How to Get a California RN License if You’re Already Licensed in Another State

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
August 29, 2018
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A California travel nurse job is, understandably, atop the professional wish list of many RNs. California is a massive state with many travel nursing positions that offer great pay, world-class cities, and plenty of natural wonders. However, obtaining a California nursing license takes a bit of extra time and effort.

Here are the steps to apply for California licensure by endorsement if you already hold a nursing license in another state.

1. Fill Out an Application

The application for California endorsement may be completed online or in paper form to be mailed to the Board of Nursing (BON). If enough fees are paid (an extra $100), the BON will issue a temporary license while you’re waiting for a permanent license after submitting your application.

If you’re applying online, you’ll need to make an account with California’s BreEZe account. Click here for an overview of what the online application entails.

2. Complete Fingerprints and Payment

Those already in California or close enough to visit a Livescan center in California may opt to complete their fingerprints at a center and pay fees there.

Nurses outside of California can request that fingerprint cards be mailed to them using this link: The California Board of Nursing recommends that you bring your fingerprint cards to a law enforcement agency (who may charge a fee) to have them collected using black ink only. You’ll need to mail your fingerprints with a check or money order for $49.00 payable to the Board of Registered Nursing.

3. Submit a 2-Inch by 2-Inch Passport Photo

If you’re filling out the online application, there is an option to attach a photo file to it. If you’re going the paper application route, mail your photo to the Board of Nursing along with your application.

4. Verify Your Nursing License

The Board of Nursing needs to verify that you do indeed have a nursing license in another state if you’re applying for endorsement. Many states use the Nursys verification site, which charges a fee:

If your state doesn’t participate in Nursys, you’ll need to fill out a license verification form provided by your state’s BON and state that you want verification sent to the California BON.

5. Request Your Transcripts

You’ll need to fill out transcript request forms from the nursing school(s) you attended. Transcripts need to be sent directly from the school to the California BON.

6. Letters or Documents for Discipline or Convictions

If you’ve ever had any criminal convictions or discipline action on your nursing license, you’ll need to send the California BON letters of explanation, and details about rehabilitation.

7. Pay Fees

California charges a $350 application fee, and an additional $100 fee if you’d like to apply for  temporary license. If you’re applying online, you’ll have the option to pay your application fee online. If filling out the paper application, you’ll need to mail a check or money order to the Board of Registered Nursing.

California Travel Nurse Jobs

Applying for California nursing license endorsement takes a bit more legwork than many other states, but the rewards are great—you can take your lifesaving abilities to the beautiful Golden State!

Health Carousel Travel Nursing

Find the Travel Job that’s Right for You

Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

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