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How to Check to See if Someone Is a Registered Nurse

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Registered nurses, like many other health care professionals, need to be licensed and maintain certification in order to practice. It is easy to verify the credentials of any RN, and in most states this can be done easily online. This helps employers ensure that they are employing the right people, and patients and other concerned parties can also make sure that they are being cared for by qualified professionals.

Have the full name of the person whose nursing license you will like to verify. It may help to have a middle name, especially for common first and last names.

Know the state in which the person is licensed to practice or the state for which you want to verify licensure. Since nursing licensing is done by each state, you have to search state by state even for people with multiple licenses.

Have any other pertinent information, such as the license number or social security number, if these are available to you. This will provide double confirmation of the person whose license you are trying to verify.

Go to the appropriate state website to complete your search. For most states this is a government board or agency that oversees professional licensing. An alternative is to visit Nursys, a national database from the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing that allows you to verify licensure of nurses in all states.

Call the state licensing agency or board if you do not have access to the online services. Have all the necessary information described above with you when you call.


Faith O has covered politics and general news in Washington DC, Chicago and Maryland. Her writing has appeared in the Associated Press, Prince George's Sentinel, Northwest Indiana Times, Chicago Defender and Daily Southtown, among others. She has a Masters of Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and a Bachelor's degree from Hampshire College in Amherst.

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