Registered Nurse Certification in Washington prepares nurses to promote the health, resulting in the prevention of severe diseases. Thus, they help in every possible way for a faster recovery the patients. The Washington State Board of Nursing issues the certification in the state. Its primary focus is to protect and improve the health conditions of the residents.
Requirements of RN License in Washington
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The applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements to procure an RN license in the state:
- U.S. graduates
- Provide your Social Security Number (SSN). If you currently do not have a SSN, you may download it using the following link and submit it with your licensure application- http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/6000/669316.pdf
- Provide a non-refundable fee of $88 in the form of check or money order.
- Passed the United States national licensure exam, NCLEX-RN.
- Submit a list of your current or nurse programs you have previously completed indicating the degree or certificate or diploma pursued and your graduation or anticipated graduation date.
- Submit list of all the states or countries where you have had your license previously. You must indicate the method of licensure whether examination or endorsement.
- Attest affidavit of AIDS Education and Program. The program may include formal program, courses, or self-study. If you have completed your education after 1991, or if you meet all the requirements listed on the application, you may date and initialize this section and do not opt for any further program.
- If your spouse or registered domestic partner is in military personnel and is transferring to the state, he/she may receive his/her more quickly. You may complete the additional from using the following link and send it with your application: http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/MilitaryResources.aspx
- If you have an out of state address (i.e. not out of country), you are required to submit fingerprints for the criminal history background check. You may procure your fingerprints on the Department of Health fingerprint card. After the Board receives your application, it will send a fingerprint packet with instructions to complete the fingerprint process.
- Provide official transcripts. Ask your nursing school to submit the official transcripts (including the degree earned) to the Nursing Commission.
- Submit Certificate of Completion: If you have completed your graduation from nursing education program in the state of Washington, you need to request the director of the nursing program to send an electronic certificate indicating the program completion to the Washington State Board of Nursing office. You will be made eligible to take the NCLEX-RN after the certificate is received.If you have completed your graduation from nursing education program in another U.S. State or jurisdiction, you must submit the paper certification of program completion (that is enclosed in the application packet) to your program director and request them to send it to the Board office.
- Graduates outside U.S.
- Refer points I-IX mentioned above (Requirements of RN License by Examination for U.S. graduates).
- All aspirants who have completed their graduation from nursing schools outside U.S. and are not licensed in any other state, or jurisdiction need to submit their transcripts evaluated in a course by course assessment. The evaluation may be completed by any one of the Nursing Commission approved service providers given below:
- CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools):
- ERES (Education Records Evaluation Service): www.eres.comOR
- IERF (International Education Research Foundation, Inc.):www.ierf.orgIf you have graduated from nursing schools outside the U.S. and your native language is not English, you need to take and pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam with the required minimum scores. The passing scores 83 (total) and 26 (speaking score). You may use the following link to access the TOEFL website:www.toefl.com
- CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools):
- Educational requirements: After completion of your nursing education program, request your nursing school to sign, date, and complete the application and send it to the Board office.
Applicants holding an RN license in another state may apply for a Washington license by endorsement. The requirements are same as the above mentioned requirements (Refer point number I-IX of Requirements of RN License by Examination for U.S. graduates). In addition to these requirements they must also fulfill the following conditions:
- Provide verification of your licensure gained by examination. You may use the Nursys website: www.nursys.com to verify your license. An additional fee will be charged if you use this service. If your state of licensure is not mentioned on this website, you may send the verification form attached in the endorsement application. Send this form to your Board of Nursing and request them to complete and send the form back to the Washington Board office. If you are not able to verify your license in any of these ways, you need to send transcripts from your nursing school or from another state board of nursing to the Board office.
- Submit evidence of your current or active RN License.
Procedure to Obtain RN License
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The applicants acquiring RN license by endorsement must follow the below steps to obtain licensure:
Download and complete the form using the following link:
- Graduates outside U.S.http://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/Documents/Pubs/669233.pdf
Carefully go through the instructions mentioned in the application.
In order to take the national licensure exam, NCLEX, register yourself with the testing agency, Pearson VUE, after completion of your graduation. You may use the following link:
Submit the application and all the essential documents to the following Board office address:
Department of Health
PO Box 1099
Olympia, Washington- 98507-1099
If you are not able to send all the documents with your application, send the remaining documents to:
PO Box 47864
Olympia, Washington- 98504-7864
After the Board makes you eligible to take the test, an Authorization to Test (ATT) will be emailed to you by the Pearson VUE. Upon receiving the ATT, you may schedule your test as quick as possible. You must read the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin if you face any problem regarding the exam.
After 24 hours following your exam, the results will be received by the Board.
Upon approval of all the required documents, you will receive a paper license via mail in 7-10 working days after the Board issues it.
The procedure to gain licensure in the state of Washington is given below:
- Download and complete the paper application by endorsement using the following link:http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/669240.pdf
- Scrutinize the information mentioned in the application.
- After completing the essential details of the application, submit the application and the required endorsement documents to the Board office address (Refer step no. of procedure to obtain RN license by examination).
All out of state aspirants may be issued a temporary permit from the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. It will be issued only when the applicant meets the nursing licensing requirements and after the completion of the federal background check. A temporary practice permit of 6 months is issued which allows the applicant to continue their practice in the Washington state. “Pending” will be shown on the Provider Credential Search (Application Status) till the ILRS licensing system is reprogrammed. Upon completion, the temporary license will be identified.
Verification of RN License
To verify your license, you may use any of the following methods:
- Online at:www.nursys.com
- Download the paper application for verification of your licensure using the following link:http://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/Documents/Pubs/669218.pdf
Renewal of RN License
All registered nurses need to renew their Washington license in every 3 years. The nurses are required to complete:
- 531 working hours of active nursing practice during the past 36 months (3 years)review period and
- 45 contact hours of continuing education requirements.
Methods to renew:
You may use any of the following methods to renew your license:
- Online at:Follow the steps below to renew your license:
- Create a Secure Access Washington account
- Use the following link:https://secureaccess.wa.gov/
- Register on this website to create a username and password. If you already have an account, enter your username and password.
- Select the link entitled “Click here to add services”
- Enter the code 7472 in the Service Code box provided on the top right side and then select “Apply”.
- Upon applying, you will be directed automatically to the Online Services site.
- Read the instructions mentioned on the following welcome page.
- Select ‘Click here to get your User ID and Password’ on the Login page. If you do not have an account with the Washington State Department of Health, ‘Register’ yourself. Your renewal user ID is mentioned on your renewal notice. Complete all the information required in registration. Upon completion, an email will be to sent you. Verify your email.
- A notice will be received verifying your email including your Department of Health User ID. Provide this, along with your SSN (Social Security Number) with no dashes or spaces, in your login.
- Select ‘Log In’ using your Department of Health User ID and password.
- You will be directed to a renewal and application page.
- Click ‘Start’, and complete the renewal information.
- Pay the renewal fee and an additional fee of $2 as a convenience fee via electronic check, VISA or MasterCard.
- Wait for completion of your renewal process. At the end, an approved payment receipt will be received.
- By mail – You may request for your renewal application with or without renewal notice to the following address:With Fees
P.O. Box 1099
Olympia, WA 98507-1099Without Fees
P.O. Box 47877
Olympia, WA 98504-7877
- In person at – You may use the following address to renew your license in-person:Town Center 2
111 Israel Rd SE
Tumwater, WA 98501
Activation of an Expired License
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In order to activate your expired license, you need to fulfill the following requirements depending on the time period for which your license has remained inactive or expired:
1. Inactive Status:
- For less than 90 days:
- You do not need to submit any application.
- Pay the renewal fee (Refer the fees section of this article).
- Submit continuing competency form indicating the completion of 531 practice hours and 45 contact hours of continuing education within the past 3 years of renewal cycle. You may download the continuing competency form using the following link:http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/669360.pdf
- For more than 90 days but less than 3 years:
- No application needs to be submitted.
- Pay the renewal fee (Refer the fees section of this article) to change your license status to active until your next birthday.
- Submit continuing competency form indicating the completion of 177 practice hours and 15 contact hours of continuing education within the 1st year of reactivation. You can download the form using the above link.
- For more than 3 years and have an active license in another state:
- Submit the reactivation application.
- Provide appropriate fee (Refer the fees section of this article).
- Submit proof of active and current license in another state.
- This requirement is same as the one mentioned above (For more than 90 days but less than 3 years).
- For more than 3 years and have an inactive/current license in another state:
- Submit completed application for activation.
- Pay the requisite fee (Refer the fees section of this article).
- Complete a refresher course approved by the Washington Board. If you require a refresher course, check the box in the activation application next to limited education authorization.
- Upon reviewing your application, the Board will send the limited education authorization approving you to complete the clinical portion of the program. All the continuing competency requirements are met if you complete a refresher course. A valid license will be issued when you successfully complete the refresher course and the completion letter from the Director is received by the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.
2. Expired Status:
- For less than 90 days:All the requirements are similar to that of inactive status (for less than 90 days). But, in addition to renewal fees, you also need to pay late fee.
- For more than 90 days but less than 1 year:All the requirements are similar as mentioned in the inactive status (for more than 90 days but less than 3 years). But, in addition to renewal fees, you are required to pay late fee.
- For more than 1 year but less than 3 years:All the requirements are similar to that of inactive status (for more than 90 days but less than 3 years).
- For more than 3 years and have an active license in another state:The requirements are same as the above inactive status requirements for more than 3 years and have an active license in another state.
- For more than 3 years and have an inactive/current license in another state:These requirements are same as the above inactive status requirements for more than 3 years and have an inactive/current license in another state.
Download the activation form using the following link:
Note: Read the checklist mentioned in the form.
Click on the following link to view the complete fee structure of RN licensure:
You may check the status of your license using the following link:
After opening the above link, select “Health Care Provider”.