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Registered Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensure by Examination

Licensure by examination means the authority to practice is based on having passed the licensing examination, NCLEX®.

You must have a Nebraska nursing license or temporary permit prior to commencing practice as a nurse in Nebraska.

To apply for licensure by examination, you must submit the following:

  1. pdf icon Application
  2. An official transcript showing graduation;
  3. Proof of Age/Citizenship
  4. A recent, clear, autographed, billfold-size, head and shoulder photograph;
  5. If applicable, the TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, CGFNS or Canadian Nurses Association (CNATS or CRNE) licensure examination official scores; and
  6. An application to take the NCLEX® directly to the Testing Service.

You must submit a NCLEX® application along with the $200 fee directly to the Testing Service for National Council of State Boards of Nursing. To obtain an application and supporting information, please contact :

Kim Lewis, Health Licensing Specialist
Licensure Unit, Nursing
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Phone (402) 471-4925

Karen McGann, Health Licensing Specialist
Licensure Unit, Nursing
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
Phone: (402) 471-4376

Prior to being allowed to take the test, the Licensure Unit of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health must notify the testing service that you are eligible to take the test. To be eligible, you must have submitted an application for Nebraska licensure, paid the licensure fee, submitted a photograph, and submitted evidence of program completion. For Nebraska graduates, your program must have sent a letter stating that you have completed the program. For out-of-state graduates, you must have submitted an official transcript.

Once your application to the Testing Service is complete and your State of Nebraska licensure application is complete, you will be made "eligible to test" by Licensing & Regulatory Affairs and will receive an "authorization to test" from the Testing Service. After receipt of your authorization to test, you must make an appointment and have taken the test within 90 days. The NCLEX® is administered at Pearson Testing Centers. Locations of the testing centers can be found on the web site at


LB 129 passed this last legislative session requiring criminal background checks for all initial RN and LPN applicants.  The law becomes effective August 30, 2015.  This includes licensure by exam or by endorsement.  If you are applying for an initial RN or LPN license and anticipate taking the NCLEX and receiving your license after August 30, you will be required to have a criminal background check.  If you are applying for licensure by endorsement and anticipate being licensed after August 30, you will be required to have a criminal background check. To accomplish this, you will need to have your fingerprints taken at a Nebraska State Patrol Office or other law enforcement agency.  The Nebraska State Patrol has obtained authorization from the Federal Bureau of Investigations to conduct the background checks for nurses.  You may now make an appointment with a Nebraska State Patrol Office to have your fingerprints taken (see link above to Criminal Background Check Information).  HOWEVER, the Nebraska State Patrol cannot process the criminal background checks until after August 30.  
Please be aware that standard processing time is 8-10 weeks for the fingerprint background check. Please REFRAIN FROM CONTACTING THE STATE PATROL REGARDING THE STATUS OF PRINTS. 
Please be patient as we begin this new process.


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