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WABON phone lines will be unavailable Thursday Feb. 22, 2024, 9:45 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. 

Military Resources

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Nurse Licensure Military Pathways for WA State

The Washington State Board of Nursing (WABON) is committed to honoring the service of military personnel and their spouses or registered domestic partners.

WABON recognizes that these individuals experience unique challenges during the nurse license process.

WABON strives to enhance the license process by streamlining certain services to qualified military personnel. Several support services are offered once all required documents are received.

The information listed on this page identifies these support services to assist in understanding the laws associated with respective military designation, streamlining the license process, obtaining Washington state nurse license, and availability of other important resources.

Already have a Washinton state nursing license? We can help you:

Pathways for Licensure

There are several different pathways military service members and their spouses or registered domestic partners can use to obtain a Washington state nursing license. View a printable version of the Pathways for Licensure (PDF)

View the different pathways for military service members and their spouses or registered domestic partners below:

Apply for a Washington single-state license (expedited process)

Apply online for a WA single state RN or LPN license through the Online Portal.

Please note: If you have multistate license from another state, you can practice with that license. The Washington State Board of Nursing shall not issue a single state license to a nurse who holds a multistate license, Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) rules Section 401(3). When moving to Washington state from another party state with a multistate license, a nurse may continue to practice under the existing multistate license until a new multistate license is issued in the new primary state of residence (Section 403(1)).

  1. Submit a complete application, fee, copy of military orders, and copy of marriage certificate.

  2. Upon meeting all requirements, a temporary practice permit (TPP) may be issued for 180 days.

  3. The TPP will be issued within 30 days of receiving a complete application (typically under 7 days). Note: The FBI fingerprint process must be completed for full licensure.

Practice with your multistate license (MSL) from another state 

Work immediately in Washington state under an active MSL if your primary state of residency (PSOR) or "home state" is out of state.

  1. No application or fee necessary. If you are moving to Washington state with a multistate license from another state, you may continue to practice under the existing multistate license until a new multistate license is issued in the new primary state of residence in accordance with section 403(1) NLC rules.
  2. Communicate your active MSL status to your employer. Your employer may require additional reporting. 

Review the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) Military Fact Sheet for additional information.

Visit our Military Multistate License Information page for more information. 

Practice under the Federal Portability of Licensure Act
  1. Submit a complete RN/LPN application or ARNP application, copy of military orders, and copy of marriage certificate (No fee is required) to: 

    Washington State Board of Nursing

    111 Israel Road SE

    PO BOX 47864

    Olympia, WA 98504

  2. Upon meeting requirements, WABON will issue a credential for the portability of professional license.

  3. Expiration date will be entered as the military order end date.

See 50 U.S.C. § 4025a for more details.

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

Federal, Veterans Administration, Military and Indian Health Services nurses are exempt from licensure in the state of practice when they hold an active nurse license in any state. However, this exemption does not apply when a nurse is practicing in a civilian facility in a nonfederal role. In this case, the nurse will need to hold appropriate licensure in the state of practice.

Military spouses who are nurses can maintain or change a primary state of legal residency at their discretion. Should a nurse maintain legal residency in an NLC state/territory and hold a multistate license and the military family is stationed in other NLC states/territories, the nurse may practice under the home state multistate license in the other NLC states/territories without obtaining additional licensure in those states/territories.

See Military Family Fact Sheet for Details

Visit our Military Multistate License Information page for more information

Additional Resources

Military Families – Washington - Washington State is committed to being the home of choice for military families. Whether you are current or former family of an active duty service member, member of the Reserves or National Guard, or veteran, we want to support you in making Washington the best place to live, work, and thrive.

View the Military personnel state licensing and transition information flyer (PDF)