How to Get a Nursing License from the Texas Nursing Board
There are two ways to get a nurse license in Texas: licensure by examination, and licensure by endorsement.
Licensure by Examination:
Licensure by examination means you obtain a license by taking the nursing boards exam, also known as the NCLEX. Here are the steps to do this:
- Register Online - Both RN nurses and LVN nurses must create an account at the board's website and Apply Online. The application fee is $75.
- Criminal Background Check - For nurse applicants who don't already have a background check on file with the Texas Nursing Board. Students who are part of a nursing program will obtain it through their nursing program.
- Wait 10 business days after submitting your application.
- Submit your fingerprints through Identogo. The exact procedure will depend if you:
- Register with Pearson Vue - Thirty days before graduation, register with Pearson Vue to take the licensing exam (NCLEX). The fee is $200.
- Jurisprudence Exam - Take the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Examination. This exam ensures you know the rules and standards of nursing in a particular state. Whereas the NCLEX tests your knowledge of nursing practice, a jurisprudence exam tests your knowledge of nursing law. Allow 15 business days after submitting your nurse licensure application before taking this exam.
- Submit an Affidavit of Graduation - If you graduated from a Texas nursing program, your program will do this for you. If you graduated outside of the state, you must request that your nursing program send this completed form to the nursing board, depending on nurse type:
RN Nurses ||
and submit it to: [email protected]
* You do not need a social security number to apply for a nurse license and take the NCLEX in TX.
- Receive your ATT (Authorization To Test) - The nursing board will send you the ATT by email, along with instructions on how to schedule your test. The ATT is valid for 75 days, which means you must take the exam by 75 days from the date of the ATT.
You must have the following in order to receive an ATT:
- Applied to take the NCLEX
- Paid all fees
- Completed a criminal background check
- Registered with Pearson Vue
- Passed the Nursing Jurisprudence Exam
- Submitted an affidavit of graduation to the nursing board (either by you or your nursing program)
- Take the NCLEX - Your test results will be received by the nursing board within 5 business days. The board will mail you a certificate, however you must verify your identity online in order to receive it. You will also gain access to a printout as proof of your nurse licensure in the meantime.
Special Testing Accommodations for the NCLEX in Texas:
If you require special testing accommodations due to disability, you must fill out the Requesting Special Accommodations form found here: Special Accommodations Form. You should be aware that your application for special accommodations requires supporting documentation from a medical professional. The form should be submitted as early in the process as possible. More info can be found here.
Foreign Educated Nurses Who Want to Take the NCLEX
Nurses whose nursing education took place outside the USA, will need these additional items to be eligible to take the NCLEX:
An English proficiency exam. These exams are approved by the board:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
- TSE & TWE (Test of Spoken English & Test of Written English)
- PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic)
A report on your nursing credentials by a Credential Evaluation Service such as CGFNS, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.
- If you've ever had a foreign nursing license, you'll need a Verification of Licensure (VOL) from all jurisdictions you had or have a license. The VOL must come directly from the licensing authority with its official seal.
- You have practiced nursing within the last 4 years, unless you graduated from an accredited program within the last 4 years.
Please note, foreign educated nurses must pass the NCLEX within 4 years of their original ATT (authorization to test). So if for example, you took the NCLEX several times, you will need to finally pass within 4 years from your original approval. Here is a helpful chart.
Licensure By Endorsement
Licensure by endorsement means you obtain a nurse license by transferring your existing license. Since Texas is a compact state, you'd only need to do this process if transferring your license from a non-compact state, or you plan to make Texas your primary residence, or if for some reason you don't have a multistate license.
To be eligible to transfer your license, you must:
- Have completed a board approved nursing program:
- Passed the NCLEX
- Taken the NCLEX or worked as a nurse within the last 4 years.
- Have never held a Texas nurse license previously.
To apply for a Texas Nurse License by Endorsement:
- Fill out the online application
- Pay the endorsement application fee of $150.
- Get fingerprinted
- Pass the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam.
- Request verification from Nursys of your previous license(s), $30 per license.
If your state does not participate in Nursys, you must request license verification directly from their BON using these forms: Registered Nurses (RN) || Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
- Allow up to 10-15 business days for a decision after all requirements have been submitted.
Renewing a License at the Texas BON
License renewals can only be done online. You can renew within 60 days of the license expiration.
Nurse License Lookup at the Texas Nurse Portal
To lookup or verify a nurse license, visit the License Verification Portal. This can also be helpful if you applied for a license and want to see if it's been issued yet.
To verify a license you will need either:
- First and Last Name of the nurse
- License number and nurse type (RN, LVN, etc.)
- NCSBN ID
You can also verify a nurse license using the Nursys QuickConfirm License Verification. The advantage of using Nursys is you can verify a license in any state, 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 types of nurses, such as advanced practice nurses, it will depend on the state.
When looking up a nurse license, both Nursys and the website of the state board will show any disciplinary actions taken. In accordance with the Texas Nursing Practice Act, disciplinary actions must be made public.
Temporary Nursing Licenses in Texas
There are two types of temporary licenses issued by the nursing board: graduate nurse permits
and 6 month permits
. Both cannot be extended or renewed.
Graduate Nurse Permits
Student nurses who graduated from a nursing program in the USA will receive this permit when they are authorized to take the NCLEX. The board will post it online within 5 business days of approving you to test. You'll receive either a GN permit for RN, or a GVN permit for LVN. They are valid for 75 days or until you pass or fail the NCLEX.
Six Month Permits
The board issues 6 month permits to nurses who need a refresher course in order to reinstate their license or to be issued a license. This permit allows the nurses to undergo the necessary training and education in order to be eligible for a permanent license. The training must be completed within the 6 month timeframe. To apply you'd use one of these forms: RN Temporary Permit | LVN Temporary Permit
Contact the Texas Board of Nursing
Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Registered Nursing & Licensed Vocational Nursing:
Advanced Practice Nursing:
Texas Board of Nursing
George H. W. Bush State Office Building
1801 Congress Avenue, Suite 10-200
Austin, TX 78701
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Access the site for the Texas Board of Nursing here: Texas Board of Nursing