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There is a possibility of relocating to NM (or another state) after I graduate. My question is should I take the NCLEX in CA or should I just take it in NM ? Can I have my license in both ? Suggestion?
I am not sure if California is a compact state or not. Compact states have multistate privileges - where they can practice in multiple states. From a quick search, it doesn't look like California is a compact state. You can take your NCLEX in California. Then, once you are a registered nurse (or LPN) you can go to the New Mexico State Board of Nursing site and apply for endorsement. You will need to pay the fee, though. I think NM's was about $110. You will also have other requirements, such as sending your fingerprints to NM and possibly paying CA a fee to send NM Board of Nursing a verification of licensure. I was impressed by NM BON - I received my license from them in about 2-3 weeks once everything was in.
I don't think it matters if you take it in NM. You will still receive your license for the state of California- if your education took place in CA. So, just take the test in CA and then go through the NM website and find their application for endorsement. However, when you are filling out the information to take your NCLEX for the first time you can probably specify which states you want to have a license in. But, you will have to pay that state's fees as well as abide to any other necessary documents that state requires.
I would strongly recommend taking the NCLEX AS SOON AS YOU CAN, wherever you are. The sooner you take it, the more likely you'll pass. If you don't pass, you won't be going anywhere to be a nurse. Plus, if you are applying to more than one state, you'll want to be able to indicate that you are currently licensed.
So do you recommend taking it in California? I didn't know that you could chose what state you want to be accredited at. I graduate in March of next year and if the BRN in CA is still backed up I may take it elsewhere. Just want to be prepared!