North Carolina Nurse License Overview

Temp License:
BON website
(919) 782-3211


Endorsement Application: $150.00

Background Check Processing: $38.00

How long does it take to get a North Carolina Nursing License?

Permanent License

‍Approximately 2-4 weeks upon receipt of all required materials.

Temporary License

Approximately 2-3 weeks upon receipt of all required materials.

NC License Renewal

  • Renewal cadence: Cadence is the same for RNs and LPNs. Renew every 2 years by the last day of your birth month. The renewal period opens 90 days before your license's expiration date.
  • Renewal Fee: $100.00 for both RNs and LPNs. 
  • Required contact hours: 15 hours every 2 years, or one other option from this list.
  • If you do not renew by the last day of your birth month, your license is automatically placed on expired status at midnight on the last day of the expiration month. There are no grace periods. 
  • A licensee with an expired status shall not practice as a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse. Prior to practicing, you will be required to reapply for licensure by completing the Reinstatement application process.

Important Things to Know about North Carolina Nurse Licenses

  • Only credit or debit transactions are accepted. Only Visa and MasterCard cards are accepted.
  • Your application is valid for 12 months. If incomplete after 12 months have passed, your application will be discarded and you must reapply and repay the application fee.
  • If your most recent license has been inactive or lapsed for five or more years, you must complete a Board Approved Refresher Course.
  • Click here for the North Carolina BON’s FAQ section.

NC Licensure by Endorsement


Permanent License

  1. Submit an application online and pay the fee. The process is the same for RNs and LPNs. You will also need to:
  2. Provide the name, location and year of graduation of your basic school of nursing.
  3. Provide the state, year and license number of your original license by examination.
  4. Provide the state of your current license and license number.
  5. Provide the dates of employment and position(s) held for your previous 2 nursing employers. 
  6. Provide a list of all U.S. Member Boards in which you have EVER been licensed.
  7. Provide your Social Security Number.
  8. Request verification of licensure via Nursys from your original state of licensure and the state where you are currently employed. If these states do not participate in Nursys, you will need to contact that state's BON and request verification be sent to the North Carolina BON via the Verification of Original License form and/or the Verification of Current License form.
  9. Provide a background check with fingerprints. Instructions for fingerprinting can be found here.
  10. If you have prior convictions or disciplinary action against your license, submit the following to the Board of Nursing:
  • Original Certified Court Documents for all Convictions.
  • A detailed explanation of the events leading to the arrest and any other pertinent details if the conviction occurred within the last 5 years or if you're reporting a Felony conviction regardless of when it occurred

Temporary License

  1. You may be eligible for a non-renewable Temporary License, which permits employment as a licensed nurse in North Carolina while the application is in process. A Temporary License can only be issued within the first 6 months of submitting the endorsement application.  It is valid for up to 6 months or until the permanent license has been issued. 
  2. Prior to the issuance of a Temporary License, the Criminal Background Check hard-copy fingerprints, forms, and fees must be received in the Board office for Out-of-State applicants. 
  3. If you are a resident of North Carolina, the Live Scan Application must be submitted online, the Criminal Background Check results received, or a hard-copy card of the fingerprints submitted prior to being reviewed for a temporary license.
  4. Temporary licenses can only be issued once per lifetime and cannot be renewed or extended for any reason. 

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