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Registered Nurse Certification in District of Columbia

Registered nurse certification in District of Columbia validates the qualifications of nurses for practicing in a particular clinical or functional area of nursing. Certification credentials are recognized nationally. RN licensure enhances your marketability. The license is issued by the Department of Health. The main objective of this department is to promote safety, well-being, and quality of life of citizens of the state.

Requirements for Obtaining RN Certification

1. Examination

The requirements to obtain RN license in District of Columbia are as follows:

  • Submit appropriate fee in the form of money order or check made payable to the “DC Treasurer.”
  • Provide U.S. Social Security Number (SSN). If, at present, you do not have a SSN, then submit the “Affidavit in Support of Application for District of Columbia Licensure” attached to the application.
  • Attach 2 identical and recent passport-type photos (of approx 2”X2”) with your name printed on the backside. The photos should be original and should not be paper or computer-generated copies.
  • Submit criminal background check. For further instructions, you may use the following link:
  • In case of name change, submit copy of acceptable documents which includes divorce decree, marriage certificates, court orders or spouse’s death certificate.
  • Submit an official transcript signifying the date of graduation or the date when the degree was conferred. These transcripts must be sealed from the applicant’s school of nursing, and can be send directly from the applicant’s nursing school. But, it is preferred that the transcripts must be received along with the application in a sealed envelope. If official transcript has not been provided by your nursing school, you may also provide a letter of recommendation from the Nurse Administrator of your nursing program, school or college. This letter should be accompanied with the application in a sealed envelope.
  • International Graduates: All applicants who have completed their graduation from nursing schools which are not situated in the U.S. or Canada are required to submit an official CGFNS certificate. You may contact the CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) to apply for Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) certification by using any of the following ways:
    • Website:
    • Mailing Address:Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)
      3624 Market Street
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- 19104
      Phone: 215-349-8767
    • Cable address:
      CGFNS, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

2. Endorsement

Applicants already holding an RN license in another U.S. state or territory, are required to meet the following eligibility criteria to gain an RN license:

  • Some requirements (I to V) are same as mentioned above.
  • Provide verification of your certification status which needs to be received from your original jurisdiction as well as from your current jurisdiction, if the license in your original jurisdiction is not in active status.You may use any one of the following verification options:
    • NURSYS verification: Complete verification of licensure online at www.nursys.comKeep in mind to choose DC as the jurisdiction that will receive the verification. Affix a photocopy of this Nursys receipt to the endorsement application.
    • Verification by mail: Submit the verification sent to you by the verifying Board of Nursing along with your endorsement application in a sealed application.
  • All international applicants who have completed their education outside the United States or its territories are required to provide proof of written and spoken proficiency in English by submitting any one of the following:
    • Evidence of completion of graduation from a nursing education program where English was the primary language of teaching all through your inclusive attendance dates; or
    • Evidence of 12 months of full-time employment experience in the US during 2 years immediately preceding the date of the endorsement application; or
    • Completion of either IELTS or TOEFL iBT.

Procedure to Obtain RN License

1. Examination

You may obtain RN license in District of Columbia by following the below steps:

Step 1: Download and fill the application for licensure by examination by using the following link:

Step 2: You may have a glance at the instructions before filling the application by clicking on the following link:

Step 3: After completing the essential details of the application, mail it in a 9 X 12 envelope with the required fees of $187 to the following address:

District of Columbia Health Professional Licensing Administration
Attention: Board of Nursing
899 North Capitol Street, N.E., 2nd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20002

Step 4: Submit all the required documents to the following address:

Department of Health
Health Regulation and Licensing Administration
DC Board of Nursing
899 North Capitol Street, NE
First Floor
Washington, D.C. 20002

Step 5: Register yourself with the testing organization, Pearson VUE, prior to or immediately after submitting the licensure application, in order to take the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). To complete the registration process, you may use any one of the following methods:

  • Online at: on “Register” option after opening the above link. The registration fee of $200 can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.OR
  • By mailYou may request the Board of Nursing office to mail you an NCLEX registration form. Fill the necessary details in the form and send it along with a fee of $200.0 (money order or cashier’s check made payable to the NCSBN) on the following address:NCLEX Operations
    Post Office Box 64950,
    St. Paul, Minnesota- 55164-0950

Step 6: As soon as all your necessary papers are accepted, the Board will update the Pearson VUE, making you eligible to take the licensure exam.

Step 7: Pearson VUE will send you an ATT (Authorization to Test) on the mailing address or email id mentioned by you in the application.

Step 8: Upon getting the ATT, contact Pearson VUE, and schedule the test.

Step 9: You will receive the results of the test from the Board in approximately four weeks after taking the exam.

Step 10: Upon final approval of the documents, a license to start nursing practice in the District of Columbia will be issued by the Board.

2. Endorsement

The procedure to obtain certification in District of Columbia is as follows:

Licensure by Re-Examination

For applying for licensure by re-examination, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Submit an official transcript from your nursing school which must indicate the date of graduation and the date when the degree was conferred.
  • Re-register with Pearson VUE, in order to retake the licensure exam NCLEX-RN and pay the application fee of $200.
  • Complete any recognized nursing education program less than 3 years ago.

If you are not eligible for this requirement, you must complete a supplementary nursing education program leading to a degree as a registered nurse.

You may click the following link to download the re-examination application:

Verification of RN License

To get a verification of your license in District of Columbia, you may use any of the following methods:

  • Online using NURSYS verification:
  • By mailForward the form given to you by the jurisdiction or institution from which you want to obtain your license, along with a check or money order made payable to the “DC Treasurer” in the amount of $34 to:DC Board of [the name of the board that regulates your profession, e.g. Nursing or Medicine]
    899 North Capitol Street, NE
    First Floor
    Washington, D.C.  20002

    If you have not received any verification form, then submit a short note requesting for a verification form with the requisite fee of $34.
    You must include the following details in the note:

    • Your name
    • Name and address of the state where you want the letter of verification to be sent.

Renewal of RN License

All registered nurses who are practicing in the District of Columbia are required to renew their license every even numbered year. The license generally expires on June 30th. Applicants must complete 24 contact hours of continuing education in their current area of practice in the specified time period of 2 years.

Methods to renew RN license:

License Lookup

You may use the following link to look up for any RN license:

In order to search for a license, you will be required to enter the following information:

  • Profession
  • License Type
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • License Number
  • SSN
  • Status
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