Frequently Asked License Questions

General | RN & LPN | Internationally Educated | Clinical Nurse Specialist | Nurse Practitioners

General

  1. What types of nursing professions are in New York State?

    Answer: The 4 types of New York nursing professions are:
    • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
    • Registered Professional Nurses (RNs)
    • Nurse Practitioners (NPs). New York State certifies NPs in the following specialty areas: Acute Care; Adult Health; Family Health; Pediatrics; Women's Health; Psychiatry; Gerontology; Neonatology; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Oncology; Perinatology; School Health; College Health; Holistic Health; Community Health and Palliative care.
    • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) New York State certifies CNSs in the following specialty areas: Adult Health; Pediatrics; Psychiatric/Mental Health; and Oncology.

    Note: In New York, midwifery is not considered a nursing profession. Midwifery is a separately licensed profession.

  2. What fees are charged for New York nursing licenses, certifications and registrations?

    Answer: New York Law requires the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to charge the following fees:
    • Licensed Professional Nurses (LPNs)
      • If you are applying for an LPN license - you must pay a $143 fee to NYSED. This fee covers your license and your initial LPN registration.
      • If you are also applying for a limited permit - you must pay an additional $35 fee to NYSED.
      • If you are renewing your LPN registration - you must pay a $73 fee to NYSED.
    • Registered Professional Nurses (RNs)
      • If you are applying for an RN license - you must pay a $143 fee to NYSED. This fee covers your license and your intial RN registration.
      • If you are also applying for a limited permit - you must pay an additional $35 fee to NYSED.
      • If you are renewing your RN registration - you must pay a $73 fee to NYSED.
    • Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs)
      • If you are applying for a CNS certificate only - you must pay an $80 fee to NYSED. This fee covers your CNS certificate and your initial CNS registration.
      • If you are applying for an RN license and a CNS certificate - you must pay a $223 fee to NYSED.
      • If you are renewing your CNS and RN registrations, you must pay to NYSED $30 for each CNS certificate that you hold and an additional $73 fee for your RN registration.
    • Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
      • If you are applying for an NP certificate only - you must pay an $85 fee to NYSED. This fee covers your NP certificate and your initial NP registration.
      • If you are applying for an RN license and an NP certificate - you must pay a $228 fee to NYSED.
      • If you are renewing your NP and RN registrations - you must pay to NYSED $35 for each NP certificate that you hold and an additional $73 fee for your RN registration.
  1. I am licensed in another state as a nurse. Does New York State issue nursing licenses by endorsement?

    Answer: Yes. The New York State Education Department grants licenses "by endorsement" to qualified registered nurses, licensed practical nurses or licensed vocational nurses who are licensed and professionally educated in other states. License applications are available on this website. Please note that New York State is not a "Nursing Compact State". Proof of acceptable education and verification of license from all states where you hold a license is required.

  2. What should I do if my name or address changes while I am applying for a license or certificate after I am licensed or certified?

    Answer: You are legally required to notify the New York State Education Department (NYSED) of your name and/or address change within 30 days. You can notify NYSED or your name or address change by filling out and sending in the Name/Address Change Form (Form AD/NAME) which is available on our website at www.op.nysed.gov/documents/anchange.pdf. You must mail the form along with any required supporting documentation to the address on the form.

    If your address changes (but not your name) you can also notify NYSED by phone 518-474-3817 ex. 280, fax 518-474-3398 or by e-mail opunit4@nysed.gov. Be sure to provide the following information: your full name, the name of the profession for which you are seeking a license or certification, your date of birth and your new mailing address.

  3. Must I disclose criminal convictions or prior misconduct when I apply for a New York State nursing license?

    Answer: When you apply for a nursing license or to renew your nursing registration, you will be required to answer the following questions:
    • Have you been found guilty after trial, or pleaded guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any court?
    • Are criminal charges pending against you in any court?
    • Has any licensing or disciplinary authority refused to issue you a license or ever revoked, annulled, cancelled, accepted surrender of, suspended, placed on probation, refused to renew a professional license or certificate held by you now or previously, or ever fined, censured, reprimanded, or otherwise disciplined you?
    • Are charges pending against you in any jurisdiction for any sort of professional misconduct? Has any hospital or licensed facility restricted or terminated your professional training, employment or privileges or have you ever voluntarily or involuntarily resigned or withdrawn from such association to avoid imposition of such measures?

    You must report all criminal convictions and disciplinary actions against you, regardless of whether it occurred in New York State or elsewhere. You do not have to disclose "youthful offender" offenses, if your records have been sealed.

  4. Will a prior criminal conviction prevent me from obtaining a license or registration to practice nursing in New York?

    Answer: Not necessarily. As part of the review of your license or registration application, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) will review your background including your prior conviction(s). NYSED decides on a case by case basis whether your prior criminal conviction(s) will disqualify you from being licensed as a nurse in New York.

    Note: Courts often notify NYSED when nurses are convicted of a crime.

  5. Do I have to be a US citizen in order to qualify for a nursing license in New York State?

    Answer: No. US citizens and other persons lawfully in the US may qualify for a nursing license.

  6. Do I need a social security number in order to qualify for a nursing license in New York State?

    Answer: No. You are not required to have a social security number. However, if you have a social security number, you must disclose it on your nursing license application and on your nursing registration renewal applications.

  7. How can I verify whether a nursing school or a nursing education program is "approved" by New York State?

    Answer: In New York State, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is responsible for "approving" (registering) nursing education programs. Out-of-state and online nursing education programs must be registered by NYSED to place students in clinical rotations in New York State (except in federal U.S. Armed forces or Veteran's Administration facilities). A list of NYSED registered nursing education programs located in New York State is available on this website at www.nysed.gov/heds/IRPSL1.html.

RN & LPN

  1. What are the requirements for becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in New York?

    Answer: To be licensed and registered as an LPN in New York State, you must:
    1. be of good moral character;
    2. be at least 17 years old;
    3. be a high school graduate (or the equivalent);
    4. be a graduate of a nursing education program acceptable to the New York State Education Department (NYSED);
    5. complete infection control coursework acceptable to NYSED;
    6. pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or other license examination acceptable to NYSED; and,
    7. apply for an LPN license with NYSED and pay the appropriate fees.

  2. What are the requirements for becoming a Registered Professional Nurse (RN) in New York?

    Answer: To be licensed and registered as an RN in New York State, you must:
    1. be of good moral character;
    2. be at least 18 years old;
    3. be a graduate of a nursing education program acceptable to the NYSED;
    4. complete infection control coursework and child abuse reporting coursework acceptable to NYSED;
    5. pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or other license examination acceptable to NYSED; and,
    6. apply for an RN license with NYSED and pay the appropriate fees.

  3. Am I required to be licensed and registered as an LPN or RN by the New York State Education Department (NYSED)?

    Answer: You must be licensed and registered as an LPN or RN by NYSED to practice nursing.

  4. Is there a difference between being licensed and being registered as a nurse in New York State?

    Answer: Yes. After you apply for and qualify for an LPN or RN license, NYSED will send you a nursing license parchment and a registration certificate. Your nursing license is valid for life unless it is surrendered, revoked, annulled or suspended by the New York State Board of Regents. Your registration certificate will authorize you to practice as a nurse for up to three years. You must renew your registration every three years to continue to practice nursing. You are not legally allowed to practice nursing while your registration is expired.

  5. I am licensed by New York State to practice nursing. I want to apply online to renew my nursing registration, but I do not have my Personal Identification Number (PIN). How do I find out what my PIN number is?

    Answer: The New York State Education Department (NYSED) sends PINs by regular mail to nurses at the address it has on file. If you have not received a PIN from NYSED, you may need to update your address (see question 4). You may request a PIN from NYSED by email at: OP4info@nysed.gov To avoid processing delays, your email request must include the following information:
    • Your full name
    • Your profession (i.e., registered professional nurse, licensed practical nurse, clinical nurse specialist, or nurse practitioner)
    • The last 4 digits of your social security number
    • Your date of birth.

    NYSED responds to PIN requests within two weeks. If your email request includes all of the required information, NYSED will reply with your PIN and a link where you can renew your registration online.

    TIP: When you renew your registration online, enter only your 6-digit nursing license number, including any zeros at the beginning of your license number. Do not include letters, dashes, or numbers after slashes when entering your license number. In addition, keep in mind when you register that your PIN is case-sensitive.

  6. How do I satisfy the infection control coursework requirements for an LPN or RN license?

    Answer: If you are applying an LPN or RN license, you must complete New York State Education Department (NYSED) approved infection control coursework or qualify for an exemption. Thereafter, you must complete NYSED approved infection control coursework every four years or qualify for an exemption.
    • Graduates of NYSED registered LPN or RN education programs. If you recently graduated from an LPN or RN education program that is registered with NYSED as qualifying for LPN or RN licenses, you have already completed the infection control coursework requirement as part of your nursing studies. You do not have to take additional infection control coursework to qualify for a nursing license. However, after obtaining a New York LPN or RN license, you must take infection control coursework every four years or qualify for an exemption.
    • Graduates of Nursing Schools NOT registered with NYSED. If you did not graduate from a NYSED registered LPN or RN education program, you must complete NYSED approved infection control course within 90 days of the date that you are licensed as an LPN or RN in New York, or qualify for an exemption. For more information about taking an approved infection control course and a list of approved course providers, click here. After obtaining a New York LPN or RN license, you must take infection control coursework every four years, or qualify for an exemption.
    • Exemptions. You may qualify for an exemption from the infection control coursework requirement if you can demonstrate to the satisfaction of NYSED that: (1) you have taken infection control training that is equivalent to the infection control coursework required by NYSED; or (2) taking infection control coursework is not necessary due to the nature of your nursing practice. You can request this exemption when you apply for your nursing license. Thereafter, you must take NYSED infection control training, or apply and qualify for an exemption, every four years.

  7. How do I satisfy the child abuse reporting course requirements needed for an RN license?

    Answer: Before the New York State Education Department (NYSED) can issue you an RN license or limited permit, you must complete child abuse reporting coursework approved by NYSED or qualify for an exemption.
    • If you graduated after September 1, 1990 from a nursing education program that is registered with NYSED as RN license qualifying, you already completed the child abuse reporting coursework requirement as part of your RN studies. You do not have to take additional child abuse reporting coursework to qualify for an RN license or limited permit.
    • If you did not graduate from a New York State RN education program after September 1, 1990 and you do not qualify for an exemption, you must complete child abuse reporting coursework offered by a course provider approved by NYSED. For more information and a list of NYSED approved course providers, click here.
    • You may qualify for an exemption from the child abuse reporting coursework requirement if you can demonstrate to NYSED that, during your nursing practice, you will not have contact with persons under the age of 18 or residents of nursing homes or residential care schools. You can request this exemption when you apply for your RN license.

    NOTE: The child abuse reporting course requirement DOES NOT apply to LPNs.

  8. What test must I pass to qualify for an LPN license in New York?

    Answer: Most LPN license applicants must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Vocational or Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The NCLEX-PN is designed to test knowledge and skills essential for safe and effective entry level LPN practice. In very rare circumstances, an applicant may qualify for a license by passing the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or other LPN license examination accepted by another state or US territory.

  9. What test must I pass to qualify for an RN license in New York?

    Answer: Most applicants for an RN license must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX-RN is designed to test knowledge and skills essential for safe and effective entry level RN practice. In very rare circumstances, an applicant may qualify for a license by passing the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or other RN license examination accepted by another state or US territory.

  10. How do I sign up to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN?

    Answer: Pearson VUE is a not-for-profit company that offers the NCLEX–PN and the NCLEX-RN. The NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN are administered at Pearson Professional Centers (PPC) located throughout the US and in US territories. Additionally, international testing centers are located in other countries, including Australia, Canada, England and Mexico.

    You must register directly with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN. You can register online at www.vue.com/nclex or by calling Pearson VUE at 1-866-496-2539. You must pay to Pearson VUE an examination registration fee of $200. If you schedule your NCLEX at an international test center, you may have to pay additional fees.

  11. I have already registered to take the NCLEX with Pearson VUE. When will I receive my Authorization to Test (ATT)?

    Answer: The New York State Education Department (NYSED) must review your RN or LPN license application to determine whether you are eligible to take the NCLEX. If NYSED determines that you are eligible to take the NCLEX, NYSED will inform Pearson VUE directly. Pearson VUE will then issue an ATT to you by mail or email. The ATT will include an ATT number. You must have an ATT number to schedule an appointment to take the NCLEX. Additionally, you must present the ATT and acceptable identification at the test center in order to be admitted to take the NCLEX.

  12. Can the New York State Education Department issue me an ATT or an ATT number or tell me when Pearson VUE will issue me an ATT or ATT number?

    Answer: No. The ATT or ATT number must be obtained directly from Pearson VUE.

  13. Can a candidate with a disability obtain a reasonable accommodation when taking the NCLEX?

    Answer: The candidate must complete the "Request for Reasonable Accommodations for Testing" form and submit it to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) at the address noted on the form. NYSED must approve or disapprove the request for a reasonable accommodation(s) before a candidate can sign up to take the NCLEX.

  14. Can a nursing school graduate provide nursing services before being licensed and registered to practice as an LPN or RN in New York?

    Answer: In some limited cases, yes.
    • Limited Permits. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) issues limited permits to nursing school graduates who apply for an LPN or RN license and a limited permit, who have met all criteria for the license except for taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The limited permit allows the new graduate nurse to practice under the direct supervision of an RN at the health care facility noted on the limited permit. The supervising RN must be on the patient care unit at all times when a new graduate provides care. The limited permit expires one year from the date of issue, or ten days after the limited permit holder is notified that she or he failed the NCLEX, whichever happens sooner. An expired limited permit does not legally authorize you to practice nursing.

      Note: If you graduated from a nursing school that was taught in a language other than English, you may have to pass a test to demonstrate that you are English Language proficient before NYSED will issue you a limited permit.

    • New Graduate Practice. If you graduate from a nursing program registered by NYSED as qualifying for an LPN or RN license, and you apply for an LPN or RN license and limited permit with NYSED, you may practice nursing under the direct supervision of an RN during the 90 day period immediately following graduation. The new graduate must practice under the direct supervision of an RN at the health care facility noted on the limited permit application form. The supervising RN must be on the patient care unit at all times when a new graduate provides care.

  15. What is the correct title for nursing school graduates who hold a limited permit issued by the New York State Education Department?

    Answer: The correct title for an LPN license applicant who holds a limited permit is Graduate Practical Nurse (GPN). The correct title for an RN license applicant who holds a limited permit is Graduate Nurse (GN). These titles must be displayed on identification badges and must also be used when signing official patientcare documents.

Internationally Educated

  1. I recently graduated with a BN/BScN/BSN degree from a Canadian University. Do I qualify for NYSED's Streamlined RN License Application Review Process?

    Answer: NYSED has a new streamlined RN license application review process for recent graduates of certain Canadian BN, BScN or BSN degree programs. This new process saves time and money. It does not require the services of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), which can cost RN license applicants more than $300.

    To qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process, you must have a BN, BSN or BScN degree that was granted after January 1, 2015 by a university located in a Canadian province (except Quebec).
    • Your BN, BSN or BScN degree program must be recognized by a Canadian province (other than Quebec) as qualifying you to practice as a RN in the province.
    • Your BN, BSN or BScN degree program must be accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing.
    • Your BN, BSN or BScN degree program must have a unique Canadian Program Code issued by the National Council of State Boards for Nursing (NCSBN). NCSBN's website has a list of Canadian Program Codes for qualifying Canadian BN/BSN programs. Visit www.vue.com/nclex.

    NOTE: If you do not qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process, you must follow the steps in question 27 to apply for a New York State RN license. If you do qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process, you may follow the steps in question 25 to apply for a New York State RN license.

  2. I qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process.

    • I have a BN/BSN/BScN degree that was granted after January 1, 2015 by a university located in a Canadian province (except Quebec).
    • My BN/ BSN/BScN degree program is recognized by a Canadian province (other than Quebec) as qualifying me to practice as a RN in the province.
    • My BN/BSN/BScN degree program is accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing.
    • My BN/BSN/BScN degree program has a unique Canadian Program Code issued by the National Council of State Boards for Nursing.

    What are the steps for applying for a New York State RN license under the streamlined RN license application review process?

    Answer: If you qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process, you should complete the following steps to apply for an RN license:

    STEP 1: COMPLETE NYSED REQUIRED COURSEWORK. You must complete NYSED approved infection control coursework and child abuse reporting coursework (unless you qualify for an exemption). These courses are available in person or online. Additional information is available on NYSED's website. http://www.op.nysed.gov/training.htm.

    STEP 2: FILE AN RN LICENSE APPLICATION WITH NYSED. You must fill out Nurse Form 1 - Application for Licensure and send it with a $143 fee (U.S. Dollars ONLY) to NYSED, or file an online application and pay the $143 fee by credit card. In addition, you must fill out and send Nurse Form 2 - Certification of Professional Education, to the Canadian University that granted your BSN/BSN/BScN degree. Your university must verify that you were granted a BN/BSN/BScN degree on the form and mail it directly to NYSED. RN license application forms and other pertinent documents are available on NYSED’s website. www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseforms.htm.

    ADDITIONAL STEP IF YOU HAVEN'T PASSED THE NCLEX-RN. If you haven't already passed the NCLEX-RN, you must register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE, the company that offers the NCLEX–RN in the U.S. and Canada. You may register online at www.vue.com/nclex. You will need NCSBN's Canadian program code for your Canadian BN/BSN/BScN program to register for the NCLEX. Canadian Program Codes and other NCLEX information are available at www.vue.com/nclex. Please note: Pearson VUE will not allow you to take the NCLEX-RN until NYSED completes a review your RN license application and education credentials.

    ADDITIONAL STEP IF YOU ARE ALREADY A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL. If you have been a licensed professional in a U.S. state (other than New York), a U.S. territory or Canada, you must arrange to have information verifying your professional license(s) provided to NYSED.

    • If you have been licensed as an RN, LPN or LVN in another U.S. State or U.S. Territory, there are two methods for verifying your nursing license:
      1. Nursys®: NYSED participates in Nursys®, (an online service) to verify an applicant's RN, LVN or LPN licenses from most other U.S. states. If you have been licensed as a nurse in a state that participates in Nursys®, you may use the Nursys® service to verify your nursing license to NYSED. To sign-up for Nursys®, visit www.nursys.com. After you sign up and pay the $30 fee, Nursys® will verify your nursing license directly to NYSED.
      2. Nurse Form 3: If you are licensed as a nurse in a state or U.S. territory that does not participate in Nursys®, you must fill out Nurse Form 3-Verfication of Other Professional Licensure/Certification and send it to the licensing authority that issued your nursing license. The licensing authority will verify your license on Nurse Form 3 and then send it to NYSED.
    • If you have been licensed as an RN, LPN or another profession in Canada, fill out Nurse Form 3 and send it to the licensing authority that issued your nursing or other professional license. The licensing authority will verify your license on Form 3 and then send it to NYSED. Form 3 is available at: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurse3.pdf.
    • If you were licensed to practice another profession in a U.S. state (other than New York) or a U.S. Territory, fill out Nurse Form 3 and send it to the licensing authority that granted your license. The licensing authority will verify your license on Form 3 and then send it to NYSED.

  3. I graduated from a nursing school in Canada, but I DO NOT qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process. What are the steps for applying for a New York State RN license?

    Answer: If you do not qualify for NYSED's streamlined RN license application review process, you must follow the steps in question 28 to apply for a New York State RN license.

  4. I didn't go to college in the United States. I graduated from a nursing school in another country. What are the steps for applying for a New York State RN license?

    Answer: If you graduated from a nursing school in another country, you must complete the following steps to apply for an RN license with NYSED:

    STEP 1: COMPLETE NYSED REQUIRED COURSEWORK. You must complete NYSED approved infection control coursework and child abuse reporting coursework (unless you qualify for an exemption). Approved courses on infection control and child abuse reporting are available online. For more information, visit: www.op.nysed.gov/training/.

    STEP 2: FILE AN RN LICENSE APPLICATION WITH NYSED. You must fill out and mail an RN license application form (Nurse Form 1 - Application for Licensure) and a $143 fee (U.S. Dollars ONLY) to NYSED, or file an online application and pay the $143 fee by credit card. RN license application forms (electronic and paper) and other pertinent documents are available on NYSED’s website: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseforms.htm.

    STEP 3: VERIFY YOUR FOREIGN CREDENTIALS. You must arrange to either have Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) verify the authenticity of your foreign nursing education credentials using CGFNS’s Credential Verification Service for New York State or use the Forms 2F to request the required information. If you are also licensed as a nurse in another country, you must also have CGFNS verify your foreign nursing license or utilize the Form 3F. You must contact CGFNS directly to sign-up and pay for CGFNS’ Credential Verification Service for New York State. For more information, visit CGFNS’ Website: www.cgfns.org. After you sign-up and pay for CGFNS's service, CGFNS will send a report regarding your foreign education credentials directly to NYSED.

    STEP 4: PASS THE NCLEX-RN. Pearson VUE is a non-profit company that offers the NCLEX–RN. The NCLEX-RN is administered at Pearson Professional Centers (PPC) located throughout the United States and in international testing centers located in other countries, including Canada, England and Mexico. You must register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE and pay a $200 fee to Pearson VUE. If you plan take the NCLEX-RN at an international test center, you may have to pay additional fees. You can register with Pearson VUE online at www.vue.com/nclex. After you sign-up and pay for CGFNS's service, CGFNS will send a report regarding your foreign education credentials directly to NYSED.

    ADDITIONAL STEP IF YOU ARE ALREADY A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL: If you are licensed as a nurse or another professional in another U.S. state, a U.S. territory, or another country, you must arrange to have information verifying your license(s) provided to NYSED.

    • If you are licensed as an RN, LPN or LVN in another U.S. State or U.S. Territory, there are two methods for verifying your nursing license:
      1. Nursys® NYSED participates in Nursys® (an online service),to verify an applicant’s RN, LVN and LPN licenses from most other U.S. states and some U.S. territories. If you are licensed as a nurse in a state or U.S. territory that participates in Nursys®, you may use the Nursys® service to verify your RN, LPN or LVN license to NYSED. To sign-up for Nursys®, visit www.nursys.com. After you sign up and pay the $30 fee, Nursys® will provide verification of your nursing license directly to NYSED.
      2. Nurse Form 3: If you are licensed as a nurse in a state or U.S. territory that does not participate in Nursys®, you must fill out Nurse Form 3-Verfication of Other Professional Licensure /Certification and send it to the licensing authority that granted you your nursing license. The licensing authority will verify your RN, LPN or LVN license on Nurse Form 3 and then send it to NYSED. RN license application forms (including Nurse Form 3) are available at: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/nurse/nurseforms.htm.
    • If you are licensed to practice another profession in a state other than New York or in a U.S. Territory, you must fill out Nurse Form 3, and send it to the licensing authority that granted your license. The licensing authority will verify your license on Form 3 and then send it to NYSED.
    • If you are licensed as a nurse in another country, you may arrange to have CGFNS verify your nursing license credentials using CGFNS’s Credential Verification Service for New York State, as described above in Step 3 or use Form 3F to do so. DO NOT USE Nurse Form 3.

  5. I went to nursing school in another country and want to be an RN in New York State. When will I be allowed to take the NCLEX-RN?

    Answer: Before you will be allowed to take the NCLEX-RN, the following sequence of events must happen:
    1. You must:
      1. apply for RN license with State Education Department (NYSED);
      2. either have CGFNS verify your nursing education credentials or use Forms 2F and 3F for that purpose; and,
      3. register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson Vue.
    2. NYSED must review your RN license application, including your education credentials. If NYSED determines that you are eligible, NYSED will inform Pearson VUE that you are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.
    3. Pearson VUE must issue an "Authorization to Test" or "ATT" to you. The ATT will include an ATT number. You must have an ATT number in order schedule an appointment with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN. Additionally, you must present the ATT and an acceptable form of identification at the test center to take the NCLEX-RN.
  6. I was educated and licensed as a physician outside the United States. Can I qualify for a New York State RN or LPN license using my physician credentials?

    Answer: No

Clinical Nurse Specialists

  1. What is a clinical nurse specialist?

    Answer: In New York State, a clinical nurse specialist is a registered professional nurse who has completed advanced education (usually a master's or doctorate degree) in a nursing clinical practice specialty and is certified by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as a "Clinical Nurse Specialist" or "CNS".

    Clinical nurse specialists provide expert nursing services that benefit patients with complex health care needs. In addition to providing, coordinating and supervising care, CNS’s evaluate the quality and effectiveness of patient care. They provide clinical consultation to other health care personnel and may be involved in health care management, health systems improvement, clinical research and health care policy development.

    Clinical nurse specialists do not determine medical diagnoses and do not prescribe or order medical treatments or diagnostic tests. For example, a clinical nurse specialist does not prescribe medications or order CT scans.

  2. What are the requirements for becoming a clinical nurse specialist in New York State?

    Answer: To be certified and registered as a clinical nurse specialist in New York State, you must:
    • be currently registered and licensed as Registered Professional Nurse (RN) in New York State;
    • submit an application for clinical nurse specialist certification and pay applicable fees to the New York State Education Department (NYSED); and
    • be a graduate from a clinical nurse specialist education program registered by NYSED, or meet alternative education or experience criteria acceptable to NYSED (described below).

  3. What are the professional education and experience requirements for clinical nurse specialist certification in New York State?

    Answer: To satisfy the professional education and experience requirements for clinical nurse specialist certification, you must meet the criteria in one of the paragraphs 1, 2, or 3, below.
    1. You must graduate from a clinical nurse specialist education program that is registered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as qualifying for New York State certification as a clinical nurse specialist. For a list of these education programs, click here.; or
    2. You must graduate from a clinical nurse specialist education program that is determined by NYSED to be the equivalent to a clinical nurse specialist education program registered by NYSED, and be currently certified as a clinical nurse specialist by a national certifying organization that is acceptable to NYSED; or
    3. You must hold a license or certification as a clinical nurse specialist issued by another state or country and have met the substantial equivalent of the New York requirements for clinical nurse specialist certification, as determined by NYSED.

  4. How can I find out whether I graduated from a clinical nurse specialist education program that is registered by the NYSED as qualifying for New York State certification as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS)?

    Answer: To find out whether your New York education program is registered by NYSED as qualifying for CNS certification, click here. To find out whether your out-of-state or online nursing education program is registered by NYSED, e-mail NYSED at: opprogs@nysed.gov. Please be sure to identify, by name and address, the nursing education program that you attended.

  5. Do I have to pass a test to be certified as a clinical nurse specialist in New York State?

    Answer: Not necessarily. If you are already a New York licensed and registered RN, New York Law does not specifically require that you pass an additional license exam to be certified as a clinical nurse specialist. If you graduate from a clinical nurse specialist education program registered by NYSED, you do not have to pass an examination to be certified as a clinical nurse specialist. However, if you are trying to meet New York State criteria for becoming a clinical nurse specialist by being certified by a national certification organization, you may have to pass an examination to obtain a clinical nurse specialist certification from the national certification organization.

  6. As a clinical nurse specialist, do I have to maintain my license and registration as a registered professional nurse (RN)?

    Answer: Yes. In order to practice nursing as a clinical nurse specialist, you must be licensed and currently registered as an RN, and certified and currently registered as a clinical nurse specialist by NYSED. Every three years you must renew your clinical nurse specialist registration and your RN registration with NYSED in order to continue practicing as a clinical nurse specialist.

Nurse Practitioners

  1. What is a nurse practitioner?

    Answer: In New York State, a nurse practitioner is a registered professional nurse who has completed advanced nursing education (usually a master's or doctorate degree) in a nurse practitioner specialty area and is certified by the NYSED as a "Nurse Practitioner" or "NP". NYSED certifies nurse practitioners to practice in the following specialty areas: Adult Health; Family Health; Gerontology; Neonatology; Obstetrics; Oncology; Pediatrics, Perinatology; Psychiatry; School Health; Women's Health; Holistic Care; and Palliative Care. Nurse Practitioners manage the medical and nursing care to their patients. A nurse practitioner may diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatment for patients only within the specialty area(s) for which the nurse practitioner is certified and the nurse practitioner must be personally competent to provide the patient care.

  2. What are the requirements for becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) in New York?

    Answer: To be certified and registered as an NP in New York State, you must:
    • be currently registered and licensed as Registered Professional Nurse (RN) in New York State;
    • be a graduate of an NP education program acceptable to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) or be certified as an NP by a national certifying organization acceptable to NYSED;
    • complete pharmacotherapy coursework acceptable to NYSED;
    • complete controlled substance prescribing coursework required by the Public Health Law; and,
    • apply to be certified as an NP and pay applicable fees to NYSED.

  3. As a nurse practitioner (NP), do I have to maintain my license and registration as an RN?

    Answer: To practice as an NP, you must be licensed and currently registered as an RN by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and certified and currently registered as an NP by NYSED. Every three years you must renew your NP registration and your RN registration with NYSED in order to continue practicing as an NP. NYSED mails notices with instructions on renewing registrations five months prior to the expiration each nurse’s current registration. If your address changed and you did not notify NYSED, the notice will not be forwarded to your new address. Please see Question 4 for information on how to change your address.

  4. Do I have to pass a test in order to qualify to be certified as a nurse practitioner (NP) in New York?

    Answer: Not necessarily. If you are already a New York State licensed RN, New York Law does not specifically require that you pass an additional license exam to be certified as an NP. If you graduate from an NP education program registered by NYSED, you do not have to pass an examination to be certified as an NP. However, if you are trying to meet New York State criteria for certification as NP by being certified by a national certifying organization, you may have to pass an examination in order to obtain the NP certification from the national certifying organization.

  5. As a newly certified Nurse Practitioner (NP), do I have to file a "Form 4NP" with the New York State Education Department (NYSED)?

    Answer: All newly certified NPs are required to file Form 4NP-Verification of Collaborative Agreement and Practice Protocol, with NYSED within 90 days after starting professional practice, except for NPs who opt to practice and have collaborative relationships as allowed by law. The Form 4NP is a signed document verifying that an NP has a written collaborative practice agreement with a physician. An NP is not required to file any additional Form 4NP with NYSED. A completed Form 4NP is not a collaborative practice agreement. You can download copies of Form 4NP from NYSED's website.

  6. I am a nurse practitioner. Do I automatically qualify for certification as a clinical nurse specialist?

    Answer: No. In New York State, the criteria for certification as a nurse practitioner are different from the criteria for certification as a clinical nurse specialist.

  7. I am a student in a nurse practitioner education program that is located outside of New York State. How can I find out whether New York State allows my nurse practitioner education program to place students in clinical rotations in New York State?

    Answer: Your nurse practitioner education program must be registered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in order to place students in clinical rotations in New York State (except in federal Veteran's Administration or US Armed Forces facilities). To find out whether an out-of-state or online nursing education program is registered by NYSED, e-mail NYSED at: opprogs@nysed.gov. Please be sure to provide the name and address the nursing education program that you are enrolled in. If you are not enrolled in an NYSED registered nurse practitioner education program, it could also be illegal for you to do nurse practitioner clinical rotations in New York State (except in federal Veteran’s Administration and US Armed Forces facilities).

  8. I am a certified nurse practitioner (NP) and I have a DEA registration number. I would like to be able to prescribe controlled substances for my patients. How do I satisfy New York's controlled substance prescriber coursework requirements?

    Answer: Public Health Law §3309-a(3) requires all nurse practitioners (and other prescribers) who have a DEA registration number to prescribe controlled substances to complete at least three hours of coursework or training in pain management, palliative care and addiction by July 1, 2017, and once every three years thereafter.

    The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has published guidance regarding this requirement, which is available on the NYSDOH website at: www.health.ny.gov/professional/narcotic/.

    For more information or questions, please contact the NYSDOH Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement by email at narcotic@health.ny.gov.
Last Updated: November 15, 2018