• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - New Jersey

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

    Overview

    Established in 1912, the New Jersey Board of Nursing (NJBON) protects New Jersey residents' health, safety, and welfare by ensuring that individuals who practice nursing are qualified and competent. It licenses registered nurses, accredits nursing schools, and regulates the nursing profession in the state. Nearly 142,500 registered nurses held a New Jersey nursing license in May 2022.

    About

    The NJBON combined the previously used "Examination" and "Endorsement" applications into a single "Candidate" application that all applicants must complete. Applicants who've never been licensed or currently hold a license in another state use the same RN Candidate Application, an online application. Candidates who proclaim New Jersey as their primary state of residence (PSOR) may be issued a multistate Compact license if they meet Uniform Licensure Requirements. Resident nurses who don't meet these requirements may be issued a single-state license. Registered nurses licensed in another state who don't claim New Jersey as their PSOR may be issued a New Jersey RN license by endorsement.

    Renewal

    New Jersey RNs must renew their licenses online biennially on or before May 31 of the renewal year. The NJBON sends New Jersey RN license renewal notices at least 60 days before the licensee's expiration date. If a renewal notice isn't at least 60 days before the expiration date, licensees won't be charged monetary penalties or fines for failing to renew their licenses. Licensed not renewed by the expiration date expire. However, RNs have up to 30 days after their expiration date in which they can renew and pay a late fee. License not renewed within this 30-day window shall be administratively suspended without a hearing. Continuing Education

    RNs must attest that they've completed continuing education (CE) requirements during each two-year licensure period. Requirements include a minimum of 30 CE hours, which must contain:

    • At least one hour on topics covering prescription opioid drugs, such as alternatives to prescription opioids for managing and treating pain and the risks/signs of opioid addiction, abuse, and diversion

    • One hour of one-time CE covering organ and tissue donation and recovery that addresses the clinical aspects of the donation and recovery process

    RNs who complete more than 30 CE hours in any biennial registration period may carry up to 15 of the additional hours into the next biennial period.

    Requirements

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    The NJBON conducts criminal history record background checks on all healthcare professionals before issuing an initial New Jersey nursing license or other authorization to practice a healthcare profession. After the NJBON receives the completed Certification and Authorization Form for a Criminal History Background Check, applicants receive instructions on the fingerprinting process.

    In-State Applicants

    Applicants living in the New Jersey area receive information on scheduling an appointment with MorphoTrust to have their fingerprints recorded electronically. They must pay a fingerprinting fee of $62.70 using a check or money order made payable to MorphoTrust.

    Out-of-State Applicants

    Applicants living outside New Jersey receive one state and one federal fingerprint card through the mail. They must have their fingerprints recorded on the cards provided by their local or state police department or other law enforcement agency. Completed cards must be returned to the NJBON with a fee of $58.69 to have their fingerprints scanned into the electronic system by MorphoTrust. The fee must be paid by check or money order made payable to MorphoTrust.

    If the Criminal History Background Check reveals a criminal conviction, the NJBON must review the candidate's application.

    Contact Information

    New Jersey Board of Nursing PO Box 45010 Newark, New Jersey 07101 [email protected] (973) 504-6430

    Multistate

    New Jersey is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). RNs with active, unencumbered nursing licenses issued by NLC members may practice in New Jersey under their Compact license. Nurses holding a New Jersey RN license don't automatically have a multistate license. They must apply for a multistate License by Upgrade, allowing them to practice in other Compact states without obtaining additional licensure.

    First-time New Jersey applicants should submit an application as an RN Candidate. They will be issued a multistate Compact license if they meet the 11 Uniform Licensure Requirements. Otherwise, they may be issued a single-state New Jersey nursing license. To be eligible for a New Jersey multistate nursing license, applicants must:

    • Meet the requirements for licensure in New Jersey

      • New Jersey must be their declared Primary State of Residence

    • Have a valid United States Social Security number

    • Have graduated from a board-approved education program or an international education program approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country as verified by an independent credentials review agency

    • Have passed an English proficiency examination if English isn't the applicant's native language or they graduated from a nursing school not taught in English

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

    • Hold or be eligible for an active, unencumbered license

    • Complete state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks

    • Have not been convicted or found guilty of a felony offense

    • Have no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing

    • Not currently be a participant in an alternative program

    • Self-disclose current participation in an alternative program

    Applicants must also complete a Criminal History Certification of Authorization form and a non-refundable application fee.

    Licensure by Endorsement

    Registered nurses licensed in another U.S. state, territory, or possession may apply for a New Jersey nursing license by endorsement without examination if they meet the state's licensure requirements. Application requirements include submitting:

    • A completed application detailing the applicant's education and experience in nursing

    • Written or electronic verification of their licensure status from every U.S. state, territory, or possession in which the applicant has ever been licensed

    • Non-refundable payment of application, initial license, and alternative to discipline surcharge fees totaling $200

    • An application and fee for a temporary courtesy license, if applicable and eligible

      • Must provide proof they've engaged in nursing practice for at least two of the last five years immediately preceding the date of application

      • Must complete a Criminal History Certification of Authorization form

    Licensure by Exam

    Graduate nurses seeking a New Jersey RN license must pass the NCLEX-RN before being licensed to practice professional nursing. They must submit to the NJBON:

    • A completed application detailing the applicant's education and experience in nursing and indicating whether they're seeking a multistate or single-state license

    • Written certification from the registrar or program administrator attesting they've completed all requirements for graduation from a registered nursing program accredited by the NJBON or another state BON

      • Certification must include graduation date and degree or diploma conferred

    • Non-refundable payment of application, initial license, and alternative to discipline surcharge fees totaling $200

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Graduates of nursing programs outside the United States must complete the five elements required for New Jersey RN licensure for foreign-educated applicants.

    • Transcript review by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)

      • Must request the Full Education Course by Course Report

    • Proof they achieved a passing score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam

    • Completed licensure application for graduates of foreign nursing programs detailing the applicant's education and experience in nursing

    • Completed Criminal History Background Check clearance

    • Passing the NCLEX-RN licensing examination

    Items foreign-educated applicants must submit to the NJBON include: 

    • Official Application for Licensure by Examination for Foreign Graduates

    • An original color 2” x 2” passport-style photograph 

    • Copy of Social Security card

    • Copy of birth certificate or other immigration documents 

    • Non-refundable payment of application, initial license, and alternative to discipline surcharge fees totaling $225, payable to the New Jersey Board of Nursing

    • Certification and Authorization Form for a Criminal History Background Check

    Timing

    Although the NJBON doesn't explicitly state the length of time it takes to earn a new Jersey RN license on its website, many external sites claim it takes approximately 8 to 12 weeks after the Board receives all required licensure documents.

    Temporary Nurse License

    A registered professional nurse may obtain a temporary courtesy license if they've never held a New Jersey nursing license. They must:

    • Currently hold an RN license in good standing in another U.S. state or territory with licensure requirements equivalent to those in New Jersey

    • Not be a New Jersey resident

    • Not have committed an act in another jurisdiction that would have resulted in denial, suspension, or revocation of a New Jersey nursing license

    • Not be the subject of an investigation by a professional or occupational licensing entity in another jurisdiction

    • Be the spouse of an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces who's been transferred to New Jersey and legally domiciled in New Jersey or has moved to New Jersey for a permanent change of station

    To apply for a temporary courtesy license in New Jersey, applicants must submit:

    • Official Application for a Temporary Courtesy License detailing the applicant's education and experience in nursing

    • Original 2” x 2” color passport photo

    • Copy of the military ID belonging to the applicant or the applicant's active duty spouse

    • Copy of military orders assigning the military individual to New Jersey

    • Copy of birth certificate or other immigration documents

    • Certification and Authorization Form for a Criminal History Background Check

    • Completed New Jersey and FBI fingerprint cards, if applicable

    • List of nursing employers providing proof that applicant engaged in nursing practice in another jurisdiction for at least two of the last five years immediately preceding the date of application

      • Includes any time spent discharging official duties in the Armed Forces or for a Federal agency

    • Written or electronic verification of nursing license from all states of licensure

    • Non-refundable payment of application, initial license, and alternative to discipline surcharge fees totaling $140 made payable to the New Jersey Board of Nursing, and if applicable, fingerprinting fee made payable to MorphoTrust

    Temporary courtesy licenses are valid for one year, but licensees may apply to the NJBON for an extension of an additional year through a renewal application.

    Fees

    • Application for Licensure by Exam/Endorsement: $200

      • Application Fee: $75

      • Initial License Fee: $120

      • Alternative to Discipline Surcharge: $5

    • Application for Licensure of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Programs: $225

      • Application Fee: $75

      • Initial License Fee: $120

      • Alternative to Discipline Surcharge: $5

    • Biennial New Jersey RN License Renewal

      • Active: $120

      • Inactive: $60

    • Late License Renewal (Up to 30 days): $50

      • Plus Appropriate Renewal Fee

    • Reinstatement Fee: $100

    • Duplicate License: $35

    • Written Verification of Licensure: $25

    • Verification for Endorsement: $30

    • Copy of Nurse Practice Act: $5

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    Frequently asked questions

    Do nurses who currently have an active New Jersey RN license automatically have a multistate license?

    No, all nurses must apply through the New Jersey Board of Nursing for a multistate license and meet all 11 uniform licensing requirements to obtain a multi-state license. They may apply for a Multistate License by Upgrade.

    How many continuing education contact hours are required to renew a New Jersey RN license?

    Licensees must complete at least 30 contact hours of continuing education during each two-year period preceding renewal. Renewals occur biennially on May 31.

    How many times can a candidate for a New Jersey nursing license by exam take the NCLEX?

    An applicant for a New Jersey nursing license who fails may take the NCLEX three before they must complete a remediation course conducted by a qualified instructor and consisting of 30 hours. The applicant must complete the remediation course within one year of applying to take the NCLEX for the fourth time and provide proof to the NJBON that they successfully completed the course. Should the applicant fail the NCLEX for a fourth time, they may retake it up to two more times before they must take the remediation course again.