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Moving to CA: How Do I Apply for Endorsement?

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

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Dear Washington Nurse,

If your RN license is from Washington and you want to practice in California, you need to apply for endorsement from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Here is the application form: http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/applicants/end-app.pdf

California requires fingerprint results from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before they will issue a license. The quickest way is via LiveScan using this form: http://www.rn.ca.gov/pdfs/applicants/livescan.pdf

Not all employers require a BSN and not all require experience. You'll need to compose/update your resume and then go online to start a Job Search. I recommend going to individual hospital job boards online. Look for postings that say RN experience preferred”. They are open to new grads or nurses without experience.

Many hospitals have nurse residency programs for new grads and some also accept nurses who are not new grads but who have never worked in acute care- each facility sets its own eligibility criteria.

There are also very helpful Facebook New Grad groups where members post job openings and share information, sometimes inside information not otherwise available. There is a large FB RN New Grad Southern California, and others by region.

Please check out the new grad forum on allnurses. There are many helpful threads there.

When asked, you will need to explain gaps in your work history and situation (family emergency) but that is not necessarily a deal breaker.

It will take persistence, but it can be done. Nurses are known for being determined, we made it through nursing school, right?

Additional tips from any of the amazing nurses on site?

Good luck!

Nurse Beth


Edited by tnbutterfly


Specializes in Behavioral Health. Has 9 years experience.

I have been getting ready to apply to CA BON for licensure by endorsement, and I would mention that the only livescan fingerprints they will accept must be performed in CA. There is a link to request a fingerprint card that you can take and get filled out, but the results of the background check from that route take longer (1-2 weeks vs 1-2 months, per their website). I am planning a visit to CA in the next few weeks, so I will be getting livescan done while there.

Board of Registered Nursing - Fingerprint Information