than a minor traffic offense must list each offense on the application. Reckless driving, driving while license suspended or revoked (DWLSR), driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) are not minor traffic offenses for purposes of this question. Failure to disclose criminal history may result in denial of your application. Each application is reviewed on its own merits.
The Board of Nursing has created guidelines for specific offenses to be cleared in the board office; however, the staff cannot make determinations in advance as laws and rules do change over time. Violent crimes and repeat offenders are required to be presented to the Board of Nursing for review. Evidence of rehabilitation is important to the Board Members when making licensure decisions.
Applicants with prior criminal convictions may be required to submit the following documentation to the Board:
Final Dispositions/Arrest Records – Final disposition records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the Clerk of the Court attesting to their unavailability.
Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions – Probation and financial sanction records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. Parole records for offenses can be obtained from the Department of Corrections or at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.
Self Explanation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the offense.
Letters of Recommendation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit 3-5 professional letters of recommendation from people you have worked for or with.
Health Care Fraud; Disqualification for License, Certificate, or Registration
Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:
- 1. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
- For the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
- Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;
- Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;
- Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;
- Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities.
NCLEX Review (Prep) Course
Board rule requires that providers for the preparatory course meet certain requirements (64B9-3.015 Licensure Examination Preparatory Courses). You can find these requirements at: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?id=64B9-3.015
The 3-week NCSBN course found at the following link has been established as meeting all these criteria: https://www.ncsbn.org/4762.htm
- Applicant must submit application with the appropriate fees to the Board of Nursing and begin registration with Pearson VUE, the testing vendor.
- Applicant schedules an electronic fingerprint appointment with a Livescan service provider and is fingerprinted.
- Once all materials are submitted, an application specialist will review them. It may be necessary for the application specialist to request additional information.
- If eligibility requirements are met applicant will receive Eligibility letter with instructions regarding registration with Pearson VUE. Approval is transferred to Pearson VUE.
- Upon passing the licensure examination the initial license is issued within 7-10 days.
Applicants who do not successfully pass their examination will have to submit a re-examination application.
After three failures of the same level of examination (RN, LPN), regardless of jurisdiction, the applicant must successfully complete a Florida Board of Nursing approved remedial training program. The program includes classroom and clinical components and proof of completion must be submitted at the time of application for the fourth attempt.
Registration for testing and candidate information bulletins are available through the state’s contracted test administrator, Pearson Vue.
Phone: United States — Call toll-free at 1.86649NCLEX (1.866.496.2539),
Monday – Friday, 7 am to 7 pm, U.S. Central Time.
NCLEX Examination Program
Pearson Professional Testing
5601 Green Valley Drive
Bloomington, MN 55437-1099
DO NOT SEND Third Party Payments to Pearson Vue.
$110.00 Application and Licensing Fee to Board of Nursing
$200.00 to Pearson VUE, Testing Vendor
Fee varies for Livescan Service Provider