Nursing Licensure

State-specific nursing licensure is one of the core requirements for travel nursing jobs. Luckily, when you travel with Onward, your recruiter helps you take all appropriate steps to ensure that you’re fully licensed for the state to which you’ll be traveling.

Nursing licensure timeframes vary from state-to-state, and it’s easier to obtain a nursing license in some states than it is in others. The table below outlines which states accept compact licensure and which ones offer expedited walk-through licensure, as well as the standard timeframe to obtain a nursing license from the state's board of nursing.

State-by-State Nursing Licensure Guideline from Onward

State Compact Walk Through Time Frame
Alabama     2 weeks
Alaska+     2 weeks
Arizona+ License issued 48-72hrs after walk through
Arkansas   10 days for new
California+     4-8 weeks
Colorado   4 weeks for new
Connecticut     2 weeks
Delaware   2 weeks for new
District of Columbia    
Florida+     4-6 weeks (1-2 weeks if fingerprinting are done in-state)
Georgia     4-6 weeks
Hawaii   Closed on Fridays
Illinois     4-6 weeks
Indiana     2-3 weeks
Iowa   2-6 weeks for new
Kansas     2 weeks
Kentucky*   2 weeks for new
Louisiana   Walk through is for temp license; 4-6 weeks otherwise
Maine*   2 weeks for new
Massachusetts     4-6 weeks
Michigan     6-8 weeks
Minnesota     4-6 weeks
Montana     1 week
Nevada     6-9 weeks
New Hampshire*   2-8 weeks for new
New Jersey     4-6 weeks
New Mexico*   2 weeks for new
New York     6-8 weeks
North Carolina*   2 weeks for new
North Dakota   1 week for new
Ohio*+     4-6 weeks
Oklahoma     3-4 weeks
Oregon     3 weeks
Pennsylvania+     2-3 weeks
Rhode Island 4+ weeks for new
South Carolina 2 weeks via mail
South Dakota  
Tennessee   4-6 weeks for new
Texas*   2 weeks for new
Utah   3 weeks for new
Virginia   4 weeks for new
Washington*     4-5 weeks
West Virginia     1-2 weeks
Wisconsin   2 weeks for new
Wyoming     2-3 weeks

* Paperless nurse licensure process.
+ Special fingerprints or background check process may be required.


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Nursing licensure information from Onward Healthcare. © 2015 AMN Healthcare, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution of these materials is prohibited without the expressed written authorization of AMN Healthcare, Inc.