If you are ready to get your nursing license, it is helpful to know the requirements of the state where you plan to carry your license. Each state’s requirements can be a little bit different. In Virginia, you must complete an approved nursing program, complete an online application, fingerprints, background check, pay all associated fees for the application and your NCLEX-RN, and finally take (and pass ) the NCLEX-RN.
Finish your nursing program
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires that you must complete a state approved nursing program. There are procedures to follow if you completed your program in a state other than Virginia and did not take the NCLEX-RN or if you were educated in another country. The Virginia Board of Nursing supplies information specific to those situations on their website.
Apply and pay
You must fill out an application with the Board of Nursing and pay applicable fees. Currently, an application fee is $190. In Virginia, these applications are exclusively online.
Fingerprints and background check
Beginning in January of 2016, all applicants for nursing licensure must submit fingerprints and a criminal background check. The Board of Nursing provides applicants with the instructions for meeting this requirement. The Board of Nursing recommends actually being present in VA when you complete this step so you can use the Livescan program for fingerprinting. This method of fingerprint submission allows the Board access to results in as little as 24-48 hours. Paper cards sent in from other states could delay the processing of your application.
Registration for the NCLEX-RN
After completing the application for the Board of Nursing in Virginia, you must register with Pearson Vue. Pearson Vue is the company that handles the NCLEX-RN. You will also be required to pay the exam fee of $200 at this time. If registering online or by phone, have your credit/debit card number handy for payment.
Authorization to Test
Once the Board of Nursing has received, processed, and approved of your application and any required supporting documentation, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. You will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) via the e-mail you used to register with Pearson Vue. The ATT is only valid for a specified time period. The average length of validity for an ATT is about 90 days. You must schedule and complete your test within this timeframe. It is very important to be on the lookout for your ATT. This means checking your spam and junk folders! ATT validity dates cannot be extended for any reason.
Schedule your exam
To schedule your NCLEX-RN, you must have your ATT. You can schedule online or by phone. First-time test takers will be offered an appointment to test within 30 days of their request to schedule. If you haven’t been already, now would be a great time to start preparing for success on your NCLEX-RN.
When your test day is finally here, it is time to trust all that you have learned and practiced. It’s totally normal to be nervous. I know I was! But, this is your time to take the final step on your journey to becoming a nurse.
Getting your license
Pearson Vue sends test scores directly to the Board of Nursing. You will receive your results in the mail within 6 weeks of test completion. If you passed, NCLEX-RN, you will receive your license. Check with the Board of Nursing for your license information as it can take some time to make it all official.
Getting your nursing license is no small endeavor! Since each state can be slightly different, it is very important to follow all the procedures in the state you wish to obtain your license.