Nursing Licensing

 

Renew or Reactivate a License

Continuing Education Requirements and Active Nursing Practice Hours Change

As of June 12, 2021, the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) has reduced education and active nursing practice hour requirements for active, inactive, expired, and retired-active nurse credentials, and changed the reporting period. Changes include:

  • Continuing education and active nursing practice hour renewals are now yearly.
  • Active nursing practice continuing education hours changes to at least eight hours a year.
  • Active nursing practice hours changes to at least 96 hours a year.
  • Retired active nursing practice continuing education hours changes to at least eight hours a year.
  • Retired active nursing practice hours changes to at least 24 hours a year (max of 90 days a year).

For more information see the Continuing Competency FAQ (PDF).

Renewals and Reactivations

Nursing Technician

Nursing technicians are eligible to renew a nursing technician registration if the following requirements are met:

  • Must be a nursing student enrolled in good standing in a nursing program approved by the Nursing Commission
  • Must be employed in a hospital licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW, a clinic, or a nursing home licensed under chapter 18.51 RCW.

Fees

  • Renewal before birthday: $25.00
  • Renewal after birthday: $50.00 (includes late fee)

Renewal option

Nursing technician registrations are not eligible for online renewal. To renew your Nursing technician registration, submit the renewal fee to:

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

All licensed practical nurses in Washington state must renew annually by their birthday to remain in active status. All renewal and reactivation fees are non-refundable.

Renewal before birthday

Renew your license and submit your $85.00 renewal fee online (PDF).

Renewal fees include a $16.00 surcharge to access the University of Washington (UW) HEAL-WA website and a $5.00 nursing center surcharge paid to the Washington Center for Nursing. Don't add these amounts to the fees when paying, they are already included in the fee amounts listed above.

Late renewal (less than one year after birthday)

Renew your license and submit your $135.00 renewal fee online (PDF).

Renewal fees include a $50.00 late fee, a $16.00 surcharge to access the University of Washington (UW) HEAL-WA website and a $5.00 nursing center surcharge paid to the Washington Center for Nursing. Don't add these amounts to the fees when paying, they are already included in the fee amounts listed above.

You may mail in your renewal payment if unable to complete the online renewal process. Please allow 7-10 business days for processing time if mailing a renewal payment to our office.

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Reactivation (more than one year after birthday)

Complete a reactivation application (PDF) and submit the $205.00 reactivation fee to:

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

All registered nurses in Washington state must renew annually by their birthday to remain in active status. All renewal and reactivation fees are non-refundable.

Renewal before birthday

Renew your license and submit your $120.00 renewal fee online (PDF).

Renewal fees include a $16.00 surcharge to access the University of Washington (UW) HEAL-WA website and a $5.00 nursing center surcharge paid to the Washington Center for Nursing. Do not add these amounts to the fees when paying, they are already included in the fee amounts listed above.

Late renewal (less than one year after birthday)

Renew your license and submit your $170.00 renewal fee online (PDF).

Renewal fees include a $50.00 late fee, $16.00 surcharge to access the University of Washington (UW) HEAL-WA website and a $5.00 nursing center surcharge paid to the Washington Center for Nursing. Don't add these amounts to the fees when paying, they are already included in the fee amounts listed above.

You may mail in your renewal payment if unable to complete the online renewal process. Please allow 7-10 business days for processing time if mailing a renewal payment to our office.

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Reactivation (more than one year after birthday)

Complete a reactivation application (PDF) and submit the $240.00 reactivation fee to:

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Retired Active Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse

To renew your license submit the renewal fee of $65.00 to:

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Inactive Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse

To renew your license submit the renewal fee of $65.00 to:

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

All advanced registered nurse practitioners in Washington state must renew their license every other year, by their birthday, to remain in active status. All renewal and reactivation fees are non-refundable.

Renewal before birthday

To renew your license you must:

  • Have an active registered nurse license. You can renew your ARNP and RN license at the same time.
  • Have an active certification in your area of practice. You are required to submit a copy of re-certification. Please fax certification to 360-236-4738 or email to nursing@doh.wa.gov.
  • Sign the renewal notice attestation stating you completed 30 contact hours of continuing education credit during the renewal period. An additional 15 hours in pharmacology is required if you have prescriptive authority within the last two years. You do not need to sign the paper attestation when renewing online.
  • Submit your $125.00 renewal fee online (PDF).
Late renewal (less than two years after birthday)

To renew your license you must:

  • Have an active registered nurse license. You can renew your ARNP and RN license at the same time.
  • Have an active certification in your area of practice. You are required to submit a copy of re-certification. Please fax certification to 360-236-4738 or email to nursing@doh.wa.gov.
  • Sign the renewal notice attestation stating you completed 30 contact hours of continuing education credit during the renewal period. An additional 15 hours in pharmacology is required if you have prescriptive authority within the last two years. You do not need to sign the paper attestation when renewing online.
  • Renew your license and submit your $175.00 renewal fee online (PDF).
    • You may mail in your renewal payment if unable to complete the online renewal process. Please allow 7-10 business days for processing time if mailing a renewal payment to our office.

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

To renew your license submit the renewal fee of $40.00 to:

  • Mail
    Department of Health
    P.O. Box 1099
    Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Reactivation application (more than two years after birthday)

Complete a reactivation application (PDF) and submit the $175.00 reactivation fee to:

  • 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 a.m. – 5 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.