RN or LPN by NCLEX Exam (first license)
If you are a recent grad or applying for your first RN or LPN license ever you need to apply by exam.
Please only apply once you are ready to schedule and take the NCLEX exam to avoid your application being closed due to inactivity. After 30 days of inactivity, all applications receive a 30-day closure warning letter.
If you received your initial nursing education outside of the United States, go to the Educated Outside the United States page first. Before you are able to register with Pearson Vue to take the NCLEX, your education must be approved by the nursing commission.
You need to know:
If you are applying by exam and this is your first nursing license in the United States, Washington state will be your Initial US state of licensure. This is important to know if you ever wish to practice in another state.
Before you apply
Please apply only if you will be ready to schedule and take the NCLEX upon completion of your nursing education program. This will help prevent your application getting closed due to inactivity.
Steps to apply
- Make sure you meet all requirements
- Get your forms signed and ready to upload
- Complete an online application
- Pay application fee online
- Attach required forms and documents
- Any “yes” responses to personal data questions must have supporting documents, such as court documents and written statements.
- Submit your application
- Once you have completed your nursing education program, please request to have your official transcripts with your degree and graduation date sent to the nursing commission
We will email you if we need anything or have issues with your application.
Submitting forms and documents
- You have 14 days after you submit your application to upload your documents online.
- After 14 days you won’t be able to access your application though SAW.
- If you have more documents to submit after 14 days, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Verification of Education
Nursing Education Program Graduate in Washington State
- If you are a graduate of a Washington state nursing education program, the program director will send an electronic certificate of completion (COC) to our office after you complete the program.
- You do not need to request the COC, but you will need to request official transcripts after your degree and graduation date is posted by your school.
Nursing Education Program Graduate in another U.S. State or Jurisdiction
- If you are a graduate from a nursing education program in another U.S. state or jurisdiction, we will need your official transcripts, with degree and graduation date posted.
- This needs to be received by the Nursing Commission before we are able to grant eligibility to test in Pearson Vue.
Applicants educated internationally
If you were educated outside of the United States and you are applying for your first license in the United States, please visit the Educated Outside the United States page.
Have your official transcripts sent to us electronically or by mail.
If your school uses one of the approved electronic transcript services below, please have them send your official transcripts to email@example.com:
- Student Clearing House
Please do not have official transcripts sent until you have completed your nursing education program and your degree has been posted.
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:
Attn: Licensing Unit
Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission
PO Box 47864
Olympia, WA 98504-7864
Professional vocational relationship course (PVR)
If you are testing out of an RN program for the NCLEX-PN exam, you will need to complete a commission approved PVR course.
You will also need to submit an attestation from your nurse administrator at your nursing education program addressing your ability to safely practice within the scope of a practical nurse.
Register for the NCLEX
You may register to take the national exam online through Pearson VUE. They will email the “authorization to test” (ATT) to you.
See the Pearson VUE registration guide NCLEX Candidate Bulletin for more information.
Washington State Pearson VUE test locations:
- Pearson Professional Centers-Renton (Seattle) WA
- Pearson Professional Centers-Seattle (Northgate)
- Pearson Professional Centers-Seattle WA
- Pearson Professional Centers-Yakima WA
- Pearson Professional Centers-Spokane WA
ADA Accommodations for the NCLEX
To request ADA accommodations for the NCLEX , you will need to submit the following documentation with your application:
- A letter from the diagnosing physician stating the diagnosis and recommended accommodations.
- A letter from the school stating the diagnosis and accommodations granted while enrolled in the nursing education program.
- A letter from yourself stating the diagnosis and requested accommodations.
We're available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Phone: 360-236-4703
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org