Compact State Information

South Carolina is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC allows a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse licensed in a Compact state to practice across state lines in another Compact state without having to obtain a license in the other state. It is important to remember that the NLC requires nurses to adhere to the nursing practice laws and rules of the state in which he/she practices under his/her Compact license. If a nurse moves from one state to another and establishes residency, the nurse must apply for licensure in that state. In the case of electronic nursing practice (telenursing), the nurse must adhere to the practice standards of the state in which the client receives care. Please visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website ( for a list of states that have implemented the Compact.

"Primary state of residence" as defined by the Compact means the "person's declared fixed permanent and principal home for legal purposes; domicile." Proof of primary residence may include but is not limited to 1) Driver's license with a home address; 2) Voter registration card displaying a home address; 3) Federal income tax return declaring the primary state of residence. 4) Military Form # 2058- state of legal residence certificate; or 5) W2 from US Government or any bureau, division or agency thereof indicating the declared state of residence.

If your primary state of residence is another Compact State, you are not eligible for RN or LPN licensure in South Carolina.

  • If a party state issues a temporary permit or temporary license to an endorsee, that permit or license shall confer the same rights and privileges of nursing practice as does the permanent license among party states.
  • NURSYS will not track temporary licenses and the employer must verify licensure directly from the state issuing the temporary permit/ license.

If your primary state of residence is another Compact State, you are not eligible to take the RN or LPN NCLEX for South Carolina.

SECTION 40-33-1315

(D)(1) A registered nurse who has been granted multi-state licensing privileges by a party state may practice registered nursing in this State.

(2) A licensed practical nurse who has been granted multi-state licensing privileges by a party state may practice practical nursing in this State.

(3) A nurse who has been granted multi-state licensing privileges as provided for in subsection (D)(1) or (2) shall notify the board, on a standard form provided by the board, before commencing any nursing practice in this State, of the identity and location of the nurse's prospective practice location, the nurse's current address, and other contact information as requested. A nurse shall maintain at all times a current address and contact information during practice in this State.

Information for applicants:

All applicants must register with the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) using the form provided online at Please be advised that all fees are non-refundable. Section 40-33-32(E) states: 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.

Repeat candidates who are applying for licensure as an RN/LPN in South Carolina for the first time must also submit the initial application.

All remediation plans must be submitted to the Board office for approval prior to initiation. Failure to notify the Board may prevent the applicant from qualifying to repeat the examination.

The South Carolina Code of Laws requires that every individual who applies for an occupational or professional license provide a social security or alien identification number for use in the establishment, enforcement and collection of child support obligations and for reporting to certain databanks established by law. Failure to provide your social security number for these mandatory purposes will result in the denial of your licensure application. Social security numbers may also be disclosed to other governmental regulatory agencies and for identification purposes to testing providers and organizations involved in professional regulation. Your social security number will not be released for any other purpose not provided for by law. Other personal information collected by the Department for the licensing boards it administers is limited to such personal information as is necessary to fulfill a legitimate public purpose. The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act ensures that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by a government agency. Therefore, some personal information on the application may be subject to public scrutiny or release. The Department collects and disseminates personal information in compliance with The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, the South Carolina Family Privacy Protection Act, and other applicable privacy laws and regulations. Additionally, the Department shares certain information on the application with other governmental agencies for various governmental purposes, including research and statistical services.


  • Your application to the South Carolina Board of Nursing must include the following: The following items must be scanned and attached to the online application or mailed to LLR-Board of Nursing, PO Box 12367, Columbia SC 29211 to complete the application process.
    • Recent 2" x 2" full face, passport type photo, signed & dated.
    • Copy of birth certificate or a valid passport. (Copy of hospital birth certificate not accepted)
    • Copy of social security card, permanent resident card or a resident alien identification card assigned to a resident alien who does not have a social security number.
    • Copy of legal documents that authorize a change in name, if applicable.
    • Graduates of a Nursing School in South Carolina will need the completion date reflecting when all their course work was completed. This can be obtained from the Dean or Director of the Nursing Program.
  • Track your application online at Allow 14 business days for processing before contacting the board regarding the status of your application.
  • Criminal Background Check (CBC): An applicant for a license to practice nursing in South Carolina shall be subject to a criminal history background check as defined in 40-33-25 of the Nursing Practice Act. The Board will send you instructions on how to have your fingerprints processed once your application is received.
  • Register/re-register to take the NCLEX by following the instructions contained in the Candidate Bulletin or visit the web at to register online. Be sure to:
    • Include your social security number on the registration.
    • Include proper fee (see Candidate Bulletin). Fee must be in the form of money order, certified or cashiers check made payable to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    • Complete and mail to NCLEX Registration, P.O. Box 64950, St. Paul, MN 55164-0950 or visit the web at to register online.
  • Out of State Graduates only In addition to 1, 2, and 3. Submit an official transcript. The transcript must include all nursing courses applied to meet degree requirements, date and type of degree awarded, date of graduation, registrar's signature and school 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 SC Board of Nursing office.
  • Foreign Educated Applicants Only In addition to 1, 2, and 3. Scan and attach or mail a copy of your nursing license from country of original licensure.
    • Request a Credential Evaluation Service report from You will need to request a Credential Evaluation Service Professional Report description of your nursing program.
    • Request an application for examination from TOEFL at Foreign applicants are required to take and pass the TOEFL examination
  • Repeat applicants. 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 proper fee.

Request to Repeat Exam Application