RN license in more than one state? NCLEX in New York applicable to any state?

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    I'm in a BSN program in New York. I would like to get my RN license in California as well (where I'm from). I don't want to sound novice, but can you have a RN license in more than one state at a time? Do I have to take the NCLEX in New York first since that is where I will have graduated from? A friend told me that New York is a state that if you have a license in, you can take it to other states without having to take the NCLEX again. Is that true? I just don't know where to find these answers. It's summer, so I don't really have anyone to ask at school... Also, Can I graduate in New York and get my first job in California? I'm n ot sure if they prefer experience in the state you graduate from first.

    Thank you very much!!

    Lauren

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 2
    So far 24 states have signed on to the interstate agreement. Think of it like a drivers license. You must be licensed in the state in which you reside. You may use your license in any state that has signed on to the interstate compact, and you are subject to the laws of the state in which you work.
    For states not part of the interstate compact, you need a license issued by the individual states in which you work. Go to this link for a list of compact states and further information.

    https://www.ncsbn.org/nlc.htm
    gatormommy and Laurenslovely like this.
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    Thankfully, boards are not like the bar exam.... the NCLEX is the same in all states. You only need to pass it once. When you need a license in a different state, you provide them with all the appropriate paperwork and they will furnish your license.

    As for the school-in-one-state-and-job-in-another issue, I'm interested to hear the answer to that one. I plan on applying for jobs in a state I'm not from and have never even visisted!
    Laurenslovely and dthfytr like this.
  5. 1
    I graduated from New Mexico State University, have worked in New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, and Maine. Nobody cares which state, all they want is a valid RN license. As you pointed out, the boards are the same in all states, so RN's are treated almost like a commodity.
    virgo,student nurse likes this.
  6. 4
    You'll only need to take the NCLEX exam once as long as you pass. You can have your RN license in more than 1 state, this is called transferring your license or endorsement. In your example- You can have your original RN license in NY and you will apply to transfer/endorse your license to CA. NY will have to verify your RN license, and then you will be issued a RN license in CA. As long as your RN license is currently registered in whatever state you choose, you can work as a RN in that state. Eventually, your RN license will expire and then you will have to renew your license again.

    Hope this made sense, I have a RN license in 3 different states and it can cost a couple hundred of dollars to apply and keep current, so keep that in mind!
    tokidoki7, Laurenslovely, szeles23, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from ktliz
    Thankfully, boards are not like the bar exam.... the NCLEX is the same in all states. You only need to pass it once. When you need a license in a different state, you provide them with all the appropriate paperwork and they will furnish your license.

    As for the school-in-one-state-and-job-in-another issue, I'm interested to hear the answer to that one. I plan on applying for jobs in a state I'm not from and have never even visisted!
    Thank the good lord because I will get my license in Hawaii but eventually have to get licensed in other state(s) mainly NC, a compact state.
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    Thank you...That website helps a lot! I hope more states join in as well. I think it is a very practical idea.
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    you can actually take your boards in New York and then later fill out an endorsement form to California. The process of fingerprinting is very tedious if you want to license in CA cuz it takes CA BON forever to get everything taken care of. Good luck!



    Quote from Laurenslovely
    Thank you...That website helps a lot! I hope more states join in as well. I think it is a very practical idea.
    Last edit by SimplisticRnx on Jul 28, '11 : Reason: addition
  10. 0
    Thank you SRNA2011... That made perfect sense, it's a relief to know I will only have to take the NCLEX once (I'm hoping that is!).
  11. 0
    Quote from ktliz
    Thankfully, boards are not like the bar exam.... the NCLEX is the same in all states. You only need to pass it once. When you need a license in a different state, you provide them with all the appropriate paperwork and they will furnish your license.

    As for the school-in-one-state-and-job-in-another issue, I'm interested to hear the answer to that one. I plan on applying for jobs in a state I'm not from and have never even visisted!

    Thank you.. That's good to know (and a relief). I plan to do the same as well, I've never been to FL, but I would like to work there!


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