LPN and RN Licensure by Examination - If You Were Educated Outside of the United States

Information regarding the process to obtain a license by examination

The process to apply for licensure by examination is the same for LPNs and RNs.

This page contains additional information for nurses who were educated outside of the United States.

Please review the below list of application requirements and additional information.

Obtain the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) VisaScreen Certificate

  • Apply to the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) to complete their VisaScreen program.
  • Visit the CGFNS website for additional information, as well as the KBN Document Library using the search words CGFNS VisaScreen to obtain Kentucky specific information.
  • CGFNS phone number: (215)222-8454
  • Please note: The VisaScreen Certificate program does not have any relevance to your immigration status.
  • You will need to email the CGFNS Order status and Third Party Authorization Form to KBN.Credentials@ky.gov. Once the NCLEX results are received, the results will be forwarded to CGFNS.
  • If you have completed the CGFNS VisaScreen program:
    • you can request that CGFNS send the VisaScreen certificate to the KBN OR
    • you can email your CGFNS VisaScreen certificate to KBN.Credentials@ky.gov OR
    • you can mail a copy to the Kentucky Board of Nursing
    • Kentucky Board of Nursing
    • ATTN: Examination Coordinator
    • 312 Whittington Parkway, Suite 300
    • Louisville, Kentucky 40222

Complete the application and submit the fee.

  • Complete online application
    • Applications are valid for one year unless you are unsuccessful on the NCLEX. If requirements are not met within one year, your application will expire and you will have to start the process over again.
    • If you are unsuccessful on the NCLEX, your exam application will be voided and you will have to reapply. In addition, your provisional license is invalidated upon unsuccessful completion of NCLEX. In this event, the provisional licensee must immediately cease practicing in a licensed nursing position.
  • Pay application fee of $125 (ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE)
  • You are encouraged to complete the online application; however, if you would like to request a paper application visit the KBN Document Library  and use the keywords "paper application" to obtain the request form. There is a $40 fee for the paper application in addition to the examination application fee of $125.
  • If you do not have a Social Security Number, contact KBN for a temporary ID to begin the application process. A Social Security Number is required for permanent licensure. Once you have a copy of the social security card, you can send an encrypted email to KBN.Credentials@ky.gov or can mail a copy of the social security card to the Kentucky Board of Nursing at the address listed above.
  • As a nurse educated outside the U.S. seeking to work in the United States, you must follow U.S. federal immigration law and meet the basic educational and/or professional requirements.

Pass the Jurisprudence Exam with a score of 80% or higher

Complete the state and federal criminal background check through IdentoGO®.

Apply for and pass the Pearson VUE NCLEX

  • Review the page regarding NCLEX, which contains information on the following topics:
    • How to register with Pearson VUE for the NCLEX exam, including the information you will need
    • The Authorization to Test (ATT) email
    • How to reschedule or cancel your NCLEX appointment
    • Accommodations for the NCLEX
    • What happens if you miss your appointment or forget to reschedule
  • For additional information regarding the NCLEX visit the NCSBN website
  • For information regarding NCLEX review courses visit the NCSBN Learning Extension webpage
  • Select this link for information on retaking the NCLEX

Verification of Completion of Program of Nursing

  • If you attend a Kentucky program of nursing the school will submit your name on a certified list.
  • If you attend an out of state program of nursing you will need to submit an official transcript to the KBN.
    • An official transcript is a transcript that is sent directly from the program of nursing, through a clearing house to the KBN, or a copy obtained by the applicant that is in the original, sealed, unopened envelope from the program of nursing.
    • Transcripts can be sent electronically via a clearinghouse such as Parchment or the program of nursing directly to the KBN to the email address: KBN.Credentials@ky.gov
    • Transcripts may also be mailed to:
      • Kentucky Board of Nursing
      • ATTN: Examination
      • 312 Whittington Pkwy., Suite 300
      • Louisville, Kentucky 40222

    Reporting Criminal Convictions

    If you have any criminal convictions, they will need to be reported on your application for examination. The exception to this is traffic misdemeanors, other than DUIs. For information about what qualifies as a criminal conviction use the keywords "Reporting Criminal Convictions" to view the Reporting Criminal Convictions Brochure in the KBN Document Library.

Graduates of Kentucky programs of nursing have met the following requirements. All others must earn:

Review the information regarding provisional licenses.

If you are unsuccessful on the NCLEX, your exam application will be voided and you will have to reapply. In addition, your provisional license is invalidated upon unsuccessful completion of NCLEX. In this event, the provisional licensee must immediately cease practicing in a licensed nursing position.

Kentucky does not issue license cards. You will receive an email notification when the provisional license or license has been issued.

Applications and documents are reviewed within 14 days. However, if you respond "Yes" to the disciplinary or conviction questions it can take up to three months to process your application.