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Frequently Asked Questions - Licensure

General Information

How do I change my address OR name on my license?

You may send in changes via fax, mail, or e–mail.

Your request for an address or name change can be e–mailed, faxed, or hard mailed (mailed to our street address) to the Board. If you leave out any information, your request may not be processed. Please include the following in your request:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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I am licensed in another state and would like to endorse my license into Texas. What is the procedure and how long does it take?

To be eligible for licensure by endorsement, you must have graduated from an approved PN/VN or RN program, taken the appropriate U.S. exam, and have either worked in nursing or have taken the US NCLEX® exam sometime in the previous four years prior to the application....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What are the requirements for a state to be declared my home state of residency for compact privileges?

  1. If you live in a compact state (see list of compact states), you must have at least one of the following to declare that state your home state of residency:
    1. A driver's license in that state, or;
    2. An address from the state where you hold a voter's registration, or;
    3. An address in that state by which you file your federal income taxes.
  2. In Texas, (and most compact states) we require some type of formal declaration. You cannot assume you have the compact privilege just because you have one or more of the items above. In Texas, you must declare your home state on your examination application, endorsement application, renewal form, or separate declaration of primary state of residence form, whichever is applicable.
  3. If you need to update your state of residency after you have a license, please submit a primary state of residence form with a copy of 1, 2, or 3 as listed above in A, above.

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I lost my license. How do I get another one? Is there a fee? How long will it take?

As of September 1, 2008, the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) no longer issues paper licenses. In accordance, the BON no longer issues duplicate licenses. Print a copy from the verification page of the BON website. See below.

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I did not receive a renewal notice in the mail. How do I get one?

Sixty days prior to your license expiring, the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) mails a renewal postcard to the last known address in our system. This postcard provides notification of the...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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How do I place my license on inactive OR retired status?

If your nursing license is current, you may request inactive status or apply for retired status by checking the appropriate box on the front of the Renewal form, completing all applicable areas,...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Does the Board require continuing nursing education (CNE) credits?

Yes. Nurses must attest to completing a minimum of twenty (20) contact hours prior to renewing their license. First time licensees by examination and endorsement are exempt from this requirement upon their first renewal. Do not mail any certificates to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON)....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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I am moving to another state which needs a verification of my Texas license. Is there a form and/or fee for this service?

Texas does not provide verification of licensure to any state since the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) participates in the national database called NURsys®. All your Texas license information...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Where do I find information regarding Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs)?

CNAs are registered by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. You may contact them at: (512) 438-2050 or 1-800-452-3934.

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I took the VN/PN or RN exam last week. Can you tell me if I passed? When will I receive my results?

Most candidates receive results in the mail within three (3) weeks from their test date. However, if NCS Pearson places the candidate's results on "Hold" for any reason (i.e. to verify identity,...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Fingerprinting for Texas LVNs and RNs

What is IdentoGO USA (formerly known as Identix)?

IdentoGO is a company contracted by the Department of Public Safety to provide fingerprinting services in the State of Texas. They have locations throughout the state and specialize in...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Can I get my fingerprints done now and send them in early?

No. The fingerprints must be sent when the Board sends the notification to IdentoGO. Due to the high volume of nurses in the State of Texas, we cannot accept fingerprints unless the person has been selected or is a new applicant.

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Are all nurses being fingerprinted?

Yes. All initial licensure candidates must be fingerprinted and licensed. Nurses will be randomly selected to be fingerprinted at least once over the next ten years.

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How will I know when I have been selected for fingerprinting?

The Board mails a notice to selected nurses ninety (90) days prior to the expiration date of the license. It is imperative that the Board has the person's correct address to ensure that all notices are received. To change your address, see information here. Fingerprinting instructions are included with the notice.

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What happens if I do not send my fingerprints?

You will not be able to renew your nursing license unless the fingerprints are submitted when requested by the Board.

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Can I do the fingerprints on my own?

No, the fingerprints must be done by someone trained to collect fingerprints. If you are unable to be fingerprinted through IdentoGO, you may be fingerprinted at a law enforcement agency (police department/sheriff's office).

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How much does it cost to be fingerprinted?

IdentoGO charges $41.95 for fingerprinting services. Other agencies in Texas and outside Texas may charge a different fee. Please check with the prospective agency prior to making an appointment.

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I was recently fingerprinted by another agency. Do I still need to be fingerprinted for the Board of Nursing?

Yes. Fingerprints would still need to be submitted to the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). The fingerprints submitted to other agencies cannot be used by the BON to obtain criminal history records from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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Why did I receive a letter saying I need to submit another set of fingerprints?

If the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are unable to read the fingerprints, they will require another set of fingerprints. Typically, this indicates the fingerprinting technician rolled the fingerprints incorrectly. Rejections of this type can often be avoided by using IdentoGO for fingerprinting services.

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I think something may come up on my criminal background check. Should I notify the Board before submitting my fingerprints?

Yes. Please send a signed and dated letter to the Board describing the incident(s) on your criminal background with certified copies of the court documents.

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What happens if something comes up on my criminal history record?

If the Board has not previously reviewed the incident(s), the Board's Enforcement Department will review the case(s) to determine whether any disciplinary action is warranted. If the Board has previously reviewed the incident(s), the findings from the original investigation(s) will stand.

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NCLEX® Examination

How soon can I take the NCLEX® Examination?

You may schedule your NCLEX® examination once you have received your Authorization to Test (ATT) letter.

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I know applicants who did not have to take the Nursing Jurisprudence Examination before receiving their Authorization to Test (ATT), but I am being told I must take it in order to be deemed eligible to test. When did this change?

This change went into effect March 2014.

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How long does it take to hear back about the Declaratory Order I submitted?

A Declaratory Order is submitted for the initial review after the Declaratory Order, statement, all corresponding certified documents, and the Criminal Background Check (CBC) results are received. The initial review can take up to 30 days.

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I received my outcome letter from my Declaratory Order. When should I expect my blue card?

Blue clearance cards are only issued to individuals who have a clear criminal background check.

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I previously submitted a Declaratory Order and was granted clearance to sit for my NCLEX®. Can I apply online?

Applicants may only submit an online application if they are able to legally answer "No" to all eligibility questions. Having a previous review completed does not exempt you from having to answer the questions truthfully.

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Who will send me the Authorization to Test letter?

Pearson Vue will send you the Authorization to Test letter by email.

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What do I need to bring with me to the testing center?

You should bring your Authorization to Test and your photo identification. Your first and last name on your photo ID should match exactly to your name on the Authorization to Test letter. (Middle names are not required.) This is a safeguard to prevent someone else from testing in your place.

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What if I change my address (or name) after I send my application materials in, but before I take the exam?

Email changes to your name and address to webmaster@bon.texas.gov. We will make any necessary changes with Pearson Vue on your behalf. Please include your name, date of birth, and the last four numbers in your social security number in your email.

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Why haven't I received my results?

Test results are released by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) upon receipt from Pearson VUE. You must update your address immediately every time you move. An incorrect name or outdated mailing address could delay the delivery of your test results.

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Can you give me my test results over the phone?

No. Exam results are only released by U.S. Mail to the mailing address we have on file for you.

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Endorsement Applications

How soon will a temporary license be issued?

A 120 day temporary license could be issued within fifteen (15) working days from the date the completed Endorsement Application and fee are received.

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How long does it take to get my permanent nursing license?

The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) staff has a target of 15 business days from the date the last item needed is received to review and, if approved, to submit an endorsement application for a license to be issued, then for the license to be issued. This will vary depending on how long it takes to receive all of these:...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

I am an RN Undergraduate and hold a nursing license in another state. Can I endorse that nursing license to Texas?

No. You must have graduated from an approved nursing program and must have taken the NCLEX® or SBTPE to be eligible to apply for endorsement. For more information, see

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I took my Board Constructed Examination. Will I be able to endorse my nursing license?

No. You must have taken a National Licensing Examination which is either the NCLEX® or SBTPE. If you took a different type of test, you will need to contact our Examination Department.

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I received a license in another state but I never worked there. Do I still need to get a license verification from that state?

Yes. It does not matter if you never used the nursing license or if it is not current. You must have a license verification from every state a nursing license was held.

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Do I need a license verification from my country, territory, or province since I have a nursing license in the United States?

Yes. It is required to have a license verification from all states, countries, territories, and provinces where a permanent nursing license was held or where you had permanent authorization to work in a nursing position.

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If I answer YES to an eligibility issue, will I get a temporary license?

Maybe. The answer varies depending on the type of eligibility issue(s), the number of eligibility issues, and the date(s) of the eligibility issue(s). A determination can be made only after the required paperwork has been received and has been reviewed.

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If I provided another licensing agency with the information regarding my eligibility issue, do I still have to reveal it to the Texas Nursing Board?

Yes. Every state investigation process is different. Even if you provided the information to another nursing board you also need to report it to the Texas Board even if the other board took no action against your nursing license.

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I received my training through a branch of service other than the Army and I am licensed in California where I have been working for over 10 years. Will this allow me to endorse into Texas?

No. You do not meet the Education Requirements.

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What military branch has an approved nursing program?

The Army is the only military branch that has an approved Vocational Nursing Program.

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I had previously answered "Yes" on an application to an eligibility issue(s) which has/have been investigated. I am submitting an endorsement application. Do I need to answer "Yes" to the eligibility question(s) even though it/they is/are the same answer(s) as previously disclosed or can I answer "No"? What do I need to provide?

Even though you have previously answered "Yes" to eligibility question(s) and provided the statement and relevant documents which were investigated, if you are applying again, then you must answer "Yes" to all eligibility questions that apply. You will need to submit a detailed statement...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Multistate Recognition - Nurse Licensure Compact

How and Why Did The Nurse Licensure Compact Begin?

The United States Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in response to the rapidly increasing practice of healthcare by electronic means. The Telecommunications Act called for development of standards and an infrastructure for telecommunications in healthcare....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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How Does This Multistate Licensure Model Work?

It is very similar to the driver’s license model. A person holding a driver’s license in his/her home state is permitted to drive in other states without applying for a driver’s license in every state he/she drives through. Though requirements for a driver’s license are similar across states, each...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What Happens If A Nurse Moves To Another State?

A nurse can hold a home state license in only one state at a time. If a nurse changes permanent residence from one party state to another party state, then the nurse must relinquish licensure in the previous state of residence and apply for licensure in the new home state. Rule 220.2(f)...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What About Disciplinary Action Against A Nurse’s License?

The compact is enforceable as law and cannot be changed without the consent of all party states. In Texas, Chapter 304 of the Nursing Practice Act and Rule 220 establish the requirements regarding the Nurse Licensure Compact....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What is the impact of the Nurse Licensure Compact?

Mutual recognition of a nurse’s license in states belonging to the Compact increases nurse mobility and facilitates delivery of health care by innovative communication practices such as telenursing. Additionally, the Compact promotes the public health and safety by encouraging...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Maintaining APRN licensure

What requirements must be met in order to maintain licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)?

Texas Board of Nursing Rule 221.8 addresses the requirements that must be met in order to maintain licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). In part, Rule 221.8(a)(1) addresses the requirement related to maintaining national certification/recertification in order to be eligible to maintain the APRN license. For more information on additional requirements, please read Rule 221.8 in its entirety.

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BON to Discontinue Issuance of Paper Letters for APRN Interim Approval and Prescriptive Authority

Will I receive a letter when I am granted interim approval and prescriptive authority?

In order to expedite the licensing process, the Texas Board of Nursing(Board or BON) will discontinue mailing approval letters to advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), when interim approval and prescriptive authority are granted. This change became effective on September 1, 2013....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Copying Nursing License

I have not received my wallet-sized nursing license in the mail. What do I need to do to get my wallet-sized nursing license?

Effective September 1, 2008, the Board of Nursing (BON) discontinued the issuance of the wallet-sized paper license for nurses renewing their licenses....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Some of my colleagues have a paper wallet-size license, and I have lost mine. Can I get a replacement?

Effective September 1, 2008, the BON does not provide a replacement card if a nurse was previously issued a wallet-size nursing license and no longer has the card. Instead, you may

  1. verify your license online
  2. select "Click here to view license." This pulls up a copy similar to the paper copy the BON no longer issues, then
  3. print the result.

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If I am one of the individuals (LVN/RN/APRN) that recently received a certificate, can my employer or supervisor make a copy?

The answer is YES; however, the rule is specific and states that a nurse shall only allow copying of his or her certificate or temporary permit for the purposes of license verification by employers, licensing boards, professional organizations, nursing programs, and or third party payers for credentialing and reimbursement purposes [Rule §217.15]....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Is it permissible for my employer to retain a copy of my license certificate?

The answer is YES. However, employers or their designee are encouraged to utilize the Verify a License Online feature, available on the Board's website, 24-hours a day, to ensure accuracy...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Practice of Nursing

I am answering the question on my licensure application: Have you used your nursing knowledge, skills and abilities within the past four (4) years? I'm not sure what this means, can I include volunteer positions or caring for a disabled family member? How does the Board of Nursing (BON) define "use of nursing knowledge, skills, and abilities?"

The practice of nursing is based on the specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities that registered nurses (RNs) and vocational nurses (LVNs) acquired in their professional or vocational nursing programs of study. The practice of nursing is not limited to the traditional roles, such as providing...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Volunteer Retired Nurse Authorization

Is the status "volunteer retired nurse" a special type of nursing license?

Actually, it is not a "license." It is considered a sub-category of the "Inactive" status for nursing licensure, and is an "authorization" that the Board may grant upon request to a nurse who meets criteria and pays the applicable fee for this designation.

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What rules apply to a nurse who is authorized as a volunteer retired nurse?

A nurse seeking to attain/maintain authorization as a volunteer retired nurse must comply with three rules:

  • §216.3(6) regarding reduced requirements for continuing nursing education (10 hours of CNE every two years; if VR-RN with APN status, 20 hours of CNE are required);
  • §217.9 regarding requirements to attain/maintain authorization as a volunteer retired nurse (possess unencumbered license, not perform any nursing duties for compensation, be at least 65 years old); and
  • §223.1(17) which specifies a fee of $10.00 (ten) dollars each renewal period (2-years).

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What defines a "charitable organization"?

A charitable organization is defined in Section 84.003 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code and includes "any bona fide charitable, religious, prevention of cruelty to children or animals, youth sports and youth recreational, neighborhood crime prevention or patrol, or...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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What titles can a volunteer retired nurse use?

A nurse who meets the requirements to be granted authorization as a volunteer retired nurse may use the following titles as specified in the NPA Section 301.261(e) and Rule 217.9(b):...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

If a nurse's license has been on inactive/retired status more than 4 years, would the nurse have to take a refresher course to obtain volunteer retired nurse authorization?

Since volunteer retired nurse (VRN) status is not a "license" to practice nursing, a refresher course is not required; however, depending upon the specific nursing services that the VRN...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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Will I still receive the Texas Nursing Bulletin (the Board's quarterly newsletter) if I am authorized as a volunteer retired nurse?

No. Copies of the Texas Nursing Bulletin are only mailed to nurses who maintain an active license; however, you may subscribe to receive copies of the quarterly newsletter for $15/year. To subscribe, print a publications order form from the BON web page.

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Will I be subject to criminal background checks and FBI fingerprinting as a volunteer retired nurse?

Since "volunteer retired nurse" is considered an inactive licensure status, the Board does not plan to seek criminal background checks on any nurse whose license is inactive.

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Will I receive notice that my volunteer retired nurse status is about to expire?

Yes. Authorization as a volunteer retired nurse is valid for the same two-year interval as an active nursing license. For example, a nurse born in May of an even-numbered year (1948, 1952, etc.) would have to renew his/her authorization every even-numbered year by the end of May. A nurse born in an odd-numbered year would renew his/her authorization every odd-numbered year by the end of the nurse's birth month....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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To what extent can an advanced practice registered nurse engage in his/her advanced role and population focus with only a volunteer retired nurse authorization?

Some restrictions are evident in the rules. For example, Rule 221.4(a)(1) requires that a person possess a "valid, current, unencumbered license as a registered nurse..." in order to seek or retain authorization as an advanced practice registered nurse. Rule 221.9(b) further states that, "...the inactive advanced practice nurse may not utilize his/her limited prescriptive authority." These requirements...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

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I plan to retire in 6 months and will be relocating out-of-state. Can I apply for volunteer retired nurse status if Texas will no longer be my primary state of residence?

No. Volunteer retired nurse status can only be conferred upon a retired nurse who is able to claim Texas as his/her primary state of residence. This is stated in the Rule 217.9(d)(1)(B). The authorization is applicable to practice in the State of Texas. The authorization does not grant a multi-state privilege to practice in compact states.

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How can I verify if a nurse has current authorization as a volunteer retired nurse?

Current authorization as a volunteer retired nurse may be verified through the BON online verification system using either the nurse's social security number or previous nursing license number. A nurse holding current authorization as a volunteer retired nurse will have an indicator to that effect in the license "status" section.

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For more information on these and other topics, use the search field at the top right corner of the page. Should you have further questions or are in need of clarification, please feel free to contact the Board.