Licensure by Endorsement Online Application Instructions
To qualify for endorsement (reciprocity) into California as an RN, you must hold a current and active RN license in another state, U.S. territory, or Canada, have completed an educational program meeting all California requirements, and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE). The Canadian Comprehensive Examination is not acceptable.
If you are applying for licensure via endorsement and have not taken and passed the RN exam in any state, you will not be issued a license via endorsement in California, even if your state does not currently require an examination for licensure.
Business & Professions Code 2742 Issuance of License:
"The board shall issue a license to each applicant who passes the examination and meets all other licensing requirements. The form of the license shall be determined in accordance with Section 164."
If you do not possess these qualifications, you do not qualify for licensure by endorsement and must apply for Licensure by Examination instead.
- Apply Online - See the Online RN Endorsement Application Instructions for a screen-by-screen walkthrough of the online application process.
- The Board highly recommends that applicants apply online. To apply by mail instead, download the Application for Licensure by Endorsement Packet and continue to the instructions below.
Please refer to our Processing Times page for current timeframes.
Licensure by Endorsement Paper Application Instructions
All applicants must provide the following items:
- Appropriate fees, including fingerprint and temporary license fees, if applicable (Page 1)
- Completed "Application for Licensure by Endorsement", including U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (Pages 10-11)
- Completed fingerprints using either Live Scan or fingerprint card (Hard Card) processing method (Page 5)
NOTE: The application packet does not include a Live Scan form or Hard Card. Please refer to Fingerprint Information to request these items.
- One recent 2" by 2" passport-type photograph attached to the reverse side of the "Application for Licensure by Endorsement" (Page 11)
- Completed "Verification of License" form or Nursys® Verification Application if your board of nursing participates in Nursys®. International graduates must also submit a "Verification of License" form from the board of nursing where the examination was taken (Page 12)
NOTE: Nursys® verifications expire 90 days from the date of request. Please do not request your Nursys® verification prior to submission of your endorsement application or it may expire before your file can be fully evaluated.
- "Request for Transcript" form(s) completed and forwarded directly from your nursing school(s) with certified transcripts (Page 13)
- If applicable, documents and/or letters explaining prior convictions or disciplinary action and attesting to your rehabilitation as directed in the "Reporting Prior Convictions or Discipline Against Licenses" section of the application packet (Page 4)
NOTE: See Important Notice Regarding Your Application for additional information for applicants with criminal convictions or discipline.
- Request for temporary license (optional; check the appropriate box on the "Application for Licensure by Endorsement") if you wish to begin work pending issuance of a permanent license (Page 11)
Additionally, for international applicants:
- Send the "Breakdown of Educational Program for International Nursing Programs" to your school with the "Request for Transcript" form. If your transcript is not in English, provide the "Certified English Translation" form to your certified translator. (Pages 16-17)
See CA RN Licensure Qualifications for Graduates of International Nursing Program for additional details.