North Carolina RN License Requirements

When you are ready to apply for a nursing license it is important to be familiar with the state requirements. Each state has different requirements and fees. Planning ahead will allow you to organize the required paperwork and budget for the required expenses. North Carolina provides the new graduate with a timeline to complete required tasks in order to decrease the total time between completing school and becoming a licensed registered nurse. 

Graduates of North Carolina Programs

Step 1: Register for Nurse Gateway.

This is the system which you will use to apply for your license and eventually complete the renewal process when required. You will create a username and password which you will need to keep in a secure location. The main information which you will need to enter when creating this account is your full name, date of birth, address and social security number.

Step 2: Complete the online application on the Nurse Gateway site 4-6 weeks prior to the completion of your program. There is a $75 fee for licensure by exam. After completing the application, print and mail the identification document immediately.

Step 3: The program director at your school will provide the North Carolina Board of Nursing documentation of program verification within 30 days of program completion.

Step 4: Complete the Criminal Background Check. For North Carolina residents, digital fingerprints are to be completed at LiveScan.

Step 5: Register two weeks prior to completing your program with Pearson Vue. There is a $200 fee for registering for the NCLEX-RN exam. Once all eligibility criteria have been verified, you will be contacted with information on scheduling your exam.


Out of State Programs/ Candidates

While you will follow the same steps as above, there are a few minor differences. First, you will be required to provide an official transcript which must include your legal name (first & last), degree awarded and date of completion. The official transcript should be mailed directly from your educational institution to: NCBON, Exam Department, PO Box 2506, Raleigh, NC 27602-2506. If you live out of state, North Carolina Board of Nursing issued fingerprint cards and instructions will be mailed directly to you following submission of your application.


Foreign Country Program

If you were educated in a foreign country, the process for obtaining your registered nurse license in most states is a little different. A full education course review by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) needs to be completed. You will also have to show proof of passing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. You should contact the North Carolina Board of Nursing for required forms.

Once you receive your testing confirmation information from Pearson Vue, you can schedule your exam. Stay calm and focused knowing that you have worked hard and are prepared for the NCLEX. You are on your way to becoming a member of the very rewarding field of nursing. Good Luck!



  • Michelle

    Michelle Besmer is dedicated to preparing the next generation of nurses for successful careers. She completed her Bachelors of Nursing and her Masters as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Rutgers University. She has practiced and trained nurses in pediatrics for over 15 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking and playing trumpet.