Kansas RN Licensing Guide

  • Compact State
  • Participates in NURSYS
  • Renewal every 2 years


The Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN) consists of 11 members appointed by the Governor. Its mission is to protect and promote the welfare of the citizens of Kansas by assuring the safe and competent practice of nurses. KSBN accomplishes this through the regulation of standards for nursing education, licensure, and practice, and by issuing and renewing the Kansas nursing licenses of duly qualified nursing applicants. Over 53,000 registered nurses were recorded in the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) Nursys database in April 2024.


As part of its duty to regulate nursing education, the KSBN prescribes standards and curricula for professional nursing programs in the state. To gain KSBN approval, the curriculum of a nursing program in Kansas must include content in the physical, biological, behavioral, and social sciences that provides the foundation for safe and effective nursing practice. It also must include instructional content and clinical experience that promote safe, effective care environments for the management of health promotion and maintenance, growth and development throughout the lifespan, disease detection and prevention, infection control, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity.

All applicants for a Kansas RN license must have graduated from an approved school of nursing in the U.S. or its territories or from a school of nursing in a foreign country approved by the KSBN. To apply online, applicants must create an account in the Kansas Nursing License Portal, click on the “Applications” tab, and select “Nursing” as the profession. They choose the type of license they’re applying for – endorsement, exam, or multistate conversion – and click on “Start Application.”


Kansas RN licenses expire every two years on the last day of the licensee’s birth month. Expiration occurs in even-numbered years for licensees born in even-numbered years and in odd-numbered years for licensees born in odd-numbered years. Licensees may apply for their Kansas RN license renewal 90 days before their expiration date by submitting an application online or submitting a paper Kansas RN license renewal application to the KSBN office. To qualify for renewal, RNs must complete 30 hours of approved continuing nursing education (CNE) during each two-year licensure period.

Continuing Education Requirements

Kansas RNs licensed by examination who passed the NCLEX more than 30 months ago or Kansas RNs licensed by endorsement at least nine months before the initial expiration date must complete 30 hours of CNE before the first renewal date and every renewal date that follows. One contact hour equals 50 minutes and is accepted by KSBN as 1 CNE hour. One continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 contact hours or 10 CNE hours. CNE may be provided by:

  • Any provider approved by KSBN

  • Any provider approved by other State BONs

  • Any provider approved by National Nursing Credentialing Associations

  • A pre-approved Individual Offering Approval (IOA)

    • Continuing Medical Education (CME)

    • College courses

    • Offerings by non-approved providers

Acceptable types of offerings that count towards CNE requirements include:

  • Offerings presented by approved single or long-term providers

  • Offerings included on an IOA

  • First-time instructor presentations of approved offering to licensed nurses by the licensee (up to 15 contact hours)

  • Offerings that utilize KSBN-approved curriculum developed by the:

    • American Heart Association

    • Emergency Nurses Association

    • Mandt

  • Distance learning offerings

  • Independent study

  • KSBN-approved refresher course for licensure reinstatement 

  • Prerequisite college courses in science, sociology, psychology, or statistics for a nursing degree (15 CNE contact hours per semester credit)

  • Participation as a nursing organization board of directors or state board of nursing member

Proof of CNE completion may be required at the time of license renewal, CNE documentation must include:

  • A certificate or transcript designating the name of the CNE offering, number of hours completed/awarded, provider’s name, provider number if applicable, date of the offering, and the licensee’s name and license number as recorded on the roster

  • KSBN-approved IOA showing approval of college courses, CME, etc.

KSBN accepts fractions of hours over 30 minutes computed toward a contact hour. Accumulated contact hours that exceed the 30-hour requirement won’t carry over to the next renewal period.


Fingerprinting Requirements

All Kansas nursing license applicants must submit fingerprints to be sent to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for state and national criminal history record checks. KSBN no longer performs fingerprinting services at the agency. Applicants must have fingerprinting completed at a law enforcement or authorized fingerprint agency. Applicants must:

  • Record fingerprints on the current FBI Applicant Fingerprint Card, FD Form 258

  • Complete and sign the Waiver Agreement

  • Provide a self-addressed, stamped 9x12 envelope to the law enforcement/fingerprinting agency to mail the fingerprint card and signed waiver directly to KSBN

  • Include a check/money order made payable to KSBN to cover the background check fee

  • Pay the agency any additional fee it charges for fingerprinting services

KSBN isn’t capable of accepting fingerprints from any agency captured through Live Scan and sent electronically. If the agency only performs Live Scans, they must print the scanned fingerprints onto an FD Form 258 to mail to KSBN like cards completed manually. KSBN sends fingerprint cards to KBI for processing and receives results within 5 to 10 business days. If an application requires a name search, processing may take longer.

Contact Information

Kansas State Board of Nursing
Landon State Office Building
900 Southwest Jackson, Suite 1051
Topeka, KS 66612
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(785) 296-4929


Although Kansas wasn’t part of the original Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), it joined the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). The eNLC in Kansas went into effect on July 1, 2019, and allowed local RNs to apply for multistate licenses and out-of-state RNs to practice in the state without seeking additional licensure. The KSBN considers all applicants of Kansas RN licenses for multistate licensure if requested, and they qualify.

Current Kansas RN license holders may apply to convert from a single state license to a multistate license for a one-time fee. They can also choose to not convert and continue holding a single state license. Multistate nursing license holders can practice in their home state and other Compact states under the same license.

To qualify for a conversion, applicants must submit a fingerprint packet for a background check, regardless of how long they’ve held a Kansas RN license. Kansas multistate nursing licenses can only be issued to applicants who declare Kansas as their PSOR with a Kansas driver’s license as proof. All applicants must also meet these 11 uniform licensure requirements:

  • Meet all Kansas nursing licensure requirements

  • Have a valid U.S. Social Security number

  • Graduate from a KSBN-approved nursing education program

  • Pass an English proficiency test if English isn’t the applicant’s native language

  • Pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or predecessor exam

  • Hold or be eligible for an active, unencumbered Kansas nursing license

  • Submit fingerprints for state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks

  • Not have any federal felony convictions

  • Not have any misdemeanor convictions related to nursing

  • Not currently participating in an alternative program (impaired provider program)

  • Self-disclose participation in an alternative program

Licensure by Endorsement

Kansas nursing license applicants currently holding an active RN license in another state can apply for licensure by endorsement if they don’t have a multistate license. Applicants must have been originally licensed by examination under the laws of the other state or territory, plus:

  • Complete an application for licensure by endorsement online

  • Include nursing education and degree information

  • Include employment information of all places worked as an RN in the past five years

  • Include original state of licensure information, including license type, number, and status

  • Request nursing school to send an official transcript with the degree and graduation date to KSBN through Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, or the U.S. mail

  • Have completed fingerprint cards, waiver, and background check fee mailed to KSBN

  • Request state licensing board to send verification of current licensure to KSBN, either through Nursys or a completed Verification of License form

  • Mail KSBN a copy of a current, active nursing license from another state

  • Mail KSBN an explanatory letter and all legal documents related to any convictions noted on the application, if applicable

Once KSBN receives and reviews all required documents, it may issue a Kansas nursing license by endorsement if it determines the applicant meets the qualifications of an RN in Kansas. It also may issue a temporary permit while the background check is being processed.

Licensure by Exam

Applicants who have graduated from an approved RN prelicensure nursing program and need to sit for the NCLEX must apply for RN licensure by exam. They must:

  • Complete initial application online, including all nursing education

  • Request nursing school to send an official transcript to KSBN through Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, or the U.S. mail

    • Transcripts must include legal name, graduation date, and degree awarded

  • Have completed fingerprint cards, waiver, and background check fee mailed to KSBN

  • Register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX

Graduate nurses must take the NCLEX within two years of graduation or petition the KSBN for permission to take the exam. They may be required to submit and complete a plan of study before they're permitted to take the licensure exam. Applications remain active for six months. Once expired, the applicant must file a new application with a new fee.

Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

Graduates of foreign nursing schools must submit the same items as applicants educated domestically. They also must submit an evaluation of their education and licensure credentials and may need to complete an English proficiency test.

Education Evaluation:

KSBN requires a Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Professional Report sent directly from the credentialing agency. The CGFNS must fully evaluate the professional nursing program, including courses and transcripts. They must also evaluate the nursing license they were issued to certify that the applicant is a first-level general nurse who meets all the registration requirements to be licensed as a nurse in Kansas.

English Proficiency Exam:

Applicants educated outside the U.S. must prove proficiency in oral and written English if their primary language isn’t English or their nursing education wasn’t provided in English. KSBN has approved the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores on the Internet-based test:

  • Writing: 20

  • Speaking: 20

  • Reading: 19

  • Listening: 20

A paper-based version of the TOEFL is available in areas where Internet-based testing isn’t possible. Applicants may take other similar English proficiency exams if approved by KSBN. Results of the exam must be sent directly to KSBN from the test provider with Code Number 9149 in the results reporting list. Results won’t be accepted from the applicant.


Applicants who submit their applications for a Kansas nursing license electronically should allow 7 to 10 business days before checking the status of their application. They can check the status by logging into their online nursing portal and clicking on “View Checklist” above their pending application. Once fingerprints are submitted to the KBI, it usually takes 5 to 10 business days for KSBN to receive results. For those who qualify, KSBN typically issues temporary licenses approximately 2 to 4 weeks after receipt of all required documents. The overall processing time for permanent licensure is generally 6 to 8 weeks from the time KSBN receives all required information.

Temporary Nurse License

KSBN may issue a temporary permit to applicants of Kansas RN licensure by endorsement who hold current, active nursing licenses in another U.S. state or territory that were granted by examination. Applicants must:

  • Complete the application for licensure by endorsement online

  • Provide proof of a valid U.S. Social Security number

  • Complete fingerprinting and waiver for background checks

  • Provide an unofficial copy of their current nursing license, such as a photocopy of their license or printout of their online verification

  • Pay the application fee online

Applicants must complete all remaining steps to earn a permanent Kansas RN license by endorsement before their temporary permit expires. Temporary permits are issued for no more than 120 days and allow holders to gain employment while completing the remaining requirements for endorsement. Graduates of a professional nursing school in a foreign country applying for licensure by endorsement may also qualify for a temporary permit following approval of their education credentials and verification of licensure in the foreign country.


Applicants must pay by check or money order when mailing in paper forms. When applying online, accepted forms of payment include electronic check (ACH) and Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit or debit cards. KanPay adds a small fee to all electronic payments, including $1.25 for checks and 2.5% of the total charge for credit/debit card transactions. Application fees and related costs include:

  • Single-State License by Endorsement/Exam: $100

  • Multistate License by Endorsement/Exam: $125

  • Biennial Renewal of Single-State/Multistate License: $85

  • Background Check: $48

  • Nurse Licensure Exam Fee to Pearson VUE: $200 (per attempt)

  • Reinstatement Single-State/Multistate License With/Without Temporary Permit: $150

  • Verification of Licensure: $30

  • Certified Copy of Kansas License: $25

  • Inactive License: $10

  • Application/Renewal of Exempt License: $50

  • Duplicate License: $25

Recent Updates

Effective February 18, 2022, KSBN no longer performs Live Scan fingerprinting services at its office. Applicants must have fingerprints collected at their local police department or authorized fingerprinting agency.

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Frequently asked questions

How do applicants for a Kansas RN license by exam retake the NCLEX if they fail it?

Applicants who fail the NCLEX can retake it every 45 days. However, they must submit a new KSBN application for licensure by exam with a new application fee and re-register with Pearson Vue with a new registration fee each time. They must also submit a new background check with the applicable fee if it’s been more than six months since the previous background check. If it’s been more than two years since the applicant’s graduation date, they must complete a Petition for Permission to Test or Retest and present it to KSBN members. If it’s been more than five years since graduation, applicants must retake a nursing program before seeking permission to retake the NCLEX.

Can applicants for Kansas nursing licensure challenge the results of their background checks?

Yes, applicants can request a copy of the state and/or national criminal history record and challenge the accuracy and completeness of these records. Mail official court documents for corrections to a KBI background check to:

Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Attn: Criminal History Records
1620 SW Tyler
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1837

If changes are made to an applicant’s Kansas criminal history record, the KBI sends a new copy of the record to KSBN so it can make a final decision regarding the applicant’s Kansas nursing license.

To challenge the FBI criminal background check, officially known as the Identity History Summary, submit a set of fingerprints for review and challenge to the FBI at:

FBI CJIS Division
Attn: Criminal History Analysis Team 1
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

Does RN licensure renewal in Kansas require continuing education?

Yes RN licensure renewal in Kansas requires continuing education. Kansas RNs licensed by examination who passed the NCLEX more than 30 months ago or Kansas RNs licensed by endorsement at least nine months before the initial expiration date must complete 30 hours of CNE before the first renewal date and every renewal date that follows.

Is Kansas a Nurse Licensure Compact state?

Yes Kansas is a Nurse Licensure Compact state.

How often do you need to renew your RN license in Kansas?

You must renew your RN license in Kansas every two years on the last day of your birth month.