Nurse Licensing

 
 

The Nurse Licensing unit processes licensure applications and renewals for the following professions:

  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Nursing Technician
  • Registered Nurse

We strive to issue a temporary practice permit or permanent license within 7 days of getting your complete application. This doesn't include applications that need extra review, such as:

  • "yes" answer on any of the Personal Data Questions
  • flagged background check report
  • applications that need an educational review
  • applications missing any supporting documents or requirements

If you completed your education outside of the United States, we need to review your official transcripts or education evaluation.

What can we help you with?

Application Processing Times

Nursing Licensure Process

Nurse Licensing Application Process

 

Picture of Nurse Licensing Application Process
  • Paper Application: 2-3 days
  • Application and fee received by DOH
  • Fees processed by DOH Revenue
  • Online Application: 1 day
  • Application and fee processed by DOH
  • Application Intake: 1-2 days
  • Licensing staff verifies application information in ILRS
  • Applicants with out of state address are emailed FBI fingerprint instructions
  • Background Check: 1-2 days
  • Application forwarded from intake desk to background desk
  • Criminal background checks conducted on all applications
  • Review: If no deficiencies, 1-3 days
  • Application reviewed by appropriate review desk (International, Exam, Endorsement, ARNP)
  • Applications reviewed for deficiencies and applicant notified via email of missing requirements
  • Final Review: 1-2 days
  • Application forwarded to final review desk after all requirements have been met Exception applications forwarded to Nurse Discipline for approval/denial
  • Temporary Practice Permit Issued
  • Temporary Practice Permit issues once all requirements have been met pending FBI Background
  • Active License Issued
  • Active license issued by final approval desk upon completion of all requirements including FBI Background
ARNPs by Exam and Endorsements

Currently reviewing complete applications for issuance of a temporary practice or permanent license with a RN issued between:

July 26, 2022 - current date

*If an application is deficient of requirements, this will add a delay to the processing timeline. Applicants are notified via email of all deficiencies. RN Credential must be issued prior to ARNP.

Exam- Emergency Interim Permits

Available upon request by the applicant. Applicant must complete the following requirements to request an EIP: Immediately Upon Request

  • Complete Exam Application
  • Register for the NCLEX
  • Official transcripts received by NCQAC
Nursing Technician Registrations (NTECs)

Currently reviewing complete applications for issuance received between:

August 4, 2022 - current date

*If an application is deficient of requirements, this will add a delay to the processing timeline. Applicants are notified via email of all deficiencies.

RN or LPN by Endorsement

Currently reviewing complete applications for issuance of a temporary practice or permanent license received between:

July 28, 2022 - current date

*If an application is deficient of requirements, this will add a delay to the processing timeline. Applicants are notified via email of all deficiencies.

RN and LPN by Exam

Currently reviewing applications for issuance of a temporary practice permit (if applicable) or a permanent license for NCLEX test dates of:

August 4, 2022 - current date

RN, LPN, and ARNP Reactivations

Currently reviewing complete applications for issuance received between:

August 2, 2022 - current date

*If an application is deficient of requirements, this will add a delay to the processing timeline. Applicants are notified via email of all deficiencies.

Resources

DOH Customer Service Counter

The DOH Health Systems Quality Assurance customer service counter will re-open for limited services effective March 15, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Limited services include payment collection and document drop off only. Payments and credentialing documents can also be deposited in the drop box outside of our counter location. It will be checked daily. Applications and renewals can be completed online. Contact our call center at 360-236-4703 for additional assistance, if needed.

Notice to out-of-state graduates of nursing education programs

The qualifications for licensure as a practical nurse, registered nurse, and advance practice registered nurse are determined by the Nursing Commission and set forth in the Revised Code of Washington and the Washington Administrative Code. RCW 18.79.160 Minimum qualifications to be licensed include successful completion of a Commission approved nursing education program or a program that is equivalent to Commission approved nursing education in Washington State at the time of graduation as determined by the commission. WAC 246-840-025, WAC 246-840-030, and WAC 246-840-090.

The Washington State Nursing Commission has determined that graduates of the following schools do not meet minimum requirements for licensure in the state of Washington:

Name Location Date of Decision

Siena College of Health Lauderhill, FL 1/14/22

Carleen Health Institute West Palm Beach, FL 1/14/22

& Plantation, FL

Carleen Health Institute II West Palm Beach, FL 1/14/22

& Plantation, FL

Carleen Health Institute of South Florida West Palm Beach, FL 1/14/22

& Plantation, FL

Palm Beach School of Nursing West Palm Beach, FL 1/14/22

The Washington State Nursing Commission has determined that these schools are neither Commission approved nursing education programs nor equivalent to Commission approved nursing education in Washington. As a result, graduates of these institutions do not meet minimum qualification for licensure in the state of Washington at this time.

Graduates from these programs who are applying for licensure in the state of Washington are encouraged to consider the Commission's findings. Application fees are non-refundable.

How to Reach Us

We are available Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You may reach us by phone at 360-236-4703, or via email at nursing@doh.wa.gov.

Please do not contact us to check the status of an application or to request that we expedite an application. Instead, we ask that you check the status of your pending license on the Department of Health's Provider Credential Search. Healthcare facilities are communicating directly with the Nursing Commission regarding expediting applications for COVID-19 response.

Check the Status of an Application

Please do not contact us to check the status of an application. During this time, we are not able to provide immediate responses regarding application status. Instead, we ask that you check the status of your pending license on the Department of Health's Provider Credential Search. A customer service representative will email you detailed instructions if anything is missing from your application. Healthcare facilities are communicating directly with the Nursing Commission regarding expediting applications for COVID-19 response.

Decision Making Criteria for License Applications

When an otherwise qualified applicant for a nursing license has a positive response or criminal background check, the application is considered an “exception” application. This procedure allows administrative staff to apply criteria established by the Nursing Commission to approve or deny the application.

Emergency Interim Permits

When a nursing student has graduated from a nursing program and before they take the national exam (for LPNs, RNs and ARNPs), they can apply for licensure following the online process. After the college/university sends the certificate of completion confirming completion of the program, the licensing unit has received the official transcripts, and the applicant has registered for the national examination, licensing staff can issue an emergency interim permit allowing the applicant to work as a nurse during the declared emergency. When testing is available again, nurse applicants are required to take the national exam to complete the process for permanent licensing.

Submit Changes to Your Contact Information

It is your responsibility to maintain updated contact information with the department. We are not responsible if you do not receive notices related to your license. You may use these instructions to update your contact information online. We cannot accept contact information updates over the phone.

Submit a Name Change

In order to complete a name change you must send us the following information:

  • The correct legal documentation:
    • Marriage certificate
    • Divorce decree
    • Naturalization document
    • Legal name change document signed by a judge
  • Your credential (license) number
  • How you would like your name to appear

If you are missing any of the information listed above, we will not be able to complete your name change request. You can submit your information via fax at 360-236-4738 or by email.

All Nurses Licensed in Washington Must Provide Workforce Data

Choose which scenario applies to your situation and follow the instructions.

Completing the Workforce Data after Your Initial Licensure

New applicants must complete two surveys.

The Nursing Commission issues the license when all requirements are satisfied. You will then complete the two surveys using your license number.

  1. New applicants must complete the Nursing Commission Workforce survey after receiving their license number: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/opinio/s?s=WorkforceData.
    This survey needs to be completed only one time, with your new license. When you finish this survey, you will be re-directed to the Nursys® e-Notify survey.
  2. New applicants use their new license number to register and complete their survey at Nursys® e-Notify: https://www.nursys.com/EN/ENDefault.aspx.

See the Executive Director's article for more information and instructions on how to complete the new workforce data requirement (PDF).

Completing the Workforce Data When You Renew Your License

To renew your license, you must complete two surveys:

  1. Nursing Commission Workforce survey: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/opinio/s?s=WorkforceData.
    This survey needs to be completed only one time, with your 2018 renewal. When you complete this survey, you will be re-directed to the Nursys® e-Notify survey.
  2. Register and complete your information at Nursys®e-Notify: https://www.nursys.com/EN/ENDefault.aspx.
    You must enter this survey as a nurse. Do not enter the survey as an institution. Every year when you renew your license, you must review and update your information as needed.

See the Executive Director's article for more information and instructions on how to complete the new workforce data requirement (PDF).

Fraud Alert

The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) was recently notified of a national scam in which fraudulent documents are sent to nurses that appear to be official requests for your private information. This information may include your social security number, credit card information, or other personal information. These requests appear on letterhead that is similar to letterhead from NCQAC (note: in Washington state the board of nursing is NCQAC, so be suspicious of anything from the “state board of nursing”).

As a reminder, the commission will never call a nurse, nurse applicant, or anyone else requesting personal information. Please be wary of these scam calls and do not provide personal information over the phone to anyone you do not know or trust.

If you receive a suspicious call or letter, please contact the Washington State Office of the Attorney General at 360-753-6200 or visit its website. If you have a question about your nursing credential, you may contact an NCQAC customer service representative at 360-236-4703.