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Nurse License application process

We start processing your application as soon as we get it. 

If your application is complete (with all documents and fees) it should take about 7 business days for us to process.

Some applications and situations will take longer:

Licensing Process
  • Applications missing information or supporting documents.
  • Applications with special circumstances.
  • Higher number of applications than usual.

Step 1: Application Submitted (1-3 days)

  • We receive the application and fee.
  • We input paper application information into our licensing system (online applications are processed faster!).
  • DOH processes the application fee.

Step 2: Application Intake (1-2 days)

  • We verify the application information in our licensing system (IRLS).
  • We email FBI fingerprint instructions to applicants with out-of-state addresses.

Step 3: Background Check (1-2 days)

  • We conduct a criminal background check on all applications.

Step 4: Review (1-3* days)

  • We review the application at the corresponding review desk (International, Exam, Endorsement, ARNP, etc.).
  • If we find the application is missing anything, or have questions, we send an email to the applicant. This delays the process time. 

*We will try several times to contact you by email. If we don’t get a response, we will close your application and you must start over.  

Step 5: Final Review (1-2 days)

  • Once all requirements are met, we forward the application to the final review desk. 
  • We forward Exception applications to Nurse Discipline for approval or denial.

Step 6: Active License or Temporary Practice Permit Issued!

  • We may issue a Temporary Practice Permit while the FBI Background is pending.
  • Once the FBI Background is cleared, we issue your license. You are now licensed in Washington!

More Information