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Which States Are RN Walk-Through States?

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A walk-through state is a state in which a registered nurse, or RN, may receive a temporary (from eight weeks to six months) license to practice. This process can be completed in as little as one hour, including submitting the necessary paperwork. Keep in mind, however, that applicants must have a current RN license and no encumbrances.

As of 2010, there are 13 states that offer walk-through licensure. Each state has different requirements and fees for certification, as established by the state's respective board of nursing.


Delaware The Delaware Board of Nursing offers temporary licenses for RNs who have been offered a position in the state at the time they apply. The license is valid for 90 days.

Delaware Board of Nursing 861 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 203 Dover, DE 19904 302-744-4500

Maine Licensees must provide the state's board of nursing with proof of licensure and submit an application for a temporary, 90-day certification.

Maine Board of Nursing 161 Capitol Street Augusta, Maine 04333 207-287-1133

Maryland Among the standard requirements, the Maryland Board of Nursing requires that licensees demonstrate a proficiency in speaking English.

Maryland Board of Nursing 4140 Patterson Avenue Baltimore, Maryland, 21215 410-585-1900

Vermont The Vermont Board of Nursing confers a temporary certificate to licensees valid for 90 days.

Vermont Board of Nursing National Life Bldg, North FL2 Montpelier, VT 05620 802-828-2396


Kansas The Kansas State Board of Nursing may grant a temporary license of up to 120 days.

Kansas State Board of Nursing 900 SW Jackson Street, Suite 1051 Topeka, Kansas 66612 785-296-4929

Missouri Licensees should contact the Missouri Division of Professional Registration about temporary certification; you may be required to provide proof of residency.

Missouri Division of Professional Registration 3605 Missouri Boulevard P.O. Box 1335 Jefferson City, MO 65102 573-751-0293

Nebraska Aside from the standard requirements, licensees must have graduated from an accredited nursing program within the past two years, have completed at least 500 hours of practical experience in the last five years, or have completed a review course in the last five years. Contact the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for more information on acquiring a temporary license.

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services 301 Centennial Mall South Lincoln, NE 68509 402-471-3121

South Dakota RNs have to submit an application to the state board of nursing to apply for a nonrenewable temporary license to practice that will expire after 90 days.

South Dakota Board of Nursing 4305 S. Louise Avenue Suite 201 Sioux Falls, SD 57106 605-362-2760


South Carolina The South Carolina Board of Nursing stipulates that all licensees pass the national licensure examination within three years of graduating from an approved nursing program.

South Carolina Board of Nursing 110 Centerview Dr., Suite 202 Columbia, S.C. 29210 803-896-4550

North Carolina While it's considered a walk-through state, North Carolina requires RNs to schedule an appointment with the state board of nursing.

North Carolina Board of Nursing 4516 Lake Boone Trail Raleigh, NC 27607 919-782-3211

Virginia While not officially a walk-through state, RNs in Virginia are allowed to operate under a temporary license for 30 days, before receiving their permanant license.

Virginia Board of Nursing Department of Health Professions Perimeter Center 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300 Richmond, Virginia 23233 804-367-4515


California RNs looking to practice in California must contact the California Board of Registered Nursing.

California Board of Registered Nursing 1625 North Market Boulevard, Suite N217 Sacramento, CA 95834 916-322-3350

Colorado The Colorado Board of Nursing oversees all licensure inquiries in the state.

Colorado Board of Nursing 1560 Broadway, Suite 1350 Denver, CO 80202 303-894-2430

Idaho Visit the Idaho Board of Nursing for information on getting your temporary license through the process of endorsement.

Idaho Board of Nursing 280 North 8th St. Suite 210 Boise, Idaho 83720 208-334-3110

Alaska While not technically a walk-through state, Alaska does offer temporary licenses. You must contact the Alaska Board of Nursing (ABN) to schedule an appointment.

Alaska Board of Nursing 550 West Seventh Avenue Suite 1500 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3567 907-269-8161