Find Your Nursing Licensure Guide

Pennsylvania, PA

eNLC: No
Walk-Through: No
Temp License: Yes
Nursys: No
BON website
P: (717) 783-7142



Endorsement Application: $120.00

Temporary Permit: $70.00


Permanent License

Approximately 80 business days upon receipt of all required materials.

Temporary License

Up to 70 business days upon receipt of all required materials.


  • Renewal cadence: Biannually by October 31.
  • Renewal fee: $297
  • Required contact hours: 30
  • On average, renewal licenses for RN are issued within three calendar days.

Important Things to Know

  • You may not practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until you have been issued a license.

Licensure by Endorsement


Permanent License

  1. Submit an application online in the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) portal and pay the fee. Follow the steps in the wizard to view a complete list of application requirements.
  2. Provide a background check (criminal history record check, or CHRC) from every state in which you have lived, worked, or completed professional training/studies for the past 10 years.

    1. The report(s) must be dated within 90 days of the date the application is submitted. 

    2. Request an official repository for criminal history record information from each state’s police department. Each state will set their own fees regarding the cost of the background check.

    3. For applicants living, working, or completing training/studies in Pennsylvania, your CHRC request will be automatically submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police upon submission of this application. The fee will be included at checkout.

    4. For individuals living, working, or completing training/studies outside of Pennsylvania during the past 10 years, in lieu of obtaining individual state background checks, you may also elect to provide both a state CHRC from the state in which you currently reside, AND your FBI Identity History Summary Check, available here.

    5. Please note that if you are currently living, working, or completing training/studies in California, Arizona, or Ohio, these state’s will not send PA a CHRC, nor will your CHRC be issued to you for upload to the Board. Please obtain your Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Identity History Summary Check instead, available at the link noted above.
  3. Request verification of licensure via Nursys from your original state of licensure. If this state does not participate in Nursys, you will need to contact that state’s BON and request verification be sent to the Pennsylvania BON via the Verification of Licensure form.
  4. Request for the nursing school that qualified you for the original RN license to send an official transcript directly to the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing on your behalf. 
    1. If your RN education was not conducted in English you are required to pass a Board-approved English Language Proficiency Examination.
    2. If you were educated outside the United States,  you will need to provide a Foreign Credentials Evaluation.
  5. Nurses are mandatory reporters in the state of Pennsylvania. You must complete 3 hours of training approved by the Department of Human Services (DHS) on the topic of child abuse recognition and reporting. After you have completed the required course, the approved provider will electronically submit your name, date of attendance, etc. to the Bureau. 
  6. Provide documentation if you answered “yes” to any of the legal background questions.
  7. Provide proof of English proficiency if you graduated from a nursing program that was not conducted in English.

Temporary License

  1. Temporary permits are valid for up to 1 year.
  2. If you can provide proof of at least one active license you will qualify for a temporary license. You will need to complete the remaining steps before the temporary license expires in order to receive a permanent license.