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How to Get a Nursing License from the Georgia Nursing Board

There are two ways to get a nurse license in Georgia: through examination, and through endorsement.

Licensure by Examination:

Licensure by examination means you obtain licensing by taking the nursing boards exam, also known as the NCLEX. Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Graduate Nursing School - Graduate from an approved nursing program.
  2. Apply for Licensing - Download and print out the licensure by examination application. There are separate ones for RN and LPN. The application can be submitted online or by mail, and it must be notarized. To submit the application online, you'd create an account.The application fee is only $40 which is very reasonable compared to most states.
  3. Criminal Background Check - Fingerprinting is done by registering with Gemalto Thales. Afterward, Gemalto will email you how to get the fingerprinting done. It is recommended you register for the background check the same day you file the licensing application.

  4. Register with Pearson Vue - Register to take the NCLEX with Pearson Vue. It is recommended you register with Pearson Vue the same day you submit the license application. This will cost $200.

Supporting Documents Needed

  1. Official Nursing School Transcripts
  2. Background Consent Form - This form gives the Georgia BON permission to do a background check.
  3. Declaration of Citizenship - Applicants that are US citizens can use the form here to declare citizenship. Along with this form, submit a copy of your passport , driver's license, or other proof. See here for the list of acceptable documents. If you are not a US citizen, you would use the DOCUMENT TO DETERMINE QUALIFIED ALIEN STATUS along with copies of documents proving your right to work in the USA.

* You need a social security number to apply for a nurse license and take the nursing board exam in GA.

** Applications are usually processed within 15 business days.

Special Testing Accommodations for the Georgia NCLEX:

Candidates who require special testing accommodations due to disability, should fill out the Requesting Special Accommodations form. Special Accommodations Form. You must also submit the supporting documentation as indicated on the form. It's recommended to submit the form on the same day that you submit your application.

Foreign Educated Nurses

Nurses whose education took place outside the USA, have some additional requirements:

  • Download the RN or LPN license application, and have it notarized. This form can only be submitted by mail.
  • A current nurse license.
  • Verification of your foreign nurse license.
  • If you've passed the NCLEX in another country, your NCLEX score must be sent to the board.
  • An English proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL exam. If your nursing program was in English, you may be exempt.
  • A report on your nursing credentials by CGFNS, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. This is to ensure your nursing education meets the standards of the state of Georgia. If you've worked 500 hours of nursing in the last 4 years, you may be exempt.
  • You graduated within the last 4 years, or you have practiced 500 hours of nursing within the last 4 years. If you have neither of these, you would need to take a refresher education program.

Licensure By Endorsement

Licensure by endorsement means you obtain a nurse license by transferring your existing license. Since Georgia is a compact state, you'd only need to do this process if transferring your license from a non-compact state, or if you plan to make Georgia your primary residence, or if for some reason you don't have a multistate license.

To be eligible to transfer your license, please have these requirements:

  1. Active License - An active nursing license in good standing
  2. License Verification - Validation of your nursing licensure
  3. School Transcripts - Official transcripts from your nursing school
  4. Apply by Mail - Print out the RN or LPN application for endorsement. The application fee is $75, and the form must be notarized.
  5. Background Check - by registering with Gemalto Thales.
  6. Current Nursing Skills - This means one of the following:
    • Proof of graduation within the past 4 years
    • Proof of having worked 500 hours in nursing within the past 4 years
    • Complete a refresher program
  7. Background Consent Form - This form gives the Georgia BON permission to do a background check.
  8. Declaration of Citizenship - If you are a US citizen you can use the form here to declare citizenship. If you are not a US citizen, you would use the DOCUMENT TO DETERMINE QUALIFIED ALIEN STATUS.

Renewing a License at the Georgia BON

A Georgia nurse license needs to be renewed every 2 years. License renewal can only be done online. The renewal cost for RN and LPN is $65. If you're an RN you must renew by Jan 31 of the year the license expires. However, you can still renew until Feb 28 for an extra $75. LPNs must renew by March 30 of the year their license expires.

Nurse License Lookup at the Georgia Nurse Portal

To lookup or verify a nurse license, search at the Georgia License Verification Portal. This can also be helpful if you applied for a license and want to see if it's been issued yet, or to verify you've successfully renewed your license.

You can also verify a nurse license using the Nursys QuickConfirm License Verification. The advantage of using Nursys is that it searches all licensing boards, instead of just one state. However, not as many license types may be verified at Nursys. If you're just looking up registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, that should work for all states. For information on other nurse types, such as APRN, it will depend on the state.

Temporary Nursing Licenses in Georgia

Currently the State Board of Georgia does not issue temporary nurse permits. There was a brief period during COVID when they did, however that has been shelved for now.

Continuing Education Requirements for Georgia Nurses

Nurses in Georgia must complete continuing education (CE) requirements every two years in order to remain licensed.

Registered Nurse Continuing Education Requirements

RNs have 5 choices to fulfill the CE requirements:

  1. Complete 30 continuing education hours by an approved provider
  2. Maintenance of certification or recertification by a national certifying body recognized by the Board
  3. Complete an approved academic program of study in nursing or a related field.
  4. Verification of competency by a health care facility or entity licensed in Georgia, or by a physician’s office that is part of a health system, and at least 500 hours of nursing practice.
  5. Completion of an approved reentry program or graduation from a nursing education program.

Licensed Practical Nurse Continuing Education Requirements

LPNs have 2 choices to fulfill the CE requirements:

  1. Complete 20 continuing education hours by an approved provider.
  2. Complete an approved academic program of study in nursing or a related field.

FAQ

Do I need a Social Security Number to get a nursing license in Georgia?

Yes, the Georgia State Board requires you to have an SSN.

How do I get temporary nursing license in Georgia?

The Nursing Board of Georgia does not issue temporary nursing licenses.

How do I contact the Georgia Board of Nursing?

The Georgia State Board can be reached by phone at 404-424-9966. For other contact methods see below near the bottom of the page.

How long does it take the Georgia Board of Nursing to approve an application?

Georgia's State Board generally approves applications within 15 business days.

How much does it cost for a Georgia nursing license?

If you are taking the NCLEX, generally around $290-$340:
$40 to the State Board, $200 to Pearson Vue to administer the exam, and the fingerprint fee of about $50-$100.

If you're just transferring an existing license, generally around $160-$210:
$75 to apply, $35 for license verification, and around $50-$100 for fingerprinting.

What happens if I fail the Georgia NCLEX?

Students who fail the Georgia NCLEX can re-apply to take the exam. This can be done right away, however, approval will only be granted after 45 days. To re-apply, one needs to submit the paper application, pay another application fee, and undergo another background check.

How do I transfer my nursing license to Georgia?

You will need to apply for licensure by endorsement. Please see above

How much time do I have to pass the NCLEX in Georgia?

You must pass the NCLEX within 3 years of your graduation.

How do I obtain a criminal background check in Georgia?

See above on criminal background checks.

How do I renew a Georgia nursing license?

All Georgia license renewals are done online.

How do I renew a multistate nursing license from the State of Georgia?

Multistate nursing licenses are renewed online in the same way as singles state licenses.

What is the application fee for a Georgia RN license (Registered Nurse)?

The application fee for an RN license in Georgia is $40.

What is the application fee for a Georgia LPN license (Licensed Practical Nurse)?

The application fee for an LPN license in Georgia is $40.

What is the application fee for a Georgia APRN license (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse)?

The application fee for an APRN license in Georgia is $90.


Contact the Georgia Board of Nursing

Email: Contact Form

Phone: 404-424-9966
Address:
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217

Georgia State Board's Official Site - Georgia Board of Nursing

Official Publication for Georgia Nurses - The Georgian Nurse