Licensure by Exam


Effective October 1, 2012, any Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) applying for licensure and living in a member state of the Multistate Licensure Compact must take the NCLEX exam in their home state.  The Maryland Board of Nursing is required by the Nurse Practice Act (Health Occupations, Title 8, Annotated Code of Maryland), to abide by the below regulations: 

  • § 8-301(d) - A Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can hold a license in only one party state at a time and that license has to be issued from the home state of the licensee;
  • § 8-304(2)(iv)-  An applicant for licensure by examination in Maryland must submit satisfactory evidence to the Board that the applicant’s primary state of residence is Maryland or a state that is not a party to the compact; and
  • § 8-305(b) An applicant whose primary state of residence is a party state, other than Maryland, is not entitled to be examined for a license as an RN or LPN in Maryland.


Please understand that if the Board receives your application and you live in a Compact State, your application WILL NOT be processed and WILL BE returned to you. 
Effective January 27, 2012:  Please be advised that the disclosure of your Social Security Number or Federal Tax Identification Number is mandatory in order to process your application. 
Any license or certificate application(s) received at the Maryland Board of Nursing without either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Federal Tax ID Number WILL NOT be processed.  Applications without these numbers are incomplete. 
The Board is required by federal and Maryland law to collect this information for the following purposes:  
  • Verification of identity with respect to final adverse actions related to your license or certificate (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7e(b))
  • Administration of the Child Support Enforcement Program (Md. Family Law Code Ann., § 10-119.3)
  • Identification by the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation of new businesses in Maryland (Md. Health Occ. Code Ann., § 1-210)


Please understand that if the Board receives your application, but it is incomplete because there is NO Social Security Number or Federal Tax ID Number, your application WILL NOT be processed and WILL BE returned to you.  
Preceptorship for Nursing Programs - Clinical Rotation 
Effective September 22, 2008, COMAR has been amended to allow out-of-state programs which are substantially equivalent to the Maryland program to conduct their direct patient care clinical learning experiences either concurrently with or after the theoretical learning experience. Arranging clinical preceptorships must be approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing prior to implementation​. *
Clinical experience includes, but is not limited to:  
  1. Nursing care of families and clients throughout the life span in a variety of care settings that require nursing measures appropriate for either the maintenance or restoration of mental and physical health. 
  2. The following nursing foci: Medical, Gerontologic, Surgical,  Psychiatric, Pediatric, and Obstetrical Contact Patricia Kennedy at 410-585-1903 or for questions and concerns
This applies to out-of-state nursing education programs only. 
  • ​The Board can send applications for licensure only by US mail, not by e-mail. If you use e-mail or telephone to request an application, you need to include your name and mailing address. 

General Licensure Information  


Licensure By Exam (NCLEX)  

Candidates for licensure who have been unsuccessful with the NCLEX licensure examination can schedule to re-take the examination in 45 days.  If you need a reschedule form, email the exam department at  A reschedule application is sent with all NCLEX failure results. 
For security reasons, the Examination Unit accepts only original documents from primary sources. The Examination Unit cannot use copies of documents for licensure. 
Graduates of nursing schools in Puerto Rico or outside the United States must meet the Spoken English requirement. The Board of Nursing does not accept invalid Spoken English scores. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has advised the Board that Test of Spoken English (TSE) scores are not valid after two years. ETS will send valid TSE scores to the Board upon the applicant’s request.  
Nurses Educated WITHIN the United States  
Nurses Educated OUTSIDE the United States  

E-Mail Us With Questions 

Click on the e-mail address to send a message. If you use a web-based e-mail provider (i.e. Hotmail, Yahoo, Juno Webmail, etc.), copy and paste the e-mail address into the 'TO:' field of your service. 
Questions about licensure by exam or to request application materials to take the NCLEX



updated 4/30/2021