How to become a nurse in America?
Overall, becoming a nurse in America is made up of three steps:
Step 1: Applying with the State Board of Nursing where you will be practicing.
Step 2: Registering with Pearson Vue to schedule your NCLEX location and date. Registration costs $200, plus additional fees if you are taking the NCLEX outside of the U.S.
Step 3: Getting into the Country. This involves immigration, visas, and getting approval to stay and work in the country.
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR STATE, MEET REQUIREMENTS, AND APPLY TO THE STATE BOARD OF NURSING
What is the State Board of Nursing?
Each state has a committee called a Board of Nursing (for example, there are 50 Boards of Nursing in the U.S, one for each of 50 states). These are the people who decide if you are able to take the NCLEX and get licensed in their state.
Before you can even consider scheduling or planning where you want to take the NCLEX, you have to make your application to a State Board of Nursing.
How do I Know What Requirements I need to Meet?
Each state has different requirements. They will charge a fee ranging from $200-400 depending on each state. If you don’t know what state you want to be a nurse in, now is the time to choose!
In the United States, nurses don’t get licensed for the whole country. The United States has 50 states, and each nurse is usually licensed in one state at a time. That’s why the first step is to choose what state you want to apply for!
However, no matter what state you apply for, everyone takes the same NCLEX to be a nurse in the United States.
Each state’s Board of Nursing has a website where you can find out the requirements. Check out our NCLEX Requirements by State
You can get a full list of Boards (including those outside of the U.S.) on the NCSBN Board Contact page.