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Licensure - Examination Information

 

There are two methods for an applicant to apply to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) to take the NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN® through the State of Texas.

  1. Online or
  2. Paper submission

Online Procedures

Step Action
1

Carefully review this information page and the Licensure Eligibility section.

  1. Do you need to answer “Yes” to any of the eligibility questions? If yes, you cannot apply online and must follow the instructions to apply by paper. See below.
  2. Did you graduate outside the United States and you do not have a social security number? If yes, you cannot apply online and must follow the instructions to apply by paper. See below.
  3. Do you have a United States social security number? If no, you will need to apply by paper (See below.) and follow the instructions for international graduates (see number 9, below).
2

Complete the Online Examination Application. Print a copy of the receipt page for your records.

3

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check (CBC) must be completed through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) based on a set of fingerprints provided to MorphoTrust. The BON cannot accept fingerprint cards or criminal background check results mailed by you, or results that were completed for another facility, even if the previous check was completed through the DPS and the FBI.
Ten business days after the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has received your application, submit your fingerprints to MorphoTrust (IdentoGo)

Note: The BON will be updating the process in which applicants submit fingerprints to MorphoTrust. The updated process, which uses service codes instead of Fast Passes and ORI numbers, will be more streamlined and user-friendly when scheduling a fingerprinting appointment, registering fingerprints with MorphoTrust, and getting results to the Board. The updated process will also require the use of a unique identifier which will no longer be related to a U.S. issued social security number or a BON assigned number, but rather in the form of an email. Our website and applications/instructions will provide more information at the beginning of January 2016.

NOTE: You do not need to complete this step if you already have a criminal background check on file with the BON. If you are a STUDENT APPLICANT, who has not undergone the CBC process, you must contact your prospective nursing program instead of following this process. Use the following link to verify a previous CBC on file with our office: http://www.bon.texas.gov/forms/applstatus.asp

The following information will assist you in completing the fingerprinting process:

If you are a Texas resident follow the instructions:
For Applicants Residing in Texas

If you are not a Texas resident follow the instructions:
For Applicants Residing Outside of Texas

If you do not have a U.S. issued Social Security number, follow the instructions:
For Applicants Without a Social Security Number

The Texas Board of Nursing does not make judgments regarding the fingerprints that are submitted. Occasionally the DPS and/or the FBI will notify the BON that the fingerprints submitted were not usable and/or readable and therefore have been rejected. You will be notified if a rejection has been received and another set of fingerprints is required. The BON can only submit a request to initiate a name search on your behalf if our office has received two (2) quality rejections from the FBI. A rejection for any other reason (i.e. smudging, impressions too light, etc.) would not count toward this requirement.

4

Thirty days prior to graduation, register with Pearson Vue (third party vendor who administers the exam) to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®) at www.vue.com/nclex. Cost is $200.

5

Nursing Jurisprudence Examination

You must pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence examination prior to being issued an authorization to test (ATT) for the NCLEX® examination. Instructions on taking the Texas nursing jurisprudence examination:

  1. File an examination application with the Texas Board of Nursing
  2. Wait fifteen business days
  3. While you wait, prepare for the exam. We recommend that you:
    1. view a copy of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) and Board Rules and Regulations on our website.
    2. take the online jurisprudence prep course on the Board's web site. This course is voluntary and contains information about the NPA and Rules and Regulations of the Texas BON.
  4. After fifteen business days, follow the instructions to log on and complete the online nursing jurisprudence exam. The examination takes a maximum of two hours in length. If you are not successful in passing the examination or if the system locks up, you may retake the examination again after 24 (twenty-four) hours have elapsed from the previous attempt. The cost of the examination is included in your application fee.
6

When you graduate from an approved school of nursing, Texas schools of nursing will submit an online affidavit of graduation directly to the BON. Did you graduate outside the State of Texas? If yes, print the affidavit of graduation (LVN or RN) from the BON website. Request that your school of nursing dean/director complete the affidavit and mail it directly to the BON.

7

After the BON receives your:

  1. application
  2. fees
  3. criminal background check
  4. passing result of the Texas Nursing Jurisprudence Exam, and
  5. affidavit of graduation, the BON will access the registration system of Pearson/Vue to see if you have registered to take the exam. If you have registered with Pearson/Vue, the BON will deem you eligible to take the NCLEX®. Pearson/Vue will send you an email verification giving you the authorization to test (ATT) and instructions on scheduling the test. Your ATT is valid for 75 days from the ATT start date to take the exam. If you are eligible for a graduate nurse (GN) or graduate vocational nurse (GVN) permit, the permit will be posted online within five working days of deeming you eligible to take the exam.
8

Take the exam. The BON will receive your results from Pearson/Vue within five working days after you take your test. Upon successfully passing the NCLEX®, you will receive a certificate. To access your license, you must go the agency website at www.bon.texas.gov and complete an online verification. You can print the verification as proof of licensure. If you are unsuccessful on the NCLEX®, you will receive a diagnostic profile providing you feedback on your performance on the exam.

9
International Candidates - to be eligible to take the NCLEX®, you will need the following:
  1. Each of these:
    1. a completed Application by NCLEX® Examination
    2. all fees
    3. a completed criminal history report
    4. proof of passing scores of English Proficiency exam (if program was not conducted in English). If your nursing program was conducted in a Language other than English, you must provide proof of English Proficiency. The Board accepts any one of these:
      • the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a passing score of 560 paper based or 220 computer based
      • the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet based test (iBT) with a minimum passing score of 83
      • receipt of both the Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a minimum score of 50 and the Test of Written English (TWE) with a minimum score of 4.0, or
      • the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a passing standard of an overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all of the four modules.
    5. an original Credential Evaluation Service (CES) Full Education course-by-course report sent directly from an approved organization. The Board accepts the CES from any one of these:
      • the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) www.cgfns.org
      • the Educational Records Evaluation Service, Inc. (ERES) www.eres.com, or the
      • the International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (IERF) www.ierf.org.
        Note: The CES must be dated within one year of issuance by the certification organization.
    6. a Verification of Licensure (VOL) form from all countries, states, provinces, and/or territories where you hold or have held a license. The VOL must come directly from the licensing authority and must bear the authority’s official seal. The VOL is only valid for one (1) year after it is signed and sealed by the licensing authority. (RN VOL form, LVN VOL form)
      *Note: the CES Full Education course-by-course report will contain your original country of licensure’s VOL.
  2. Follow the instructions provided on Criminal Background Checks (See 3 under Online Procedures, above.)
  3. An applicant must have worked within the 4 years preceding the filing of the examination application AND be within 4 years of his/her date of eligibility in order to sit for the NCLEX. For purposes of the NCLEX, the date of eligibility is defined as the issuance date for the initial Authorization to Test (ATT).
    NOTE: An applicant may be requested to show proof of working if the BON has cause to question an applicant’s eligibility. Proof would consist of a ‘statement of practice’ including dates worked and listing of functions performed, completed on letterhead and sent directly to our office from the facility in which the practice took place.
    The following document and flowchart provide additional information. FENS Refresher Course, International Flowchart

Paper Procedures

Step Action
1

Access the Paper Examination application from the BON website. Click on:

whichever is appropriate. Print the application which contains the application procedures. At the same time you print the application, you may order an FBI fingerprint card. Once you order an FBI fingerprint card, it should be mailed within ten business days. If you are unable to print the Paper Examination application from the agency website, please call the BON customer service team at (512)305-7400 and request an application packet which will be mailed within ten business days.

2

If you answer YES to any eligibility questions on the Paper Examination application, include a statement explaining the events of the incident(s). Include official court documents that show the disposition of the incident(s).

The paperwork will be submitted for initial review to the Operations Department within fifteen business days after the BON receives all of these:

This initial review can take up to 30 days. If it is determined that the issue being reported to the BON meets the criteria for opening a case according to our current rules, you will be required to pay a review fee. Your file will be transferred to our Enforcement Department for review once the payment is received. This review may take a minimum of four months. The BON will not approve an applicant for permanent licensure until a decision has been rendered by our Enforcement Department.

3

Mail the paper application along with items in step 2 and fee to the:

Texas Board of Nursing
333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460
Austin, Texas 78701

4

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check (CBC) must be completed through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) based on a set of fingerprints provided to MorphoTrust. The BON cannot accept fingerprint cards or criminal background check results mailed by you, or results that were completed for another facility, even if the previous check was completed through the DPS and the FBI.
Ten business days after the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) has received your application, submit your fingerprints to MorphoTrust (IdentoGo)

Note: The BON will be updating the process in which applicants submit fingerprints to MorphoTrust. The updated process, which uses service codes instead of Fast Passes and ORI numbers, will be more streamlined and user-friendly when scheduling a fingerprinting appointment, registering fingerprints with MorphoTrust, and getting results to the Board. The updated process will also require the use of a unique identifier which will no longer be related to a U.S. issued social security number or a BON assigned number, but rather in the form of an email. Our website and applications/instructions will provide more information at the beginning of January 2016.

NOTE: You do not need to complete this step if you already have a criminal background check on file with the BON. If you are a STUDENT APPLICANT, who has not undergone the CBC process, you must contact your prospective nursing program instead of following this process. Use the following link to verify a previous CBC on file with our office: http://www.bon.texas.gov/forms/applstatus.asp

The following information will assist you in completing the fingerprinting process:

If you are a Texas resident follow the instructions:
For Applicants Residing in Texas

If you are not a Texas resident follow the instructions:
For Applicants Residing Outside of Texas

If you do not have a U.S. issued Social Security number, follow the instructions:
For Applicants Without a Social Security Number

The Texas Board of Nursing does not make judgments regarding the fingerprints that are submitted. Occasionally the DPS and/or the FBI will notify the BON that the fingerprints submitted were not usable and/or readable and therefore have been rejected. You will be notified if a rejection has been received and another set of fingerprints is required. The BON can only submit a request to initiate a name search on your behalf if our office has received two (2) quality rejections from the FBI. A rejection for any other reason (i.e. smudging, impressions too light, etc.) would not count toward this requirement.

5

Thirty days prior to graduation, register with Pearson Vue (third party vendor who administers the exam) to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®) at www.vue.com/nclex. Cost is $200.

6
Nursing Jurisprudence Examination

You must pass the Texas nursing jurisprudence examination prior to being issued an authorization to test (ATT) for the NCLEX® examination. Instructions on taking the Texas nursing jurisprudence examination:

  1. File an examination application with the Texas Board of Nursing
  2. Wait fifteen business days
  3. While you wait, prepare for the exam. We recommend that you:
    1. view a copy of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA) and Board Rules and Regulations on our website.
    2. take the online jurisprudence prep course on the Board's web site. This course is voluntary and contains information about the NPA and Rules and Regulations of the Texas BON.
  4. After fifteen business days, follow the instructions to log on and complete the online nursing jurisprudence exam. The examination takes a maximum of two hours in length. If you are not successful in passing the examination or if the system locks up, you may retake the examination again after 24 (twenty-four) hours have elapsed from the previous attempt. The cost of the examination is included in your application fee.
7
AFFIDAVIT OF GRADUATION

When you graduate from an approved school of nursing, Texas schools of nursing will submit an online affidavit of graduation directly to the BON. Did you graduate outside the State of Texas? If yes, print the affidavit of graduation (LVN or RN) from the BON website. Request that your school of nursing dean/director complete the affidavit and mail it directly to the BON.

8

After the BON receives your:

  1. application
  2. criminal background check, and
  3. affidavit of graduation, the BON will access the registration system of Pearson/Vue to see if you have registered to take the exam. If you have registered with Pearson/Vue, the BON will deem you eligible to take the NCLEX®. Then Pearson/Vue will send you an email verification giving you the authorization to test (ATT) and instructions on scheduling the test. Upon receiving the ATT, you will have 75 days to take the exam. If you are eligible for a graduate nurse (GN) or graduate vocational nurse (GVN) permit, the permit will be posted online within five working days of deeming you eligible to take the exam.
9

Take the exam. The BON will receive your results from Pearson/Vue within five working days after you take your test. Upon successfully passing the NCLEX® and the nursing jurisprudence examination (See 6, above.), you will receive a certificate. To access your license, you must go the agency website at www.bon.state.tx.us and complete an online verification. You can print the verification as proof of licensure. If you are unsuccessful on the NCLEX®, you will receive a diagnostic profile providing you feedback on your performance on the exam.

10

International Candidates - to be eligible to take the NCLEX®, you will need the following:

  1. Each of these:
    1. a completed Application by NCLEX® Examination
    2. all fees
    3. a completed criminal history report
    4. proof of passing scores of English Proficiency exam (if program was not conducted in English). If your nursing program was conducted in a Language other than English, you must provide proof of English Proficiency. The Board accepts:
      • the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a passing score of 560 paper based or 220 computer based
      • the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet based test (iBT) with a minimum passing score of 83
      • receipt of both the Test of Spoken English (TSE) with a minimum score of 50 and the Test of Written English (TWE) with a minimum score of 4.0, or
      • the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a passing standard of an overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all of the four modules.
    5. an original Credential Evaluation Service (CES) Full Education course-by-course report sent directly from an approved organization. The Board accepts the CES from the:
      • Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) www.cgfns.org
      • Educational Records Evaluation Service, Inc. (ERES) www.eres.com, or the
      • International Education Research Foundation, Inc. (IERF) www.ierf.org.
        Note: The CES must be dated within one year of issuance by the certification organization.
    6. a Verification of Licensure (VOL) form from all countries, states, provinces, and/or territories where you hold or have held a license. The VOL must come directly from the licensing authority and must bear the authority’s official seal. The VOL is only valid for one (1) year after it is signed and sealed by the licensing authority. (RN VOL form, LVN VOL form)
      *Note: the CES Full Education course-by-course report will contain your original country of licensure’s VOL.
  2. Follow the instructions provided on Criminal Background Checks (See 3 under Online Procedures, above.)
  3. An applicant must have worked within the 4 years preceding the filing of the examination application AND be within 4 years of his/her date of eligibility in order to sit for the NCLEX. For purposes of the NCLEX, the date of eligibility is defined as the issuance date for the initial Authorization to Test (ATT).
    NOTE: An applicant may be requested to show proof of working if the BON has cause to question an applicant’s eligibility. Proof would consist of a ‘statement of practice’ including dates worked and listing of functions performed, completed on letterhead and sent directly to our office from the facility in which the practice took place.
    The following document and flowchart provide additional information. FENS Refresher Course, International Flowchart

Individuals who attended a nursing program outside of the United States must meet additional requirements for licensure. Please check our “Non Approved International School(s)” list to ensure that your nursing program is approved by the Board and that you are eligible to receive a license in Texas.

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