License Requirements: RN & LPN

General Requirements | Fees | Partial Refunds | Education Requirements | Examination Requirements | Limited Permits | Nurses Licensed in Another State

General Requirements

The practice of nursing or use of "Registered Professional Nurse" (RN) or "Licensed Practical Nurse" (LPN) titles within New York State requires licensure.

To be licensed as a registered professional nurse in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least eighteen years of age;
  • meet education requirements;
  • complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse offered by a New York State approved provider; and
  • meet examination requirements.

To be licensed as a licensed practical nurse in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least seventeen years of age;
  • be a high school graduate or the equivalent;
  • meet education requirements; and
  • meet examination requirements.

You must file an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 139, Sections 6905 and 6906 of New York State Education Law and Part 64 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.


Fees

The fee for licensure and first registration is $143.

The fee for a limited permit is $35.

Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    NYS Education Department
    Office of the Professions
    PO Box 22063
    Albany, NY 12201

NOTE: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.


Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Nurse Unit by e-mailing opunit4@mail.nysed.gov or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 280 or by faxing 518-474-3398.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.


Education Requirements

Don't let friends, colleagues or yourself lose money, time or energy by applying to a fraudulent nursing school. Before a tuition payment is processed, make certain that the program is recognized by the State Education Department. Lists of approved LPN and RN programs can be found on this site. Avoid a costly mistake and make sure your educational institution is an approved program of nursing study before you enroll.

If you seek to meet the education requirement for an RN or LPN license with a program you completed outside the United States, your educational credentials must be verified by an independent credentials verification organization. See "Verifying Education Credentials From Non-U.S. Programs" for further instructions.

Registered Professional Nursing

To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a registered professional nurse, you must present satisfactory evidence of having received at least a two-year degree or diploma from a program in general professional nursing that is acceptable to the Department. To be acceptable to the Department, the program must be either:

  • registered as licensure qualifying by the New York State Education Department; or
  • approved by the licensing authority or appropriate governmental agency in the jurisdiction where the school is located as preparation for practice as a registered professional nurse.

In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for licensure or limited permit as a registered professional nurse must complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

Every registered professional nurse must also complete approved coursework or training appropriate to the professional's practice in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work practice controls, to prevent the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis b virus (HBV) in the course of professional practice. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

Licensed Practical Nursing

To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as a licensed practical nurse, you must have completed high school or the equivalent, and present satisfactory evidence of either a, b or c below.

  1. graduation from at least a nine-month program in practical nursing registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying or recognized as preparatory for practice as a licensed practical nurse by the licensing authority or appropriate governmental agency in the jurisdiction where the school is located; or
  2. completion of at least a nine-month program of study that is satisfactory to the New York State Education Department in a program conducted by the armed forces of the United States; or
  3. graduation from an approved program in general professional nursing.

In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for licensure or limited permit as a licensed practical nurse must also complete approved coursework or training appropriate to the professional's practice in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work practice controls, to prevent the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis b virus (HBV) in the course of professional practice. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

Verifying Education Credentials From Non-U.S. Programs

Applicants who have completed LPN or RN education outside of the US must have their education credentials verified by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). Such applicants should contact CGFNS at www.cgfns.org External Link Icon for the application and instructions to complete the CGFNS Credential Verification Service for New York State. Please note that this verification process is not the same as CGFNS' Certification Program (which is required for registered nurse applicants applying for limited permits). The CGFNS Credentials Verification Service for New York State licensure applicants is a process for verifying the authenticity of education credentials. The CGFNS Credentials Verification Service for New York State does not indicate approval by the New York State Education Department of the content of education. After education credentials are verified by CGFNS, they are then forwarded to and evaluated by the New York State Education Department.

You will be advised in writing of the results of the New York State Education Department's evaluation of your education. In addition, the licensing examination administrator will be notified if you are eligible for the examination.

Contact CGFNS at:

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
PO Box 8628
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8628
Phone 215-349-8767
Fax 215-349-0026
Web www.cgfns.org External Link Icon


Examination Requirements

To meet the examination requirements for licensure as a registered professional nurse and/or licensed practical nurse, you must successfully complete the NCLEX examination developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and administered by Pearson VUE. For those applicants applying for licensure based upon licensure in another jurisdiction, scores from the State Board Test Pool (SBTP) examination and NCLEX may be accepted for licensure. The licensing authority in the jurisdiction in which you took the examination (see instructions for Form 3) or Nursys (see Verification of Nurse Licensure in Another State) must verify acceptable scores on the examination(s) directly to the Office of the Professions.

To qualify to take either the NCLEX-RN examination or the NCLEX-PN examination, you must:

  1. Submit an Application for Licensure (Form 1) and the $143 licensure and first registration fee to the New York State Education Department.
  2. Ask your school to verify your education directly to the New York State Education Department on Form 2 (New York State programs completed prior to 4/1/98 or other U.S. programs), or Form 2AF (for graduates who are applying for an LPN license based on completion of equivalent education in a program conducted by the U.S. armed forces) or have your educational credentials verified by CGFNS (non-U.S. programs).
  3. Register directly with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX examination. To register for the examination, you will need the program code for your nursing education program that is listed in the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin. The NCLEX Candidate Bulletin and additional information regarding the examination are available on the Web at www.vue.com/nclex External Link Icon or ncsbn.org/nclex.htm External Link Icon . You may register for the examination online at www.vue.com/nclex External Link Icon or by calling Pearson VUE at 1-866-496-2539*

*If you are a graduate of a New York State nursing program, or an approved nursing program in the U.S., you may apply for the examination at any time after submitting all the items in 1 and 2 above. If you are a non-U.S. nursing program graduate, you may only apply for the examination after receiving a letter from the New York State Education Department notifying you that your education has been approved and you are now eligible to sit for the examination.

Reasonable Testing Accommodations

If you have a disability and may require reasonable testing accommodations for the examination, you must complete and submit a Request for Reasonable Testing Accommodations form ( PDF 23 KB). You may also request a copy of the form by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 320 or by faxing 518-473-8222. You must mail the Request for Reasonable Testing Accommodations form to the address printed on that form, along with the required documentation. You will be notified in writing as to whether or not your request for accommodations has been approved. A copy of your accommodation approval must be attached to your NCLEX examination registration form. You may not test until your request for accommodations has been processed by the Department. If you schedule a test before your request for accommodations has been processed, you may lose any fee paid to the examination administrator. Please be sure to check the box in item 7 of your Application for Licensure (Form 1) if you are requesting accommodations.


Limited Permits

NOTE: If you have ever taken the NCLEX-PN examination, you are not eligible for an LPN limited permit. If you have ever taken the NCLEX-RN examination, you are not eligible for an RN limited permit.

A limited permit authorizes an individual who has met all requirements for licensure as a registered professional nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) except the licensing examination to practice as an RN or LPN provided that the individual is under the immediate and personal supervision of a licensed, currently registered, professional nurse, with the endorsement of the employer. To be eligible for a limited permit, you must:

  • submit an Application for Licensure (Form 1) and the $143 licensure and first registration fee;
  • ask your school to verify your education directly to the New York State Education Department on Form 2 (New York State programs completed prior to 4/1/98 or other approved U.S. programs), or Form 2AF (for graduates who are applying for an LPN license based on completion of equivalent education in a program conducted by the U.S. armed forces) or have your educational credentials verified by CGFNS (non-U.S. programs).
  • for an RN permit, submit proof of completion of coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse offered by a New York State approved provider; and
  • be at least 18 (RN) or 17 (LPN) years of age and be of good moral character.

You may submit an Application for Limited Permit (Form 5) at the same time or any time after you submit your Application for Licensure (Form 1). The fee for a limited permit is $35. A limited permit is valid for one year from date of issue or until ten days after the applicant is notified of failure on the licensing examination, whichever occurs first. The "starting date" cannot be changed once a limited permit is issued. If you change employment or have additional employers after your permit is issued, you must obtain a new permit. You need to have your prospective employer complete and return a new Application for Limited Permit (Form 5) to the Office of the Professions at the address on the form. A new fee is not required.

You must be employed by the facility in which you are working. You may not be employed by a third party.

Non-U.S. educated applicants seeking a limited permit as a registered professional nurse must also have their credentials verified by an independent credentials verification organization (see "Verifying Education Credentials From Non-U.S. Programs") and document successful completion of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Certification program (the CGFNS examination and the Test of English as a Foreign Language); or a score of not less than 400 on the Canadian Nurses Association Test (CNATS) given in English. Non-U.S. educated LPN limited permit applicants also need to have their credentials verified by an independent credentials verification organization but are not required to complete the CGFNS Certification program.

CNATS scores should be sent to the Office of the Professions directly by the nurse licensing authority of the province in which the examination was taken. Information about the CGFNS examination and its certification program, including the cost, is available from:

CGFNS
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
Phone 215-349-8767
E-mail support@cgfns.org or info@cgfns.org

Please note that CGFNS certification is different from the verification of foreign education credentials required of all graduates of non-U.S. programs. CGFNS certification requires passing of examination(s) in addition to the verification of educational credentials. Use the address above only for CGFNS certification program information.

Practice Exemption:

New graduates of New York State nursing education programs registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying may be employed for 90 days immediately following graduation without holding a limited permit. To be eligible to practice within those 90 days, you must have graduated from your nursing program, submitted the Application for Licensure (Form 1), the Application for Limited Permit (Form 5), and paid the required fees. While practicing during those 90 days, you must be supervised by a registered professional nurse who is currently licensed and registered to practice in New York State. It is possible you may not receive the limited permit before your license is issued but submitting the Form 5 and permit fee allows you to practice during the 90 days.  If you do receive the permit, give your employer the employer's copy for their records.


Nurses Licensed in Another State

If you are licensed as a nurse in another state, you must provide the New York State Education Department with verification of that licensure. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) handles verification of licensure for a majority of states through their Nurse System (Nursys). You can check to see if the state(s) where you are licensed as a nurse participates in Nursys by visiting their Web site at www.nursys.com External Link Icon or by calling them at 1-866-819-1700.

If the state(s) where you are licensed as a nurse participates in Nursys, you must request verification of your licensure from Nursys, not the state(s).

If your state(s) of licensure does (do) not appear on the Nursys list, you must use the Verification of Other Professional Licensure/Certification form (Form 3) to verify your licensure to New York State.

Please note, if you hold any other professional licenses in states other than New York, you must also use Form 3 to verify that licensure to New York State.

Last Updated: April 8, 2014