Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners

Initial Licensure by Examination for Practical Nurses in Louisiana

Please note the following licensure by exam rule, pursuant to Louisiana Administrative Code and Louisiana Revised Statutes:

An applicant may be permitted to take the NCLEX-PN for initial licensure up to four times within a period of two years from the date of being made eligible, but no later than three years from the completion of the practical nursing program. If the applicant fails to pass the exam within the allotted number of attempts or by the eligibility expiration date, the applicant for licensure by exam must re-enter and successfully complete the entire practical nursing program without advance credits before being allowed to take the practical nursing examination again.

An applicant for licensure by examination:

  1. shall be of good moral character
  2. shall be a permanent resident or citizen of the United States
  3. must have successfully completed the course in an accredited school for the training of practical nurses
  4. must meet the requirements for qualification (see below for additional requirements)
  5. may be permitted to write the examination up to four times within a period of two years from the date of being made eligible, but no later than three years from the completion of the practical nursing program
  6. shall re-enter and successfully complete the entire practical nursing program without advance credits if the fourth writing is unsuccessful or more than three years has elapsed from completion of the practical nursing program before being allowed to take the practical nursing examination again

Reference for law: Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, Title 37, Chapter 11. Nurses, Part II. Practical Nurses, §970.

Reference for Administrative Code: Louisiana Administrative Code, Title 46, Professional and Occupational Standards, Part XLVII. Nurses, Subpart 1. Practical Nurses. Chapter 17. §1703.

The Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners (LSBPNE) now provides a secure nurse portal to enable candidates for initial licensure to complete the following tasks:

  • apply for first testing attempt (LPN Initial by Exam)
  • apply for retesting (LPN Initial by Exam – Retest)
  • receive official results of the NCLEX-PN and initial licensure status
  • apply for name change
  • change address, phone number, email address

Application Requirements

TEMPORARY PERMITS ARE NOT ISSUED TO PN APPLICANTS FOR LICENSURE BY EXAM. IT IS UNLAWFUL TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF A PRACTICAL NURSE WITHOUT A VALID LICENSE.

All applicants for licensure by exam must create an account in the Nurse Portal. Paper applications for licensure by exam are no longer accepted. Please click here for Nurse Portal information and instructions.

Application Information

APPLICATIONS:

  • Completion of the practical nursing program does not guarantee eligibility to take the NCLEX-PN® for licensure.
  • Any application for initial licensure received prior to July 1, 2019, will be reviewed for eligibility for a Louisiana single state license. A single state license grants the practical nurse permission to practice in the state of licensure only. If issued a single state license, the licensee may apply to convert the single state license to a multistate license.
  • A determination of eligibility cannot be made until all required documentation and fees are received.
  • Applicants must submit an application for licensure and payment using a credit card, debit card or prepaid card via the Nurse Portal.
  • An application for licensure by exam and payment are valid for one year or after the approved testing attempt, whichever comes first. A new application, fee and registration with Pearson VUE is required for each testing attempt.
  • The applicant is responsible for notifying LSBPNE of name, mailing address and email address changes via the Nurse Portal.
  • All application fees are nonrefundable (no exceptions).

OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS:

  • Only official (signed, sealed) transcripts sent by the educational institute where the PN program was completed will be accepted.
  • Transcripts submitted by the applicant will not be accepted.
  • The PN curriculum must meet the approval of LSBPNE, including content and number of clock hours completed.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK:

A state and FBI criminal background check (CBC) is required for applicants for licensure in Louisiana (single or multi-state). CBC application instructions and forms can be accessed at https://www.lsbpne.com/forms/criminal-background-check/

Criminal background check results are valid for one year from date of being made eligible.

ELIGIBILITY EXPIRATION DATE:

After an applicant is approved for licensure by exam, an eligibility timeframe is determined. An applicant must take and pass the NCLEX-PN prior to the eligibility expiration date without exceeding four attempts. Eligible applicants are notified of the eligibility expiration date via the Nurse Portal Message Center.

PEARSON VUE REGISTRATION:

  • All eligible applicants for licensure will be required to register with Pearson VUE and submit a $200 payment using a credit card, debit card or prepaid card to Pearson VUE.
  • 2 Ways to register:
  • A confirmation of registration will be sent to you via email. If you don’t receive the confirmation, call NCLEX Candidate Services BEFORE registering again.

AUTHORIZATION TO TEST (ATT) & NCLEX-PN® SCHEDULING

  • Once determined eligible for licensure by exam, LSBPNE staff will notify Pearson VUE of your approval to test. To do so, you must be registered in PearsonVUE.
  •  Pearson VUE will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT) email. This email is required in order to schedule a test date.
  • Availability of testing dates is determined by PearsonVUE. There are several testing centers in Louisiana and throughout the country. Test results will be sent to the board of nursing that you have requested.
  • Visit the Pearson VUE website to ensure you are aware of testing rules and requirements. Remember ALL application fees are NONREFUNDABLE.

NCLEX-PN® Results

  • LSBPNE will send your OFFICIAL results to you via the Nurse Portal Message Center. Expect to receive results 7-10 days after your test date.
  • UNOFFICIAL results can be accessed via Pearson VUE Quick Results 48 hours after your test date. Pearson VUE requires a $7.95 fee to access Quick Results, via http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/.
  • NLCEX-PN® results CANNOT be obtained by calling the LSBPNE office.

LICENSURE

  • Paper licenses are no longer issued by LSBPNE. You will receive notification of your license, along with stipulations and license number, via the Nurse Portal Message Center. Your employer may verify your license status via the NURSYS website, https://www.nursys.com/.
  • ALL LPN licenses expire January 31st of EACH year and must be renewed. Visit lsbpne.com for updates on the license renewal process.

REAPPLICATION

  • There is a limit to the number of attempts and time frame in which an applicant for initial licensure by exam is eligible.
  • If an applicant fails the exam and wishes to reapply for initial licensure by exam, he/she must submit:
    • an application via the Nurse Portal; choose LPN Initial by Exam-Retest;
    • the applicable application fee, using a credit card, debit card or prepaid card via the Nurse Portal;
    • additional documents, if required.
  • If eligible to retest, the applicant must re-register and pay the $200 fee to Pearson VUE. A new registration and fee are required for each testing attempt.