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RN/LPN Licensure Information

Obtaining a RN or LPN License

NICU nurse
You can become a nurse (RN or LPN) in Oregon by one of two ways:
  1. Examination: For graduates and prospective graduates of approved nursing programs who are applying to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) and subsequently be issued an Oregon nursing license. 
  2. Endorsement: For applicants who have passed a LPN/RN State Board Testing Pool Examination (SBTPE) or the NCLEX and have been licensed in another state or US jurisdiction to practice nursing.
Oregon requires a license to practice nursing and considers that practice to begin as soon as you begin orientation to a nursing position. (In other words, you must have a license in hand before you begin orientation.) It is considered unlawful to offer nursing services, utilize any nursing title/abbreviation, or sign your name as such without holding a valid and current Oregon nursing license.
 
The Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) does not issue plastic license cards.  Applicants may check the status of their pending application with the OSBN Application Status Wizard. Employers should verify licenses through our online license verification system, or the national NURSYS system. The Board does not issue temporary licenses. 
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RN/LPN Licensure Fees

RN/LPN Licensure Fees and Refund Policy
Fees
  • RN or LPN Licensure by Examination:  $160.
  • RN or LPN Licensure by Endorsement:  $195.
  • RN or LPN Renewal Fee:  $145.
  • Delinquent (Late) Renewal Fee:  $100.
  • Workforce Data Analysis Surcharge at Renewal:  $4.
  • Oregon Nursing Advancement Fund Surcharge:  $9.
For other fee information, click here.  Fees submitted as part of the application process are not refundable, per ORS 678.410(2).  Be certain that you intend to complete the process before submitting your payment.  If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please call our Customer Service Center at 971-673-0685.

If an error has been made in your payment, contact OSBN Information: 971-673-0685, or e-mail oregon.bn.info@state.or.us to request a review of your account.
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Background Checks

The OSBN conducts a criminal records check on every application:
  • Renewal applications are checked through the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS). 
  • Initial applications (including endorsement) and reactivation (renewals that are 61 or more days past expiration) applications are checked via LEDS and a national fingerprint-based criminal records check
For more information about Oregon’s digital fingerprint system, click here: Frequently Asked Questions about fingerprinting.
 
Applicants who reside outside of the US will need to have ink fingerprints completed by an authorized fingerprinting service in their area. Many law enforcement agencies provide this service. Once your application and full payment are received, you will receive a fingerprint packet in the mail that includes instructions and materials needed to continue the process.
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New Nursing Graduates or Nurses Who Have Never Been Licensed in the US

School nurse

You will need to apply for Oregon licensure by examination if you are:

  • A graduate (or a prospective graduate) from a US nursing program in the last three years, and have not been licensed in another state or US jurisdiction, OR
  • A graduate of a non-US nursing school (who may or may not have worked outside the US).

You will need to complete the following application requirements:

  1. Submit application form LIC-103-103A-US (Oregon Application for LPN/RN Licensure by Examination for US Educated Nurses) or 
    LIC-103-103A-FOR (Oregon Application for LPN/RN Licensure by Examination for Non-US Educated Nurses) and the processing fee.
  2. Affix a passport-size photo of yourself taken within six months of application to form LIC-103A. Have the form signed by the Dean/Director of your nursing program or a Notary Public and include the completed form with your application and fee.
  3. Background Check: Once your application documents and full payment are received, you will receive either an email (US residents) or an information packet via postal mail (non-US residents) from the OSBN with instructions on how to complete the fingerprinting process for your national criminal background check.
  4. Register with PearsonVUE at www.pearsonvue.com/nclex . PearsonVUE manages registration and test scheduling for Oregon. NOTE: Once OSBN verifies that you have registered, and application requirements are complete, you will be released to test and PearsonVUE will contact you to schedule a test date.
  5. Official Final Transcripts: Contact your school to request official sealed final transcripts that include your graduation date and degree awarded. Or if your school subscribes to a national document transfer network, you may request the service to send official electronic transcripts to OSBN.
  6. Testing Accommodations: If you qualify for testing accommodations, submit form LIC-614 (Oregon State Board of Nursing Request for Testing Accommodations) and the required supplemental documentation with your application.
  7. Nurses who graduated from a non-US school and have never been licensed in the US must also:
  • Education Equivalency: Have your nurse education evaluated for equivalency to US standards by one of the five OSBN-approved credential evaluation agencies (CGFNS, IERF, Educational Perspectives, Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., International Education Consultants, or ERES). Ask the agency to send the completed evaluation directly to the OSBN.  If you have had a credential evaluation completed previously by one of these five agencies, you may have the agency send the completed evaluation directly to the OSBN.
  • Language proficiency: If your credential evaluation states that you completed your qualifying nursing program using English language textbooks, with a majority of clinical instruction in English, this requirement has been satisfied. If not, then:

A. Request CGFNS to send your previously obtained VISA-Screen Certificate or CGFNS Certificate to be sent to OSBN, OR

B. Successfully pass one of the three OSBN-approved language proficiency examinations (TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS). Have the testing service send a copy of your passing results to OSBN.

  • If you graduated from your basic nursing program more than five years prior to application and practiced nursing internationally, you must show proof of at least 960 practice hours. Ask your previous employer(s) to send employment verification on official letterhead directly to OSBN, including employment start and stop dates, total practice hours completed, nursing position held, and signature of the employment official.

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Nurses Coming to Oregon Who Have Been Licensed in Another US State/Jurisdiction

You will need to apply for Oregon licensure by endorsement if you have been licensed in another state or US jurisdiction.  You will need to complete the following application requirements:

  1. Submit application form LIC-102 (Oregon Application for LPN/RN Licensure by Endorsement) and the processing fee.
  2. Background Check: Once your application documents and full payment are received, you will receive either an email from OSBN (US residents) or an information packet via postal mail (non-US residents) with instructions on how to complete the fingerprinting process for your national criminal background check.
  3. Official Final Transcripts: Contact your school to request official sealed final transcripts that include your graduation date and degree awarded. Or if your school subscribes to a national document transfer network, you may request the service to send official electronic transcripts to OSBN.
  4. Original and Current License Verification: Provide proof of original state of nurse licensure, and the current or most recent state where you practiced. Most states participate in NURSYS for license verification.  If not, you must contact that state directly.
  5. Practice Hour Requirement: If it has been more than five years since you graduated from your nursing program, you must include on your application proof of completion of at least 960 hours of nursing at the level of licensure sought.
  6. If you are a non-US nursing program graduate, you must also have your nurse education evaluated for equivalency to US standards by one of the three OSBN-approved credential evaluation agencies (CGFNS, IERF, or ERES). Have the agency send the completed evaluation directly to the OSBN.  If you have had a credential evaluation completed previously by one of these three agencies, you may have the agency send the completed evaluation directly to the OSBN.
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RN/LPN Renewal Information

blood pressure nurse
When Will My License Expire?
Nursing licenses and certificates are good for two years and expire at midnight the day before your birthday.  After being issued your Oregon LPN/RN license, your first renewal cycle is dependent upon your birthday and whether you were born in an even year or an odd year. For example, your initial license period may be as short as 60 days, or up to the full two years depending on the date your license/certification was issued in relation to your birth month and year.  
 
Licensees are eligible to renew their license up to 90 days in advance of the expiration date. As a courtesy, OSBN will send an email (to the address you have provided to us in application) reminder to you at 90 days, 60 days, and a final notice at 15 days prior to expiration. However, failure to receive these email notifications does not relieve you from your responsibility to maintain current licensure in Oregon. It is ultimately the nurse’s responsibility to ensure that their license remains active in order to avoid a lapse in practice. To verify the email address on file in your records, submit an information request to: Oregon.bn.info@state.or.us or call 971-673-0685.
 
What Do I Need to Renew My License?
To renew your RN or LPN license, you must:
  • meet the practice requirement for Oregon in one of these ways:
    1. Practice nursing for a minimum of 960 hours during the previous five years.
    2. Successfully complete an approved re-entry program within the two years preceding renewal.
    3. Graduate from an OSBN-approved nursing program within the past five years.

If you are unable to meet the practice requirement, you will be required to complete an approved re-entry program before licensure. See "Re-Entry" below.

What Happens if My License Expires?
If you allow your license to expire, you may still renew it up to 60 days after the expiration date. A late fee of $100 is automatically applied to your fees.   If you do not renew your license within 60 days of its expiration date, it will need to be Reactivated (with additional fees) and undergo a national criminal background check. If you practice nursing without a current license or certificate, you could be subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000
 
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Reactivating a RN/LPN License

maternity nurse

Reactivation: The process of reactivating an Oregon nursing license that has been expired more than 60 days. 


What is the difference between a Renewal and a Reactivation?

  • Renewal: You may renew your license up to 60 days after the expiration date, with the addition of a $100 late fee. Click here to renew.
  • Reactivation: If your license has been expired more than 60 days, you will need to submit a paper reactivation application by mail with all applicable fees, as well as have a fingerprint-based criminal background check completed. Click here for a Reactivation Application.
    1. You must have practiced nursing for a minimum of 960 hours during the previous five years OR graduated from an OSBN-approved nursing program within the past five years. (Continuing education cannot be used to meet the practice requirement.)
    2. Complete a state and national criminal background check.  (Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions about fingerprinting.)
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Re-Entry Requirements for LPN/RN

Program Curriculum and Supervised Clinical Practice

A re-entry program is an update of knowledge and skills in nursing, and includes the following:

  1. Minimum of 120 hours of instruction in current nursing practice to include topics, but not limited to:
    • Critical thinking and decision making skills;
    • Cultural competencies;
    • Current nursing procedures and the healthcare system;
    • Legal/ethical perspectives;
    • The application of pharmacologic knowledge and the administration of medications.
  2. Minimum of 160 hours of supervised clinical practice appropriate to level of licensure and plan for competency development. Must be completed using an active full or limited LPN/RN license.

Options for Completing Nurse Re-Entry

  1. Use a Structured Re-Entry Program
    • Submit, or have on file, a completed application (by Examination, Endorsement, Renewal, or Reactivation) and fee(s) based on how you are applying for full licensure.
    • Contact HEC to enroll in the re-entry program. HEC will send confirmation of your enrollment directly to OSBN.
      *You may begin the curriculum component of your program during the same time OSBN is processing your enrollment and that application requirements have been met for your base licensure application (with exception of practice hours).
    • At least two weeks before you are to begin supervised clinicals at your practice site, submit application LIC-110 Oregon Application for LPN/RN Limited License for Re-Entry and the processing fee. NOTE: Limited licensure is only valid for use to complete your re-entry program and supervised clinical practice hours.
    • Once your limited license is issued you may begin your supervised clinical practice.
    • Once you have completed your clinical practice component, have your clinical preceptor complete your evaluation checklist and submit it directly to HEC.
    • HEC will then review the entire contents of your program and make a determination whether you have demonstrated readiness to re-enter nursing practice, or need additional study and/or clinical practice before issuance of full LPN/RN licensure. HEC will send a confirmation of program completion (or recommendation of program continuation) and copy of your evaluation checklist directly to OSBN.
    • OSBN will issue you your full license upon confirmation from HEC of program completion, bearing all other application requirements are complete.
  2. Use an Individualized Re-Entry Plan
    This option requires you to compose a detailed outline of how you plan to meet all components of re-entry as outlined in OAR 851-031-007(4)(a-f). The individualized plan and signed contracts for your supervised clinical location and preceptor must be submitted to, reviewed, and approved by the Board’s Education and Assessment Policy Analyst prior to beginning any portion of your plan.
    • Submit, or have on file, a completed application (by Examination, Endorsement, Renewal, or Reactivation) and fee(s) based on how you are applying for full licensure;
    • Contact the Board’s Education and Assessment Policy Analyst at osbn.practicequestion@state.or.us or 971-673-0685 to prior to submitting your limited license application to discuss your options for an individualized re-entry plan to ensure you eligible.
    • Submit application LIC-110 Oregon Application for LPN/RN Limited License for Re-Entry and the processing fee with the following supplemental documentation:
    • Upon approval of your plan by the OSBN’s Education and Assessment Policy Analyst, and assuming all other application requirements are complete, your limited license will be issued to your to begin your re-entry plan.
    • Once you have completed your predetermined objectives and supervised clinical practice of your plan, submit your completed and signed (by preceptor) evaluation checklist to OSBN for review and approval by the Board’s Education and Assessment Policy Analyst.
    • OSBN will issue you your full license upon approval of your completed individualized plan, bearing all other application requirements are complete.
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Retired Nurse Status, Inactive Status, and Nurse Emeritus Licensure

Retired Nurse status allows nurses at the end of their nursing career to retire their nursing license, instead of merely letting it expire. If your RN, LPN or advanced practice (NP, CNS, CRNA) license is in good standing (or was in good standing when it expired), you are eligible for Retired Nurse status.  This license status does not need to be renewed.  You will remain in retired status unless you decide to return to nursing practice. Please note this is an honorary title and you cannot practice nursing, even in a volunteer capacity. Retired Nurse status allows you to use the term, "Retired," after your signature; for example: "Jane Doe, RN, Retired." Apply for Retired Status.

Inactive status removes your responsibility to renew and halts the courtesy renewal notifications.  A licensee may request for their license to be place in Inactive Status at any time, unless he/she is currently under investigation.  You cannot practice nursing while your license is in Inactive Status.  Apply for Inactive Status.

Nurse Emeritus licensure may be issued to an Oregon LPN or RN who has been granted Retired Nurse status, and would now like to practice in a voluntary capacity. Once issued, the nurse has full practice privileges, but cannot receive compensation for her/his work. With exception of the first licensure period (see section Renewal of an LPN/RN License for information on licensure expiration based on birthdate), a Nurse Emeritus license is valid for a two year period.

How to Apply:

  1. Verify Eligibility: You must have an expired or retired Oregon LPN/RN license in good standing, or intend to retire your active license with your Nurse Emeritus application.
  2. Submit application LIC-115 Oregon Application for LPN/RN Nurse Emeritus Licensure with your competency plan and processing fee.
  3. Allow approximately 5-10 business days from the date your application and full payment are received by OSBN to process the application and review all requirements for licensure.
  4. NOTE: If your Oregon license has been expired for more than 60 days from the date of application for Nurse Emeritus, you will be required to complete a national fingerprint-based criminal background check before a license will be issued to you.
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Primary Source Verification

The OSBN verifies only the initial prelicensure education that led to a person´s eligibility for licensure, such as a BSN, AD or nursing diploma program. In many cases, a nurse has additional education (such as a master´s degree), but that is not verified since it is a person´s initial entry-level education that determines her/his eligibility for licensure. Click here for more information.

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New Nurse Graduate Information

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Expedited Licensure for Spouses/Domestic Partners of Active US Service Members

If you are the spouse or domestic partner of an active service member, the Board of Nursing may expedite your licensure endorsement process, per ORS 678.308.  To request expedited licensing, the applicant must include the following documents with her/his application:

  1. Provide evidence that you are married to, or in a domestic partnership with, an active member of the United States Armed Forces, and
  2. A copy of the orders for active duty assignment.

Please contact the OSBN office at (971) 673-0685 or oregon.bn.info@state.or.us to get further information about this process.

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