Registered Nurse Certification in How to Become an RN in Tennessee: Nursing License Application and Renewal Guide

Registered Nurse Certification in Tennessee helps nurses enhance their knowledge and skills in the field of nursing. The certification is issued by the Tennessee Department of Health which aims at safeguarding and improving the health and comfort of the people in the state.

Requirements for acquiring RN Licensure in Tennessee

All RNs may apply for RN certification in the state of Tennessee by examination or by endorsement.

1. Examination

The applicants are required to meet the following eligibility criteria to acquire the licensure:

  • Completed graduation from an approved nursing school.
  • Successfully cleared the licensure examination, NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses).
  • For applicants, who have completed their graduation from a foreign country are required to contact:Diana Merickle
    Regulatory Board Administrative Assistant II
    Tennessee Board of Nursing
    Phone: 1-800-778-4123 or 615 532-5166

2. Endorsement

The applicants who hold an RN licensure in another U.S. state or territory may apply for a license in the state, if they fulfil the following requirements:

  • Complete all the required details of the application form.
  • Submit a non-refundable fee of $115 in the form of money order or check made payable to the “Tennessee Board of Nursing”.
  • Should be licensed by passing either State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or by The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
  • Must be a graduate from an approved nursing education program.
  • Attach one professional passport size photograph including head and shoulders and with date and full legal name signature on front of the photograph.
  • Submit signed affidavit present in the application form (at the bottom of page 3) in the presence of a Notary Public.
  • Attach a photocopy of your official transcript or nursing diploma from the nursing school, in which you were originally licensed. All foreign candidates need to include :
    • Copy of Certificate from CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School). OR
    • Transcript received from the school.
  • Submit verification of your license. You may use the official site to verify your license. If your state of licensure is not mentioned in this website, request for verification of license to the state, in which you were initially licensed.
  • Provide complete set of fingerprints to carry out the criminal background check.
  • Submit evidence verifying the citizenship status. You may provide a notarized copy of your birth certificate, current passport, current driver’s license, etc.
  • In case of name change, submit legal document verifying the change.

Procedure to Obtain RN License in TN

1. Examination

The procedure to acquire an RN license by examination is:

  • Collect the examination application packet from the Tennessee Schools of Nursing as these packets are not available online.
  • All foreign candidates are required to contact the board office to request for an examination packet and provide the following information:
    • Candidate’s name.
    • Mailing address.
    • Contact number.
    • Type of exam requested whether RN or LPN.
    • Name and location which includes the city and state of your nursing school.
    • Graduation date from your nursing program.
    • If you had ever taken the licensure exam, NCLEX-RN previously? If yes, mention the state where seeking licensure and the number of times you had taken the exam.
  • Register with the testing service, Pearson VUE.
  • When the Board receives your application, you will receive an ATT (Authorization to Test) from the Pearson VUE.
  • After receiving the ATT, schedule your exam as quick as possible and take the exam.
  • If you clear this exam, the certificate will be issued in approximately two weeks.

2. Endorsement

The procedure to acquire an RN license by endorsement is:

  • Download the endorsement application form using this link –
  • Carefully read all the information mentioned on the form.
  • Submit the application form including the required documents to the following board office address:State Of Tennessee
    Department Of Health
    Division of Health Licensure and Regulation
    Office of Health Related Boards
    665 Mainstream Drive
    Nashville, Tennessee- 37243

Verification of RN License

You may use any one of the following methods to verify your license:

  • Written application – If you require a paper application for verification of licensure, you need to contact the respective Board for applicable procedures and fees.

Renewal of RN License

All RN licensees in Tennessee need to renew their license every two years. The license expires on the last day of your birthday month. Till now, there are no continuing education requirements in the state.

Method to renew:

You may use the following method to renew your license:

  • By mail – The applicants may request for a renewal application to be mailed to each individual who is licensed by the Board.

Duplicate License

If your license is lost, destroyed, or stolen, you may request the Board to issue a duplicate license.

Method to request for duplicate license:

  • Online – To request for a duplicate license online, you will need the following information:
    • Mailing address.
    • Check or credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa, or Discover).
    • ID number/Driving license.
    • Last four digits of your SSN (Social Security Number).You must read the instructions mentioned on this link before applying for a duplicate license online –
quick RN guide links