Finally, you have taken and passed the NCLEX-RN Exam…way to go! The next step now involves becoming licensed as a RN and it will probably seem like it takes forever. Licensure is the process that each state board of nursing goes through in order to grant each individual who has been determined to exhibit competency to perform care within the RN scope of practice. Each state has their own board of nursing and criteria that will determine whether or not each applicant has the necessary skills to practice safe and effective care to become licensed as a RN. But what happens when you want to move to another, how do you transfer RN license? This guide will take you through all the steps.

Featured RN to BSN Programs

CCNE Accredited. Online RN to BSN Programs*

Transferring your RN license to from state to state, may not be as complicated as you may think. Thanks to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows nurses to have one license that is valid in multiple states…up to 25 states and counting. Through the NLC, nurses have the ability to practice across participating state lines both physically and electronically through a simple process without any additional fees or applications. Nurses will have the ability to practice in both their home state and other states that participate in the NLC. You are eligible to obtain a multistate license if you:

  • Are a legal resident of a state included in the NLC.
  • Hold an active RN license that is in good standing.
  • Meet licensure requirements in your home state, in addition to licensure standards, and exhibit competency to practice within the RN scope if you reside in a remote state that does not participate in the NLC.

Keep in mind the different characteristics of the states in which you practice. There is a party state (any state that participates in the NLC), a home state (the nurse's primary state of residence), and a remote state (any party state other than the home state). Following are examples if you were to decide to reside in another state and practice as a RN.

See a list of State Boards of Nursing (BON) with state fees and continuing education requirements.

Current NLC States and Status

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

Transfer RN License from Non-Compact to Compact State

  • You must apply for licensure by endorsement in the new state of residency.
  • Your individual state license issued by the non-compact state will not be affected and remain active if you continue to maintain it, meaning you will have to resume your continuing education hours, practice within the laws of that state, and renew it by the deadline.

Transfer RN License from Compact to Non-Compact State

  • You must apply for licensure by endorsement in the new state of residency.
  • Your compact license will be changed to a single-state license valid only in the state you have chosen.
  • You must notify the board of nursing in the state you moved out of so they can take actions to inactivate your license from their board.

Transfer RN License from Compact to Compact

  • You can practice on the former residency license for up to 30 or 90 days depending upon the new state to which you have moved.
  • You will be required to apply for licensure endorsement at least 1 to 2 months in advance of a move, pay any applicable fees, and complete a declaration of primary state of residency in the new home state.
  • You will be issued a new multistate license and your former license will be inactivated.
  • You must notify the board of nursing in the former residency state that you have moved.
  • Proof of residency may be required.

Here is a scenario to kind of put it all together for you:

Nicole holds an active RN license in her primary state of Colorado. However, she lives near the four corners, (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado), and all those states participate in the NLC. Therefore, Nicole can drive across the borders to practice or practice electronically without any additional fees or applications. Later though, Nicole decides to move and change her primary residence to New Mexico. She will now have a 30-day grace period to practice on her current license, but by the end of those 30 days, Nicole will need to have obtained her new multi-state license. Ultimately, this is why it is a good idea to apply for new licenses in advance of any move so there is not a lapse in your ability to practice.

Featured RN to BSN Programs

CCNE Accredited. Online RN to BSN Programs*

Steps to Transfer RN License

If you have to transfer your RN license it will occur via a process referred to as endorsement. Of course, the endorsement process is only able to be carried out once you have passed the NCLEX-RN and hold an active license in good standing with your particular state board of nursing. The process includes:

  • Choosing the state in which you would like to endorse your license with to access their board of nursing and rules to fill out an application for endorsement.
  • Visiting the “Nursys” licensure verification site to obtain online verification for endorsement to practice in another state.
  • The board of nursing in the state to which you are applying for endorsement will then have to accept your application, perform new background checks and ensure all your information is correct.
  • Payment of predetermined fees for your RN endorsement in the state you have chosen.
  • Within 1 or 2 months you will be notified whether or not your information has been approved to hold a license in your chosen state.

The whole process to transfer RN license may seem complicated, however with the technology we have today and since we are able to do much of the process electronically. It's not as complicated as it could be. Ultimately, obtaining a nursing license is a strict process, because let's face it…we don't want just anyone to be able to take the lives of others into their hands unless they are highly qualified to provide safe and effective care. Find all the information you need to make your process simple at https://www.ncsbn.org/licensure.htm.

Best Ranked Nursing Schools by State

One of the best measures of a nursing program’s ability to prepare its students to become a nurse is to look at an institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates. We went directly to each state board of nursing to find, report and rank the best nursing schools in each state. Find a great nursing school that offers ADN, BSN, MSN, NP, DNP degree programs in the state you plan to move to. We rank schools and offer information about tuition costs, average loan rates, and additional data points that will help you find the best RN program for your career.

Featured Online NP Programs

Purdue University Global

Offered as: Online
Accredited by: CCNE


Colorado Technical University

Offered as: Online
Accredited by: CCNE


Grantham University


Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Offered as: Online
Accredited by:


A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree could help registered nurses (RNs) seek broader professional responsibilities and career opportunities. If you are an RN and want to advance your career, Purdue Global’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program could help you pursue new opportunities in specialized nursing and nursing management.* Study to enhance your critical thinking skills and clinical judgment to better meet the demands of patient care while you prepare for your future in nursing. The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Purdue Global is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE). This program may not be available in all states. Speak with an Admissions Advisor for more information. * Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields. Although certain programs at Purdue Global are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will be eligible to sit for or pass those exams. In some cases, field experience, additional coursework, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams. Students should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to seek employment. Interested in going from RN to BSN fast? Colorado Technical University has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program designed to help you prepare to take on more complex nursing responsibilities. Better yet, at CTU you can earn your BSN in as few as 9 months for $12,500.   Perfect for busy RNs. With CTU’s simple and quick enrollment process, you can start classes before the application process is complete. Plus, CTU’s BSN degree program offers eight start dates a year, so it’s easy to find one to fit your schedule. And you can keep moving forward fast because each course is only five and a half weeks.   Take a look at CTU’s CCNE-accredited curriculum. Designed by nurses for nurses, CTU’sRN to BSN program is structured so you can apply what you learn in the classroom to your job right away. Courseworkfocuses on nursing classes from day one and is conveniently accessible from anywhere with CTU’s mobile app.You may explore how to: ·         Assess team communication and decision-making dynamics to achieve quality outcomes. ·         Apply healthcare policy, finance, regulation, accreditation and trends as a patient advocate. ·         Use information and technical resources to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error and support decisions. ·         Navigate patient preferences and designee control to provide compassionate, coordinated care. ·         Design and analyze strategies to improve quality and safety. ·         Apply appropriate evidence-based practices based on clinical expertise and patient preferences and values.   Are you in? Go from RN to BSN. See if CTU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is right for you.   Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org. Find employment rates, financial obligations and other disclosures at www.coloradotech.edu/disclosures. CTU cannot guarantee employment or salary. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at Colorado Technical University  is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

The RN to BSN Completion Program builds upon the foundation of previous nursing education at the associate degree level to enhance the theoretical concepts of the science of nursing. The RN to BSN Completion Program is evidence-based and developed according to best practices using the following professional standards: National League for Nursing Competencies for graduates of baccalaureate education; Quality and Safety in Education for Nursing Competencies; and American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Baccalaureate Education. The program incorporates both didactic and practice experiences in the curriculum with the practice experiences using both direct human interface and indirect learning situations that allow the student to apply concepts in the course to clinical scenarios in a simulated environment. Graduates are prepared to function as nurse generalists in a variety of healthcare settings. All students are required to complete a capstone project in a clinical setting.

  • 100% Online, finish in 18 months fulltime
    Designed for working nurses
    Complete 7-week sessions taught by field experts
    Lead the design of your practicums
    High-quality education from a STEM-focused university with diverse peer networks
    Part-time option available
    Affordable, competitive tuition


 The Harrisburg University RN to BSN program offers the strong online BSN program you would expect from a STEM-centered university. Like other offerings you may have seen, the HU BSN program is an 18-month online program that builds on your prior education and experience as a registered nurse with an associate degree or hospital diploma. However that’s where the similarities end.
At Harrisburg University, we deliver a level of nursing education that goes beyond what you can expect (and get) from other programs. Your instructors are experienced in the healthcare and nursing field and offer an interdisciplinary-centered education that utilizes experts in Genetics, Epidemiology, Ethics, and Informatics.
You’ll combine academic coursework with professional practice while completing your BSN program. Coursework in evidence-based practice and science not only prepares you to meet every employer expectation for a BSN, but also preps you for a future graduate program. Your practicum components include an emphasis on advocacy and you have opportunities to gain practical experience in areas of special interest to you.
Research courses engage you with your actual practice or employment setting.  You are a nurse colleague at HU.  You’ll also experience the freedom of greater career mobility and be ready to pursue a graduate degree if desired. That’s the HU difference at work to give you extra knowledge, experience, and a boost in your nursing career.

*The length of RN to BSN degree programs vary per student and student background. Request information from individuals schools and find out from these sponsored programs.

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