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Division of
Professional Regulation

License by Examination

When to File Application by Examination

Complete the application only if you wish to take the NCLEX examination and your home state of residence is either Delaware or a non-compact state.

  • Your home state of residence (also called the primary state of residence) is your declared fixed, permanent and principal home for legal purposes. If your home state of residence is one of the following compact states, you must apply for licensure by examination in your home state, not in Delaware:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

  • If you hold a current, active Nursing license of the same type in another state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia and you have never held a Delaware Nursing license of the same type, complete the Application for Licensure by Endorsement.
  • If you have ever held a Delaware license of the same type and that license is now in Lapsed-Must Reinstate status or it is in Inactive status, complete the Application for Reinstatement of RN or LPN License instead.


Requirements for All Applicants by Examination

  • Complete the Authorization for Release of Information form to request a criminal background check. Follow the instructions on the authorization form to arrange to be fingerprinted. This is required even if you recently had a criminal background check done for some other reason.
  • Submit a completed, signed and notarized Application for Licensure as a Registered or Practical Nurse by Examination.
    • Follow instructions carefully. You must answer all questions unless the instruction says to skip them. Do not leave answers blank if the instruction says to enter them. If an answer is “none,” enter None. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
    • Read the AFFIDAVIT section and sign the application in front of a notary public. Forms that are unsigned or not notarized will be rejected.
  • Enclose the non-refundable processing fee by check or money order made payable to “State of Delaware.” Applications submitted without this processing fee will be rejected.
  • Enclose a copy of your driver’s license or official identification card from the Division of Motor Vehicles.
    • The state (or other jurisdiction) on the identification you provide is considered your home state of residence.
    • If you don’t have a driver’s license or official identification from the Division of Motor Vehicles, you may submit a voter registration card, federal tax return, military form 2058 or a Form W-2 showing your home state of residence.
    • You may submit a passport only if it is your sole proof of identification. If you submit a passport, your Delaware license will be for practice only in Delaware. You will not be allowed to use it to practice in other compact states.
  • If you received your Nursing education outside the U.S. (including Canada) or in Puerto Rico, submit a copy of your CGFNS certificate verification letter. Contact CGFNS to order your certificate verification letter. CGFNS must send the certificate verification letter directly to the Board office.
  • If you received your Nursing education in the U.S. or a U.S. territory other than Puerto Rico, arrange for your school of nursing to send the Board office an official transcript showing the degree you received and the date. The school must send the transcript directly to the Board office. The Board office cannot approve you to sit for the examination until it receives this final transcript.
    • Your Nursing program must be acceptable to the Board. Section 2.4.1 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations explains the criteria for an acceptable Nursing program, such as 200 hours of clinical experience required for LPN students and at least 400 hours of clinical experience required for RN students. If your program is in Delaware, see Approved Delaware Nursing Education & Refresher Programs.
    • If 12 months or more have elapsed since your graduation, you are required to submit a Petition for Permission to Take NCLEX More than One Year After Graduation form.
    • If two years (24 months) or more have elapsed since your graduation, you are required to submit evidence of completing an NCLEX review course within the previous six months. To be acceptable, the course must include a test(s) and provide either a certificate or letter from the provider as proof of completion. (An email or payment receipt from the course provider is not sufficient.) Before enrolling, make sure that the course meets these requirements. To find a course, we suggest you check with your school of nursing, visit NCSBN Learning Extension at learningext.com or search on the internet.
    • If five years (60 months) or more have elapsed since your graduation, you are no longer eligible for licensure by examination. Call the Board office.
  • Complete the applicant section of the Nursing Reference Form and send the form to your school for completion. After completing the form, the school must return the form by mail directly to the Board office. Forms received from you will be rejected.


Registering for NCLEX Examination

  • Register for the NCLEX online on the Pearson Vue website as soon as you are ready to take the test.
    • When all required documents are received, reviewed and approved, the Board office will notify Pearson Vue that you are eligible to take the exam provided you have registered with Pearson Vue. The Board office cannot make you eligible until you have registered.
    • If you are eligible, Pearson Vue sends you an Authorization to Test (ATT) form by email. If you do not receive an ATT form, contact Pearson Vue. The Board office has no information about the status of your ATT form.
    • If you are not eligible, the Board office notifies you.
  • When you receive the Authorization to Test, schedule an appointment with Pearson Vue to take the exam.
    • If you passed and the Board office has received all of the documents required for licensure, the Board office will send you your license by mail and will send you the exam results by email if you provided an email address.
    • If you did not pass, the Board office will send you your exam results and an Application for Re-Examination by email if you provided an email address. No exam results are given out by phone!


Temporary Permit for RN or LPN

For information on applying for a temporary permit, see RN/LPN Temporary Permit. Carefully read the instructions about when you may apply. Do not begin orientation or employment until you are assigned a temporary permit number.

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