• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - New York

    • Not a Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every 3 years

    Overview

    The New York State Board of Nursing is the regulatory board of registered nurses in New York and part of the New York State Board of Professions within the Office of Professions. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) grants nursing licenses by exam or endorsement. As of May 2022, more than 364,000 registered nurses held a New York nursing license.

    About

    To practice as a registered nurse in New York State, applicants must be both licensed and registered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). To qualify for licensure and registration, New York RN license applicants by exam or endorsement must:

    • Be of good moral character

    • Be at least 18 years old

    • Graduate from a nursing education program acceptable to NYSED

    • Complete required infection control and child abuse reporting coursework

    • Pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or another nurse licensure examination acceptable to NYSED

    • Apply for an RN license with NYSED

    Renewal

    After earning a New York RN license, NYSED sends licensees a nursing license parchment and a registration certificate. Their nursing license is valid for life unless it's surrendered, revoked, annulled, or suspended by the New York State Board of Regents. However, their registration certificate only authorizes them to practice as an RN for up to three years. They must renew this registration every three years to continue practicing nursing.

    When completing their second registration, or first renewal, NYSED shortens the registration period to align with the licensee's birth month. It prorates the registration renewal fee for the second registration only. Subsequent registration renewals occur every three years.

    Continuing Education

    All practicing RNs must complete NYSED-approved infection control coursework every four years or qualify for an exemption. The due date may or may not coincide with their license renewal. Otherwise, NYSED doesn’t have any continuing education requirements for New York RN license renewal.

    Requirements

    Moral Character Requirements

    Applicants must demonstrate that they're of good moral character. When they apply for their license or renew their registration, they must answer the following questions:

    • Have they been found guilty after trial, or pleaded guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any court?

    • Are criminal charges pending against them in any court?

    • Has any licensing or disciplinary authority refused to issue them a license or ever revoked, annulled, canceled, accepted surrender of, suspended, placed on probation, or refused to renew a professional license or certificate held by them now or previously?

    • Has any licensing or disciplinary authority ever fined, censured, reprimanded, or otherwise disciplined them?

    • Are charges pending against them in any jurisdiction for any sort of professional misconduct?

    • Has any hospital, licensed facility, or clinical laboratory restricted or terminated their professional training, employment, or privileges or have they ever voluntarily or involuntarily resigned or withdrawn from such association to avoid imposition of such measures?

    Answering yes to one or more of these questions won't necessarily disqualify an applicant from obtaining a New York nursing license or registration. The NYSED determines on a case-by-case basis whether a prior criminal conviction(s) or other issues disqualifies an applicant from earning their RN license or registration in New York State.

    Education Requirements

    To meet the education requirements for licensure as an RN in New York, applicants must graduate from a nursing education program acceptable to the NYSED. They must graduate from a nursing education program that meets one of the following criteria:

    • Be a nursing education program resulting in a diploma or an associate's, a bachelor's, or a master's degree that's NYSED-registered as RN license-qualifying

    • Be a nursing education program in another U.S. state or territory approved by the licensing authority of that U.S. state or territory as preparation for RN practice

    • Be a general nursing education program in a country outside the U.S. or its territories acceptable to the NYSED

    Additionally, applicants must complete NYSED-approved child abuse reporting and New York State required infection control coursework or qualify for an exemption from these coursework requirements.

    Child Abuse Reporting Coursework Requirements

    Graduates of a nursing education program registered/accredited with the NYSED after September 1, 1990, have already completed the child abuse reporting coursework requirement as part of their studies. Otherwise, they don't qualify for an exemption and must take an NYSED-approved child abuse reporting course online. RNs may qualify for an exemption if they can demonstrate that they won't have contact with persons under age 18 or residents of nursing homes or residential care schools during their nursing practice. They may request exemption when applying for their New York nursing license.

    Infection Control Coursework Requirements

    All practicing RNs must complete NYSED-approved infection control coursework every four years or qualify for an exemption. They must prove they've either completed the coursework or qualify for an exemption when they apply for a license. First-time applicants who graduated from an NYSED-registered RN education program within the last four years have already completed the infection control coursework requirements as part of their nursing studies. They don't need additional coursework for their initial New York nursing license but will have to complete qualifying coursework every four years or qualify for an exemption.

    Applicants who didn't graduate from an NYSED-registered RN education program and don't qualify for an exemption must take an NYSED-approved infection control course either online or in person. Applicants may qualify for an exemption if they can prove that they either took infection control training equivalent to NYSED-required coursework or taking infection control coursework isn't necessary due to the nature of their nursing practice. They may request this exemption when they apply for their license.

    Examination Requirements

    In most cases, applicants meet the examination requirements for RN licensure by passing the NCLEX-RN developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and administered by Pearson VUE. RNs licensed in another state, U.S. territory, or Canada who passed the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or the NCLEX-RN have met the examination requirement for licensure in New York. Applicants who've not taken the NCLEX-RN must register with Pearson VUE online or by calling (866) 496-2539 after applying for RN licensure.

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    New York doesn't require fingerprinting or background checks as a condition for obtaining a nursing license. It continues to rely on applicants to self-disclose during initial licensure and nurses to self-disclose every three years during the New York RN license renewal process.

    Contact Information

    NY State Education Department Office of the Professions New York State Board for Nursing 89 Washington Avenue Albany, New York 12234-1000 [email protected] (518) 474-3817 (Press 1 then ext. 120)

    Multistate

    New York isn't currently part of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).

    Licensure by Endorsement

    Applicants licensed in another state or U.S territory who graduated from nursing school in the U.S. apply for licensure by endorsement. They must:

    Licensure by Exam

    In-State Graduates

    Applicants who graduated from NYSED-registered nursing education program who've never held an RN license must:

    Out-of-State Graduates

    Applicants who graduated from a nursing education program in another U.S. state or territory who've never held an RN license must:

    All applicants for licensure by exam receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) directly from Pearson VUE once NYSED reviews their New York nursing license application and determine they’re eligible to take the NCLEX-RN. They need their ATT number to schedule their NCLEX-RN. Applicants must also bring a copy of the ATT and acceptable identification to the testing site to be admitted to take the NCLEX-RN.

    Applicants who fail the NCLEX-RN must register with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 exam fee again to retake the NCLEX. However, they don’t have to file another RN licensure application or pay an additional fee to NYSED to retake the NCLEX.

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Applicants who graduated from a nursing school outside the U.S. and its territories complete the same steps as domestic-educated applicants and additional steps. They must:

    Timing

    Once a New York nursing license applicant submits all their required documentation, they should allow six weeks before requesting a status update from NYSED. Contacting NYSED earlier may extend processing times for applications. However, this time frame may increase during busy times.

    Temporary Nurse License

    NYSED may issue limited permits to nursing school graduates applying for their initial New York RN license who meet all criteria for licensure except for taking the NCLEX-RN. Graduate nurses may practice under the direct supervision of an RN but only at the healthcare facility listed on their limited permit. The supervising RN must be on the unit at all times when the graduate nurse provides care.

    Limited permits expire one year from the date of issuance or 10 days after the graduate nurse receives notification that they’ve failed the NCLEX, whichever comes first. However, applicants awaiting their NCLEX results at the time the permit expires, the permit shall remain in effect until 10 days after they receive their exam results.

    Graduates of an NYSED-registered nursing education program may be employed to practice nursing under the direct supervision of an RN and with the employing agency’s endorsement for 90 days immediately following graduation while they await their limited permit. They must have already applied for the permit and their licensure application must be pending.

    Graduates of nursing schools taught in any language other than English must pass an English proficiency test before NYSED issues them a limited permit.

    All graduate nurses holding a limited permit must be referred to by the title of Graduate Nurse (GN). They must use this time when signing official patient care documents and it must be displayed on their identification badge.

    Fees

    Applicants using the online Application for Licensure must pay electronically by credit card. All other payments must be made by personal check or money order made payable to the New York State Education Department. Mail these payments along with the appropriate forms to the address listed on the form. Don’t send cash. Fees are subject to change. If the fee has changed when the NYSED receives an application, it will bill the applicant the difference. Current New York nurse licensure fees include:

    • License by Exam/Endorsement and Initial RN Registration: $143

    • Limited Permit: $35

    • New York RN Registration Renewal: $73

    Applicants who withdraw their nurse licensure application may receive a partial refund. Contact the Nurse Unit by email at [email protected], by phone at (518) 474-3817 ext. 280, or by fax at (518) 474-3398.

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    Frequently asked questions

    Will a prior criminal conviction prevent an applicant from obtaining a New York RN license?

    Not necessarily. The New York State Education Department reviews the applicant's background as part of the review of their New York nursing license application. The review includes any prior conviction(s). NYSED decides on a case-by-case basis whether a prior criminal conviction(s) disqualifies an applicant from obtaining a New York RN license.

    Do applicants have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for a New York nursing license?

    No, applicants aren't required to be U.S. citizens. New York nursing license applicants may be U.S. citizens or any persons lawfully in the U.S.

    Do applicants need a Social Security number to qualify for a New York nursing license?

    No, applicants aren't required to have a Social Security number. However, if they have one, they must disclose it on their New York nursing license application and their nursing registration renewal applications.

    After an applicant registers for the NCLEX, when will they receive their Authorization to Test?

    The New York State Education Department must review the RN license application to determine the applicant's eligibility to take the NCLEX. If NYSED determines they're eligible, it informs Pearson VUE directly. Pearson VUE issues an ATT to the applicant by mail or email. The ATT includes an ATT number the applicant needs to schedule an appointment to take the NCLEX. Additionally, they must present the ATT and acceptable identification at the test center to be admitted to take the exam.