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Washington State Nurse License Applications

If you want to practice nursing in Washington state, you must have a Washington state license, or a valid multistate license (MSL) from a participating NLC state.

    Apply for a license 

    Get information on license options (single-state vs multistate), requirements, and how to apply for a Washington state license for:

    Listen to our Licensing BONcast to learn about the licensing process in Washington state. Plus tips on what you can do to ensure a smooth process.

    Note: We don’t process applications for Nursing Assistants. The Department of Health (DOH) does.

    For additional information about the Nurse Licensure Compact.

    Comparison Chart

    Washington Single-State License  Washington Multistate License (MSL)
    Allows practice in Washington State only.  Allows practice in Washington state and 40 other participating compact states. 
    Initial single-state license fee:
    RN: $138
    LPN: $93
    Initial multistate license fee:
    RN: $203
    LPN: $158
    Annual single-state renewal fee:
    RN: $138
    LPN: $93
    Annual multistate renewal fee:
    RN: $158
    LPN: $113

    Initial License Requirements: 

    Initial License Requirements: 

    • Application and fee
    • Meet all WABON licensing requirements
    • FBI fingerprint background check
    • Valid US Social Security Number 
    • WA State must be primary state of residence (PSOR)
    • Must not be a participant in an alternative to discipline program or have ever been convicted of a felony. 
    • Must meet all Uniform Multistate License Requirements.

    Important information

    These situations may or may not apply to you.

    If we need you to do an FBI background check, or send us your official transcripts, we will contact you.

    FBI Background Check (Fingerprints)

    You may be required to submit a fingerprint background check.

    The WA Board of Nursing doesn't send out fingerprint packets with cards.

    If fingerprints are required, we will email you instructions on how to complete the process. 

    • After we receive your application, we will email you information on how to complete this process through Live Scan or on fingerprint cards obtained from a fingerprinting facility.
       
    • You must either complete this process through a Live Scan facility or obtain the fingerprint cards from the place you get the fingerprinting done.
    • DOH completes the FBI background check through the Washington State Patrol and FBI.
       
    • We may issue you a temporary practice permit (TPP) while we wait for the FBI background check to complete. If you are issued a TPP, you must complete the FBI background check at your earliest convenience to avoid closure of your application for licensure. 
       
    • If you are unable to locate the emailed instructions sent to you, please access the PDF copy below. Please note, you may not print these instructions to use as fingerprint cards. You must obtain fingerprint cards from your local facility. 
    Official Transcripts
    • If you are applying by endorsement from another U.S. state, please do not send official transcripts unless we ask for them.
       
    • If you were educated outside of the U.S., please visit the Educated Outside the United States page for transcript requirements. 
       
    • If you are applying by exam or applying for your ARNP license we will need your official transcripts with your degree and graduation date posted.

    Electronic transcripts

    If your school uses one of the approved electronic transcript services below, please have them send your official transcripts to WABONlicensing@doh.wa.gov.

    • E-Script
    • Parchment
    • Student Clearing House
    Please do not have official transcripts sent until you have completed your nursing education program and your degree has been posted. 

    Paper transcripts

    If your school doesn't use an electronic transcript service, please request transcripts be mailed to the address below. Make sure your transcripts have your degree and graduation date posted.

    Mail transcripts to:

          WABON Licensing
          111 Israel Road SE
          Mail Stop 47864
          Olympia, WA 98504 

    Name Change Information

    If you previously applied for a healthcare license through the Department of Health (DOH) and then changed your name, you must update your contact information.

    Military Spouse or Domestic Partner

    Under Washington State law, the spouse or state-registered domestic partner of a service member of any branch of the U.S. Military, including National Guard or Reserve, applying for a health care professional credential may be eligible for the expedited application process by submitting the following:

    A copy of your spouse’s or registered domestic partner’s military transfer orders to Washington state. A copy of your marriage certificate or a copy of a state’s declaration or registration showing a state registered domestic partnership with a member of the U.S. military.

    See our Military Resources page for more information. 

    Resources

    More Information