LPN and RN Licensure by Endorsement – Educated Outside of the United States

​​Apply for licensure by endorsement if you were originally licensed in another state or U.S. jurisdiction by licensure by examination and have not held a Kentucky license previously.​

You will need to apply for licensure by endorsement if you meet any of the following:

  • If your LPN or RN license is not in a compact state and you want to practice in Kentucky
  • If you are moving from a compact state and are now declaring Kentucky as your primary state of residence (example: moving to Kentucky to become a permanent resident)

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

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



If you have previously received a VisaScreen Certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing School (CGFNS), you may submit via email to KBN.Credentials@ky.gov

If you have not received a VisaScreen Certificate, please complete the Credential Evaluation from an Approved Provider and Complete the English Language Proficiency with a Passing Score.  See the requirements below:

Credential Evaluation

You will need to request/apply for a Credential Evaluation. You may use one of the following approved Credential Evaluation companies. If you have received a credential evaluation previously by another provider you may request that document be sent to the Kentucky Board of Nursing for review. Once the evaluation has been completed, the report needs to be sent to the Kentucky Board of Nursing at KBN.Cr​edentials@ky.gov​ or by mail to:

  • Kentucky Board of Nursing
  • ATTN: Endorsement
  • 312 Whittington Pkwy Suite 300
  • Louisville, KY 40222

English Language Proficiency Test and Passing Exam Score

You must take and pass the English Language Proficiency Exam. You may use one of the following:

  • TOEFL Internet Based Test: Overall score: 84; Speaking score: 26
    www.toefl.o​rg
  • ​IELTS Academic: Overall Test Passing Score: 6.5; Speaking:6.0
    www.ielts.org

Once you have taken and passed the exam with the qualifying score, the report needs to be sent to the Kentucky Board of Nursing at KBN.Credentials@ky.gov or by mail to:

  • Kentucky Board of Nursing
  • ATTN: Endorsement
  • 312 Whittington Pkwy Suite 300
  • Louisville, KY 40222

​​Have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and received a license by examination.​

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

Complete the application and submit the fee.

  • Complete online application
    • Applications are valid for one year. If requirements are not met within one year, your application will expire and you will have to start the process over again.
  • Pay application fee of $165 (ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE)
  • If you do not have a social security number, you may request a temporary ID to apply online. Send your request to KBN.Credentials@ky.gov​. You must provide a copy of your social security card before the permanent license will be issued.
  • 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 request – endorsement to obtain the request form. There is a $40 fee for the paper application in addition to the endorsement application fee of $165.

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

  • Complete the Jurisprudence Examination after completing the endorsement application.
  • The Jurisprudence Examination cannot be accessed prior to having a current application on file with the KBN.

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

Request the verification of licensure be submitted to the KBN

  • Request that the verification of licensure be sent to the Kentucky Board of Nursing from the state where you took and passed the NCLEX and received your license by examination.
    • This request should be made through Nursys if your state is a participating board. There is a fee of $30 that is paid to Nursys and not to the KBN. This fee is subject to change without notice.
    • If your state is not listed on NURSYS you will need to complete the verification of licensure form to another state board and contact that board of nursing to determine the fee. The verification of licensure form can be located in the KBN Document Library using the search terms verification of licensure.​​​

Submit proof of Continuing Education, if applicable.

Nurses who have been licensed longer than 5 years, but have not practiced as a nurse for 500 hours within the past 5 years will need to submit 120 hours of continuing education. These must be earned within a year of application date. (This does not apply to new graduates)

In addition, within three years of obtaining a Kentucky license the following two CEs must be obtained: Domestic Violence and Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome).

Reporting Criminal Convictions

If you have any criminal convictions, they will need to be reported on your application for endorsement. 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.​​​​​​​​​​

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

Licenses may be issued within 14 business days after all documents have been received and reviewed.  However, if you respond "Yes" to the disciplinary or conviction questions it can take up to three months to process your application. 

  • A temporary permit can be issued while the KBN is waiting for receipt of the original verification from the other licensing board so long as all other requirements outlined above are satisfied.
  • Practicing on a temporary permit does not require supervision.
  • A temporary permit is valid for six months.