RN / LPN Licensure by Examination FAQs

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Licensure by Examination for RN / LPN applicants.

What are the requirements for licensure by examination?

U.S. Educated Applicants

Foreign Educated Applicants (Including Canada and Puerto Rico)

View the Foreign Educated Requirements section for application requirements.

  1. RN applicants hold a Diploma, Associate Degree or Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from an approved program. LPN applicants hold a Diploma or Certificate from an approved program. View the list of RN / LPN exceptions.
  2. Passing score on the NCLEX exam.
  3. Graduates of out of state schools – Transcripts, including graduation dates and type of degree, sent by your school to the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  4. Board approval for applicants who are under investigation.
What are the fees to apply for licensure by examination?

Application Fees

All fees are in U.S. Dollars and are non-refundable.

  • Application Fee: $300.00
  • Fingerprint Fee: $ 50.00 (required unless submitted within the previous 2 years)

Accepted Forms of Payment

  • Credit/Debit Card
Am I required to be fingerprinted?

General Information

You are required to complete and submit a fingerprint card. NOTE: If you have had previous fingerprinting done with another agency, you must still submit a new set of fingerprints to AZBN. A copy of a clearance card issued by DPS is not a substitute for this requirement. If you have submitted previous fingerprints to the AZ State Board of Nursing within the past 2 years, you will not need to submit fingerprints again. Return the completed fingerprint card to the Board in a large envelope. DO NOT fold the fingerprint card.

  • It can take approximately 8-12 weeks to receive fingerprint results. You cannot receive permanent licensure until these results are received. Fingerprint Clearance Cards are not acceptable.

Where do I obtain fingerprinting services?

Call your local police department, sheriff’s office or check for names of private agencies where you can obtain fingerprints. (The agency you use must validate your identification with a driver’s license or a State issued ID. The agency will provide the fingerprint card for you to use. Fingerprints done by an applicant on themselves will be returned and will delay processing time.)

Can I get my fingerprints done electronically?

The AZBN now offers electronic fingerprinting services for applicants who are physically in Arizona. At this time there are no location partners outside of Arizona. View the Electronic Fingerprint Instructions for more information.

How long will it take for me to get a license?

The average time to issue you a license is 1-2 weeks for exam applicants.

How can I help to have my application process go faster?
  • Read the instructions very carefully before you submit your application.
  • Make sure you complete each question on the application, leaving no blanks.
  • Enclose a copy of acceptable documentation of lawful presence with your application.
  • Enclose a completed fingerprint card if you have a card that has Arizona State Board of Nursing printed on the card under employer. Most of the schools pass out the fingerprint cards to the students. If you are endorsing into Arizona, we will be sending you an Arizona State Board of Nursing fingerprint card within 30 days of receiving your application.
How long does it take for my fingerprint results to be received and processed by the Board?

It can take approximately 8-12 weeks to receive fingerprint results back from DPS and the FBI. You cannot receive permanent licensure until these results are received. Fingerprint Clearance Cards are not acceptable.

I've been criminally charged or convicted of a felony. What should I do?

Reporting of Criminal Charges

Applicants for licensure/certification must notify the Board of criminal charges within 10 days of being charged. For further information go to Reporting Criminal Charges.

Felony Convictions

The Board shall revoke a nursing license or multi-state privileges or deny licensure if the applicant has one or more felony convictions that have not previously been disclosed to the Board and has not received an absolute discharge from the sentences for all felony convictions 3 or more years prior to the date of filing an application. If this law pertains to you, your application will not be processed, and proceedings for revocation of your Arizona license or multi-state privileges in Arizona or denial of your application shall be instituted by the Board. For further information go to Reporting Criminal Charges.

Can I get a temporary license?

It usually not necessary for an Exam applicant to request a temporary license.

Exception: When fingerprints are rejected and you have already passed NCLEX or if it has been more than 2 years since you graduated and must take a refresher course.

What is a deficiency notice?

When you submit an application, the Board will send you a deficiency notice identifying any elements of the application process which remain outstanding. If you fail to respond to a deficiency notice within the applicable time period, your application will be withdrawn. After withdrawal, if you are still interested in obtaining licensure you would need to submit a new application and applicable fee.

Will the Board send me a hard copy of my license?

The Arizona State Board of Nursing stopped issuing hard copy licenses and certificates as of September 21, 2018. License or certificate information for LPN/RN/APRN can be verified through Nursys.com and CNA/LNA/CMA can be verified through the License/Certificate Verification Portal.