January 22, 2024

Nebraska Nursing License Guide for RNs

A nurse sits at a laptop to fill out her nursing license renewal application.

Did you know that Nebraska is recognized for its thriving healthcare sector and offers diverse opportunities for registered nurses? Whether you're attracted to the vibrant medical community or the state's unique charm, obtaining a nursing license in Nebraska is a crucial step for RNs looking to practice in the Cornhusker State.

Table of contents:

Quick reference and resources for Nebraska nurse licensure

eNLC: Yes

Walk-Through: No

Temp License: Yes

Nursys: Yes

Nebraska Board of Nursing website

Nursing Licensing FAQs

How to apply for a nursing license in Nebraska

As a registered nurse who has successfully passed the NCLEX-RN, your journey toward practicing in Nebraska begins with these steps:

  • Verify Your Eligibility: Ensure you meet Nebraska's specific requirements for RN licensure, which typically include completing an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN. If you've failed the NCLEX PN or NCLEX RN three times, completing a board-approved remedial course is necessary before re-examination eligibility.
  • Gather Your Documentation: Collect required documents, such as transcripts from your nursing program and proof of your NCLEX-RN passing score.
  • Fill Out the Application: Complete the Nebraska nursing license application, ensuring accuracy. Pay the associated fees and provide all necessary information to avoid processing delays.
  • Background Check and Fingerprinting: All applicants for a Nebraska nurse license must undergo a criminal history record check through electronic fingerprinting within thirty (30) days of applying to ensure timely results.
  • Submit Your Application: Send your application to the Nebraska Board of Nursing for review. The board reviews licenses for LPNs, RNs, and APRNs, so be sure to submit the application for your specific profession.
  • Wait for Approval: Upon reviewing your application, if everything is in order, you'll be issued your Nebraska RN license.

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

The processing time for obtaining your Nebraska nursing license can vary, depending on application volume and completeness. Typically, the process takes several weeks to a few months. Ensure you provide a comprehensive and accurate application to expedite the process. Stay informed by monitoring the Nebraska Board of Nursing's website or contacting them directly to track your application's progress.

How Nebraska nursing license by endorsement works

If you're an RN licensed in another state and want to practice in Nebraska, you can apply for a Nebraska nursing license by endorsement using the following steps:

  • Check Eligibility: Verify that you meet Nebraska's endorsement requirements, including having an active license in good standing in your current state, completing required education and examination criteria, and potentially fulfilling additional requirements such as work experience.
  • Complete the Endorsement Application: Submit the endorsement application to the Nebraska Board of Nursing, providing verification of your current license, educational background, and examination results.
  • Background Check and Fingerprinting: You may need to undergo a background check and provide fingerprints.
  • Wait for Approval: The Board will review your application, and upon meeting requirements, you'll be granted a Nebraska nursing license by endorsement. 
  • Temporary Licenses: If you have an active license in another state, you may be granted a temporary license (valid for 60 days or until the expiration of your other state license, whichever occurs first). 

How to renew your nursing license in Nebraska

Nebraska RN licenses expire on October 31st of each even-numbered year. To renew your license in Nebraska, you can follow these steps:

  • Complete Educational Requirements: There are multiple ways to meet the educational requirements for license renewal in Nebraska:
  • Have practiced nursing for at least 500 hours during the past five years AND have completed at least 20 contact hours of continuing education from an approved provider within the past two years. All of the required contact hours may be completed via home study or internet courses.
  • Have graduated from a nursing program in more than two, but less than five years, AND have completed at least 20 contact hours of nursing continuing education within the past two years. All of the required contact hours may be completed via home study or internet courses; OR
  • Have graduated from a nursing program within the last two years.
  • Have completed an approved refresher course within the last five years.
  • Have obtained/maintained current certification in a nursing specialty granted by a nationally recognized certifying organization; OR
  • Have developed and maintained a portfolio that includes the licensee's current continuing competency goals and evidence/verification of professional activities to meet those goals.
  • Renew Online: Utilize the Board's online renewal system. Log in, follow instructions, and pay the renewal fee.
  • Verify Your Information: Ensure your personal and contact information is up-to-date.
  • Submit Your Renewal Application: Submit your renewal application before the expiration date.
  • Wait for Confirmation: The Board will process your renewal, and upon approval, you'll receive a new license.

Is Nebraska a compact nursing license state?

As of 2023, Nebraska is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). The NLC facilitates nurses in holding a single multistate license, enabling them to practice seamlessly across multiple compact states without the need for additional licenses. Holding a compact nursing license allows nurses to practice in Nebraska and other NLC states. It is advisable to confirm Nebraska's ongoing participation in the NLC through the Nebraska Board of Nursing or other reliable sources, recognizing that licensing regulations may evolve over time.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the application and renewal process seamlessly, bringing youcloser to a rewarding nursing career in the heart of Nebraska. Stay informed about any licensing changes to ensure a smooth transition to practicing as a registered nurse in the Cornhusker State.

Information around licensing requirements and process is subject to change. It’s advisable to check all licensing requirements and processes via the Nebraska DHHS website.

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