The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Licensure by Examination for RN / LPN applicants. After you have read the FAQs and you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us using the provided form. Select "Licensure Requirements" from the Inquiry Reason drop down menu.

   What are the requirements for licensure by examination?

U.S. Educated Applicants

  1. RN applicants hold a Diploma, Associate Degree or Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from an approved program. LPN applicants hold a Diploma or Certificate from an approved program. View the list of RN / LPN exceptions.
  2. Passing score on the NCLEX exam.
  3. Arizona Graduates – Certificate of Completion from an approved nursing program.
  4. Graduates of out of state schools – Transcripts, including graduation dates and type of degree, sent by your school to the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  5. Board approval for applicants who are under investigation.

Foreign Educated Applicants (Including Canada and Puerto Rico)

View Foreign Educated Requirements for application requirements.

   What are the fees to apply for licensure by examination?

Application Fees

All fees are in U.S. Dollars and are non-refundable.

  • Application Fee: $300.00
  • Fingerprint Fee: $ 50.00 (required unless submitted within the previous 2 years)

Accepted Forms of Payment

  • Credit/Debit Card – Complete and include the authorization form & submit with the application (included in application packet download)
  • Personal Checks – Pre-printed with your name/address and make payable to the Arizona State Board of Nursing
   Am I required to be fingerprinted?

GENERAL INFORMATION

You are required to complete and submit a fingerprint card. NOTE: If you have had previous fingerprinting done with another agency, you must still submit a new set of fingerprints to AZBN. A copy of a clearance card issued by DPS is not a substitute for this requirement. If you have submitted previous fingerprints to the AZ State Board of Nursing within the past 2 years, you will not need to submit fingerprints again. Return the completed fingerprint card with your application to the Board in a large envelope. DO NOT fold the fingerprint card.

  • It can take a minimum of 6-8 weeks to receive fingerprint results. You cannot receive permanent licensure until these results are received. Fingerprint Clearance Cards are not acceptable.

WHERE DO I OBTAIN FINGERPRINTING SERVICES?

Call your local police department, sheriff’s office or check for names of private agencies where you can obtain fingerprints. (The agency you use must validate your identification with a driver’s license or a State issued ID. The agency will provide the fingerprint card for you to use. Fingerprints done by an applicant on themselves will be returned and will delay processing time.)

   How long will it take for me to get a license?

That depends on you and the Arizona State Board of Nursing. The process we use when we receive your application in the mail room includes: 

▪ Opening the mail, clocking in the time that your application was received, documenting the payment that was received, and distributing the application to the licensing tech that will process your application.

▪ The licensing tech will review your application and prepare it to go to the person who scans your application. After the application is scanned, it is then verified, and then entered into our database. You will not be able to “track” the progress of your application, until it has been entered into our database. Once in our database, it will then show up in License Verification.

▪ The Nurse Practice Act rules state that the Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN) has up to 30 days, from the receipt of your application, to send you a deficiency notice. This notice will tell you exactly what is needed from you in order for us to be able to issue you a license. It is very important that you read this notice so that you know what else you need to submit. 

Once all of the requirements are met, the average time to issue you a license is 1-2 weeks for exam applicants.

   How can I help to have my application process go faster?

▪ Read the instructions very carefully before you submit your application.

▪ Make sure you complete each question on the application, leaving no blanks.

▪ Enclose a copy of acceptable documentation of lawful presence with your application.

▪ Enclose a completed fingerprint card if you have a card that has Arizona State Board of Nursing printed on the card under employer. Most of the schools pass out the fingerprint cards to the students. If you are endorsing into Arizona, we will be sending you an Arizona State Board of Nursing fingerprint card within 30 days of receiving your application.

▪ After approximately 2-3 weeks of submitting your application, go to License Verification to check on the progress of your application. It will show you what is still pending.

   How long does it take for my fingerprint results to be received and processed by the Board?

It can take a minimum of 6-8 weeks to receive fingerprint results back from DPS and the FBI. You cannot receive permanent licensure until these results are received. Fingerprint Clearance Cards are not acceptable.

   How can I check the status of my application?

To check the status of your application, go to License Verification and perform a search for your name.

   What are all the steps in the exam application process?

   I've been criminally charged or convicted of a felony. What should I do?

Reporting of Criminal Charges

Applicants for licensure/certification must notify the Board of criminal charges within 10 days of being charged. For further information go to Reporting Criminal Charges.

Felony Convictions

The Board shall revoke a nursing license or multi-state privileges or deny licensure if the applicant has one or more felony convictions that have not previously been disclosed to the Board and has not received an absolute discharge from the sentences for all felony convictions five or more years prior to the date of filing an application. If this law pertains to you, your application will not be processed, and proceedings for revocation of your Arizona license or multi-state privileges in Arizona or denial of your application shall be instituted by the Board. For further information go to Reporting Criminal Charges.

   Can I get a temporary license?

It usually not necessary for an Exam applicant to request a temporary license.

Exception: When fingerprints are rejected and you have already passed NCLEX or if it has been more than 2 years since you graduated and must take a refresher course. Contact Becky Melton at 602-771-7830 or bmelton@azbn.gov if you wish to request a temporary license for either exception.

   What is a deficiency notice?

When you submit an application, the Board will send you a deficiency notice identifying any elements of the application process which remain outstanding. If you fail to respond to a deficiency notice within the applicable time period, your application will be withdrawn. After withdrawal, if you are still interested in obtaining licensure you would need to submit a new application and applicable fee.

Arizona State Board of Nursing - Nursing Regulatory Journal
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DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

Statement of locations where all notices of the meetings of the Arizona State Board of Nursing will be posted.

Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02(A)(1)(a), the Arizona State Board of Nursing will post all notices of the meetings of the Arizona State Board of Nursing Meetings and any of its committees and subcommittees on the Board's website at www.azbn.gov. Notices will indicate the date, time, and place of the meeting and will include an agenda or information concerning the manner in which the public may obtain an agenda for the meeting.

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