Nursing License in North Dakota: How to Become a Nurse in North Dakota

The North Dakota Board of Nursing licenses LPNs and RNs (

North Dakota is a member of the nurse licensure compact. A nurse who holds a multistate license in another compact state can be employed in North Dakota. The candidate will need to apply to the Board within a short span of time, though, if North Dakota becomes the candidate’s primary residence.

Nurses who have previously taken an acceptable licensing exam in another jurisdiction may apply by endorsement. Nurses who have not been previously licensed in the United States apply by examination. Once deemed eligible, they take a nationwide licensing exam.

Select the type of Nursing License you are seeking:

Nursing School Loans in North Dakota

North Dakota has a Nursing Education Loan program for nursing students at the associate level and higher ( The loan does not need to be repaid provided the awardee meets the educational expectations and then fulfills a work commitment as a North Dakota nurse. Loan applications can be downloaded from the education section of the Board site.

The North Dakota Nurses Association is an additional professional resource for the state’s nurses.

LPN Requirements in North Dakota


A student will need to complete either a North Dakota approved nursing program or an equivalent program that has been approved by another state board. Some in-state programs for practical nurses confer a certificate, others an associate degree (LPN programs in North Dakota). Contact information can be found on the Board site.

Application Process

Later the candidate will have official transcripts sent to the Board. The candidate will apply online and pay a $130 fee ( After the candidate applies, the candidate will see a link that will allow the candidate to print out the form for the required criminal history check.

The candidate must also register to take the NCLEX-PN ( North Dakota will communicate eligibility to the testing company after the candidate has registered and paid the $200 fee. The candidate will receive the ATT via mail or email.

The Board may issue temporary work authorization to an LPN candidate, pending results of the examination and criminal history check. The authorization is valid for a maximum of 90 days. While employed under this status, a nurse will be titled, Graduate Practical Nurse, or G.P.N.

The ATT is good for 90 days. The North Dakota Board notes that candidates are guaranteed to be offered a testing session within 30 days of the time they call to schedule – this is a contractual obligation.

The North Dakota Board will mail examination results within 7 days (often sooner). A candidate who fails will get a diagnostic profile (and the chance to retake after the 45 day mandated wait time). If the candidate is working under a temporary authorization, though, this privilege will be rescinded. A candidate who passes will see the license issued very quickly (provided everything else is in order); the license can often be verified on the Board site just a couple days after testing.

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LPN by Endorsement

A candidate who has already passed the NCLEX (or its predecessor, the SBTPE) can apply by endorsement. The application can be completed online. The applicant will also need to provide official transcripts as well as verification from the first state where the candidate held licensing. North Dakota can issue a temporary permit upon receipt of the application, fee, and transcript. A criminal history check is required, but the permit may be issued before results are in. Application status can be checked online.

An LPN that has not practiced for at least 400 hours during the previous four year period must meet additional requirements before the candidate can be licensed.

RN Requirements in North Dakota

RN Education

A student at this level will need to complete an approved professional nursing program (RN programs in North Dakota). If the program is approved by another state board, it must be equivalent to a North Dakota program. It must include as much clinical experience as in-state programs are required to have. If a student is enrolled in an out of state program, but seeking to do clinical fieldwork in North Dakota, the program must be authorized to do so.

RN License Application Process

After the candidate wraps up degree requirements, the candidate will take steps toward licensure. If the candidate completes the requirements promptly, the candidate will be eligible to begin work as a graduate nurse before all steps are complete and all paperwork processed.

The candidate should have the school send official transcripts after the qualifying degree or certificate posts. The candidate should go online to fill out the license application and pay the $130 fee ( Registration with the testing company incurs an additional $200 fee. Both steps must be completed before North Dakota will issue a 90 day work authorization. Both must be completed, too, before the graduate can be sent an ATT and allowed to schedule an examination session.

When the candidate completes the state application, the candidate will find a link which will allow the candidate to register for the criminal history record check (CHRC). The form does need to be printed. Even if the applicant had a CHRC previously when applying for a lower license, the candidate will need to do so again – unless the previous one was in the prior 90 days.

The candidate must apply for the CHRC within 60 days of graduation if the candidate wants a temporary work authorization; however, the Board can issue the authorization before results are in. An RN candidate working under temporary graduate status is known as a Graduate Nurse, or G.N. There are some restrictions on duties ( Status can be verified through the Board’s online services – candidates should not expect to receive a paper permit.

If the candidate passes the exam, the candidate can expect the license to be issued, and verifiable online, within a short time period – provided results of the CHRC have also been processed. If the candidate does not pass the examination, the candidate will be sent diagnostic information aimed at improving performance. North Dakota does not place limits on exam retakes, but additional paperwork is required.

RN by Endorsement

An RN who passed the required exam in another jurisdiction can apply for license by endorsement. In addition to the application itself, the candidate will need a criminal background check, official transcripts, and license verification from the first state where the candidate held licensing. The candidate may be issued a temporary permit once the application, transcripts, and fee have arrived.

If the nurse is not a relatively recent graduate and has not practiced at least 400 hours in the preceding four years, the candidate will need to do a refresher course, however.

Students in refresher programs may be eligible for a forgivable loan though the Nursing Education Loan Program ( There is a link to a downloadable application.

International Nurses

Internationally educated nurses must have their coursework evaluated for equivalency by a professional evaluation service, CGFNS ( Ultimately, they will submit their CGNFS certificate and apply for licensure by examination. A social security number is required for licensure.

Canadian applicants do not need a CGNFS certificate.

Professional and Student Nursing Associations in North Dakota

North Dakota Board of Nursing

North Dakota State Nurses Association

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