Registered Nurse License
To practice as an RN in California, you must be licensed by the California State Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). You must meet educational requirements, pass a criminal background check, and pass the national licensing examination.
To apply for licensure:
- Obtain an application package and detailed instructions online at the BRN website or by contacting the BRN.
- Send your application to the BRN at least 6-8 weeks before graduation.
- Have your school send the BRN your transcripts.
- Complete a fingerprint background check.
- Take and pass the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX). The exam is computerized and given continuously 6 days a week. (New graduates are advised to take the exam soon after graduation because research has shown that there is a higher success rate for early test takers compared with those who wait several months.)
- Apply for an Interim Permit if you wish to work in a supervised nursing capacity while awaiting the results of your examination.
Further information on becoming licensed may be obtained on the California State Board of Registered Nursing website, www.rn.ca.gov