Licensure in Washington State vs. other states


Someone in nursing school administration once told me that getting a license in any other state would be easier if I had attended school and gotten an RN license in Washington state, but the opposite was not necessarily true. They gave the impression that some other states did not train up to Washington's standards.

Is this true? Is it harder to get an additional license in Washington from some other states than it is to get an additional license after having trained in Washington?


Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

The exam is the same throughout the U.S. so I don't know what they meant. Once you take the NCLEX, you can apply for a license for any state without retaking it. Each state does have different requirements to renew your license annually. Some require that you take a certain number of CEs each year, some require that you work a certain number of hours over a period of time, and others require a combination of both. But I don't see how it's more or less difficult to obtain a license in Washington than anywhere else.


18 Posts

Has 10 years experience.

I just recently (3 mo ago) went through the procedure of obtaining WA State RN license. I went to NS, took NCLEX and was originally licensed in California. To my understanding, as long as NS is accredited you will have no problem getting your license in WA State. They are adamant about you actually attending a nursing school vs challenging NCLEX (I actually didn’t even know you could do that). Good luck

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

Back in the olden days, each state had their own licensing exam; but that is not the case any longer. All nurses in all states as well as US territories take the same NCLEX exam.

Requirements for each state as far as licensure can vary slightly, but the exam is still a national exam that all take.

When the nurse is from another country, or trained out of the US, there are additional requirements that need to be met, and these can be found on the website for each state.

p.s. If that is information that you were receiving, wonder how old long ago that they had anything to do with what is going on in the US now?


20 Posts

The information was presented at a nursing school information session in January....


450 Posts

The information was presented at a nursing school information session in January....

I also attended nursing school in Washington State and my nursing instructor in 2003/2004 also said something similar. She stated that Washington State was one of the hardest states to get initial or licensure via endorsement in but one of the easiest to keep it in (ie) no CEU's required. Not sure if it is true. Definitely found it VERY easy to endorse over to Arizona but am keeping my Washington State license current just in case.


261 Posts

I think WA requires CGFNS prior to letting you sit NCLEX

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

There are quite a few states that are stricter in their requirements for licensure. Getting a license there is not an issue provided that you meet their requirements, not any different than any other state.

As a foreign nurse, they do have additional requirements, but almost all states have that. You still need to write and pass the same NCLEX exam.

Know of many that have gone thru WA for initial licensure that were foreign grads and not one had any problems. They may be talking of the CGFNS requirement, but they are not the only state that has that requirement either.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

If one has had a license in WA and they let it lapse, you just need to have it updated to renew it. You do not apply all over again for it.

Usually just a payment of fees is required.

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