SO confused! How do I apply for PA boards??

U.S.A. Pennsylvania


I am so confused when I go to the PA BON website for information. Calling or emailing proves to be even less helpful (no one has returned any messages or emails) I will be graduating Sept. 1, and I will be moving to Pittsburgh so I want to be licensed in PA. I downloaded the application, but section 8 has to be filled out by my school...can this application be sent to the BON before I have graduated, or do I have to wait till after I graduate to send stuff in? (I know my transcript and final letter is not sent in till after the grad. date) Also I could not find any information on the site about the background check. Where do I get those papers, where can I go get my fingerprinting done (in Ohio, there is a specific place we need to go), and where do I mail the results to?

Any help would be VERY appreciated!! I am getting so stressed trying to coordinate everything.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

You can submit the application beforehand but your school will not be able to complete their section until after you graduate and have a completed set of transcripts.

If they have just a set of fingerprint cards and they do not have specific instructions with them, then you can usually get them completed at your local police department.

Hope that this helps............. :)


5 Posts

Thank you for the reply :)

If I can submit my application before hand, do I leave section 8 blank...or do I cut it out, or how do I go about that? It is not a separate sheet of paper that I can mail in separately with my transcript after I graduate.

Also, the background check papers I received for Ohio are pre-marked with Ohio addresses, the ORC #s, etc. Since it seems like all the other states have explicit instructions on the fingerprinting required for their state, I was hoping maybe PA just did not require a background check and fingerprinting...

Altra, BSN, RN

6,255 Posts

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

I'm a recent PA grad and just went through this process myself, so I believe I can provide you with some useful info.

Step 1: Apply for a temporary practice permit. You can send this in a few weeks before graduation to speed things up a little, although it still won't be issued until after you graduate. Double check to see if there are any special requirements because you went to school out of state.

Step 2: Register with PearsonVue (you can do it online, by phone or by mail) to take NCLEX.

Step 3: Submit the application for licensure by examination after graduation. DO NOT separate the form (you mentioned "cutting out section 8"). Give it to your program director/dean/registrar - whoever's going to do this for you - and that person must sign it (no name stamps - original signature) and put the school seal on it. Even for in-state students, this cannot be postmarked before your last day of classes anyway, so there's nothing to be gained by sending it in ahead of your transcripts. If it were me, I'd send it in together WITH my transcripts, as soon as those are available from your school. IMO, there's too great a chance for confusion if the form is sent separately from the transcripts.

Whatever background check the BON does is initiated from that paperwork - there's nothing additional you need to fill out unless there's something in your history that requires explanation. No fingerprints are required.

The BON will issue your temp permit so you can work before you take NCLEX. You cannot work as a GN until you have this permit.

When the BON issues your ATT, you'll know they've processed your application for licensure. If you register with Pearson online they will email you as soon as your ATT is issued - this saves a few days of mail time so that you can choose your NCLEX appointment as quickly as possible.

I don't know how long it takes them to evaluate out-of-state transcripts -- none are required for grads of PA schools.

I hope this helps some. Feel free to PM me if you need more info. Welcome to Pittsburgh! :)


5 Posts

Thanks so much for the replies. It makes much more sense now!

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