​​​​​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.

Licensure Requirements

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

  • Submit the application through the Kentucky Board of Nursing Nurse Portal. You will need to create an account through the nurse portal and then you will select Apply for a License located on the Nurse Portal Dashboard.
    • For more information on the nurse portal and a tutorial on how to create an account, please go to:
    • Kentucky Nurse Portal - Kentucky Board of Nursing
    • 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).

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

  • Complete the Jurisprudence Examination after completing the ​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 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.

Submit your transcript, if applicable.

If you were licensed from one of the following states, you must request that your nursing program send KBN an official transcript, with degree and graduation date posted.

An official transcript is a transcript that is sent directly from the program of nursing, through a clearinghouse to the KBN, or a copy obtained by the applicant that is in the original sealed, unopened envelope from the program of nursing.

  • California* (A temporary permit will not be issued to nurses who completed a program of nursing in and were originally licensed in California until the transcript is received
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Washington​

NOTE: ​If your nursing education that was used to obtain your license by exam was earned from a Florida program of nursing, an official transcript will be required as part of the endorsement application process.

If your education was received in Puerto Rico prior to September 1, 2006, your official transcript may be requested.

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: Endorsement
  • 312 Whittington Pkwy., Suite 300
  • Louisville, Kentucky 40222

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 four CEs must be obtained:

Reporting Criminal Convictions

  • If you have any criminal convictions, they will need to be reported on your application. The exception to this is traffic misdemeanors, other than DUIs. For information about what qualifies as a criminal conviction please review the Mandatory Reporting of Criminal​ Convictions.

How will I know when my temporary permit or license has been granted?

  • Kentucky does not issue license cards. You will receive an email notification when the permanent license has been issued. You may validate the temporary permit and permanent license number through the License Verification Portal.

How long does it take for a temporary permit or license to be 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.

Review your application or licensure status

Temporary Permits

  • 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.