How to Guide: Registered Nurse (2023)

How to Apply

To apply for Registered Nurse (RN) licensure, you must have graduated from an approved nursing education program.Licensure requires that you file with the Georgia Board of Nursing and renew your license every 2 years. Review the requirements and the step-by-step guide below.

  • You must submit all the required documentation and fees in order to be considered for licensure.
  • See specific instructions for application depending on license and application type.
  • Renewal is completed online and is required by January 31 of the year it expires. Please refer to the expiration date on your license for specific renewal dates. Late renewal period is Feb 1 - Feb 28 of the year it expires.

Select your application type to view instructions on how to apply:

Licensure by Exam (U.S.) Checklist

Licensure by Exam International Checklist

Licensure by Exam Application for Graduates of Non-Traditional Nursing Education Programs

Reinstatement Checklist

Endorsement Checklist

Upgrade to eNLC (Compact) License Checklist

Renewal Checklist

After you Apply – What to Expect

  • Processing Time – Applications are generally processed within 20 business days of receipt, excluding weekends and holidays. Applications are individually evaluated by the Board in order of date received, and processing times can vary based on individual circumstances and volume.
    • If you receive a deficiency letter, your 20 day count restarts when the Board receives your correct and complete documentation.
    • Please Note – Incomplete applications may be withdrawn if noted deficiencies are not satisfied within 60 days of said notification. If your application is withdrawn, you will be required to restart the application process to be considered for licensure, to include submission of all required documents and fees.
    • Completed applications will be initially reviewed by Board staff and may be reviewed by the Board at an upcoming Board Meeting. Applications must be complete and received at least 15 days prior to a Board Meeting to be added to that meeting’s agenda. Otherwise, the application will be reviewed at the next Board meeting.
  • Check Application Status >>
  • Keep Your Contact Info Up to Date
    • Be sure the email address you include for yourself on your application is correct and current. Email is the primary means of communication used by the Board.
    • Additionally, it is important for applicants/licensees to update their email address with the Board just as they would update their physical and mailing addresses.
  • Wait For It
    • You may not legally perform services until you hold an active license.
    • Staff will communicate with you regarding the status of your application.

Disability Accommodations

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA Public Law 101-336), the Professional Licensing Boards Division provides for reasonable accommodations by designated vendors for exam candidates with disabilities that may interfere with their performance on a Licensure Examination.

Applicants may request an accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act bysubmitting an applicationand all supporting documentation to the respective Board and/or a designated vendor as instructed on this form>>

Please submit this form with your application to ensure that your accommodationrequest is reviewed and approved/denied before you are scheduled for testing.

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Fees

Application by exam

$40

Application by endorsement

$75

Application by reinstatement

$90

APRN authorization

$90

eNLC Conversion

$50

Nursing Education Program Development

$1,000

License renewal

$65

Late renewal

$75

Verification of License

$35

Transcript request

$15

Roster of licensees

$100

Repeat Exam (for each instance)

$40

Wall certificates

$50

Processing Fees - Effective 3/15/2022

  • Online processing fee: $5.00
  • Mail-In processing fee: $10.00

Licensure by Exam (U.S.) Checklist

If you have graduated from a U.S. approved nursing education program and have never been licensed before, apply for licensure by Exam.

If you have graduated from a U.S. approved nursing education program and have never been licensed before, apply for licensure by Exam.

Before submitting your application:

  • Applicants should register with Pearson Vue on the same day as submitting their application for licensure (www.pearsonvue.com/nclex). Use the same name on your application for licensure and your registration with Pearson Vue.
  • Background Check: Applicants should register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day as submitting their application for licensure. Please see linked instructions.
  • After you have registered with GAPS/Fieldprint, applied for licensure, and the registration has been processed, you will receive an email from GAPS with instructions for completing fingerprinting.
  • It is recommended that you register both with Pearson Vue and GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day you submit your licensure applicationfor most efficient application processing.

Your application checklist:

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $40.

Licensure by Exam International Checklist

Graduates of nursing education programs outside the U.S. who are first-time writers of the NCLEX-RN in Georgia; or applicants who are RNs in Puerto Rico, apply by Licensure by Exam for International Graduates.

If you have graduated from a nursing education program located outside of the United States and have never been licensed before, apply for licensure by Exam for International Graduates.

Before submitting your application:

  • Background Check: Applicants should register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day as submitting their application for licensure. Please see linked instructions.
  • After you have registered with GAPS/Fieldprint, applied for licensure, and the registration has been processed, you will receive an email from GAPS with instructions for completing fingerprinting.
  • It is recommended that you register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day you submit your licensure application or most efficient application processing.

Your application checklist:

  • Completed, signed, and notarized application with fee.Download application >>
    • This application can be submitted by mail only
  • Passing NCLEX scores must be sent to BON (if taken in another NCLEX-Jurisdiction)
  • Graduate from a Board Approved Nursing Program, or foreign pre-licensure program accredited by the country; and verified by an independent credentials review agency
  • Credential Evaluation of Education
    • Official College Transcripts
    • Verification of Current Licensure(Must have a current license to be eligible for licensure in Georgia.)
  • TOEFL(English proficiency exam- if required)
  • Practice Requirements/Reentry
    • If you have never been licensed as an RN in Georgia, and you graduated more than 4 years ago, you must show proof of at least 500 hours of RN practice in the last 4 years; OR
    • Complete a board-approved re-entry program.
    • ALSO submit aVerification of Employment Form(included within the application)
  • BackgroundCheck
  • Background Consent Form
  • Arrests, Disciplinary Action, and/or Sanctions (if applicable)
    • Court Documents
    • Letter of Explanation
    • Enrolled in Alternative to Discipline
  • Secure & Verifiable Document
  • Affidavit of Citizenship
  • Immigration Documents (If applicable)
  • Any other additional information requested by the Board

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $40.

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Licensure by Exam Application for Graduates of Non-Traditional Nursing Education Programs

Before submitting your application:

  • Background Check: Applicants should register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day as submitting their application for licensure. lease see linked instructions.
  • After you have registered with GAPS/Fieldprint, applied for licensure, and the registration has been processed, you will receive an email from GAPS with instructions for completing fingerprinting.
  • It is recommended that you register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day you submit your licensure application or most efficient application processing.

Your Application Checklist:

  • Graduates of non-traditional nursing education programs as defined in O.C.G.A. § 43-26-7(e) must apply for licensure by submitting a completed, signed, and notarized paper application with fee>>
  • If you do not have a current Georgia mailing address, you must provide a legible, copy of one of the following documents:
    • Driver’s license with a home address;
    • Voter registration card displaying a home address;
    • Federal income tax return declaring the primary state of residence;
    • Military Form No. 2058 (state of legal residence certificate); and/or
    • W2 from US Government or any bureau, division or agency thereof indicating the state of residence.
    • You may upload the documentation as part of the online application process or submit it by email to [emailprotected].
  • Credential Evaluation of Education (If Applicable)
  • TOEFL (English proficiency exam- if required)
  • Include the completed GBON Criminal Background Check Consent Form with your application packet.
  • Include the Clinical Experience Verification Form with your application packet.
  • Include a Secure and verifiable document copy with your application packet.
  • Disclose all previous arrests and discipline by other regulatory boards with your application packet.
  • Official college transcripts (Nursing education programs must meet the requirements of O.C.G.A. §43-26-2(1.2)) must be in a sealed envelope with the application packet or sent electronically by the school to the Board of Nursing.
  • If you entered the non-traditional nursing education program as a licensed practical nurse, you must be able to document two years of practice (documented on the verification of employment form) within the five years preceding the date of application. This practice must have been completed in an acute care inpatient facility or long - term acute care facility.
  • If you entered the non-traditional education program as a military medical corpsman, you must be able to document two years of experience (documented on the verification of employment form).
  • If you entered the non-traditional education program as a paramedic, you must be able to document at least two years of experience as a paramedic prior to entering the non-traditional education program (documented on the verification of employment form).
  • Background Check
  • Background Consent Form
  • Arrests, Disciplinary Action, and/or Sanctions (if applicable)
    • Court Documents
    • Letter of Explanation
    • Enrolled in Alternative to Discipline
  • Secure & Verifiable Document
  • Affidavit of Citizenship
  • Immigration Documents (If applicable)
  • Any other additional information requested by the Board

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $40.

Reinstatement Checklist

If you have a lapsed licensed as an RN in the state of Georgia, apply for licensure by RN reinstatement.

If you have a lapsed licensed as an RN in the state of Georgia, apply for licensure by RN reinstatement.

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Before submitting your application:

  • Background Check: Applicants should register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day as submitting their application for licensure. Please see linked instructions.
  • After you have registered with GAPS/Fieldprint, applied for licensure, and the registration has been processed, you will receive an email from GAPS with instructions for completing fingerprinting.
  • It is recommended that you register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day you submit your licensure application or most efficient application processing.

Your application checklist:

  • Completed, signed, and notarized application with fee.Download application >>
    • This application can be submitted by mail only
  • Credential Evaluation of Education
    • Verification of Current Licensure
  • TOEFL (English proficiency exam- if required)
  • One of the following
    • Proof of graduation from an approved nursing education program within four (4) years immediately preceding the date of application;
    • Verification of employment documenting (500) hours of licensed practice within the four (4) years immediately preceding the date of application. (form within application packet); OR
    • Complete a board-approved re-entry program. Download RN Reentry Packet >>
  • Completion of one of the five competency requirements as set forth in O.C.G.A. §43-26-9 within two years preceding the date of application for reinstatement.
  • BackgroundCheck
  • Background Consent Form
  • Arrests, Disciplinary Action, and/or Sanctions (if applicable)
    • Court Documents
    • Letter of Explanation
    • Enrolled in Alternative to Discipline
  • Secure & Verifiable Document
  • Affidavit of Citizenship
  • Immigration Documents (If applicable)
  • Any other additional information requested by the Board

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $90.

Endorsement Checklist

If you have an active RN license in another U.S. jurisdiction, apply for endorsement if you meet one of the conditions described below.

If you have an active RN license in another U.S. jurisdiction, apply for endorsement if:

  • You are moving to GA; OR
  • You live in a non-compact state; OR
  • You are not eligible for multistate licensure in your home state.

Before submitting your application:

  • Background Check: Applicants should register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day as submitting their application for licensure. Please see linked instructions.
  • After you have registered with GAPS/Fieldprint, applied for licensure, and the registration has been processed, you will receive an email from GAPS with instructions for completing fingerprinting.
  • It is recommended that you register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day you submit your licensure application or most efficient application processing.

Your Application Checklist:

  • Completed, signed, and notarized application with fee.Download application >>
    • This application can be submitted by mail only
  • Active Unencumbered License
  • Official College Transcriptsfrom your nursing school which led to initial licensure
  • Verification of Current Licensure
  • Verification of Original Licensure
  • TOEFL (English proficiency exam- if required)
  • One of the following
    • Proof of graduation from an approved nursing education program within four (4) years immediately preceding the date of application;
    • Verification of employment documenting (500) hours of licensed practice within the four (4) years immediately preceding the date of application. (form within application packet); OR
    • Complete a board-approved re-entry program. Download RN Reentry Packet >>
  • Background Check
  • Background Consent Form
  • Arrests, Disciplinary Action, and/or Sanctions (if applicable)
    • Court Documents
    • Letter of Explanation
    • Enrolled in Alternative to Discipline
  • Secure & Verifiable Document
  • Affidavit of Citizenship
  • Immigration Documents (If applicable)
  • Any other additional information requested by the Board

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $75.

Upgrade to eNLC (Compact) License Checklist

Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who hold an active Georgia license and meet specific eNLC requirements are eligible to apply for multistate licensure.

Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses who hold an active Georgia license and meet specific eNLC requirements are eligible to apply for multistate licensure. Georgia must be your primary state of residence and you must meet the Uniform Licensure Requirements for a Multistate License.

Before submitting your application:

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  • Background Check: Applicants should register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day as submitting their application for licensure. Please see linked instructions.
  • After you have registered with GAPS/Fieldprint, applied for licensure, and the registration has been processed, you will receive an email from GAPS with instructions for completing fingerprinting.
  • It is recommended that you register with GAPS/Fieldprinton the same day you submit your licensure application or most efficient application processing.

Your Application Checklist:

  • Completed, signed, and notarized application with fee.Download application >>
    • This application can be submitted by mail or online
  • Active Unencumbered License
  • If you do not have a current Georgia mailing address, you must provide a legible, copy of one of the following documents:
    • Driver’s license with a home address;
    • Voter registration card displaying a home address;
    • Federal income tax return declaring the primary state of residence;
    • Military Form No. 2058 (state of legal residence certificate); and/or
    • W2 from US Government or any bureau, division or agency thereof indicating the state of residence.
    • You may upload the documentation as part of the online application process or submit it by email to [emailprotected].
  • Graduate from a Board Approved Nursing Program
  • Credential Evaluation of Education(if applicable)
  • TOEFL(English proficiency exam- if required)
  • Background Consent Form
  • Background Check
  • Arrests, Disciplinary Action, and/or Sanctions (if applicable)
    • Court Documents
    • Letter of Explanation
    • Enrolled in Alternative to Discipline
  • Secure & Verifiable Document
  • Affidavit of Citizenship
  • Immigration Documents (If applicable)
  • Any other additional information requested by the Board

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $50.

Renewal Checklist

Once issued, licenses renew on January 31stof the year it expires. Please refer to your expiration date on your license for specific renewal dates.

Once issued, licenses renew on January 31 of the year it expires. Please refer to your expiration date on your license for specific renewal dates.

  • To process your renewal, log in to your account on the Georgia Online Licensing site.
  • Click on the License Renewal button on theleft-handside of the page. Enter your login information.
  • If you do not remember your login credentials, click on the link to reset for a “person” type license.
  • Follow the instructions for online renewal specific for your license.Check within 3 days to make sure your renewal is complete byverification of licensure.

Submit a non-refundable application fee of $65.

How to File

To file online:

Once your checklist is completed, please create an account and upload all documents through the online portal.

To file by mail:

Once your checklist is completed, please mail all documents in a 9x12 envelope (do not fold into a smaller envelope) to:

Georgia Board ofNursing
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217

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Registered nurses typically do the following:
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  • Record patients' medical histories and symptoms.
  • Observe patients and record the observations.
  • Administer patients' medicines and treatments.
  • Set up plans for patients' care or contribute information to existing plans.
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How can I become a better registered nurse? ›

How to Be a Better Nurse: Areas of Improvement for RNs Who Want to Elevate Patient Care
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  2. Check and Double-Check. ...
  3. Don't Save Time by Cutting Corners. ...
  4. Focus on the People. ...
  5. Don't Be Embarrassed to Ask Questions. ...
  6. Don't Forget to Put Yourself First. ...
  7. Treat Technology Like the Friend It Is.
Aug 24, 2021

What are three skills you need to be a registered nurse? ›

Skills needed to be a nurse are important in various health care settings, from acute care to emergency rooms. Despite the field's diverse nature, all nursing specialties are bound by leadership, communication, problem-solving, analytical and teamwork skills.

What do you need to know before being a registered nurse? ›

If you're thinking about becoming a nurse, here are five things to consider.
  • Nurses Work Varying Shifts. ...
  • Nurses Love Their Work—But It's Not Without Challenges. ...
  • Nursing Offers Numerous Career Opportunities and Paths. ...
  • Nurses Combine Science and Service. ...
  • Nursing Requires Continuing Education.
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What are the 5 major functions of the nurse? ›

Five Basic Duties You'll be Most Likely to Perform as a Nurse
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  • Recording and monitoring patient vital signs. ...
  • Maintaining a detailed medical record. ...
  • Drawing blood samples. ...
  • Providing emotional support for patients.
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