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Telephone: (803) 896-4550
Email: NURSEBOARD@llr.sc.gov

Nancy Murphy
Administrator

Darra Coleman
Advice Counsel




South Carolina Board of Nursing

Requirements to take the National Council Licensure Examination For Registered Nurse And Licensed Practical Nurse

South Carolina Examination Requirements

Out of State Applicant's Information

Foreign Educated Applicant's Information

Repeat Applicant's Information

Name Used on License

Exam Information

An applicant for initial licensure must pass the appropriate National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) prescribed by the board. The applicant shall comply with all application procedures established by the governing body of the NCLEX and by the board. Applications for licensure are valid for one year from the date of filing with the board. An applicant who fails to attain licensure during this period shall submit a new application with the prescribed fee.

All examination applicants must:

(1) Complete and submit the South Carolina Application for Licensure by Examination to the South Carolina Board of Nursing;

(2) Register with the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for license examination using the form provided in the Candidate Bulletin or at www.ncsbn.org;

(3) An applicant who does not pass the licensure examination on the first attempt may retake the examination not more frequently than once every forty-five days for up to one year from the first attempt. An applicant who does not pass the examination within one year of the first examination shall provide evidence satisfactory to the board of remediation approved by the board before reexamination. An applicant who has not passed the National Council Licensure Examination within three years of graduation must re-qualify to take the examination by enrolling in an approved nursing education program and demonstrating knowledge, skills, and ability of a graduate nurse; and

(4) You may file the S.C. Application for Licensure by Examination, and register with NCLEX prior to completing your program. Please be advised that all fees are non-refundable.

South Carolina Examination Requirements

The Board shall admit an applicant for licensure examination if the applicant:

1. Complete and submit the S.C. Application for Licensure by Examination with the correct fee. The money order or cashier's check should be made payable to LLR, Board of Nursing. Your application must include the following:

a. Submits a 2"x2" photograph, signed and dated;

b. Submits a copy of the applicant's birth certificate or a valid passport issued by the applicant's country of origin demonstrating that the applicant is eighteen years of age or older; (Hospital copies are not accepted)

c. Copy of legal name change documents, if applicable;

d. Submits a copy of the applicant's social security card or permanent resident card; a resident alien who does not have a social security number must have an alien identification number;

e. Fee Schedule; Payment should be made payable to LLR-Board of Nursing; and

f. Allow 10-12 business days for processing before contacting the Board regarding the status of your application. After testing, results are mailed to the candidate's address on file within ten (10) business days of receipt by the Board and results are not available from the Board by telephone. Information for obtaining unofficial results can be found at www.ncsbn.org.

2. Register to take the NCLEX following the instructions contained in the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin or visit the web at http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex to register online or by telephone at (866) 496-2539. Be sure to:

a. Include your social security number on the NCLEX registration; and

b. Include proper fee (See the candidate bulletin for correct fee). NCLEX payment must be in the form of money order, certified or cashiers check made payable to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Personal checks, cash or foreign currency will not be accepted.

3. Submit the Certificate of Endorsement page of the South Carolina Application for Licensure by Examination to your program director for completion. The Certificate of Endorsement should be mailed directly from the school to the Board of Nursing.

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Out of State Applicants Only

In addition to 1, 2, and 3 above:

4. Submit an official transcript. The transcript must include all nursing courses applied to meet degree requirements, date degree awarded, date of graduation, registrar's signature and school's seal.

The transcript must document each nursing course accepted for transfer credit to meet the requirements for the nursing degree. If it does not, you must request an official transcript from each school where the nursing course credit was earned. All transcripts must be mailed directly from the school to the Board of Nursing office.

Foreign Educated Applicants

In addition to 1, 2 and 3 above:

5. An applicant's general education and nursing education must be at a level required of graduates of nursing education programs in this State who are candidates for licensure as verified by a certificate of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools or another board-approved credentials evaluation service. An applicant whose native language is not English shall submit evidence of passing the Test of English as First Language (TOEFL), Test of Written English (TWE), and Test of Spoken English (TSE) offered by TOEFL/TSE Services or another service approved by the board. An applicant whose education for nursing is not verified as equivalent may qualify for a license by completing a supplemental course as prescribed by the board to be covered in an approved nursing education program and, upon completion of the course, writing and passing the licensing examination.

6. Attach a copy of your nursing license from country of original licensure.

7. Request a Credential Evaluation Service (CES) report at www.cgfns.org. You will need to request a CES Professional Report description of your nursing program.

8. Request an application for examination from TOEFL at www.toefl.org. Foreign applicants are required to take and pass the TOEFL examination.

9. A foreign educated applicant who does not become licensed within three years of first taking the examination shall requalify to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) by enrolling in an approved nursing education program and demonstrating knowledge, skills, and ability of a graduate nurse.

Repeat Applicants

An applicant who does not pass the licensure examination on the first attempt may retake the examination not more frequently than once every forty-five days for up to one year from the first attempt. An applicant who does not pass the examination within one year of the first examination shall provide evidence satisfactory to the board of remediation approved by the board before reexamination. An applicant who has not passed the National Council Licensure Examination within three years of graduation must re-qualify to take the examination by enrolling in an approved nursing education program and demonstrating knowledge, skills, and ability of a graduate nurse. Retakers Applicants must submit a copy of all Diagnostic Profiles (if test was taken in another state) from all previous exams and also complete the repeater's application and remit with the appropriate fee. Remediation information can be found on the application/forms page of the Nursing Board website.

Name Used on License

A license must be issued in the person's legal name as verified by a birth certificate or other legal document acceptable to the Board. If a licensee changes her or his name after a license has been issued, notification of the change must be filed with the board within fifteen business days, accompanied by a copy of the legal document that authorizes the change and appropriate fee. A licensee's name may not be changed on a record in the office of the board without written authorization for the change and an adequate identification of the applicant.

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Remember:

  • Applications sent by fax are not accepted.

  • Incomplete applications will be returned.

  • Applications completed in pencil will be returned.

  • Money order or cashier's check made payable to LLR-Board of Nursing.

  • Copies of birth certificates, social security cards, marriage licenses and other legal documents are a part of your permanent file and are not returned.

  • Notify the Board immediately of a name or address change.

  • Sign and date your photo and tape along the top edge only. Color or black and white photos are accepted.

  • Sign, date and have your application notarized.

  • Register with Pearson Vue to take the NCLEX.

  • Out-of-state graduates must provide the Board with a certified transcript sent directly from nursing school.

  • If applicable, request a Credential Evaluation Service (CES) report at www.cgfns.org.

  • If applicable, request an application for examination from TOEFL at www.toefl.org.

  • An applicant who does not pass the licensure examination on the first attempt may retake the examination not more frequently than once every forty-five days for up to one year from the first attempt.

  • Out-of- state repeaters must attach a copy of all Diagnostic Profiles.

When are Examinations Given?

The licensure examination for registered nurse and practical nurse applicants is available at Pearson Professional Centers on computer via Computerized Adaptive Test (CAT). CAT is available six days a week. South Carolina test centers are located in Columbia, Greenville and North Charleston. Licensure candidates are not limited to testing in the state. The new system allows a candidate to schedule his/her test in any jurisdiction/location where it is offered.

How Much Does the Exam Cost?

There is a fee for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) examination and a fee for the licensure application. The examination application and fee are remitted to NCLEX and the licensure application and fee are remitted to the South Carolina Board of Nursing. See the fee schedule for the Registered Nurse licensure by examination application fee and the Practical Nurse licensure by examination application fee. Please refer to the NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin for the correct exam fee. You may visit the Pearson Professional website at http://www.vue.com/nclex or call 1-866-496-2539 Monday through Friday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm central standard time. You may also download an NCLEX Candidate Bulletin at www.ncsbn.org.Candidates with hearing impairments who use telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call 1-800-627-3529, which services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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110 Centerview Dr.
Columbia, S.C. 29210
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