Find Local or Online
Nursing Programs

Select a program:

Select your state:


Follow NurseGroups on Pinterest

State Nursing Requirements

Each prospective nurse graduate of an LPN program or RN program must pass an examination or a certified endorsement in order to obtain a license to start a nursing career. The tentative U.S. Code herein reflects the last official update as of January 2011. Therefore, contact the state's board of nursing directly to ensure the current licensure requirements have remained the same in conjunction with this general guide to nursing occupations. Prospective nurse graduates of non-traditional nursing schools offering online RN programs and online LPN programs should take special consideration before enrolling.

  1. Alabama: Alabama requires prospective nurses to graduate any number of accredited nursing programs, even if it's one of the many online nursing programs offered at a trustworthy institution. Registered Nurses must pass a certification program (CP) and a credentials evaluation services (CES) in order to qualify for licensure. Licensed Practical Nurses must pass credentials evaluation services (CES) to display competency of a nursing education. A secondary school evaluation is required for a CES report.
  2. Alaska: The State of Alaska requires Registered Nurses (RN) to acquire a credentials evaluation service (CES) or complete a certified program (CP) at an accredited institution, even at one of the online RN programs offered across the Internet. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) must pass a credentials evaluation services program to qualify for the workforce. No secondary school evaluation is required for a CES report.
  3. Arizona: The State of Arizona requires an RN to obtain a CES or CP to qualify for Registered Nurse jobs. A prospective LPN must pass a CES exam, although no secondary school evaluation is required for the CES report.
  4. Arkansas: An RN graduate must pass a CES exam, English proficiency, and enroll into a CP. An LPN must pass a CES exam. A secondary school evaluation is required for a CES report.
  5. California: A prospective RN may only need to pass the CES exam. An LPN or LVN may only need to pass a CES exam without a secondary school evaluation.
  6. Colorado: The State of Colorado requires an RN graduate to complete a CES and English proficiency exam or complete a certified program. An LPN may only need to pass the CES exam; however, a secondary schooling evaluation is required for a CES report.
  7. Connecticut: The State of Connecticut requires an RN to complete a CES and English proficiency exam or complete a certified program. A prospective LPN must pass the CES and English proficiency exam without a secondary schooling evaluation to enter the workforce.
  8. Delaware: The State of Delaware requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN may pass a CES exam to enter the workforce. No information is provided regarding a secondary schooling evaluation benchmark.
  9. Florida: The State of Florida requires an RN to complete a CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  10. Georgia: The State of Georgia requires an RN to complete a CES or certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  11. Hawaii: The State of Hawaii requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam without undergoing a secondary schooling evaluation.
  12. Idaho: The State of Idaho requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  13. Illinois: RNs in Illinois are required to take the NCLEX exam in order to receive licensure. LPN applicants must also complete an exam with the NCLEX.
  14. Indiana: The State of Indiana requires an RN to complete a certified program. LPN requirements include taking a licensure examination and completing the NCLEX-PN exam. All nursing graduates must complete a secondary schooling evaluation.
  15. Iowa: The State of Iowa requires an RN to complete a CES (PDF) and English proficiency exam or a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES and English proficiency exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  16. Kansas: The State of Kansas requires an RN to complete a CES examination. An LPN must complete a CES exam. A secondary schooling evaluation is not required to receive a CES report.
  17. Kentucky: The State of Kentucky requires an RN to complete a Visa Screen, and must undergo a secondary schooling evaluation.
  18. Louisiana: The Statue of Louisiana requires an RN to complete a certified program. LPNs must complete the NCLEX-PN exam.
  19. Maine: The State of Maine requires an RN to complete a certified program or CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  20. Maryland: The State of Maryland requires an RN complete a CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  21. Massachusetts: The State of Massachusetts requires an RN to complete a certified program, CES exam, or Visa Screen. An LPN must complete a CES and English proficiency exam.
  22. Michigan: Individuals who wish to become an RN or an LPN must complete an online test in order to receive their license.
  23. Minnesota: The State of Minnesota requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  24. Mississippi: The State of Mississippi requires an RN to complete a certified program or CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  25. Missouri: The State of Missouri requires an RN to complete a certified program or CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  26. Montana: The State of Montana requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  27. Nebraska: The State of Nebraska requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  28. Nevada: The State of Nevada requires an RN to complete a CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  29. New Hampshire: The State of New Hampshire requires an RN to complete a certified program or CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  30. New Jersey: The State of New Jersey requires an RN to complete a CES and English proficiency exam or a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  31. New Mexico: The State of New Mexico requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  32. New York: The State of New York requires an RN to complete a credential verification service examination for New York State (CVS). An LPN must complete a CVS.
  33. North Carolina: The State of Carolina requires an RN to complete a CES exam or Visa Screen. An LPN must complete a CES or Visa Screen. No secondary schooling evaluation is required.
  34. North Dakota: The State of North Dakota requires an RN to complete a certified program or CES exam may be accepted. An LPN may be accepted if they have completed a CES exam.
  35. Ohio: The State of Ohio requires an RN to complete a CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  36. Oklahoma: The State of Oklahoma requires an RN to complete a certified program, CES exam or Visa Screen. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  37. Oregon: The State of Oregon requires an RN to complete a CES exam, certified program, or Visa Screen. An LPN must complete a CES exam or Visa Screen.
  38. Pennsylvania: The State of Pennsylvania requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  39. Rhode Island: The State of Rhode Island requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam.
  40. South Carolina: The State of South Carolina requires an RN to complete a CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  41. South Dakota: The State of South Dakota requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  42. Tennessee: The State of Tennessee requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  43. Texas: The State of Texas requires an RN to complete a CES exam. An LPN must complete a CES exam. No secondary schooling evaluation is required.
  44. Utah: The State of Utah requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam. No secondary schooling evaluation is required.
  45. Vermont: The State of Vermont requires an RN to complete a CES and English proficiency exam or a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam and undergo a secondary schooling evaluation to receive a CES report.
  46. Virginia: The State of Virginia requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. An LPN must pass a CES and English proficiency exam. A secondary schooling evaluation is required to receive a CES report.
  47. Washington: The State of Washington requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. No specified data exists for LPN requirements.
  48. Washington DC: The State of Washington DC requires an RN to complete a CES exam or certified program. No specified data exists of LPN requirements.
  49. West Virginia: West Virginia requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES for acceptance. A secondary schooling evaluation is required to receive a CES report.
  50. Wisconsin: The State of Wisconsin requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES and English proficiency exam. A secondary schooling evaluation is required to receive a CES report.
  51. Wyoming: The State of Wyoming requires an RN to complete a certified program. An LPN must complete a CES exam. No secondary schooling evaluation is required to receive a CES report.