Apply for a License

 

Apply for a License

Select your profession below to get started on your initial license application in Washington state. Make sure to review the requirements, complete required forms, and submit the online application through the Secure Access Washington (SAW) portal.

Listen to our Licensing BONcast to learn about the licensing process in Washington State, and what you can do to ensure a smooth process.

 

Need instructions before getting started?

Applications

Nursing Technician

A nursing technician (NTEC) is a nursing student preparing for LPN or RN licensure who meets the qualifications for licensure under RCW 18.79.340.

The non-refundable application fee is $25.00 for nursing technicians.

Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse by NCLEX Examination (Recent Graduate)

An applicant who has successfully completed all pre-licensure requirements in accordance with WAC 246-840-025, WAC 246-840-030, or WAC 246-840-048 are eligible to apply for licensure by NCLEX examination.

Licensure Requirements, Exam Registration, and Application

Additional Required Documents

These forms may or may not apply to your situation. Please refer to the Licensure by Examination Requirements (PDF) to see what applies to your situation.

The non-refundable application fee is $120.00 for registered nurses and $85.00 for a licensed practical nurse.

Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse by Endorsement (already licensed in another state)

An applicants who currently hold an active license in another U.S. state and meets all licensure requirements in accordance with WAC 246-840-090.

Licensure Requirements, Initial State Licensure Verification, and Application

The Nursing Commission automatically issues a temporary practice permit to nurse applicants who have met all necessary requirements:

  1. Licensure by Endorsement Requirements (PDF) (Read before applying)
  2. Nursys Licensure Verification (Complete before applying)
  3. Apply Online (PDF)

Additional Required Documents

These forms may or may not apply to your situation. Please refer to the Licensure by Endorsement Requirements (PDF) to see what applies to your situation.

The non-refundable application fee is $120.00 for registered nurses and $85.00 for a licensed practical nurse.

Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse Educated Outside of the United States

An applicant who completed a nursing education program outside of the United States in accordance with WAC 246-840-045 or WAC 246-840-090.

Licensure Requirements and Application

Please read all documentation below and you must complete all pre-licensure requirements, including any required transcript evaluation or English proficiency examination, prior to applying with Washington state.

Additional Required Documents

These forms may or may not apply to your situation. Please refer to the Educated Outside of the United States Licensure Requirements (PDF) to see what applies to your situation.

The non-refundable application fee is $120.00 for registered nurses and $85.00 for a licensed practical nurse.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner by Examination or Endorsement

Applicants who completed formal graduate nursing education and a national specialty certification through a commission approved certifying body found within WAC 246-840-302. Advanced registered nurse practitioners must obtain a registered nurse license in Washington state and meet all licensure requirements. Please read the requirements below prior to completing your application online.

Licensure Requirements and Application

Additional Required Documents

These forms may or may not apply to your situation. Please refer to the Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements (PDF) to see what applies to your situation.

The non-refundable application fee is $125.00 for advanced registered nurse practitioners.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) Adding Prescriptive Authority

Applicants who already have an active Washington state ARNP license and want to add prescriptive authority to their license must meet the application requirements in accordance with WAC 246-840-410.

Application

Please email the completed application to nursing@doh.wa.gov.

There is no fee to add prescriptive authority to an already active Washington state ARNP license.

You May Need to Submit a Paper Application

You will need to submit a paper application if you meet the criteria below:

  • You have previously applied for a license in Washington state and your application was closed as deficient. You can check for a closed application on the Department of Health's Provider Credential Search.
  • You don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity.
  • You are applying for reactivation of a previous Washington state license.

If you need to apply using a paper application, send your request to nursing@doh.wa.gov.

Use one of the options below to submit your completed paper application with a personal check or money order:

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099

Resources

The Customer Service Counter is Closed

The Customer Service Counter at the Tumwater, Town Center 2 site, is closed to decrease the risk of spreading the Coronavirus.

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 their website. If you have a question about your nursing credential, you can contact an NCQAC customer service representative at 360-236-4703.