Licensure by Endorsement
To qualify for endorsement (reciprocity) into California as an RN, you must hold a current and active RN license in another state, U.S. territory, or Canada, have completed an educational program meeting all California requirements, and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE). The Canadian Comprehensive Examination is not acceptable.
If you are applying for licensure via endorsement and have not taken and passed the RN exam in any state, you will not be issued a license via endorsement in California, even if your state does not currently require an examination for licensure.
Business & Professions Code 2742 Issuance of License:
"The board shall issue a license to each applicant who passes the examination and meets all other licensing requirements. The form of the license shall be determined in accordance with Section 164."
If you do not possess these qualifications, you do not qualify for licensure by endorsement and must apply for Licensure by Examination instead.
Licensure by Endorsement Application Instructions
The Board of Registered Nursing highly recommends that applicants apply online. If you have previously submitted a paper application, do not submit an electronic version as that could slow down the process.
Click to open the application instructions. Application instructions also include associated forms that may be attached to online application as needed.
How to apply online (see the Online RN Endorsement Application Instructions) for a screen-by-screen walkthrough of the online application process):
1. Register for a BreEZe account, if you have not done so previously.
2. On your BreEZe account homepage, select "RN Endorsement" from the dropdown menu below "Start a New Application or Take an Exam".
3. At the end of the application process, you will have the opportunity to attach documents to the application. Please attach as much information as possible to reduce paperwork, speed the review process, and reduce the need for deficiency letters.
For students disclosing previous discipline on another healthcare license, you can scan and attach the following documents to your online application:
- Letter of explanation (signed and dated)
- Letter(s) of recommendation/support
- Out of state discipline documents
- Any other rehabilitation information listed in section II "Reporting Prior Discipline Against Licenses" of the application instructions packet.
NOTE: See Important Notice Regarding Your Application for additional information for applicants with discipline on another healthcare license.
4. You must pay application fees with a valid credit card.
All applicants must provide the following items:
- Completed fingerprints using either Live Scan or fingerprint card (Hard Card) processing method
NOTE: The application packet does not include a Live Scan form or Hard Card. Please refer to Fingerprint Information to request these items.
- Completed "Verification of License" form or Nursys® Verification Application if your board of nursing participates in Nursys®. International graduates must also submit a "Verification of License" form from the board of nursing where the examination was taken
NOTE: Nursys® verifications expire 90 days from the date of request. Please do not request your Nursys® verification prior to submission of your endorsement application or it may expire before your file can be fully evaluated.
- If applicable, documents and/or letters explaining prior convictions or disciplinary action and attesting to your rehabilitation
NOTE: See Important Notice Regarding Your Application for additional information for applicants with criminal convictions or discipline.
- You may apply online for a temporary license if you wish to begin work pending issuance of a permanent license
Additionally, for international applicants:
- Send the "Breakdown of Educational Program for International Nursing Programs" to your school with the "Request for Transcript" form. If your transcript is not in English, provide the "Certified English Translation" form to your certified translator.
See CA RN Licensure Qualifications for Graduates of International Nursing Program for additional details.
Submission of Transcripts
Graduating California students: California Board-approved nursing programs will submit your transcripts to the Board electronically upon completion of your program.
Out of State Nursing Programs: If you attended a nursing program in another State, you may have your transcripts sent to our Board electronically from a certified third-party electronic transcripts vendor such as Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse*, or directly from your school. Electronic transcripts must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If requesting transcripts via National Student Clearinghouse, please use these instructions to ensure proper delivery of your electronic transcripts to the Board.
International Nursing Programs: If you attended a nursing program in another country, you must have your official transcripts sent to the Board by mail.
Coursework Exemption for Out of State Applicants
Effective October 1, 2023, section 1410.5 was added in Article 2 of Division 14 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). This section, Coursework Exemptions for Out of State Applicants, will streamline the endorsement process by removing the requirement of a lab component, an educational barrier frequently encountered by out of state nurses who want to become licensed in California.
If a nurse has successfully completed all other California educational requirements, including the theory component of anatomy, physiology, and microbiology, and has been practicing in good standing for at least two years in another US state or territory, then they will not be required to retake an anatomy, physiology, or microbiology course that includes a laboratory component.
Criteria has been established that must be met to receive the education exemption and is set to ensure that the applicant has the necessary education and training to practice safely:
- Proof of successful completion of anatomy, physiology, and microbiology coursework, with or without a laboratory component must be provided to the BRN via a complete transcript, submitted by the school, of the courses prescribed by the Board for licensure as outlined in CCR section 1410.
- At least two years practicing in another US state or territory, in which the applicant is licensed.
- Verification of licensure in the other jurisdiction, to ensure that the applicant is safe to practice in California.
To request this exemption, please complete the following Coursework Exemption Attestation Form. Once completed, please upload this form to your BreEZe account by doing the following:
- Log into your BreEZe account: https://www.breeze.ca.gov
- Under the “Manage your application” dropdown select "Submit Additional Documents".
- Follow the instructions to upload and attach the document.
- Complete the application by selecting the "Proceed to Payment" button to submit the document. There is no payment associated with this submission – this will simply submit the document to the Board for processing.
Once submitted successfully, please allow approximately two weeks for review of your exemption form. If, upon review, you do not meet the criteria for this exemption, you will be notified via email notification through your BreEZe account.
Please note: if you are deficient for transcripts or an out of state license verification, the BRN will be unable to process your request for the coursework exemption. Please ensure all required application documents have been submitted to the BRN for the purposes of determining eligibility for this exemption.