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NCLEX Application for Testing and Licensure Instructions

The NCLEX Application for Testing and Licensure process is complex and requires full compliance with the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website instructions. Prior to beginning the application process, carefully review the information and instructions provided on the School of Nursing (SON) website, and visit the BRN Website to become familiar with the NCLEX application for testing and licensure process. 

The faculty teaching the NURS 490 Capstone theory course will review the process for NCLEX Application for Testing and Licensure Instructions.

  • It may take three to six (3-6) weeks to prepare your application packet, depending on individual circumstances.
  • The NCLEX Application for Testing and Licensure packet must be completed and mailed to the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), three (3) months prior to graduation date. 
  • The Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) no longer accepts NCLEX applications, without a Social Security number. If you do not have a Social Security number, you will not be able to complete the NCLEX Application for Testing and Licensure.

The SON recommends graduates refrain from applying for an Interim Permit due to the competitiveness of the job market however; the decision to apply for an Interim Permit remains the graduate’s choice.

The SON Director and faculty strongly advise graduates who plan to reside in another state to take the NCLEX licensing exam in California immediately upon official graduation and prior to relocating to another state.

The SON recommends graduates apply for the Public Health Nursing Certificate from the Board of Registered Nursing after passing the NCLEX exam. The PHN certification renews automatically with RN license renewal, which requires meeting BRN continuing education unit requirements for continuing RN licensure. SON graduates met the initial PHN Certificate coursework requirements within the SoN program curriculum.

Graduation is official once CSUSM has conferred the degree on the graduate’s transcript. Once graduation is official, the School of Nursing (SON) submits the Official Transcripts, showing the awarding of your BSN degree, to the California State Board of Nursing (BRN) in accordance with BRN instructions for transcript submission. The earliest date for degree conferral is four to six (4-6) weeks after official grades have posted for CSUSM coursework.

The BRN will schedule a test date for the NCLEX exam following receipt of the official transcripts from CSUSM, SON. The SON will notify students when the BRN has confirmed receipt of the submitted transcripts.

DO NOT submit official transcripts to the BRN for other schools attended. 

Following receipt of the official transcripts from CSUSM SON, the BRN will determine the graduate’s eligibility to take the NCLEX licensing exam. After the BRN has determined the graduate is eligible to test, the graduate will receive an authorization to test (ATT) by email from Pearson Vue Testing Center. Pearson Vue is the organization that provides the NCSBN (National Council for State Boards of Nursing) test administration, services and test development. The graduate must have an ATT to schedule an appointment with Pearson Vue to take the NCLEX. For further information to prepare for the NCLEX and the Pearson Vue Center

As CSUSM Nursing Advisors have instructed students previously, it is not advisable to take courses at other institutions during the final semester of the nursing program. The decision to do so remains with the student however; doing so may slow the processing of official graduation from CSUSM, which in turn will delay receiving a test date for the NCLEX exam. 

The process for NCLEX exam applicant with disabilities requesting accommodations is lengthy and begins by contacting the CSUSM, Director of Disabled Student Services to obtain the required documentation of a disability for testing accommodation.

Graduates must report all prior misdemeanor or felony convictions, except parking tickets. The lengthy reporting requirements surrounding prior misdemeanor or felony convictions requires early action. Failure to declare a misdemeanor or felony conviction may result in serious consequences. It is better to declare, than not declare, to avoid delaying the NCLEX Application Testing and Licensure process.

Graduates will complete the NCLEX application form(s) and submit it directly to the State Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), along with the payment, photo, and Live Scan fingerprint results. DO NOT submit the application packet to CSUSM advisors or School of Nursing faculty or staff. 

Submit the complete application to the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) three (3) months prior to the graduation date. As California residents, graduates must submit the Live Scan fingerprint results with the application packet and not the Fingerprint Card (hard copy). 

Complete listing of Live Scan sites in San Diego and Riverside County.  

The LIVE SCAN FORM that is REQUIRED, includes the CSUSM CODE, and is linked below.  You will need three (3) copies of this form. 

Live Scan Form which includes the necessary codes.  You can complete the three forms electronically online and then print.

Complete your portion of the forms and take all three copies with you for LIVE SCAN fingerprint process.  Call in advance to determine the payment methods the LIVE SCAN vendor accepts.  Some vendors accept cash only. LIVE SCAN typically costs $70-$80.

The application must include a recent, 2x2 passport-type photo. A number of vendors/businesses locally offer this photo service and the cost is generally $10-$15. 

Attach the required and appropriate paperwork for:

  • Disability for testing accommodation
  • Prior misdemeanor or felony convictions

Application Processing Fees

Applicants will pay:

  • $150 for the application fee
  • LIVE SCAN fee
  • Passport Photo fee

Pleas Note: Fees change, so be sure to check the BRN website for the current published schedule of fees.

Once the BRN has reviewed and approved your application the BRN sends the NCLEX eligibility to test list of applicants to Pearson VUE, and Notice of Eligibility is sent by BRN/Pearson VUE to each applicant.

Once the applicant receives the Notice of Eligibility to test the $200 test fee is paid to Pearson VUE, to take NCLEX exam. Register online and pay by credit card, if possible, for this final $200 fee. 

Pearson VUE sends confirmation of receipt of registration application and fee paid. You will receive approval to schedule your own NCLEX RN exam locally. 

The process for NCLEX Application Testing and Licensure from degree conferral to receipt of an NCLEX test date occurs approximately 2 months after official grades have posted for last semester of BSN coursework.

Please send all questions to

Updated:  5/26/2017