Pennsylvania Nursing License

From the big cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh--to everything in between--Pennsylvania has so much to offer to travel nurses looking to take an assignment here. This unique state is full of rich history and is one of the only ones that spread across the Northeastern, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains also run through here, making Pennsylvania a great destination for those looking for outdoor adventure.

For nurses, Pennsylvania presents exciting opportunities with plenty of assignments at some of the state's top hospitals and medical centers.

Are you intrigued by the personal and professional opportunities that exist in Pennsylvania? If we have piqued your interest, we invite you to get started with obtaining your Pennsylvania nursing license. Read on to get an overview of the state licensing process. When you're ready, let's work together to help you connect to the best travel nursing jobs in Pennsylvania. 

How to Apply for a Pennsylvania Nursing License

The State Board of Nursing of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is your one-stop-shop for all things related to a Pennsylvania Nursing License. First, you must determine if you are going to get your license by exam or endorsement as these are the two primary pathways to obtain your PA RN license. All applications and renewals can be done online through the PALS system: Sign-in or create your account at

Let’s look at the differences of applying by endorsement vs. exam according to the Pennsylvania SBON:

RN license by endorsement means you have already obtained an RN license in another jurisdiction. A person is eligible for licensure by endorsement if they graduated from an approved professional nursing education program in the United States or Canada, or a professional nursing program deemed to be equivalent to the program of study required in Pennsylvania at the time the program was completed, and obtained licensure in another jurisdiction by passing the NCLEX-RN or another examination equivalent to the NCLEX-RN. The fee for RN licensure by endorsement (without examination) is $120.

Obtaining an RN license by examination for Pennsylvania nursing school graduates means that the applicant completed a Board-approved RN nursing program, passed the NCLEX-RN, and meets the additional requirements for licensure. The fee for RN licensure by examination is $95. Graduates of out-of-state nursing education programs are $115.

Need to Renew Your License? Here's How:

On average, renewal licenses for RNs are issued within three calendar days. As of July 2019, the RN biennial renewal fees increased from $65 to $122. Nurses must complete their renewal before the license has expired.

Is Pennsylvania a Nurse Licensure Compact State?

Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses from other states who hold multistate licenses through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) will now be able to provide in-person services to PA patients. Visit the NCSBN site for complete details.

American Mobile is Your Partner in State Licensing

All of the Pennsylvania nursing license and renewal information that you need is available at American Mobile. Whether you have a general question on getting started as a travel nurse or you need something more specific, we can help you with anything you need.

Do you want to see the variety of available jobs there are in Pennsylvania in your specialty before you get started? Simply check-out our enhanced job search tools that allow you to search for jobs by location and specialty.



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