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State Board of Nursing

Toll Free: 1-833-DOS-BPOA (1-833-367-2762)

Nursing Licensure Guide & Timeline

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Re-Examination Applications are now available online for quicker and easier submission and review by the Board.  Log in to your Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) account at, navigate to the Activities section of your dashboard and click on the pin to the right of your Examination Application to open the Re-Examination Application.

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Attention, Pennsylvania Nursing Graduates:  Please note that, when you request a Graduate Nurse Temporary Practice Permit along with your initial license application, your permit will now be issued immediately upon receipt of all the following items in PALS: 

  1. Your completed application, 
  2. Payment of your $70 permit fee along with your $95 initial licensing fee, and 
  3. Education verification from your Pennsylvania nursing program confirming your successful graduation 

A complete checklist with instructions can be found at by clicking on the "Application Checklist" tab. In the pop-up window, select the State Board of Nursing in the drop-down menu, then choose your desired permit type and method obtained. 

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Act 68 of 2021, signed into law by Governor Wolf on July 1, 2021, started the process of adding Pennsylvania to the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).  In order to implement the NLC, the Board needs FBI approval of the NLC language so that it can provide the criminal background check; regulations implementing the NLC, including promulgation of fees for the licenses; and technological changes to the licensure system so that Board information can be transmitted to the Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators.  To date, the Board is awaiting a response from the FBI and is actively working on draft regulations and exploring changes to the licensure system.

Pennsylvania residents will not be able to apply for a multistate license and nurses in other NLC states who do not also hold a Pennsylvania license/permit will not be able to practice in Pennsylvania until after the implementation process has been completed.  An implementation date will be posted on the Board's website once it is determined.

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Persons of all backgrounds interested in helping during Pennsylvania’s time of need are welcome to sign up at the State Emergency Registry for Volunteers in PA


4 Steps to apply for Licensure by Exam

Step 1:  Review the Nursing Licensure Guide to plan your work start date.

Step 2:  Read these tips to avoid processing delays.

Step 3:  Register with PearsonVUE to take the NCLEX®.

Step 4:  Submit an online application to the Board.

Note:  Testing Accommodations require a completed Accommodation Form.


The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) received reports that a person pretending to be from the State Board of Nursing is calling licensees about the status of their license, claiming they owe money.  The scammer asks for credit card information and threatens them with disciplinary action or arrest if they fail to pay.

Persons who give their credit card information may not only lose their money but also can become a victim of identity theft.

Licensees are urged to follow these helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft:

    • BPOA and the Boards will NOT call licensees asking for payment over the phone (We correspond primarily by email and letters).

    • If you get a text message or call asking for your credit card information, hang up.

    • Do NOT give your personal or financial information over the phone.

    • If you feel that you are a victim of any type of scam, you should immediately notify your local or state police. 

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Please note that neither the Board/Commission, nor its staff or counsel, are permitted to provide legal advice or advisory opinions, including interpretations of the law or regulations, or any indication as to how the Board would vote on any given case or scenario.  You are invited to contact a private attorney or professional organization for advice or guidance.

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Mission Statement

The State Board of Nursing protects the health and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the licensure/certification and regulation of the practice of professional and practical nursing and dietetics-nutrition by registered nurses, practical nurses, certified registered nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, dietitian-nutritionists, and graduate nurses.  The Board issues licenses and certifications to qualified applicants, approves nursing education programs, establishes standards of practice, and disciplines licensees and unlicensed persons for violations of the Acts and the regulations.