How Long After Nclex To Receive License Number In California

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How Long After NCLEX to Receive License Number in California?

Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a significant milestone in the journey to becoming a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN).
Once you’ve passed the exam, you’re naturally eager to know when you can start practicing. In California, there are specific steps you need to take and a timeframe you need to be aware of to receive your RN or LVN license number.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed overview of the process and answer frequently asked questions to help you navigate this important phase of your nursing career.

NCLEX Processing and California License Application

Once you’ve passed the NCLEX, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) will send your results to the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) or the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT), depending on your license type.

Within 1-2 weeks of receiving your NCLEX results, you’ll receive an email from the BRN or BVNPT with instructions on how to apply for your California nursing license. You will need to submit the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts from your nursing program
  • Verification of your Social Security number
  • Passport-style photograph
  • Application fee

Processing Timeframe for License Number

The processing time for your California nursing license varies depending on the completeness of your application and the volume of applications being processed. Generally, you can expect to receive your license number within 4-8 weeks after submitting your completed application and all required documents.

It’s important to note that during peak application periods, such as after NCLEX testing windows, the processing time may be longer. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply for your license as soon as possible after passing the NCLEX to minimize any delays.

Tips for Expediting the Process

Here are some tips to help you expedite the processing of your California nursing license:

  • Submit a complete application: Ensure that all required documents are included with your application.
  • Respond promptly to requests: If the BRN or BVNPT requires additional information or clarification, respond promptly to avoid delays.
  • Check your email regularly: Monitor your email for updates on the status of your application.
  • Contact the licensing board: If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the BRN or BVNPT for assistance.

FAQs on California Nursing License

Q: How do I check the status of my application?

A: You can check the status of your application by logging into the BRN or BVNPT website with your application number and PIN.

Q: Can I work as a nurse before receiving my license number?

A: No, you cannot practice nursing in California until you have received your official license number from the BRN or BVNPT.

Q: What happens if I don’t receive my license number within the expected timeframe?

A: If you haven’t received your license number within 8 weeks of submitting your application, contact the BRN or BVNPT to inquire about the delay.


Receiving your California nursing license is a crucial step in your nursing career. Understanding the processing timeframe and taking proactive steps to expedite the process will help you start practicing as soon as possible. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can navigate this phase smoothly and embark on your journey as a registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse in California.

Is there anything else you would like to know about obtaining your California nursing license after passing the NCLEX? Feel free to leave your questions or comments below, and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way we can.

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