February 6, 2024

Florida Nursing License Guide for RNs

A nurse in blue scrubs sits alone at a table filling out a nursing license application by hand.

Florida’s warm weather and beaches make it a popular destination for nursing professionals. Whether you are a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse, you will need to apply for a nursing license in Florida to work in the state. 

Below, we’ll explore important resources for nurses applying for licensure in Florida, as well as the steps you can expect to take to apply for or renew your license.

Table of contents:

Quick reference and resources for Florida nurse licensure

eNLC: Yes

Walk-Through: No

Temp License: No

Nursys: Yes

Florida Board of Nursing website

Nursing Licensing FAQs

How to apply for a nursing license in Florida

There are typically two paths to licensure: licensure by examination and licensure by endorsement. Here we’ll look at the steps to apply for a nursing license by examination in Florida.

1. Determine eligibility:

Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the type of nursing license you are applying for (e.g., Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse).

2. Graduate from an approved program:

Complete an accredited nursing program and obtain your diploma or degree.

3. Take the NCLEX exam:

Pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). You must register with Pearson VUE to take the exam.

4. Submit an application:

Complete the application for licensure through the Florida Board of Nursing. You can apply online or by mail. Ensure that all required documentation is included.

5. Provide supporting documentation:

Gather and submit the necessary documents, which may include proof of education, official transcripts, and verification of your nursing license in other states if applicable.

6. Criminal background check:

You may be required to undergo a criminal background check. Provide any requested information and documentation related to your criminal history, if applicable.

7. Fingerprinting:

You may need to submit fingerprints for a background check. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) typically conduct these checks.

8. Pay fees:

Pay the required application and licensing fees. The fees may vary depending on the type of license you are applying for.

9. Verification of licensure:

If you are licensed in other states, you may need to provide verification of licensure directly from those states.

10. Wait for approval:

Once you have submitted your application, documentation, and fees, you will need to wait for the Board of Nursing to review and approve your application.

11. Receive your license:

Upon approval, you will receive your nursing license. You can verify your license status on the Florida Board of Nursing's website.

12. Maintain your license:

Comply with any continuing education requirements and renew your license as necessary to keep it current.

How long does it take to get a Florida nursing license?

The timeline for a nurse to apply for and receive a nursing license in Florida can vary, but generally, the entire process may take several months. 

Take into account additional factors such as fingerprinting, education verification, and any potential delays in obtaining required documentation. Nurses are advised to start the application process early, ensuring that all requirements are met promptly to facilitate a smoother and timelier licensure process. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, check the Florida Board of Nursing's official website.

How Florida RN license by endorsement works

Licensure by endorsement in Florida enables registered nurses (RNs) licensed in other states to acquire a nursing license in the Sunshine State. The Florida Board of Nursing (FBN) suggests that nurses initiate the process by submitting their application online, adhering to the provided guidelines. The typical procedure encompasses the following key steps:

1. Check eligibility for licensure by endorsement:

Ensure you hold an active and unrestricted nursing license in another U.S. state or territory.

2. Complete the online application:

Submit an online application through the Florida Board of Nursing's website.

3. Provide requested details:

Furnish information about your education, licensure history, and undergo a criminal background check.

4. License verification by board:

Have your current license and any previous licenses verified by the respective licensing boards, which may take some time.

5. Fingerprinting:

Submit fingerprints for a background check conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

6. Application review by Florida BON:

The Florida Board of Nursing reviews your application and supporting documents.

7. Approval:

Upon successful review, you will be issued a Florida nursing license by endorsement.

Ready to get started? Complete your online application for Florida nursing licensure by endorsement

How to renew your Florida RN license

1. Receive renewal notice:

The Florida Board of Nursing typically sends out renewal notices to license holders in advance. Ensure your contact information is up-to-date with the board to receive notifications.

2. Complete continuing education (CE):

Fulfill any continuing education requirements mandated by the Florida Board of Nursing. This may involve completing a certain number of contact hours or courses in specific areas.

3. Renew online:

The Florida Board of Nursing encourages online renewal. Visit the board's official website and follow the instructions for online renewal. You may need to create an account or log in to an existing one.

4. Pay renewal fee:

Pay the required renewal fee. The fee amount may vary depending on the type of license you hold.

5. Verification of license status:

Verify your license status online to ensure that the renewal has been processed successfully.

6. Address changes:

Update your contact information, including address and email, if there have been any changes since your last renewal.

7. Late renewal:

If you miss the renewal deadline, there may be a grace period during which you can still renew, albeit with a late fee. Be aware of the specific late renewal policies in Florida.

8. Compliance with additional requirements:

Ensure compliance with any additional requirements set by the Florida Board of Nursing, which may include background checks or other documentation.

Is Florida a compact nursing license state?

Yes, Florida is a part of the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC). This means that nurses with a multi-state eNLC license can practice in Florida without the need for additional licensure. Learn more about the eNLC and which states are a part of the nursing compact. 

Wondering how to get a compact nursing license in Florida? If you hold a license in Florida, you can apply for a multi-state upgrade by following the requirements outlined here

Whether you are a Florida nurse applying for a new license, seeking endorsement, or renewing your existing license, following these guidelines and referring to the official resources provided by the Florida Board of Nursing will help you navigate the process seamlessly. Always stay informed and updated with the latest requirements for a successful and smooth licensing experience.

Information around licensing requirements and process is subject to change. It’s advisable to check all licensing requirements and processes via the Florida Board of Nursing

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