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Registered Nurse Certification in South Carolina

Registered nurse certification in South Carolina enhances the knowledge and skills of the nurses, leading them towards success in their profession. The certification in the state is issued by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which aims at promoting and safeguarding the health and economic well-being of the residents, by providing licensing, program and education, regulation, and enforcement.

Being a member of NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact), a registered nurse who is licensed in a compact state is allowed to continue their nursing practice in another compact state, even when they do not have an RN license in the other state. The nurse is required to apply for RN licensure in that state, if he/she moves to another state and establishes residency there.

The following states are considered as a compact state: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Note: You are not eligible for RN licensure in the state, if your primary state of residence is any other Compact State.

Requirements for acquiring RN Licensure in South Carolina

1. Examination

To obtain an RN certification in South Carolina, the applicants must pass the licensure exam, NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses). The other requirements include:

  • Your primary state of residence is not a compact state. You may include any one of the following documents as a proof:
    • Driver’s license  as a proof of your home address.
    • Voter registration card thereof indicating your home address.
    • Federal income tax return which must declare your primary state of residence.
    • Military Form # 2058 which is a legal residence certificate of the state.
    • W2 from any bureau or US Government, agency or division indicating the declared state of residence.
  • Provide photocopy of your valid passport or birth certificate.Note: Do not provide copy of hospital birth certificate, as the Board will not accept it.
  • Submit a photocopy of your permanent resident card, social security card, or a resident alien ID card, previously assigned to every alien resident who does not have a SSN (social security number).
  • Provide a recent 2″ x 2″ full face, passport-size photo including the date and your signature.
  • Provide copy of legal documents verifying your name or address change (if applicable).
  • Provide fingerprints for criminal background check. You may use the following link to read the instructions required for completing the criminal background check:
  • Submit the appropriate examination processing fee of $90.
  • If you have completed your graduation from a South Carolina Nursing School, you are required to provide the completion date indicating the completion of your course work. To obtain this, you may request the Dean or Director of the Nursing Program.
  • All out of State graduates are required to submit an official transcript mailed directly from the school to the South Carolina Board of Nursing office, which must include the following information:
    • Nursing courses that fulfil the degree requirements.
    • Type and date of degree awarded.
    • Graduation date.
    • School seal and registrar’s signature.
    • Each nursing course accepted for transfer credit must meet the requirements for the nursing degree. If it does not provide transfer credit, you are required to request for an official transcript from each nursing school where the course credit relating to nursing was earned.
  • Foreign Educated Applicants: All candidates who completed their graduation from foreign nursing schools are required to scan and mail or attach a photocopy of your nursing license from the country where they obtained their original licensure. You must also provide:
    • Credential Evaluation Service report by requesting it from CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) using this  link – must also request for a Credential Evaluation Service Professional Report description of your nursing program.
    • Application for examination by requesting it from TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). You must take and clear the TOEFL exam. Use  this link to contact TOEFL –

2. Endorsement

Applicants applying for licensure in the state must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • These requirements are same as mentioned above. (Refer points I to VI of “Requirements of RN license by examination” section).
  • Submit the appropriate fee in the form of money orders, personal checks or cashier’s checks made payable to the “LLR-Board of Nursing”.Fees:
    Endorsement License Only- $100.00
    Endorsement License with Temporary Permit- $110.00
  • Submit photocopy of your nursing license issued in another jurisdiction or state, in this territory or country or dependency of the U.S.
  • Submit evidence of successful completion of continued competency requirements.
  • Provide verification of your licensure from your original state board of licensure. You may use this link –, if your original state of licensure is listed on the Nursys website, else provide the verification form attached in the endorsement application to your state board of licensure for completion of the verification process.
  • Temporary License – You may apply for a temporary license, if you provide evidence of successful completion of continued competency requirements. You are not eligible to obtain a temporary license, if you have completed your education outside the U.S. and have not passed the licensure exam, NCLEX-RN.

Procedure to Obtain RN License in SC

1. Examination

The step by step procedure to obtain licensure in South Carolina is:

Step 1:

Complete the application form online using the following link:

Step 2:

Register/re-register with the testing vendor, Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-RN, by using any one of the following methods:

  • Online at – opening the link, select “Register and Pay” option. You can pay the registration fee of $200 using MasterCard, Visa, or American Express.OR
  • Call at –  1.866.496.2539.You may pay via Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.OR
  • By mail – You may contact the Board of Nursing office to send a NCLEX registration form. After completing the form including a money order or cashier’s check of $200.0 made payable to the NCSBN, send it to the following address:
    NCLEX Operations
    Post Office Box 64950,
    St. Paul, Minnesota- 55164-0950.Note : Don’t forget to include the SSN (social security number).

Step 3:

After approving your documents, the Board will notify the Pearson VUE, making you eligible for the test.

Step 4:

Upon receiving the notification, the Pearson VUE will send you an ATT (Authorization to Test) via email or on the address mentioned by you during the registration process.

Step 5:

Once you receive the ATT, schedule and take the exam as soon as possible by contacting the testing agency.

2. Endorsement

  • Read the instructions mentioned on the application form.
  • Submit the application with the requisite fee and documents to the following address:South Carolina Board of Nursing
    P.O. Box 12367, Columbia,
    South Carolina- 29211

Renewal of RN License

All licenses in South Carolina need to be renewed biennially. You must complete any one of the following continuing education or competency requirements for renewal of an active license:

  • 30 contact hours of continuing education from a continuing education provider recognized by the board.
  • Maintenance of certification or re-certification by a national certifying body, which must be recognized by the board.
  • Successfully completed an academic program in nursing or any other related field recognized by the board.
  • Verification of competency practiced and the number of hours as verified by the employer certification, which must be mentioned on a form recognized by the Board. You may use this link to download the employer certification form verifying the competency and nursing practice hours worked  –

Method to renew your license:

Online at –

Reinstatement/Reactivation of a Lapsed or Inactive RN License

For reinstatement from a lapsed or inactive status license of five years or less, you must provide documents evidencing at least one of the following during the past two years:

  • Completion of 30 contact hours evidenced from a continuing education provider approved by the board and successful completion of a course in legal aspects recognized by the board.
  • Successful completion of a refresher course recognized by the state board.
  • The other documents are same as mentioned above in points II-IV of Renewal of RN License continued competency requirements.

For reinstatement from a lapsed or inactive status license of more than five years, you must provide documents evidencing of at least one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a board approved refresher course.
  • Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam suitable to the area of licensure.

Methods to reinstate a license:

Verification of RN Licensure

In order to verify your RN license, you may use any of the following methods:

  • Nurse License Verification – This link provides online verification to all the nurses who wish to practice in any other jurisdiction. After the completion of online process and payment of the applicable fee, you may verify immediately to the jurisdiction(s) in which you had applied previously. To verify the license(s), you need to be from a participating board of nursing.
  • Licensure Quick Confirm – The above link provides online license reports to the general public as well as the employers. To receive a licensure report, you must be from a Licensure Quick Confirm board of nursing.
  • Manage a Nurse List with e-Notify – If you are a nurse employer and want to automatically receive license status updates and publicly available discipline notifications from the board of nursing, you may use the above link.

License Lookup

You may use the following link to search for a license:


You may view the complete fee structure using the following link:

Inactive Status Request

If you wish to change or retire your license temporarily or if you are currently licensed and does not meet the minimum continuing competency requirements for renewal, you may request for an inactive status by downloading the request form using the following link:

You are not required to pay any amount and must not continue your nursing practice in the state while your license is on inactive status. To re-start your nursing practice, you need to submit the reinstatement application with the required fee for the current period and demonstrate continue competency requirements.

Repeat Exam

All applicants who failed to pass the NCLEX-RN exam on the first attempt may retake the licensure examination, in every 45 days for up to a period of 1 year from the date he/she took the first attempt. If the applicant does not pass within 1 year duration, he/she must provide proof satisfactory to the board of remediation which needs to be approved by the board before re-examination. If the applicant does not pass within a time period of 3 years of graduation,  he/she is required to re-qualify, in order to take the exam by enrolling in a board approved nursing education program and must demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and ability of a graduate nurse.


  • Enclose an appropriate fee of $65 made payable to the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
  • Submit a photocopy of all the Diagnostic Profiles (if you took the test in another state) from all the previously taken exams and also complete the repeater’s application.

You may download the repeat examination form using the following link:

Application Status Check

You may check the status of your application by entering your user ID and password in the following link:

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