Board of Nursing

Find out how to apply for the NCLEX examination and verify or monitor a nurse license through the state or territorial board of nursing.

Looking for your state board of nursing contact number? Then you have come to the right place. In this category, you will find contact information of each board of nursing in the US, including the board of nursing address, phone number, and zip code.

Read on to find out what boards of nurses are and how they work. You will also receive more information about how to verify a nurse license or apply for a license or the NCLEX exam.

The board of nursing: overview

There is at least one board of nursing in each of the US states and territories. A board of registered nursing is a regulatory body that supervises the practice of nursing within a defined area. Typically, its primary function is to approve and oversee local schools that have a department of nursing. All the state and territorial boards of nursing form a single body – the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

National Council of State Boards of Nursing: overview

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, which is sometimes referred to as National Board of Nursing, is a not-for-profit organization that brings together boards of nursing across the US. What you definitely need to know about NCSBN is that it develops and administers the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN examinations.

NCSBN includes boards of nursing in:

  • 50 states
  • District of Columbia
  • American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands

We should also point out that California, Louisiana, and West Virginia have two separate boards of nurses. One of them deals with registered nurses, while the other deals with licensed practical or vocational nurses. In Nebraska, there are also two boards: the “regular” board of nurses and the board for advanced practice nurses. The council also includes 30 associate members.

NCSBN: contact information

Chicago Headquarters

Address: 111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 2900

Chicago, IL 60601-4277

Phone number: 312.525.3600


NCSBN history

The organization was founded in 1978. Throughout its first years, the council was focused on establishing a mission-driven organization and strengthening the role of state boards of nursing, making them the highest power in everything that was concerned with nursing regulation. In 1979-1980, Mildred Schmidt was the president.

In 1994, the council started using computer systems for the NCLEX exam, thus becoming the first healthcare organization to employ computer-based adaptive testing for the purpose of licensure. While in 1995–2002, the CSBN was busy introducing new technological tools, resources, and mediums to its work, in 2003-2007, the organization mainly focused on bringing the evidence-based nursing regulation to a new level.

Today, the CSBN brings together 59 boards of nursing. The organization includes over ten committees with various aims, from an Award Committee to the NCSBN Standards Development Committee. In 2017, the Delegate Assembly approved the creation of the exam user member category.

How can you verify a nurse license?

If you need to verify and monitor your nurse licensure status through the board of nursing (BON), you may use the website. It contains a licensure and disciplinary database that is an equivalent of a primary source of information on the topic, as, according to the website, it is a “repository of the data provided directly from state boards of nursing.” The information is posted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing as soon as it is submitted by member boards of nursing.

This resource can be useful when you want to practice in another state, as your future employer may check your license at once. To get the verification, you need to tell which license type you possess and which state you are applying to. After this, the service will send the board of nursing of the state you are applying to all the existing verifications from the places where you worked under your license.

For both the employers and nurses, there is a specific notification app that provides automated license status updates. It lets the parties know when nurses’ licenses are about to expire.

How do you apply for the NCLEX?

Before you sit for the NCLEX exam, you need to pass through the application process, which consists of two parts. First, you need to submit an application for licensure or registration to the Board of Nursing. Keep in mind that you should only apply to the BON of the state where you need to be licensed or registered.

Then you register with Pearson VUE online or via telephone. You need to pay by card and have the card ready while completing the registration through the Internet or the phone because you will need information from it (including the name, the number, and the expiration date).

Before you take the NCLEX

If you are going to apply for licensure or registration, it means that you have already completed a state-approved education program in nursing and, therefore, are generally prepared for the exam. However, there is a resource that you may find very useful. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing regularly publishes detailed test plans for the NCLEX-RN and PN, which you may want to review.

The test plans are used to outline the information that is going to be tested and guide the item writing process. For instance, you may find sample NCLEX items and detailed content examples. The information is updated every three years.

Registration time limit

As soon as an NCLEX registration is completed, a 365-day waiting period starts, during which the council needs to receive the notification from your state board of nurses or regulatory body saying that you are eligible to sit for the exam. As soon as you are made eligible, you need to pass the test within specified dates. In case your registration expires, you will have to register for the second time and pay the exam fee once again.