• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - West Virginia

    • Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every year


    The West Virginia RN Board (the Board) is the licensing agency for registered nurses in the state. Over 34,000 RNs held West Virginia nursing licenses in May 2022.


    In West Virginia, there are two different licensing agencies for nurses. The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses licenses RNs, and the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses licenses LPNs. The state currently has 11,726 PNs and 30,038 RNs. 

    All communications to and from the Board will take place using the online Message Center on the WV RN Nurse Portal. Applicants must create a Nurse Portal account to access electronic forms, apply online for their West Virginia nursing license, and send and receive messages. Information on Obtaining a West Virginia (MultiState) RN License

    An applicant for a West Virginia multistate license must meet the following criteria:

    1. West Virginia must be your primary State of residency

    2. Graduation from a board-approved education program

    3. Pass the English proficiency exam, if graduated from an international education program

    4. Pass the NCLEX

    5. Is eligible for or holds an unencumbered license

    6. Has submitted to State and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks

    7. Has no State or federal felony convictions

    8. Has no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing

    9. Is not currently in an alternative program

    10. Is required to disclose current participation in an alternative program

    11. Has a valid U.S. social security number

    Whether applying by exam or endorsement, all applicants must meet the Board's nurse education requirements. If they completed an in-state RN education program, the program must be accredited by the Board. Programs completed outside the state must either meet the board's minimum requirements for an accredited program completed within the state or be accredited by the National League for Nursing.

    Temporary Permit and Examination

    The temporary permit allows the applicant to practice practical nursing under the direct supervision of a registered nurse until a credential is granted. A temporary permit is valid for three months or until the holder receives failing examination results, whichever is shorter. A temporary permit may be renewed once for an additional three-month period.

    West Virginia RN Licensure by Exam

    The fee for licensure by examination is $51.50. This is separate from the cost of the exam itself, which is $200 and payable to Pearson VUE.

    Graduate nurses must apply for West Virginia nursing licensure by exam. All applicants must provide evidence of completion of an approved registered nursing education program and an official transcript if educated outside of West Virginia.

    Applications are processed by the date of receipt, generally within 15 business days. Applicants can receive a temporary permit while waiting for their permanent license. To be eligible for a temporary license, applicants must not have previously failed the NCLEX-RN or failed to appear to take the NCLEX-RN after registering for the exam.

    Applicants may register to take the required NCLEX-RN with PearsonVUE Professional Testing once they have received their authorization to test (ATT). After registering for the exam and receiving application approval, the Board notifies the testing company of an applicant’s eligibility to take the exam. PearsonVUE issues an Authorization to Test to applicants within about 48 hours of receiving the an eligibility notice. Applicants receive their permanent license upon passing the NCLEX-RN. Those failing the exam will receive written notice via email or postal mail. 

    Licensure by Endorsement

    For applicants who hold an active license in another State.

    RNs may pursue licensure by endorsement in West Virginia by verification from the original licensing state.

    Wisconsin RN Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Internationally educated RN candidates need to pursue certification by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) before applying to the West Virginia Board to take the NCLEX-RN.

    Endorsement costs $60 (or $70 if the RN needs to begin work under a temporary permit).

    Fingerprinting and Background Check Requirements

    A criminal background check via fingerprinting will be required before licensing. In-state candidates should schedule an appointment with the Board’s approved vendor, L-1 Identity Solutions. The scheduling can be done online

    Out-of-state candidates may have the prints done at a local law enforcement agency, as per instructions found in the application packet. The process may take longer. The RN Board will accept fingerprints done up to 12 months before the candidate’s graduation. Again, please do not upload background check results to your Nursing Portal or send the results by email or fax. The Board only accepts mailed unopened results. The Board does not accept or process fingerprint cards.

    Forms are available on the site of the West Virginia RN Board

    Fingerprint manual card submission procedures

    For applicants unable to be fingerprinted in WV at an IdentoGO site, use: The Procedures document

    Temporary Nurse License in West Virginia

    The temporary permit allows the applicant to practice practical nursing under the direct supervision of a registered nurse until a credential is granted. A temporary permit is valid for three months or until the holder receives failing examination results, whichever is shorter. A temporary permit may be renewed once for an additional three-month period.


    All West Virginia RN licenses expire October 31 of each year. Licensees may apply for their West Virginia RN license renewal through Nurse Portal.

    RNs are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education during each renewal period, which is annually. 


    • complete 2 contact hours of CE for mental health conditions common to veterans and their families annually, and

    • complete 3 contact hours initially and then 1 contact hour, thereafter, annually of CE for drug diversion training, best-practice prescribing of controlled substances training, and training on prescribing and administration of an opioid antagonist if they prescribe, administer, or dispense controlled substances.

    The guidelines and resources for CEs for the above requirements are located under the resource tab here.

    The West Virginia Board of Examiners for RNs accepts RN CE hours provided by Board-approved CE providers. Examples include:

    • National advanced practice registered nurse certification bodies (i.e. American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), National Certification Corporation (NCC), and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)

    • National and state nurse associations (i.e., American Nurses Association (ANA), West Virginia Nurses Association (WVNA), American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), etc.) 

    • Any State Board of Nursing in the US.

    The Board performs audits to verify registered nurse licensee compliance with CE education requirements. Keep CE certificates of completion from CE activities.

    Activate your West Virginia RN Board CE Broker Basic account to enter and track your compliance with WV RN license renewal requirements.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    Continuing Education requirements were waived for this renewal period (ending 10/31/2021). CE will be required for the 2022 renewal year.​

    Continuing Education resources


    West Virginia is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). Visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) for more information and a map of current compact states.

    Requirements include:

    1. Completed RN application and paid fee (located in the nurse portal). 

    2. Completed 4-year high school or equivalent. 

    3. Completed basic curriculum in a program in nursing education approved by the Board or in a school accredited or approved by a comparable Board or other recognized authority in another jurisdiction. 

    4. Paid for and completed fingerprint-based West Virginia and national electronic criminal history records checks using the Board agency. If the applicant currently resides in another state, they must submit that State's criminal history.

    All the forms and applications for Registered Nurses and Advanced Practice nurses are available at the Nurse Portal. This includes Initial applications, Renewal applications, Reinstatement applications, and Name/Address Change forms.

    Contact Information

    West Virginia RN Board 5001 MacCorkle Avenue SW South Charleston, WV 25309 [email protected] (304) 744-0900 / (877) 743-6877


    While there isn’t an overall timetable for issuing licenses, there are some general timeframes on certain aspects of the West Virginia RN licensing process. Applicants applying for licensure by exam will usually receive their authorization to test (ATT) within 2 to 3 weeks, following a legal review. Licenses are issued within 24 to 72 hours of passing the NCLEX. The process for issuing temporary permits to first-time applicants for single state licensure by endorsement generally takes 72 to 96 hours, as long as the applicant has an unencumbered license and all required documentation is in order. Permanent licenses for any applicant type are only issued when all requirements are fulfilled with applications processed on a first-in, first-out basis.


    The West Virginia RN Board sets the fees for licensure and other relevant costs. Prospective nurses must apply and pay for their licenses online with a debit or credit card. All fees are non-refundable. Current fees and other related costs include:

    Description                               Amount Address Change                No charge Duplicate License                $10.00 Endorsement Without Temp Permit        $100.00 Endorsement With Temp Permit        $125.00 Endorsement with 90-day Temporary  Permit ONLY                    $25.00 Licensure by Examination             $70.00 RN Renewal                    $67.00 Advanced Practice Application        $35.00 Advanced Practice Renewal             $35.00 Limited Prescriptive Authority        $125.00 Multistate License Conversion from Single state                    $7.00 Name Change                    $10.00 Reinstatement from Lapsed Status        $115.00 Reinstatement from Inactive Status        $25.00 Transcript Photocopy                $5.00 (RN Verification to Another Nursing  Board or Certifying Body via NURSYS) APRN Verification to Another  Nursing Board                    $30.00 Volunteer License                No Charge Working Without a Valid License        Disciplinary Fees

    Applicants also must pay a $200 registration fee to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. This fee won’t be refunded for any reason and must be paid by a VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit, debit, or prepaid card. Should an applicant fail the exam and retake it, another $200 fee applies. 

    Recent Updates

    License Fee Waiver

    Effective June 6, 2019, a new law requires the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses (Board) and other licensing authorities to waive initial licensing fees for low-income individuals and military families.

    The waiver does not apply to individuals seeking to renew existing licenses, or to those seeking an educational permit from the Board.

    The new law defines a low-income individual as someone in the local labor market whose household adjusted gross income is below 130% of the federal poverty level. To access the federal poverty guidelines, visit aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines. From the “Resources” area, click on “A chart with percentages (e.g. 125 percent) of the guidelines” and review the column marked “130%.” 

    The term low-income individual also applies to any person enrolled in a state or federal public assistance program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

     A military family is defined in the new law as any person who serves as an active member of the armed forces of the United States, the National Guard, or a reserve component, honorably discharged veterans of those forces and their spouses. This term also includes surviving spouses of deceased service members who have not remarried. 

    Forms to apply for fee waiver are located in the Nurse Portal.

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    Frequently asked questions

    What is the process for an existing RN in WV to apply for the Compact License?

    The process to convert from a single state license to a multistate license if your primary state of residence is WV begins by completing the application at wvrnboard.wv.gov/licensing and selecting the RN Multistate Conversion Form. The process is outlined in the flowchart document. The cost of the multistate conversion application is $7.16.

    Am I required to get a multistate license if I live in West Virginia and work out of state?

    There is no legal requirement in West Virginia, nor are there any provisions in the eNLC Compact that require an individual living in West Virginia and working out-of-state to obtain a West Virginia multistate license. However, laws and rules in other states may differ, and other states may have different requirements. Check with the Nursing Boards in the states in which you are employed to determine their individual requirements.

    Do I need to complete a new background check and obtain fingerprints if I am applying to convert my WV single state license to a multistate license since I previously completed fingerprints with my background check for my single state license?

    Yes, a recent criminal background check and fingerprinting is required.

    I just recently had a background check performed for another license. Can I use that background check for my multistate license?

    No. The background check must be done at the time of the application, and it is the only purpose for which it will be able to be used.

    If I live in a neighboring state who is a member of the Compact and work in West Virginia, do I need to keep my single-state West Virginia license?

    If you receive a multi-state license in your home state then your West Virginia license will automatically be deactivated and you will work in West Virginia on your multistate license.

    If I obtain a West Virginia multistate license and then move to another state, what happens?

    If West Virginia is no longer your Primary State of Residence, then your multistate license will be automatically downgraded to a single-state license. If you are working in another state, then you will need to obtain licensure for that state. Check with the Nursing Board of your new home state and your employment state(s) to determine what kind of licensure you will need.

    How will I know if my multistate license has been issued? Can I check the status of my application?

    Yes. To check the status of your pending application, go to the Multistate License Conversion Form and select Check Application Status (or just click here). After your background check has been received and your application has been processed, check our Verification page to see if your multistate license has been issued. If so, the verification page will indicate whether it is Single State or Multistate. Soon afterward, you should receive a new license card in the mail.

    I have applied for a Multi-State license. When will it go into effect?

    We have begun processing and issuing the Multistate License applications. The multistate licenses will be approved and issued as documentation, and background checks are received. If your employment situation depends on your multistate license being issued quickly, please email the Board at [email protected] and we will attempt to accommodate your situation. Please check the Verification page (link at the top of the page) to see if your multistate has been issued.

    When are the license renewal periods?

    All currently active West Virginia RN Licenses expire on October 31st of each year. The renewal period will begin September 1st, and you must renew your license by October 31st, or your RN license will lapse.