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 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.

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
  • If you have completed the CGFNS VisaScreen program:
    • you can request that CGFNS send the VisaScreen certificate to the KBN,
    • 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: Endorsement Coordinator
312 Whittington Parkway, Suite 300
Louisville, Kentucky 40222

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

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).
  • 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.
  • If you do not have a Social Security Number, contact KBN for a temporary ID number 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 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 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.