Nurses who wish to work in another state must obtain a state nursing license prior to seeking a job. Most state nursing boards offer nursing licenses, by reciprocity or endorsement, to nurses who have already passed the certifying exam and have an active and current license in at least one state. Nurses must be in good standing in their previous state with a satisfactory background.

Complete an application for endorsement. Download the form from the state’s board of nursing website or contact the office to have a paper form mailed to you. In some states, you can complete and submit the application online.

Visit a local law enforcement agency to have your fingerprints taken for a background check. If you already reside in the state to which you are transferring your license, you may be able to submit digital fingerprints via LiveScan.

Mail your application to the board of nursing in the state to which you are transferring. Include your fingerprint card, processing fee and any other required documents.

Download a verification form from the website of the state board to which you are applying and take it to your current state board. Have the staff complete it and send it to the office to which you are applying. Some state boards are registered with NURSYS, a website that provides verification for members. If your current state board and the state board to which you are applying are members, then you can log in to the database to verify your license yourself for a moderate fee.

Take a Jurisprudence exam, if required. This exam tests candidates on their knowledge of the state’s practice act for the profession.

Wait for a decision from the state board. The processing time depends on the amount of time the board must wait to receive information on your background check from the FBI. If the board finds that you are eligible for a license, it may issue a temporary license that enables you to accept employment while you wait for the permanent license.