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North Carolina Board of Nursing: Licensing Renewal Requirements for NC

If you want to start your career as a nurse, North Carolina is an excellent option. They have a multitude of recognized nursing schools to choose from. No wonder there are over 184,000 nurses currently residing in North Carolina.

What’s more, NC offers great scholarships for all those seeking to enroll in one of their fine schools. And you will constantly find North Carolina in the top ten state rankings to work as a nurse.

Are you currently looking to renew your NC nursing license? Or are you looking to start your career as a nurse? You have landed on the right spot.

Today, we will learn everything you need to know about license renewal in North Carolina. We will also talk about the minimum requirements for a nursing license. Keep reading below.

The North Carolina Board of Nursing

Are you looking to obtain or renew a nursing license in North Carolina? If so, you can contact the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBN).

Every state has a governing body responsible for overseeing the rules and regulations of the nursing body. In North Carolina, the North Carolina Board of Nursing looks after such laws concerning nursing licenses and other related procedures.

Whether you want to register as a certified nurse or renew your nursing license, you must meet the requirements laid down by the NCBN.

read more: Nurse Salary in North Carolina.

How can you get a nursing license from the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Nursing?

You can earn a nursing license in North Carolina in two ways. The first one is through licensure by endorsement and the other one through examination. Let us examine them in brief.

License through endorsement

For licensure by endorsement, follow the steps below.

  1. Firstly, you need to complete the online application.
  2. After that, you will require a criminal background check to verify that you have a clean record.
  3. Next, you need a certification stating that you have completed a board-approved nursing program. You also need to pass the NCLEX along with that.
  4. You must meet all the continuing education (CE) requirements.
  5. Finally, you need to pay the endorsement fees.

Keep in mind that you cannot have an NC license if you live in a compact state. You should declare NC as your primary residence to obtain a certified permit. Once you do that, change your address via the Nurse Gateway Portal.

License through examination

If you are applying for a license for the first time, you must sit for the NCLEX. To get a permit through examination, you must meet the following requirements.

  1. You will require an examination form to submit to the Board.
  2. You must submit your NCBN identification along with your form. To do this, follow the steps below.
  • Log in to your profile using the Nurse Gateway Portal.
  • Next, click on “Exam Application” in the Licenses/Certificates menu.
  • Fill up all requirements and pay the application fees.
  1. The Board also requires your Electronic School Verification or Official Transcript Copies.
  2. If you’re a graduate of international nursing programs, you must complete a Credentials Evaluation Service. The Board will also require you to sit for an English language proficiency test.
  3. Next, you will submit your registration fees to Pearson VUE.

How can you renew your nursing license in North Carolina?

To renew your nursing license in North Carolina, you need to complete your Continuing Education (CE). These courses should be ANCC-accredited and approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. You can take these courses both in-person and online.

Furthermore, you must meet all the continuing competence requirements set by the NCBN. Following are the Continuing Education requirements for RN, LPN, and APRNs.

For RN and LPN

  • RNs and LPNs must complete thirty contact hours of Continuing Education.
  • You can renew your license before the last day of your birth month.


  • Every APRN must complete fifty contact hours of Continuing Education.
  • Those with prescriptive authority should also complete the Safe and Effective Prescription of Controlled Substances module.
  • Like RN and LPN, you can renew your license before the last day of your birth month.

Here are a few essential things to consider regarding your license renewal.

  • Your license will automatically expire at midnight on the last day of the expiration month. So, it is essential to keep your license validity in check.
  • All nursing licenses in North Carolina last for two years. NC does not offer license extensions or exceptions.
  • You should submit your CE only if the Board notifies you.
  • Any nurse with an expired license cannot practice as an RN or LPN. To start practicing, you have to reapply for a license. You can do this by completing the Reinstatement application process.
  • You cannot apply for a North Carolina nursing license if you live in another state. So you must declare your primary state of residence as North Carolina. Next, change your address using your Nurse Gateway Portal. The same applies to a multi-state NC license.
  • Submitting your renewal application online does not mean that your license is renewed automatically. Your application must meet all the North Carolina Board of Nursing requirements. If all is good, you will get a new license.
  • After completing your application process, you can access it through your Nurse Gateway Portal.

Keep in mind that every RN, LPN, or APRN should meet all CE requirements to qualify for license renewal. If you do not meet the requirements, your license will become obsolete once it reaches the expiration date.

Furthermore, if there are any criminal records or pending complaints against you, you will require additional documents. The Board will check the documents and issue your license accordingly.

It would be helpful to note that your online application will be processed only after submitting these documents. If not, it will stay inactive.

read more: North Carolina Board of Medicine: License Lookup and Renewal for NC


We hope you have learned everything you need to know about license renewal in NC. And if you have pending renewals, take immediate action. You want the renewal process to go smooth.

If not, you will have to go through a reinstatement process. Plus, you will end up paying extra fees. Remember that your license certifies your status as a certified healthcare provider.

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