RN Licensure Process
The RN licensure process involves TWO applications: one application for licensure in the state in which you wish to be licensed and the other application is for the exam. The processes are described below. We have included application for licensure in MN but the test application is the same regardless of state of licensure. If you are applying for licensure in a state other than MN, you are responsible for researching the application process of that state and requesting any forms, transcripts, etc. that are needed.
Licensure By Exam Application
- Application for licensure- Fee $105.00 (plus temporary permit of $50)
- MN Board of Nursing Web site
- Apply about 6-8 weeks before graduation. Once you have applied for licensure with the Board and with the test service (see below), you wait. Your graduation must be verified by the school before you will be issued a permit (ATT letter) to take the exam. Check other state Board of Nursing websites as needed depending on where you plan to practice nursing. Verification is done automatically only for MN licensure.
- The earliest you can expect the school to be able to verify your graduation is after grades have been posted (usually later May). Then you will be authorized to schedule the exam (the test centers are listed at the Pearson Vue website). It is recommended you test somewhere between June 1 and August 31.
If more than four weeks have passed after you have submitted a registration for an NCLEX examination, received acknowledgement from Pearson VUE, and you have not received an ATT letter, please call Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services at 866-496-2539.
The temporary permit allows you to practice as an RN in MN before you take the licensing exam and is good for 60 days after graduation; once you have taken and passed the exam, the permit expires. If you do not pass the exam you may no longer practice as a nurse. Check non-MN states for their policies about graduate or temporary nurse permits.
Application for NCLEX (this is the test itself)
- Candidates Bulletin - This printable document contains answers to many questions about applying for NCLEX. Look at this carefully - you may want to print it in its entirety.
- You can take the exam in any state (and not necessarily the one in which you are seeking licensure). This is a national exam.
- Online application for the exam (Fee $200.00)
- Test Plan - This document describes how the test is constructed, including the proportion of items in each category and the types of items you might encounter.
- Review Course
The Kaplan test review course is offered the week after graduation at CSB; you may, however, take the Kaplan course at any Kaplan review course site. Since we have been working with Kaplan our pass rates have stayed steady in the 90%'s. We also recommend taking the exam as soon after graduation and the review course as possible. In the past, we have been able to arrange on-campus housing for a small fee ($15-20/night) for that week.
You have all begun your self-study for NCLEX with the assigned review questions in each nursing course. The research indicates that the number of practice test items a student uses in excess of 3000 is predictive of NCLEX success. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
- The day of the exam
You need to be at your best! Allow plenty of time (up to 5 hours) to take the exam. Get a good night's sleep the night before and have a healthy breakfast (and lunch, depending on test time). Stay calm and relaxed. If you are sick or have any major problem on the scheduled day, RESCHEDULE the test!