Nursing License: Information on Nurses License Verification and Renewal

Obtaining your state-specific nursing license is one of the core travel nursing requirements.

Luckily, when you partner with Onward, your recruiter helps you take all appropriate steps to ensure that you obtain your nurse licensure and/or nurse license verification 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 state 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.

*Learn more about the Nurse Licensure Compact and see a list of nursing compact states here.

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. © 2018 AMN Healthcare, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution of these materials is prohibited without the expressed written authorization of AMN Healthcare, Inc.

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