RE: Having to retake NCLEX as a traveler?

  1. I am a student, obviously, and someone in my class said that his mom is an RN who has traveled and she told him that each time she switched states she had to retake the NCLEX? Huh? I was under the impression the NCLEX was a National test. Am I missing something? I DEARLY want to be a traveler but cannot IMAGINE having to retake the NCLEX each time I change states.

    Could you kind folks clear this one up for me..... THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
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    About nurz2be

    Joined: Aug '07; Posts: 864; Likes: 773
    Nursing Student

    12 Comments

  3. by   DutchgirlRN
    I've never heard of a traveler having to retake the NCLEX. They do have to have a license in any state in which they work. The agency takes care of that for the traveling nurse.

    You need to have 1 years experience in med/surg or a speciality before you can begin traveling.
  4. by   nurz2be
    That's what I understood to but this guy was adamant. Maybe he didn't want anyone insinuating his mom was not telling the truth or what. It made me question what I thought I had been aware of. I told him what I had understood was you have to apply to each state, the whole background stuff and license verification had to go through, but I hadn't heard of that. I asked if his mom was a new nurse and maybe she went to a school that lacked the proper accreditation for the new state, but that went over like a sack of rocks....sigh...Thanks again for the answers
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    I think the guy is just confused. He's not a nurse? He's probably thinking about the license. I wouldn't worry about it.
  6. by   ERRNTraveler
    I currently hold licenses in 3 states, and only took NCLEX once- in my original state. To get a license in another state, as long as you have a current & active license, all you have to do is apply for licensure by endorsement- which basically means you fill out a bunch of paperwork, pay a fee, and can get your license in the new state. So, your friend was wrong- you do NOT have to take NCLEX in each state you travel to....
  7. by   kdblueey
    Quote from nurz2be
    I am a student, obviously, and someone in my class said that his mom is an RN who has traveled and she told him that each time she switched states she had to retake the NCLEX? Huh? I was under the impression the NCLEX was a National test. Am I missing something? I DEARLY want to be a traveler but cannot IMAGINE having to retake the NCLEX each time I change states.

    Could you kind folks clear this one up for me..... THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
    I am new to traveling, but haven't heard of such a thing. For what I know, you can get a nursing license (first a temporary one, and then you get a permanent one) in a different state, by endorsement. I am currently in Texas, and have just learned of the 'Nurse Licensure Compact'. If you live in one of the following states, you can work as a RN, in any of those states, with your current nursing license:

    Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky (recently joined 10/07), Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin

    I think this is great, as it definately makes it easier for a nurse to work in any state, without the cost and hassle of obtaining a new license. It is going to cost me $200, just to get my permanent Texas license. They did give me a 'temporary' license, which is good for 120 days. I also have to pay for finger printing.

    If you are considering traveling, you will have to work and get some experience first. But it's a great way to see the world, and get paid for it .

    Hope this helps.

    Kathy
    :innerconf
  8. by   AprilRNhere
    I'm sure he's confused...and like you said..defending his mother. I knew someone who insisted her sister passed the NCLEX with the minimum number of 50 questions. She isn't a nurse...and it wasn't worth argueing over.

    Just make sure you get a good orientation as a new grad where ever you decide to put your year in.
  9. by   suzanne4
    The NCLEX exam actually has reciprocity and the results of the exam are valid for all fifty US states as well as the US terrritories. Licenses need to be obtained in each state, but you only take the NCLEX exam once and it is a national exam, there are no state specific exams for licensure anywhere in the US.

    And just a note about the Compact License for those of you that are not aware of how it works:

    Example: If you live in Arizona and have your legal residence there, then the license that you have is valid in all states that are covered under the Compact License pact. You could work in any of these states without having to get another license if you are doing a travel assignment there. However, if you move out of AZ, they the compact part of your license fails to exist and the license that you have is only valid in AZ and not for the other states, you will need to get a license for each of the states that you are interested in working in, unless you move your legal residence to a state that is under the Compact again, and then your license in your new home state is good for the other states.

    Essentially comes down to if you move your legal residence, the compact license is no longer valid.
  10. by   woodymn1
    I too am licensed in more than one state and only took one national exam. Depending on if you in a compact state or not may determine HOW You get the license, but only one test is required. Even then at worst case all you have to submit is education, current licensing credentials and back ground authorization along with your application fee and then wait for the new state to process your application (2-4 weeks typically if you filled out and completed everything correctly).

    I was at a seminar last fall and one of the guest speakers was from a traveler company and she said they take care of the licensing for the most part and confirmed that no additional testing (except for maybe your patience) was required.

    Best wishes.
  11. by   KatieBell
    Quote from woodymn1
    Even then at worst case all you have to submit is education, current licensing credentials and back ground authorization along with your application fee and then wait for the new state to process your application (2-4 weeks typically if you filled out and completed everything correctly).

    I was at a seminar last fall and one of the guest speakers was from a traveler company and she said they take care of the licensing for the most part and confirmed that no additional testing (except for maybe your patience) was required.

    Best wishes.
    Just two notes here: It really depends on the state as far as typically 2-4 weeks. In Pennsylvania for example, I applied for reciprocity and they took so long I gave up and got a different job. I have NEVER gotten a PA license, I guess they lost the paper work...Florida and California can takea long time. Oregon is typically 6 weeks. Itpays to plan ahead if you want to traveloutside of compact, or you are not from a compact state.

    Secondly, the agency does not handle the licensure. The traveler does. The agency may reimburse you once you get a contract in that state, but you will be the one responsible for submitting the mountain of paper required, not the agency.

    Having now been licensed in 4 states I can confirm no need for nclex after the first time. I did have to take a "Preventing medical errors" class on line for Florida, and a "Pain Management" class on line for Oregon, but no real testing.
  12. by   ERRNTraveler
    Quote from KatieBell
    Florida and California can take a long time.
    My FL license took 4 weeks. California is a walkthrough state- I walked into the BON office in Sacramento, and walked out with my license an hour later.....
  13. by   KatieBell
    California is indeed a Walkthrough State, but I have known several people to have problems walking through and to have to wait several weeks for a license. Same in Florida, I have a friend who filled it all out correctly, and is still waiting 6 weeks later for his Fl license. Apparently he sent it in when there was a large influx of NCLEX takers as well (January Grads). So...I suppose the caveat here is...
    "Your results may vary"...
  14. by   suzanne4
    In order for CA to be a walk-thru state, the BON for where they hold a license needs to have sent in the verification of licensure if the state is not part of Nursys. This is where those that have issues usually do.

    They will issue a temporary license, but will not issue a permanent one until they get the transcripts from the BON sent to them.

    Otherwise. endorsing to them is quite easy to do. Fingerprints can be done with the LiveScan just a few blocks away and by lunch time you can be out of their office with the temp in hand.

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