Board of Nursing

Licensure

Q. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO BECOME LICENSED?

A. There are two methods of original licensure. Original licensure by exam and original licensure by endorsement. Applications for a license by exam or endorsement may be obtained by writing, calling or emailing the Board office.

A graduate (or soon to be graduate) of an accredited nursing program who wants to secure an original Missouri license by exam completes an application form, submits the application and licensure fee, and applies to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX®).

A nurse who is already licensed in another state or territory may apply for a Missouri license by endorsement. Professional licenses are granted by each state, so a nurse must apply for and receive a license in every state in which the nurse practices unless that state is a member of the nurse licensure compact. You can find out more about the nurse licensure compact at http://www.ncsbn.org.

Q. HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO RENEW MY LICENSE?

A. When it comes time to renew your license, a renewal notice will be sent to you in the mail approximately two months prior to the expiration date of your license. Currently, an RN license expires on April 30 of each odd-numbered year. License renewal for a practical nurse expires on May 31 of each even-numbered year. The renewal notices are mailed to the last address that we have on file so it is important that you notify us of any address changes that may have occurred since your last renewal. Please be advised that it is your responsibility to renew your license even if the renewal notice does not reach you through the mail.

Q. HOW DO I NOTIFY THE BOARD OFFICE IF I SHOULD HAVE A NAME OR ADDRESS CHANGE?

NOTICE: A signature is now required for Name and Address changes.
To safeguard your PIN number, signatures are necessary for both name and address changes.

A. Name and address changes can only be accepted in writing but may be submitted by mail or fax.

For name changes: you must submit a legible notification that includes your prior name, new name and your license number. You must sign the notice. If you want a new license that reflects your name change, you must send back your present license and a processing fee of $15.00 with your notification of name change.
For address changes: include your name, old address, new address, primary state of residence address, and license number. Please print out our change of address form (click here) and mail or fax to our office. Please PRINT clearly and include your signature.

Q. IF I DO NOT RECEIVE MY NEW LICENSE BEFORE THE EXPIRATION DATE, DO I HAVE TO STOP WORKING?

A. To avoid delays, return your renewal notice as soon as it is received.

The State Board of Nursing does not issue a paper verification to licensees who opt to come to the Board office to renew his/her license. Renewals in person are NOT quicker. You may come to the board of nursing office to renew your license. However, you will NOT receive your license or verification that day. The license will be mailed to you. It can take up to 5 business days to renew a license.

If your current license expires prior to receipt of your new license you may only continue working if your license status can be verified online as current. Licenses may be verified for free, 24/7 at www.nursys.com. This website will allow you to verify multi-state or single state license status, discipline and expiration date.

Q. WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR THE BOARD TO ENDORSE MY LICENSE TO ANOTHER STATE?

A. You must contact the state board of nursing where you want a license and request an application for licensure. Contact information for boards of nursing can be found at http://www.ncsbn.org/. Verification of Missouri licensure will be done through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NurSys system. Go to http://www.nursys.com for more information on this service.

Q. DO YOU HAVE THE ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS TO OTHER STATE BOARDS?

Yes. Go to National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.'s website at http://www.ncsbn.org/ for address and telephone numbers of state boards of nursing.

Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LAPSED AND AN INACTIVE LICENSE?

A. A lapsed license is one that has not been renewed or placed on inactive status. Once lapsed, it can become a lengthy and sometimes costly process to have it renewed. It requires payment of a penalty fee, the renewal fees for each year that the licensee practiced nursing and the renewal fee for the current renewal period.

An inactive license is one that has been voluntarily requested to be placed "on hold" for an undetermined period of time during which no renewal fees are paid. The licensee may not be actively employed as a nurse in Missouri during that period of time. The fee required to return the license to active status consists only of the renewal fee for the current renewal period.

Q. WHAT IS THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE BOARDS OF NURSING, INC?

A. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN) was organized as a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is: "To provide an organization through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting the public health, safety and welfare, including the development of licensing examinations in nursing."

The major functions of the NCSBN includes developing the NCLEX-RN® and the NCLEX-PN®, performing policy analysis and promoting uniformity in relationship to the regulation of nursing practice, disseminating data related to the licensure of nurses, conducting research pertinent to the NCSBN's purpose, and serving as a forum for information exchange for National Council members.