Nursing Licensure Requirements in Idaho

The State of Idaho Board of Nursing issues nursing licenses. Idaho currently has 25,045 nurses with active licenses: 20,696 RNs and 4,349 LPNs.

Select the type of Nursing License you are seeking:

Idaho is a nurse compact state, so nurses who have residency, and hold licensing in other compact states do not need a new license to practice there. In fact, the Idaho Board will return applications to nurses who list another compact state as their primary residence. (If Idaho becomes the state of residence, though, an Idaho license will be required for practice.)

Nursing graduates who are seeking licensure for the first time take the NCLEX. The Idaho Board provides a list of NCLEX review programs in the examination application but does not specifically endorse any.

Nurses who are licensed in other states can be licensed by endorsement, while those in other countries need to apply to take the NCLEX licensing exam. (Those who took the State Board Test Pool Examination may constitute an exception.)

Nursing students may want to look at the list of financial aid resources compiled by the Idaho Area Health Education Center ( The Idaho Nurses Foundation is a source of small scholarships. Nurses can turn to the Idaho Nurses Association for additional career resources.

LPN Requirements in Idaho


In most cases, an LPN will need to complete a state approved practical nursing program. A student who begins a registered nursing program may be licensed as an LPN, provided the candidate has done coursework equivalent to what is included in a professional nursing program. The Board requires a course in personal/ vocational relationships as they relate to practical nursing. Find LPN programs in Idaho.

The Application Process

A nurse who is near program completion may request an application by clicking here or download one from the Board site (

There are some steps that a person can begin in advance to expedite the process: getting a passport style photo, being fingerprinted, even turning in the application. Candidates may call the Board office at (208) 334-3110 ext. 2476 to get the fingerprint card.

The prospective LPN should be prepared to pay a $75 application fee, plus $34 for fingerprinting. In July of 2013, the fingerprinting fee will go up to $42. Total fees for all license categories can be found at the following address: Once educational requirements are met, the program must send a notarized affidavit of graduation to the Board. This is required to complete the application and become eligible for testing.

The candidate will need to register to take the NCLEX-PN. The candidate can use the application in the candidate bulletin. The candidate will wait to receive authorization, then schedule a computer adapted exam. The authorization to test is valid for 90 days. The candidate will need an ID that matches the application (first and last names, at least). The examination fee is $200.

For an additional $25 fee (submitted with the original application) a candidate can get a temporary permit to work while going through the exam process. The permit is also valid for 90 days. The nurse will use the title Graduate Practical Nurse (abbreviated G.P.N.) while under a temporary permit. The candidate must be under the direct supervision of a registered nurse at all times.

The graduate permit is not multi-state, though the permanent one should be — as long as Idaho is the state where the LPN actually lives. An employer can verify the new license by doing a licensee search on the Board site.

Out of State LPN Candidates

An out of-state LPN will need to get license verification in order to be licensed by endorsement. However, the candidate may work under a temporary permit while waiting for verification to arrive. The nurse will need a photocopy of the license as evidence; the candidate will also need an affidavit attesting to its authenticity. The candidate must submit an application along with the required fees.

The endorsement fee is $110; the candidate will also need to pay for fingerprint processing. The temporary permit, if desired, is $25. Nurses who have not practiced in three years (and are not recent graduates) will need a temporary permit for another purpose: to refresh their skills. The endorsement application includes an employer reference form. Those who have practiced during the preceding three years will give the reference form to a supervisor to complete and return.

Nurses who were licensed by equivalency should view the following document: Licensing questions can be addressed to the Board at (208) 334-3110 ext. 2478. International nursing candidates will need to verify substantially equivalent qualifications as well as English proficiency.

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RN Licensure Requirements in Idaho

RN Education Requirements

Prospective RNs should enroll in professional nursing programs approved by the Idaho Board (or similar programs approved by other state boards). A nursing student may submit the application before graduation.

Program Options:

RN Programs in Idaho

The Application Process

Click here to download the application.

The candidate may also get a head start on the fingerprinting process. The candidate must make sure that the candidate has the correct card for fingerprinting. The candidate should attach a passport type photo to the application and have the affidavit notarized.

Exam registration materials are to be sent straight to Pearson VUE. Pearson will issue an ATT (Authorization to Test) after the Idaho Board confirms eligibility. The ATT is good for only 30 days, so the candidate will want to make sure the candidate’s ready before registering with Pearson.

The application/ licensing fee is $90. The fingerprinting fee is currently $34 but will increase to $42 July 1, 2013. Candidates who want to work under temporary licenses while going through the examination process must remit an additional $25. These fees may be combined and paid to the Idaho Board. $200 will be paid to the testing company.

The Board is willing to fax permit verification to employers. The temporary permit is good for up to 90 days. While working under this permit a nurse is called a Graduate Nurse, or GN. The nurse may not be given charge duties while the candidate has this status. The candidate must be under the direct supervision of an RN.

Candidates may call Pearson two business days after testing. The Idaho Board will mail testing results, but this will take a little longer. A candidate who fails a first examination attempt is not eligible for a temporary permit.

For candidates not residing in Idaho

An RN who is currently licensed and in good standing in another state may apply for license by endorsement. A verification form and employer reference will be required. Some states use to simplify the verification process. A candidate who has at any point been licensed by one of the states listed in the application packet will be able to handle license verification through a single online form (even if the candidate has been licensed in multiple states). Other candidates use paper forms.

The endorsement fee is $110. The candidate will also need to pay for fingerprinting. A nurse who has not been in active practice during the three years preceding may be required to do a refresher.


State of Idaho Board of Nursing

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