NCLEX, Licensure & Certification

Undergraduate Licensure Information

Students graduating from the Traditional and Accelerated BSN programs must apply for ‘Licensure by Examination’ to become a registered nurse. Licensure is a dual process; applicants must apply for a registered nursing license through the nursing regulatory body (NRB) of the state in which they plan to practice AND they must register to take the NCLEX through Pearson Vue.

Step 1 – State Board Applications

  • Wisconsin applicants must apply through the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services’ (DSPS) online application system, LicensE.
  • Illinois applicants must apply through Continental Testing Services (CTS).
  • Minnesota applicants may apply online through the Minnesota Board of Nursing, or by mail.
  • Not applying for licensure through Wisconsin, Illinois, or Minnesota? Check the NCSBN website for information on applying for licensure by examination in any state or US territory!

Step 2 – Register to take the NCLEX through Pearson Vue

Once an applicant knows which state they will be applying for licensure in, they must register to take the NCLEX through Pearson Vue. When registering, applicants should use a personal email address as their email will likely be disabled upon graduation.

The UW-Madison School of Nursing’s program code for NCLEX registration is US50509500.

Receiving Authorization to Test (ATT)

Once all application materials and fees have been processed by a state’s NRB, the NRB will send confirmation of eligibility to Pearson Vue. Upon receiving that confirmation, Pearson Vue will verify the applicant has registered for the NCLEX and paid the testing fee, then they will send the applicant their Authorization to Test (ATT) via the email address the applicant used when registering for the NCLEX.

Licensure Resources

Spring 2023 Licensure Overview Presentation
Spring 2023 Licensure Overview Recording (Zoom) Passcode: =1#35MYT
Graduating BSN students can access the NCLEX Canvas page for State-by-State Licensure Application Instructions.

Each state’s nursing regulatory body (NRB) has a different process for verifying an applicant’s education. Some NRBs require a form of education verification from the applicant’s school, others require an official transcript with the applicant’s degree posted.

For states that require verification from the School of Nursing

The UW-Madison School of Nursing can verify a student’s education upon faculty review of students who are on track to graduate. This often takes place beginning in late-April. If the applicant has already graduated, Academic Affairs will complete the verification upon receipt, then submit the verification to the appropriate NRB.

Certain NRBs require an applicant’s School of Nursing to complete a form verify the applicant’s education/graduation. Applicants applying for licensure in such states should complete the applicant portion of the form, then email the form to Academic Affairs at Academic Affairs will complete the form and submit it to the NRB upon faculty review of the applicant’s progress towards graduation.

If a state’s NRB requires a letter of completion from the School of Nursing, applicants should email Academic Affairs at to request a letter of completion, making sure to include which NRB is requesting the letter of completion.

For states that require an official transcript

Some NRBs require applicants to submit an official transcript with their degree posted. Official transcripts for UW-Madison students can only be requested through the UW-Madison Office of the Registrar. The Registrar’s Office does not post degrees on transcripts until all grades have been processed and degrees have been conferred; this typically happens in late May. Applicants should verify their degree has posted before requesting an official transcript.

What can delay your education verification?

One of the most frequent reasons for delay in receiving an education verification is the posting of credits to a student’s record. Students should make sure that all off campus (Transfer, Study Abroad, Extension) credits have been posted to their record. All courses must be completed and posted to your record before the School of Nursing can verify education. If unsure, students can meet with their advisor to make sure credits are posted. If credits are not posted, the student must contact the UW-Madison Office of Admissions. It can take 4-6 weeks for credits to be posted once requested.


Before sitting for the NCLEX, an applicant may receive a temporary permit if their employer request they obtain one. In order to apply for a temporary permit, an applicant must have a Registered Nurse Supervisor assigned at their place of employment (see Form 2434 for additional information).

Please note, this process still requires the School of Nursing to submit a Statement of Graduation, which can only be submitted upon faculty review of a student’s progress towards graduation (faculty review typically happens in late-April). Obtaining a temporary permit also requires a completed background check; DSPS will start your background check as soon as your graduation date has passed.

A temporary permit allows an applicant to practice practical nursing under the direct supervision of a registered nurse until a credential is granted. A temporary permit is valid for a period of three months or until the holder receives failing examination results, whichever is shorter. This means if an applicant obtains a temporary permit, then fails the NCLEX, their temporary permit will be revoked. If there is more than three months between obtaining a temporary permit and the applicant’s first attempt at the NCLEX, the temporary permit may be renewed once for an additional three-month period.

Requirements to obtain a temporary permit:

  • Completion of all licensure requirements, except examination
  • Submittal of Form 2434
  • Payment of a $10.00 fee
  • A completed online LicensE application for permanent licensure
  • Proof of graduation from a WI Board-approved school of professional nursing

NCLEX Canvas Course

Students graduating from the Traditional and Accelerated BSN programs have access to the online NCLEX Canvas course.

All Nursing Notes

All Nursing Notes is a YouTube series focused on reviewing important NCLEX materials

Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI)

The Virtual-ATI NCLEX-RN Review provides 12-week access to an online classroom that begins 30 days prior to graduation, is available 24/7, and includes more than 400 on-demand resources via the mobile-friendly, online classroom.


Elsevier provides NCLEX prep books and questions of the day.


HURST offers a variety of in-person and online review packages.


Kaplan offers several types of NCLEX review including adaptive practice tests, self-paced study, and both online and in-person study options.

Mometrix Test Prep Review

Mometrix offers practice tests and flash cards for studying.


Features over 1,300 NCLEX-style questions including a pretest, 8 Lesson post-tests, practice question banks, community blogs, test-taking tips, and more. FAQ & Videos

Nurse Plus Academy

Nurse Plus Academy offers a variety of practice questions covering all topics on the NCLEX.

Union Test Prep

Union Test Prep offers lessons, free practice tests, flashcards, and study guides to help you prepare for the NCLEX.


UWorld provides study plans, flash cards, customizable exams and performance analysis.

Undergraduate Certification Information

Student Nurse Assistant (SNA)

Students are eligible to be SNAs after they have completed their first clinical course. This is in September for ABSN students and January for first year TBSN students. There is no exam or licensure needed to apply for these positions at local hospitals.

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)

Students are eligible to sit for the National Nurse Aid Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam after their first year of the TBSN program or after the fall semester of the ABSN program. Interested students should fill out the verification form and email it to Academic Affairs at . The Academic Affairs Office will complete the education section and submit the form.

Graduate Student Licensure Information

Policy for Education Validation

While the credentialing center may authorize a candidate to sit for an advanced practice certification examination after all coursework is complete and prior to degree conferral, the center will retain the exam results and will not issue certification until two additional documents are submitted. These are the 1) final official transcript with degree-conferral date received directly from the university, and 2) the validation of education form signed by the DNP Faculty Program Director.

Upon request, the School of Nursing will complete the validation of education form prior to degree-conferral, thus confirming eligibility to test. This service will be available only for students who have:

  1. Successfully completed all advanced nursing coursework and clinical practice hours required for the DNP program,
  2. Enrolled in their final semester of the program,
  3. Reached the midpoint of that final semester and course professor(s) have verified that they are on track to graduate as anticipated

Once these criteria are met, students may submit their request for education validation via email directly to the Graduate Academic Services Coordinator.  The coordinator will confirm appropriate course completion and final semester progression and submit the form, as appropriate. The School of Nursing will not validate education for students who have not completed these eligibility requirements.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the world’s largest nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.  For more information on NP/CNS licensing, click here.  The ANCC offers certification in the following disciplines:

Nurse Practitioner Certifications

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP
  • Pediatric Primary Care NP
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health NP

Clinical Nurse Specialist Certifications

  • Adult-Gerontology CNS

The PNCB is the largest independent pediatric nursing certification organization in the country, with over 95% of all pediatric nurses who certify choosing the PNCB (according to PNCB exam brochure).

Licensure in the State of Wisconsin as an Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber


Kelli Richards

Position title: Career Development & Learning Support Manager


Phone: 608-263-5163

1138A Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Mariah Allen

Position title: DNP & PhD Program Coordinator


Phone: 608-263-5258

1131 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Morgan Lewis

Position title: Student Services & Events Coordinator


Phone: 608-263-5288

1137 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Darby Sugar

Position title: Director of Advising and Student Services


Phone: 608-263-5248

1145 Signe Skott Cooper Hall