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Foreign/International RN/LPN

Licensure as a Registered Nurse in New Hampshire for foreign nurses.

The Board of Nursing presents the following information on this site as a public service to our applicants and other potential licensees relevant to licensure in New Hampshire only. No representation is made about the licensure processes in other jurisdictions. While the information on this site is about New Hampshire licensing processes, it is only a guideline and not all inclusive to all matters.

Licensure by Endorsement


Obtaining a RN nursing license in the state of New Hampshire if you have never held a New Hampshire nursing license before but have already successfully passed the NCLEX, hold an active nursing license within one or more of the states and/or territories of the United States and have 400 hours of active-in-practice within the immediate previous 4 years

Nur 302.03 Qualifications for Initial Registered and Practical Nurses Licensure by Endorsement.

(a) Each applicant for an initial registered or practical nurse license by endorsement shall:

  1. Meet the general requirements of Nur 302.01;
  2. Hold a current, unencumbered license in any other jurisdiction; and
  3. Submit verification of licensure status from the jurisdiction of licensure by examination.

(b) Graduates of a nursing program in the United States or Canada, except Quebec, who have passed the NCLEX examination, shall also meet all of the requirements of Nur 304.01.

(c) Graduates of a nursing program in Canada who have not taken the NCLEX examination shall also meet all of the requirements of Nur 304.02.

(d) Graduates of a non-Canadian foreign nursing program who have taken the NCLEX examination shall also meet all of the requirements of Nur 304.03.

(e) Graduates of a non-Canadian foreign nursing program shall present verification that the nursing educational program required theoretical and clinical content meets the minimum requirements of Nur 601.15 and Nur 601.16.

Nur 304.02 Canadian Registered Nurse Licensure by Endorsement without NCLEX.

(a) This section shall apply to registered nurses who graduated from a nursing school in Canada and have not taken the NCLEX in the United States or Canada and who seek licensure in New Hampshire.

(b) Each applicant seeking licensure as a registered nurse by endorsement under this section shall:

  1. Submit evidence of graduation from an approved nursing education program in Canada;
  2. (2) Submit evidence of successful completion one of the following examinations with at least the scores indicated as follows:
    1. The English version of the Canadian Nurses’ Association Testing Service 5-part examination between the years 1970 and 1980, achieving a score of at least 350 in each of the following areas:
      1. Medical Nursing;
      2. Maternal-Child Nursing;
      3. Surgical Nursing;
      4. Mental Health Nursing; and
      5. Pediatric Nursing; and
    2. The English version of the Canadian Nurses’ Association Testing Service Comprehensive Examination between 1980 and July 31, 1995, achieving a score of at least 400;
  3. Submit additional evidence that the applicant has:
    1. An educational credentials review from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body that is endorsed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing;
    2. Proficiency with the English language; and
    3. Nurse licensure in the country of origin;
  4. Submit evidence of having been licensed by the province in which the examination in (2) above was taken;
  5. Submit evidence of use of nursing knowledge, judgment, and skills for at least 400 hours in the 4 years immediately preceding the application;
  6. Submit evidence of completion of at least 30 contact hours of continuing education within the 2 years immediately preceding the application;
  7. Complete and submit to the board a Form “Application for Licensure by Endorsement: Registered Nurse – Canadian”, as amended 1-2015, including all required explanations as attachments;
  8. Submit a Form “RN/LPN Verification of Original License”, as amended 1-2015 along with any required fee, to the province in which the nurse obtained original licensure;
  9. Submit to the board Form “Declaration of Primary State of Residence”, as amended 1-2015;
  10. Submit to the department of safety, division of state police, a notarized Criminal Record Release Authorization along with any required fee, with the board identified as the recipient of the record or records; and
  11. Pay an application fee of $120.

(c) An applicant who has satisfactorily met the requirements of this section shall:

  1. Receive a registered nurse license; and
  2. Be authorized to use the title RN.

    Source. (See Revision Note at chapter heading for Nur 100) #5887, eff 8-26-94; ss by #6778, eff 6-26-98; amd by #7101, eff 9-20-99; ss by #8664, INTERIM, eff 6-24-06, EXPIRED: 12-21-06

    New. #8873, eff 4-24-07; ss by #10298, eff 3-22-13; ss by 10996, eff 12-19-15

Nur 304.03 Quebec and Non-Canadian Foreign Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure by Endorsement.

(a) This section shall apply to nurses who seek licensure in New Hampshire and who have:

  1. Graduated from a nursing school outside the United States and Canada; or
  2. Graduated from a non-english speaking nursing program in Quebec, Canada and are already licensed in another state.

(b) Each person seeking licensure as a registered nurse or practical nurse by endorsement and who does not qualify under Nur 302.01 or Nur 302.02 shall complete and submit, including all required explanations as attachments:

  1. Form “Application for Licensure by Endorsement”, as amended 1-2015;
  2. To the department of safety, division of state police, a notarized Criminal Record Release Authorization along with any required fee, with the board identified as the recipient of the record or records;
  3. Form “Request for RN/LPN Verification of Original License”, as amended 1-2015;
  4. Prior to the submission of the application to the board, “Form Request for RN/LPN Verification of Original License”, as amended 1-2015 for the jurisdiction of original nursing licensure;
  5. Submission of the licensure application to the board, Form “Declaration of Primary State of Residence”, as amended 1-2015;
  6. Evidence that the applicant has received educational credentals from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body that is endorsed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, including:
    1. Official transcript(s), translated into English, from the applicant’s school of nursing; or
    2. Certified copies of applicant’s school of nursing curriculum as provided to the state board of nursing that originally licensed the applicant;
  7. Evidence of a minimum of 400 hours of active practice in the 4 years immediately prior to this application; and
  8. Payment of the application fee of $120.

(c) An applicant who has satisfactorily met the requirements of this section shall:

  1. Receive a registered nurse license or a practical nurse license, as appropriate; and
  2. Be authorized to use the title RN or LPN, as appropriate.

    Source. (See Revision Note at chapter heading for Nur 100) #5887, eff 8-26-94; ss by #6778, eff 6-26-98; ss by #7740, eff 8-13-02; ss by #8873, eff 4-24-07; ss by #10298, eff 3-22-13; ss by 10996, eff 12-19-15

Initial Licensure by NCLEX Examination

Obtaining a RN nursing license in the state of New Hampshire if you have completed a foreign nursing program but have not yet taken or successfully passed the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX)

Canadian Nurse Endorsement non Quebec and Program in English
You have written the English version of the State Board Test Pool Examination in Canada between the years 1939 and 1970 or the English version of the Canadian Nurses' Association Testing Service 5-part examination between the years 1970 and 1980 and received a minimum passing score of 350 in each of the following areas: Medical Nursing, Surgical Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Maternity Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing

OR

Have written the English version of the Canadian Nurses' Association Testing Service Comprehensive Examination since the year 1980, and received a minimum passing score of 400.

Canadian nurses who took the Canadian Exam August 1, 1995 or later, cannot endorse to New Hampshire because a numerical score is not available for verification from the Canadian province. (You may request an application for NCLEX.)

Nur 301.01 Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure by Examination.

(a) This section shall apply to those who seek licensure by examination as a registered nurse or practical nurse in New Hampshire under RSA 326-B:17.

(b) Each person seeking licensure as a registered nurse or practical nurse by examination shall:

  1. Complete and submit to the board the following forms packet: NH Board of Nursing Examination Application Process pdf file
  2. Prior to the submission of the application, arrange for the following to be submitted directly to the board:
    1. Either of the following:
      1. If a graduate of a nursing school in the United States or Canada, an official transcript showing that all educational requirements, including successful completion of the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN course requirements, have been met; or
      2. If a graduate of a nursing school outside the United States or Canada, evidence of successful completion of a nationally accepted accrediting agency examination endorsed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or full course-by-course credentials evaluation;
    2. Evidence, by means of an official stamped transcript, of educational experiences comparable to Nur 602.12 and Nur 602.13; and
    3. The application fee of $120; and
  3. Submit to the department of safety, division of state police, a notarized Criminal Record Release Authorization along with any required fee, with the board identified as the recipient of the record or records.

(c) All applicants for initial licensing shall comply with the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) Model Rules and Regulations developed by the Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators (NLCA) as amended November 13, 2012 and as referenced in Appendix 2 and found in Appendix 3.

(d) An applicant who has satisfactorily met the requirements of this section shall:

  1. Receive a registered nurse license or a practical nurse license, as appropriate; and
  2. Be authorized to use the title RN or LPN, as appropriate.

    Source. (See Revision Note at chapter heading for Nur 100) #5887, eff 8-26-94; ss by #6778, eff 6-26-98; amd by #7101, eff 9-20-99; ss by #8664, INTERIM, eff 6-24-06, EXPIRED: 12-21-06

    New. #8873, eff 4-24-07; ss by #10298, eff 3-22-13; ss by #10996, eff 12-19-15

Nur 302.01 General Qualifications for All Applicants. Each applicant for any license or certificate issued by the board shall, pursuant to RSA 326-B:16, meet the following general requirements:

(a) The applicant shall have the ability to read and write the English language, and demonstrate such proficiency through either:

  1. Graduating from a school of nursing in which:
    1. All classroom instruction was in English;
    2. All nursing textbooks were in English; and
    3. The majority of all clinical experience was in English; or
  2. Passing the English proficiency evaluation of a nationally accepted accrediting agency examination endorsed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing;

(b) The applicant shall have committed no acts or omissions which are grounds for disciplinary actions as set forth in RSA 326-B, unless the board determines that sufficient restitution has been made for such acts or omissions;

(c) The applicant shall not have been convicted of a crime constituting any of the following unless such conviction was annulled by a court of competent jurisdiction:

  1. Murder or manslaughter;
  2. Robbery;
  3. Felonious theft;
  4. Felonious assault;
  5. Sexual crime involving a child;
  6. Kidnapping; or
  7. Endangering the welfare of a child or incompetent person.

(d) The applicant shall not have committed any act or engaged in any course of conduct involving intentional deception by the applicant, whether in the course of employment or as private conduct, that indicates the applicant cannot be entrusted with the care of patients; and

(e) The applicant shall submit a complete application for the specific license or certificate sought, including the payment of all required application and related fees.

Source. (See Revision Note at chapter heading for Nur 100) #5887, eff 8-26-94; ss by #6778, eff 6-26-98; ss by #8664, INTERIM, eff 6-24-06, EXPIRED: 12-21-06

New. #8873, eff 4-24-07; ss by #9395, eff 2-25-09; ss by #10298, eff 3-22-13

Enhanced Nurse License Compact Additional Rules

In addition to the New Hampshire Rules, as a member of the Enhanced Nurse License Compact, the Uniform Licensure Requirements rules must also be met, which include:

  • Has graduated or is eligible to graduate from a licensing board-approved RN or LPN/VN Prelicensure education program; or has graduated from a foreign RN or LPN/VN Prelicensure education program that (a) has been approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country and (B) has been verified by an independent credentials review agency to be comparable to a licensing board approved Prelicensure education program;
  • Has, if a graduate of a foreign Prelicensure Education program not taught in English or if English is not the individual’s native language, successfully passed an English proficiency examination that includes the components of reading, speaking, writing and listening

For more information visit https://www.ncsbn.org/eNLC-ULRs_082917.pdf or https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm

As of June 27, 2019, Required English Proficiency Scores:

  • TOEFL iBT Overall Total 83 and;
  • TOEFL iBT Speaking 26
  • IELTS Overall Total 6.5 and;
  • IELTS 7 Spoken Band
Endorsement Scenario Requirements

Endorsement Scenario Examples Updated June 2019  pdf file

Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.


Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
121 South Fruit Street |  Concord, NH 03301
Main Telephone: (603) 271-2152