Parallel to most states, registered nurses (RNs) licensure is taken care of at the state level in Nevada. The process of applying for an RN license generally takes one or two months to complete. Uniform with other state requirements for certification, the criteria are designed to equip individuals with the necessary tools to work as a nurse. This typically consists of education requirements, fingerprints, background checks, and examinations.
According to the 2018 occupational employment and wages, the national average RN wages were around $10,000 per year (and $5 per hour) less than the average wages for Nevada RNs. This can vary depending on the area you are located in, your level of education, and your experience.
You will need to become aware of the actionable steps that are necessary for becoming licensed as an RN in Nevada. Many are choosing to become an RN to help address the impact of healthcare staff shortages.
Nevada State Board of Nursing
Nevada nursing legislation states that the Nevada State Board of Nursing is responsible for facilitating nursing licensure. In Nevada, there are three types of nursing requirements, and each respective type has its own specific requirements for licensure. The three levels of nursing care are:
- Registered nurse (RN);
- Licensed practical nurse (LPN);
- Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
Any required licensing documentation can be sent via mail to:
Nevada State Board of Nursing
5011 Meadowood Mall Way, Suite 300
Reno, Nevada 89502
If any additional issues arise:
Contact: Cathy Dinauer, RN Executive Director
Phone: (775) 687-7700
Registered Nurse Education Requirements
The first step towards becoming licensed as a nurse is obtaining a degree from an accredited registered nursing school. There are several RN schools in Nevada that are approved through the Nevada State Board of Nursing. There are three types of RN programs available in Nevada:
- Associate’s degree (ADN): ADN programs generally take 2 years to complete (sometimes longer) and they help provide the framework for entry-level RN careers. They require half the amount of credits as a BSN degree;
- Bachelor’s degree (BSN): BSN programs generally take 4 years to complete (sometimes longer) and they provide more comprehensive training for students. These programs expand on advanced nursing theory and clinical practice;
- Accelerated BSN program: Accelerated BSN programs are expedited BSN programs designed for people who have a bachelor’s degree outside of nursing. They generally last two or three semesters.
In order to get into an RN program, you generally need to earn your high school diploma or GED, be 18 years of age, pass the Test of Essential Academic Skill (TEAS), and undergo a criminal background check.
RN Licensure by Examination
The route of RN licensure by examination is meant for new applicants that are recent graduates from an ADN, BSN, or accelerated BSN program. If you currently have a license in another state you will want to follow the RN license by endorsement process below. If you are renewing your license, the process is different and it is also listed below.
Fingerprinting and Background Checks
All nursing license applicants must undergo a criminal background check and fingerprint screening. You can find the instructions for completion online. Applicants can choose to submit electronically, or they can submit a fingerprint submission via mail to the board’s address listed above. You should complete your fingerprinting early in your licensing process because it can take up to four months for the board to receive official fingerprints. There is a $40 fee for the background check and fingerprinting screening. You may pay via check to the “Nevada State Board of Nursing” or you can pay by credit or debit card online. The following cards are accepted:
The state of Nevada only requires one type of exam — the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The test can be taken online, but if you prefer to take the test in-person, you can find a testing center online.
Applying to Take a Certification Exam
The application & registration for the NCLEX is a two-step registration process. First, the applicant must submit an application for licensure in the state you want to be licensed in to ensure that you meet the exam eligibility licensure requirements. Next, the applicant will need to register online on the Pearson VUE website or register over the phone using NCLEX candidate services. Once you apply, you have exactly one year (365 days) to complete the exam before you need to re-apply. The exam costs $125 to sit, and you can pay via credit or debit card — VISA, MasterCard, and AMEX only. Be sure to take advantage of an NCLEX practice test.
Applying for Licensure
You can apply for licensure online. You must create an account first through the Nevada Nurse Portal, then select the necessary means for licensure (by examination, endorsement, or renewal). Individuals applying for licensure by examination must pay an application fee of $100 (non-refundable) and submit the licensure application, proof of experience, background check, fingerprinting, and academic transcript to the nursing portal linked above. You can pay using a VISA, MasterCard, or AMEX debit/credit card.
RN Licensure by Endorsement (Out-of-State Applicants)
The RN licensure by endorsement application in Nevada can be found online. You need to have done the following in order to qualify for RN licensure by endorsement in the state of Nevada:
- Graduated from an approved school of nursing with a nursing certificate (LPN), or a diploma or nursing degree (RN);
- Passed the NCLEX or SBTPE licensing examination;
- Hold a current, permanent license in another state;
- Have a U.S. Social Security number or individual taxpayer ID number;
- Have completed and submitted the fingerprint card;
- The Board has received and cleared your fingerprint reports;
- Have passed an English proficiency exam (only if licensed as a nurse in the U.S. less than five (5) years.
You will need to submit the proof of the qualifications above with your completed endorsement application and $105 application fee via the Nevada nursing portal. If you have not completed a background check and fingerprinting, you will have to go through the process stated above. If you have had a background check and fingerprinting you need to provide proof to be counted exempt.
RN License Renewal
Similar to applying for your license via examination and endorsement, you need to apply online for license renewal through the Nevada nursing portal online. You need to have been originally licensed in Nevada in order to qualify for license renewal. The renewal fee is $100 dollars and can be paid online via debit/credit card.
Continuing Education Requirements
Nevada continuing education (CE) requirements state that license holders must complete 30 hours of nursing-related CE per renewal cycle (2 years). As stated by the Nevada Board of Nursing:
“If a continuing education provider is an academic institution, has a Nevada continuing education provider number, is approved by another state nursing board or health-related board (includes Boards of Medical Examiners, Pharmacy, and social workers), or is recognized by one of the organizations below, it is accepted by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.”
If you have just received your license via examination, you are exempt for 2 years. Unlike many other states, you do not need to submit your CE requirements. The CE requirements are facilitated using the honor system. From time to time, the Nevada Board of Nursing conducts random audits where you need to provide proof of CE, so you will want to keep a record of your nursing-related CE.
Nevada Nursing License Verification
Individuals can verify their license using the board of nursing online license lookup. Employers need to be able to verify your license to confirm that you meet all of the criteria for practicing within the state.