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Nevada Nursing License Requirements

The Nevada State Board of Nursing licenses practical nurses, registered nurses, and nurse practitioners who wish to practice in the state of Nevada. The journey to nurse licensure begins with a diploma or degree program in nursing, and can lead to other opportunities within the field of nursing. Find out more about becoming a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner in Nevada by selecting one of the links below.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

4 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Nevada

1. Graduate from a Practical Nursing Program.

Licensed practical nurses in Nevada must complete a diploma or nursing certificate from a school of professional or practical nursing that holds approval from the Nevada State Board of Nursing.1 A list of nursing programs that have been granted full or provisional approval by the Nevada State Board of Nursing is available online.2 Historical pass rates posted by graduates on the National Council Licensure Examination from approved nursing schools in Nevada are available on the Nevada State Board of Nursing website.3

2. Complete the Application for Initial Licensure.

The Nevada State Board of Nursing provides the Application for Initial Licensure form for prospective practical nurses.4 Applicants must request that the school of nursing graduated forward an affidavit of graduation and official transcript directly to the Nevada State Board of Nursing.4 All sections of the application must be completed.4 Note that all applicants must have and provide a US Social Security Number to receive a permanent license.4

It typically takes one week after the Nevada State Board of Nursing receives a complete application to issue a temporary license.5 A temporary license may be issued once the Nevada State Board of Nursing has received an affidavit of graduation from the school of nursing attended pending National Council Licensure Examination and background check results.4 Note that a temporary license is only valid for 90 days and may not be renewed.4

3. Undergo a Criminal Background Check.

Applicants for practical nurse licensure may request fingerprint cards for the required criminal background check prior to submitting the Application for Initial Licensure, if desired.4 Otherwise, upon receipt of the application the Nevada State Board of Nursing will send the applicant fingerprint cards and instructions to have fingerprint impressions taken.4 Alternatively, prospective practical nurses may have their fingerprints taken through LiveScan processing at a LiveScan site located in the state of Nevada.4 Lists of law enforcement and private fingerprint sites in Nevada are available through the Nevada Department of Public Safety.6

Completed fingerprint impressions using either method should be forwarded directly to the Nevada State Board of Nursing.4 Note that it may take up to four months for the criminal background check to be completed after the Nevada State Board of Nursing receives the fingerprint impressions.4

4. Register for and Take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses.

To receive a practical nurse license, all candidates in Nevada must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The Nevada State Board of Nursing uses Pearson VUE, a third party testing service, to proctor and score the NCLEX-PN.4 Candidates must initially register for the NCLEX-PN through the Pearson VUE website.7 After registration and review of the application by the Nevada State Board of Nursing the candidate will be made eligible to schedule a test date and attempt the exam.4

The Nevada State Board of Nursing usually receives official results from the NCLEX-PN two to three weeks after the exam is taken.5 Official results and license status will be sent to candidates via regular mail.4 Candidates who were not successful may request permission from the Nevada State Board of Nursing to re-attempt the NCLEX-PN.1 Candidates who are not successful at a second attempt must provide the Nevada State Board of Nursing with a plan of study and exam preparation for a third attempt before approval will be issued to re-take the NCLEX-PN a third time.1

4 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Nevada

1. Graduate from a Registered Nursing Program.

To become a registered nurse in Nevada, candidates must first earn a diploma or degree from a registered nursing program that has been approved by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.1 Prospective registered nurses can access a list of schools that hold provisional or full approval online.2 Approved program graduate pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination are also available.3

2. Complete the Application for Initial Licensure.

Prospective registered nurses should complete the Application for Initial Licensure form and submit the completed document to the Nevada State Board of Nursing to begin the licensure process. The school of nursing from which a diploma or degree was earned must send an affidavit of graduation and an official transcript directly to the Nevada State Board of Nursing to compliment the application.4 Applicants should be careful to complete all sections of the form and provide a US Social Security Number; a US Social Security Number is required for nurse licensure in Nevada.4

If the Nevada State Board of Nursing has received a complete application and an affidavit of graduation, a temporary permit may be issued.4 It typically takes one week after the Nevada State Board of Nursing receives a complete application to issue a temporary license.5 Note that a temporary license is only valid for 90 days and may not be renewed.4

3. Undergo a Criminal Background Check.

Nevada requires all prospective registered nurses to undergo a criminal background check, which may be initiated prior to or following submittal of the initial application form.4 Applicants may request fingerprint cards from the Nevada State Board of Nursing prior to submitting the application; if not, fingerprint cards will be mailed to the applicant after the application form is received.4

Applicants may also choose to have fingerprint impressions taken through a LiveScan vendor within the state of Nevada.4 Candidates for licensure can check the Nevada Department of Public Safety website for a list of private and law enforcement fingerprinting sites.6 Whichever method is chosen, the completed fingerprint impressions must be sent directly to the Nevada State Board of Nursing.4 Be aware that up to a four month processing period may apply to criminal background checks after the fingerprint impressions are received by the Nevada State Board of Nursing.4

4. Register for and Take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

All Nevada registered nurses must successfully post a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Pearson VUE, a third party testing service, is used by the Nevada State Board of Nursing to administer and provide results for the NCLEX-RN.4 The initial registration for the exam is done through the Pearson VUE website.7 Following review of the registration and initial application, candidates will be made eligible to schedule and attempt the NCLEX-RN through an Authorization to Test letter.4

It typically takes two to three weeks after the exam date for the Nevada State Board of Nursing to receive candidates’ official results.5 Results and license status are then sent to candidates by regular mail.4 Applicants may re-attempt the exam upon application to the Nevada State Board of Nursing.1 However, an applicant who is not successful after two attempts must submit a plan of study for preparation to pass the examination before a third attempt will be allowed.1

6 Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Nevada

1. Become a Nevada Licensed Registered Nurse.

The Nevada State Board of Nursing requires prospective nurse practitioners to first obtain licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Nevada.1 This means that applicants must first complete an appropriate education in registered nursing and achieve a passing score on the NCLEX-RN.

2. Complete a Master’s Degree Program in Nursing.

Nurse practitioners in Nevada must earn at least a master’s degree in nursing to become licensed.1 The master’s degree program must consist of at least one academic year of study and include at a minimum four months of classroom instruction and clinical experience.1 A concentration in at least one medical specialty must be included in the program.1

3. Execute a Collaborative Agreement with a Licensed Physician.

Nurse practitioners in Nevada may only legally practice within the protocols of an executed collaborative agreement with a licensed physician.8 The protocols in the collaborative agreement must be current with the nurse practitioner’s area of practice and follow established or customary practice standards.1 For initial licensure as a nurse practitioner, a copy of the agreement must be provided to the Nevada State Board of Nursing before a nurse practitioner may begin to practice.1 A sample collaborative agreement is available on the Nevada State Board of Nursing website.9

4. Submit the Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing Certificate.

The Nevada State Board of Nursing provides the Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing Certificate form for prospective nurse practitioners.10 An official transcript for the graduate program completed must be sent directly from the school to the Nevada State Board of Nursing.8 In addition, candidates must submit documentation that the school attended was accredited or approved by a nationally recognized accrediting body, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and/or a state board of nursing at the time of graduation.8

Note that national certification is not a requirement for nurse practitioner licensure in Nevada at this time, but the Nevada State Board of Nursing strongly encourages nurse practitioners to pursue national certification.8 Nurse practitioners pursuing initial licensure on or after July 1, 2014 will be required to demonstrate evidence of national certification.8

5. Complete a Criminal Background Check.

Applicants for a nurse practitioner’s license must complete a criminal background check unless a background check was completed for a license to practice registered nursing in the six months preceding the nurse practitioner application.8 Fingerprint cards may be requested from the Nevada State Board of Nursing prior to submitting an application, or applicants may visit a LiveScan site in the state to have fingerprint impressions taken electronically.11 Lists of law enforcement and private fingerprint sites in Nevada are available through the Nevada Department of Public Safety.6

Whichever method is chosen, the completed fingerprint sets should be forwarded to the Nevada State Board of Nursing for processing.11 Note that processing times can extend to up to four months.11

6. Apply for Prescriptive Authority.

Nurse practitioners may apply to the Nevada State Board of Nursing to obtain prescriptive authority after completing an academic program consisting of at least two semester credits in pharmacotherapeutics approved by the Board, completed within two years of applying for prescriptive authority.1 Nurse practitioners pursuing prescriptive authority must also earn 1,000 hours of active practice prescribing medication under physician supervision, which hours must take place in the two years preceding the prescriptive authority application.8

Prescriptive authority in Nevada is a dual licensure process and requires application to both the Nevada State Board of Nursing and the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.8 The Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing Prescribing Privileges form should be sent to the Nevada State Board of Nursing, while the Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing – Prescribe form should be sent to the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy.12,13 Note that a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) control number is required to prescribe controlled substances; the appropriate sections of the DEA addendum on the Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing – Prescribe form should be completed and forwarded to the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy and DEA as indicated to facilitate issuance of the control number.13

Nevada Nursing Associations

Nursing associations active in the state of Nevada can help future and current nurses access educational and employment opportunities, as well as professional networking events.

Emergency Nurses Association Nevada Council

Nevada Advanced Practice Nurses Association

Nevada Nurses Association

Nevada Organization of Nurse Leaders

Nevada Nursing Salary

Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants 4,910 $31,270
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses 2,350 $52,850
Registered Nurses 16,790 $77,870
Nurse Practitioners 430 $97,040

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

References:
1. Nevada Administrative Code Chapter 632: Nursing
2. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Approved Nursing Programs
3. Nevada State Board of Nursing:NCLEX Pass Rates for Nevada Schools
4. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Application for Initial License
5. Nevada State Board of Nursing: FAQ
6. Nevada Department of Public Safety: Fingerprint Information
7. Pearson VUE: The NCLEX Exam
8. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Instructions for Application for a Certificate of Recognition as an Advanced Practitioner of Nursing
9. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Collaborative Agreement Between Physician and Advanced Practitioner of Nursing
10. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing Certificate
11. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Instructions for Completion and Submission of Fingerprint Card
12. Nevada State Board of Nursing: Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing Prescribing Privileges
13. Nevada State Board of Pharmacy: Application for Advanced Practitioner of Nursing – Prescribe