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California Walk-through Process

To qualify for endorsement (reciprocity) into California as a RN, you must hold a current and active license in another state or Canada, have completed an educational program meeting all California requirements, and have passed National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) or the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE).

The Canadian Comprehensive Examination is not acceptable. If you do not possess these qualifications, you do not qualify for licensure by endorsement and must apply to take the examination instead.

Temporary License

The California Board of Nursing may issue a temporary license to practice nursing for six months, allowing you to work until a permanent license is issued. Since fingerprint results and school transcripts can often take time to reach the Board for evaluation, ProCare strongly recommends that you apply for a temporary license.

Keep in mind that processing times can vary, depending on the timeliness with which documents are received from schools, agencies and other states. In general, you should allow at least four weeks for processing a temporary license, but be aware that processing an application that indicates a prior conviction may take longer than other applications.

To apply, you must submit:

  • a completed Application for Licensure by Endorsement,
  • two completed fingerprint cards,
  • a completed Application for Temporary License,
  • appropriate fees (between $150-$199)
  • a Verification of Current and Active License form from another state.

Temporary licenses are issued for six months. If you have not received notification of permanent licensure approximately four weeks prior to the expiration of your temporary license, contact the Board immediately about applying for a second temporary license.

Check the State Board’s web site at for additional application requirements, forms and detailed procedures.