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Do I need CA residency before taking NCLEX?

Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

Dear Nurse Beth, ​

Hello I am a student at Chamberlain College in FL. Planning to move to ÇA. Can I take the ÇA state exam for nursing without me being a resident and I heard that sometimes they might not take certain colleges credits I want to make the smart decision.

Dear Want California RN Licensure,

You do not need to have residency in California (CA) to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX). The NCLEX is the same test across the country, wherever you take it.

Approval to take the NCLEX for CA licensure is granted by the CA Board of Nursing (BRN). This means that when you pass, you will be licensed in CA.

You must:

  • Meet CA BRN educational requirements
  • Submit a fingerprint for background check
  • Pass a criminal background check

First, obtain an application package and detailed instructions online at the BRN website or by contacting the BRN. http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/applicants/exam-app.pdf

Send your application to the CA BRN along with the fees at least 6-8 weeks before graduation. Have your school send the CA BRN your transcripts. Your transcripts will be reviewed by the CA BRN as part of the application to test process. Educational requirements may vary state to state.

Once you are issued an Authorization To Test (ATT), you can register to test and take your exam. You can also apply for an Interim Permit if you want to work in a supervised nursing capacity while awaiting the results of your examination.

Hope this helps! There are plenty of student nurses and recent graduates on site who can add to this answer, and there is a whole forum on the NCLEX.

Good luck!

Nurse Beth


Edited by tnbutterfly


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