Obtaining a Nursing License in the USA

A career in nursing can be a rewarding and fulfilling choice. However, before you can start working as a Registered Nurse (RN) in the United States, you must go through several steps, including obtaining a nursing license. An essential part of this process is submitting fingerprints for a background check. In this article, we will delve into this specific aspect of obtaining a nursing license and explain how to do it correctly, even if you are not in the US at the time of application.

Step 1: Contact the State Nursing Board

Before you can even begin the background check, you must get in touch with the state nursing board or nursing board of the state where you intend to work. They will provide you with specific instructions on how to have your fingerprints taken and the documentation required for the background check.

It's crucial to note that when applying for a nursing license in the US, you do so on a state-by-state basis, not nationally. Keep this in mind!

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment at an Authorized Fingerprinting Facility

The nursing board will likely refer you to an authorized fingerprinting facility or another approved location where you can have your fingerprints taken. This may vary from state to state but may include local police stations or specialized fingerprinting companies that collaborate with the state.
Please note that if you are having your fingerprints taken in the Netherlands, it is not possible to do so at a local police station.

Step 3: Bring Your Identification and Required Documents

On the day of your appointment at the fingerprinting facility, make sure to bring the following items:

  • Valid Identification: This can be a passport, driver's license, or another official identification document.
  • FD-258 blue-bordered fingerprint card: You will typically receive this fingerprint card from the state where you are applying for your nursing license.
  • Copy of Your Nursing License Application: The nursing board may request a copy of your nursing license application as part of the documentation.
  • Any Other Required Documents: Check whether there are any other specific documents required by the state for the background check.

Step 4: Undergo the Background Check

At the authorized fingerprinting facility, your fingerprints will be taken according to the state's requirements. These fingerprints will then be used for a thorough background check to determine your eligibility for a nursing license.

Step 5: Submit the Results to the Nursing Board

After your fingerprints have been taken, the results are typically sent to an intermediary in the US, which digitizes your fingerprints and forwards them to the Nursing Board. This intermediary could be a company like IdentoGo or Accurate Biometrics. Ensure that you follow the process to ensure the results are submitted accurately and in a timely manner.

Obtaining a nursing license is a comprehensive process, and submitting fingerprints is just one of the many steps you must take. It is crucial to meticulously follow the specific requirements and procedures of the state where you plan to work. Contact the nursing board for detailed guidance and ensure you correctly follow the necessary steps to submit your fingerprints for your nursing license application. Best of luck!

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