Switching RN licenses from Ohio to California?

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    Could someone please offer me some help on how I would switch an RN license from Ohio to California? I am considering applying to a school in Ohio, but ultimately want to work in California. I'm not sure how likely it is to have a license switched, and what exactly I would need to do. I read that I would have to pay some fees, but I also read that I would need to take some kind of test. Do schools let you take the NCLEX at the state in which you'd like to practice? Thanks for any information!
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

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    Yes, you can go to school in one state, apply for licensure in another (as long as you meet that state's education requirements), and then actually sit for the NCLEX in any authorized testing center, to include overseas locations. Good luck in you schooling.
    xInspiredx likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from chare
    apply for licensure in another (as long as you meet that state's education requirements),
    Thanks for your reply!
    How would I see if my school has met the state's education requirements?
  6. 1
    I did it. Went to school in MA and then moved to WI two days after graduation. Search the board of nursing web for the state you want your license in and see what they require.
    xInspiredx likes this.
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    I went to school in Ohio and took my NCLEX in CA.

    Though a bit of unsolicited advice, I'd probably get a few experience in Ohio before moving to CA, and I wouldn't worry about a CA liscense until you get to that point. The job market is tough in Ohio, but it's 1,000 times tougher in CA.
    Esme12 and xInspiredx like this.
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    Thanks for your advice!


    Quote from RNinC
    I went to school in Ohio and took my NCLEX in CA.

    If I wanted to work in Ohio for a year to gain experience, then would that mean that I would have to take the NCLEX in Ohio? So basically wherever you take the NCLEX is where you are licensed?
  9. 2
    Quote from xInspiredx
    Thanks for your advice!





    If I wanted to work in Ohio for a year to gain experience, then would that mean that I would have to take the NCLEX in Ohio? So basically wherever you take the NCLEX is where you are licensed?
    Not exactly. You register with a board of nursing (the state of your choice) and take the NCLEX to get your license for that state. But you can technically take the test anywhere.

    Before graduation my school had us fill out a form stating in what state we were planning to get our license. They then sent my transcripts and other pertinent information to the CA board of nursing (such as program description and requirements).

    If you stay in OH to get experience, you will register with the OH board of nursing. When you decide to move to CA you will then have to apply for a CA license. But you won't have to take the NCLEX again. You basically pay a fee and fill out forms. I'm not 100% sure about the process since I haven't done it myself.

    But if you haven't started school yet, I wouldn't worry about any of that just yet. Still lots of school ahead!
    xInspiredx and CarrieGL like this.
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    ^Thanks for your reply, RNinC!

    I'm still confused though (probably over-thinking this).

    (Assuming that I don't want to get an Ohio RN license, and want to work in California right after school: )

    I wouldn't need to get prior approval from the BON of California to verify that the Ohio school is nationally accredited? As long as the school is nationally accredited, then I could take the NCLEX and get the RN license anywhere?


    If I were to get the Ohio RN license right after school, then I understand how to switch to a CA license. I'm just still confused on how to go from graduating from the Ohio school to getting the RN license in CA.
  11. 1
    From the CA -BRN

    U.S. GRADUATES OTHER THAN CALIFORNIA:
    • If you are a graduate from a U.S. school in a state other than California, transcripts are required
    from all colleges and/or universities you attended that reflect courses required for a degree in
    nursing, including general education course requirements and all nursing courses. Transcripts must
    be received and evaluated by the Board prior to being found eligible for the examination.
    • Your education must meet the requirements for California licensure. If any deficiencies are
    identified, you must complete the coursework prior to being found eligible for the examination.


    I told my school I wanted to take my NCLEX in CA, I printed out the request for transcripts page from the board, and my school sent the transcripts. Fortunately, I wasn't the first student from my school to do that, so the process was smooth. From my understanding, when the first student from my school applied, the school had to send them information including course descriptions and requirements, program description, and accreditation information. But it was my school that did all of that, not the student.

    You might find it helpful to go to the BRN website and download a copy of the application so you can get a better understanding of necessary steps.

    Board of Registered Nursing - Licensure by Examination
    xInspiredx likes this.
  12. 0
    Thank you SO much for all of your time and help, RNinC. It's very appreciated!


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