How to Verify Nursing Licenses

You have options when it comes to getting your nursing license verified. Most licenses are valid in specific states, but sometimes under special circumstances, nurses are able to gain multi-state documentation. This adds flexibility to their work options, and makes a career like travel nursing much easier to navigate.

California is one of the most desirable places to live and work in the U.S., and between private practices, clinics, and world-renowned hospitals, there are plenty of jobs available to nurses. Part of the process of applying for nursing work is having proof of licensure, and California license verification is navigable and straightforward. In the following article, we give a detailed set of instructions for how to verify a nursing license in the Golden State, which can be used as a model for verifying nursing licenses in other states as well.

Who Verifies Nurse Licenses?

For advanced practice nursing and nurses in public health, the CA Board of Registered Nurses verifies and maintains a list of all advanced practice nurses. This includes nurse practitioners, psychiatric and mental health nurses, anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. CA BRN license verification is available online or through snail mail.

CA Board of Nursing RN license verification is offered to all practicing registered nurses. If you are registered in California and are looking to practice in another state or country, you would apply for verification through this organization. CA BON license verification applications can be submitted either online, or by mail.

Private institutions also offer online nursing license verification in a limited number of states. NURSYS is a system providing verification in all states except Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, and Arkansas. Nurses living in any of these states are able to apply for verification in another state to which they may be moving.

Why Do Nurse Licenses Need to be Verified?

There are two main reasons a nursing license will need to be verified.

The first reason verification may be required: an employer will need to verify the existence of a nurse’s license before they are able to hire them.

Second, if a nurse is moving to a state in which they are not already licensed, they will need to verify the existence of their license in their home state to prove that they have already taken the qualifying courses and tests which preempt their license.

Additionally, nurses can use license verification systems to manage their licensure, and keep track of license expiration, license renewal, or publicly available disciplinary actions.

4 Steps to Nursing License Verification

  1. Get your nursing license. All states use the same nursing licensure exam: the NCLEX-RN. If you are a nurse, passing this test and establishing professional competency is the first step to gaining licensure in the nurses’ state of education. Licenses given to the nurses after taking this test assure future employers and the general public that the nurse is capable, professional, and has met the predetermined standards to qualify for a license. Once a nurse has this documentation, it is made publicly available.
  2. Determine which method of verification you need. CA RN board license verification is a governmental system that works best for non-speciality nurses who are renewing a license or verifying a license for future employment. Hospitals hiring a nurse may also choose this system. CA RN license verification of this kind is only doable through a government agency, as California does not participate in the NURSYS system. California State Board of Registered Nursing verification may be necessary if you are a nurse attempting to acquire a speciality certificate in one of the above-mentioned advanced nursing practices.
  3. Apply. To check RN license CA, you will need to obtain a copy of the correct application packet in the state. If you are a nurse seeking verification for licensure in another state, you need to make sure you’re qualified according to the criteria of your target state. Once you have the paperwork, you will need to fill it out, including your name, CA license number, and your best contact phone number. You will need to attach a check of $100 to your application to cover processing fees. California allows a snail-mail version of the application, but also offers an online license verification option known as “BreEZe.” This is available to psychiatric technicians and vocational nurses who need to check the status of a license.
  4. Wait. Applications are processed in order of date received, and may take 10-12 weeks to go through. The CA Board encourages nurses to follow up after a three-month period to ensure that the application was received.

License verification can seem like a tedious aspect of nursing, but it is an important step which assures hospitals and the public of your capability as a practicing professional.

If you’re looking for a career that will give you opportunities to travel and make the most out of your multi-state nursing license, check out our other article Becoming A Travel Nurse to find out what it takes to enter this exciting vocation.

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