• Licenses
  • Missouri RN Licensing Guide

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


    The Missouri Board of Nursing (BON) operates under the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, which provides administrative support to 42 professional licensing boards. The BON consists of nine gubernatorially appointed members entrusted with issuing Missouri nursing licenses to qualified applicants. It’s also charged with ensuring registered nurses licensed in Missouri provide a safe, effective environment for nursing care by complying with the established rules and regulations of nursing practice. Nearly 118,000 RNs held active Missouri RN licenses in early 2022.


    The Missouri BON examines applications of graduate nurses requesting a Missouri RN license by exam and evaluates applications of RNs licensed in other states requesting a Missouri nursing license by endorsement. It also sets minimum standards for nursing education programs to ensure these prelicensure programs prepare students as entry-level professional nurses. Approved nursing programs in Missouri must evenly distribute the curriculum between theory, lab, and clinical instruction.

    The Missouri BON doesn’t accept applications or supporting documents from applicants electronically. Applicants must mail applications, supporting documents, and fees to the BON office. Supporting documents don’t have to accompany the Missouri nursing license application but must be submitted before BON members decide on endorsements or eligibility to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The Missouri BON contacts applicants in writing if it must review their applications or they’re missing any supporting documents. Applicants must provide a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) before being granted a Missouri RN license.

    All applicants for licensure by endorsement or exam must submit evidence of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. When submitting official documents, only send copies, not originals. Acceptable evidence includes:

    • U.S. birth certificate

    • U.S. passport

    • Unexpired Visa

    • Permanent Resident Card

    • I-94 DHS Arrival/Departure Record

    • I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status

    • Other official documents proving lawful presence

    California RNs issued original licenses using the “30 Unit Option” don’t qualify for a Missouri RN license. However, there's an exception if they've graduated from an accredited nursing school with a diploma or degree since they were initially licensed. They must submit a transcript to qualify for licensure.


    The BON mails Missouri RN license renewal postcards to all nurses approximately three months before their expiration date. These postcards include renewal instructions and go to the nurses’ last known address on file. Nurses registered on Nursys e-Notify also receive electronic Missouri RN license renewal reminders.

    Missouri RN licenses expire on April 30 of each odd-numbered year and there isn't a grace period. RNs must renew their licenses at least three business days before each biennial expiration date. Otherwise, their license may lapse, and they must complete a reinstatement application, pay additional fees, and submit to a fingerprint background check. The renewal process normally takes 3 to 5 business days. If an RN's license hasn't been renewed by the expiration date, they must stop practicing until it's renewed.

    Individuals renewing their Missouri RN license with the Division of Professional Registration must have paid all state income taxes and filed all necessary state income tax returns for the past three years. RN licenses are subject to immediate suspension or revocation within 90 days of the Missouri Department of Revenue's notification that a licensee has a delinquency or failure to file.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    The Missouri BON doesn’t require continuing education (CE) to renew or maintain a Missouri RN license.


    Fingerprinting Requirements

    Getting fingerprinted for a criminal background check is a three-step process that includes registering online with MACHS, scheduling an appointment, and getting fingerprinted at an IdentoGO location. IdentoGO transmits fingerprints to the Missouri State Highway Patrol to complete a state and FBI criminal background check. In-state applicants must:

    • Register using the four-digit registration number 0001

    • Use the same name, date of birth, and SSN used on the Missouri BON application

    • Schedule their appointment on the IdentoGO enrollment website and complete the process

    • Bring photo ID to the appointment at the IdentoGO location

    • Have fingerprints taken

    Applicants living outside of Missouri or are physically unable to visit an IdentoGo location must use Cardscan processing. To complete out-of-state fingerprinting, they must:

    • Obtain a set of fingerprints from local law enforcement or other agencies that provide fingerprinting services

    • Fingerprints may be traditional ink rolled on an FBI (FD-258) fingerprint card

    • Fingerprints may be captured via Live Scan and printed to an FBI (FD258) fingerprint card

    • Fill out all demographic data on the fingerprint card

    • Pre-enroll on the MACHS

    • Get routed to the IdentoGO website for Fingerprint Card Processing

    Applicants pay their processing fees during pre-enrollment. Once they complete registration, they must print and sign the completed pre-enrollment confirmation page with the preprinted barcode. Applicants mail their signed pre-enrollment confirmation page and completed fingerprint card to:

    IdentoGO Cardscan Department – Missouri Program 340 Seven Springs Way, Suite 250 Brentwood, TN 37027

    Contact Information

    Missouri Board of Nursing 3605 Missouri Boulevard Jefferson City, MO 65102 [email protected] (573) 751-0681


    Missouri became the 24th state to join the original Nurse Licensure Compact on June 1, 2010. It withdrew from the NLC and joined the Enhanced NLC on January 19, 2018. As a Compact state, RNs licensed in Missouri can physically or telephonically practice in other NLC states without applying for or maintaining separate licenses.

    The Missouri BON issues applicants a multistate license if they complete a Declaration of Primary State of Residence (PSOR) form listing Missouri as their permanent home state and meet the 11 Uniform Licensure Requirements. RNs may only hold one multistate license, which their home state must issue.

    RNs who live in another Compact state and have a multistate license may practice under this license and don’t need to apply for a Missouri nursing license. Those who live in a non-Compact state must apply for a single-state license that’s only valid in Missouri. RNs with multistate licenses issued by the Missouri BON who move to another Compact state must apply for licensure in their new PSOR and their Missouri nursing license deactivates. When nurses with a Missouri multistate RN license move to a non-Compact state, their Missouri license becomes a single-state license only valid in Missouri.

    Licensure by Endorsement

    RNs licensed in a non-Compact state must apply for Missouri RN licensure by endorsement. They must complete an RN Endorsement Application, then have it notarized when they sign it. Applicants must mail their application, supporting documentation, and the $105 application fee to the Missouri BON office. To complete the application process, they must:

    • Request an official final transcript showing the degree awarded and graduation date

      • Schools may send electronic transcripts through Parchment, eScripSafe, National Student Clearinghouse, or Credentials Solutions to [email protected]

    • Request verification of their other nursing license through Nursys

    • Register for a criminal background check with the Missouri State Highway Patrol

      • Requires a separate fee

      • Registration number: 0001

    Endorsement applicants should enroll in Nursys e-Notify as a Nurse to receive notifications of issuance of temporary permits, if applicable, and Missouri RN licenses. Missouri doesn’t issue physical license cards. Applicants who enroll in the e-Notify system also receive electronic Missouri RN license renewal reminders.

    The Missouri BON automatically retires endorsement applications of applicants who fail to meet all licensure requirements one year from the notarization date on the application. Applicants must reapply and resubmit application fees to practice nursing in Missouri.

    Licensure by Exam

    Nursing students in Missouri should apply to the Missouri BON about 2 to 3 months before graduation to begin the licensing process. They must complete the application for Missouri RN licensure by exam and have it notarized when they sign it. At the same time, applicants should visit Missouri State Highway Patrol’s online Missouri Automated Criminal History System (MACHS) to schedule an appointment to get fingerprinted for their criminal background check.

    About 1 to 2 weeks before graduation, nursing students should register with Pearson VUE to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). They’ll receive their Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson VUE via email after the Missouri BON makes them eligible to test. Applicants finish the application process after graduation. They must:

    • Request a final transcript with their degree earned and graduation date

      • Schools may send electronic transcripts through Parchment, eScripSafe, National Student Clearinghouse, or Credentials Solutions to [email protected]

      • The BON makes applicants eligible to take the NCLEX upon receipt of their transcript

    • Submit a notarized statement explaining all criminal offenses and certified court documents 

    Applicants may practice for 90 days as a graduate nurse under the direct supervision of an RN while awaiting their NCLEX-RN test results. If they pass the exam, they receive their results through email within three business days of taking the NCLEX. They can confirm their license on Nursys. Applicants who fail the NCLEX receive a copy of their results and an application to retake the exam in the mail. They can no longer practice as a graduate nurse.

    Graduate nurses who apply for a Missouri nursing license for the first time won’t pay an application fee. If they fail to complete all licensure requirements within a year from the notarization date on their application, the Missouri BON retires their application. Should this occur, they must reapply and pay an application fee.

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Applicants educated in a foreign country, Canada, or Puerto Rico must complete an application for licensure by exam for foreign-educated nurses, register for the NCLEX, submit to a criminal background check, and meet the other minimum requirements of nurses educated in the U.S.

    They must also follow the additional instructions for foreign-educated nurses, including a Credentials List of other documents they must mail to the Missouri BON office. All credentials must be in English or translated to English by an authorized person with a copy of the original document attached.

    Foreign-educated nurses must order a credential evaluation with a course-by-course evaluation report. This report must not be more than one year old and sent directly from the evaluation service. Approved services include:

    Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) Credential Evaluation Service Professional (CES) Report 3600 Market Street Suite 400 Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651 (215) 222-8454

    Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., International Education Consultants Foreign Credential Evaluation Application for BON Applicants or Visa4Nurses 7101 SW 102 Avenue Miami, FL 33173 (305) 273-1616

    They must also register with TrueProfile to order an education qualification, professional health license, identification, and residency check. Applicants must submit all required documents and pay an evaluation fee. However, nurses educated in a U.S. territory or Canada can skip this step.

    International applicants must submit evidence of English proficiency by passing an approved English proficiency exam. Acceptable tests and scores include:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language IBT (TOEFL)

      • Score of 540 on the paper exam or score of 83 overall and speaking score of 26 on the internet-based exam

      • Missouri BON doesn’t accept MyBest scores or the TOEFL Essentials Test

    • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)

      • Score of 725 in the Listening and Reading modules

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

      • Overall score in the academic module of 6.5 and speaking score of 7

      • Missouri BON doesn’t accept IELTS Online

    • VisaScreen from the CGFNS

    Once the Missouri BON receives all required documentation, it makes applicants eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. Pearson VUE sends an email with the ATT, and applicants schedule their exams. The BON sends exam results via email within three business days.

    Foreign educated nurses applying for a Missouri nursing license must meet the same minimum requirements as graduates of Missouri nursing schools. The licensing process may take several months to complete. International applicants may not practice as a nurse in Missouri until after passing the NCLEX and receiving their Missouri RN license. The Missouri BON doesn’t have any legal basis for issuing a temporary permit.


    The Missouri BON doesn’t provide a set timeline for the application to licensure process. However, graduate nurses applying for a Missouri RN license by exam should expect it to take at least 2 to 3 months based on the Missouri BON’s instructions to complete and submit the licensure application 2 to 3 months before graduation. The BON also allows graduate nurses a 90-day temporary permit to practice after graduation while awaiting their test results, indicating licensure may take up to six months. It doesn’t provide a timeline for endorsement applicants.

    Temporary Nurse License

    The Missouri BON automatically issues temporary permits to qualified Missouri RN licensure by endorsement applicants. The BON only issues one temporary permit, valid for six months, per applicant. Once the permit expires, the RN can’t practice nursing in Missouri until they receive their permanent endorsement license.

    Graduate nurses (GN) may practice for 90 days following graduation while awaiting their NCLEX-RN results. However, they only qualify if it’s their first attempt to pass the NCLEX. GNs must practice under the direct supervision of a licensed RN. They must take their NCLEX within this 90-day period or risk being denied the opportunity to test. If they pass, they automatically receive their Missouri RN license. GNs who fail the NCLEX must apply to retake the exam and can no longer practice as a graduate nurse, even if 90 days haven’t passed.

    Applicants who completed their education outside the U.S. seeking Missouri RN licensure by exam aren’t eligible for a temporary permit. They must pass the NCLEX-RN and receive their permanent license before practicing as a nurse in Missouri.


    The Missouri BON sets the fees for nurse licensure. All fees for Missouri nursing licenses and renewals include a $5 surcharge deposited into the professional and practical nursing student loan and nurse repayment fund. The BON doesn’t accept fees electronically, so applicants must pay all fees by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Missouri State Board of Nursing. All fees are nonrefundable. Current fees for Missouri RN licensure and related costs include:

    • Licensure by Endorsement: $105

    • Licensure by Exam (First NCLEX Attempt): $0

    • NCLEX Fee (Paid to Pearson VUE): $200

    • NCLEX Retake: $40

    • Criminal Background Check: $41.75

    • Biennial Renewal Fee: $85

    • Lapsed License Fee (Plus Renewal Fee): $50 Per Year 

    • Review and Challenge Fees: $100

    • Verification Fee: $30

    • Insufficient Funds: $25

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    Frequently asked questions

    What documentation is required when a Missouri nursing license applicant has disciplinary actions or criminal offenses?

    Applicants of a Missouri RN license with a criminal record or disciplinary action must submit a separate notarized statement providing a detailed narrative of the circumstances surrounding the criminal offense(s) or disciplinary action(s). The statement must also include a thorough description of the rehabilitative changes the RN has made in their life since the criminal offense(s) or disciplinary action(s) to help them avoid future occurrences.

    How can an employer verify a nurse’s Missouri RN license?

    Because Missouri doesn’t issue license cards, RNs whose employers need to verify their licenses must use the QuickConfirm option on the Nursys website. This service is free and provides the most current information.