Applying for NCLEX and nursing license can be tricky. But I am here to help!
Submit an application to your nursing board for your initial license as soon as possible because they take forever to review and also if you were not previously licensed by the consumer affairs for any other profession such as cosmetology, pharmacy technician, etc., then you will need to get your biometrics done in person. This may delay the process due to limited appointment times so make sure you apply to your state consumer affairs at least 2 months before graduation.
Few weeks before graduation, create an account with NCSBN and register for NCLEX. After graduation, wait a week and check on the status of your application with your nursing board. You will not receive your license till you pass your NCLEX, but you want to make sure that all the requirements are completed so you can receive the ATT which is Authorization To Test for NCLEX. Sometimes this step takes longer because your application has not been opened yet or it is somewhere in the pool. I called my nursing board and had to wait on the line for about 30 minutes to get in touch with an operator. After letting them know that it had been a week since I graduated and was still waiting for my ATT, the operator made sure I was put on priority. I received my ATT the next day and was able to schedule my NCLEX right away.
After I passed my NCLEX, I received an email from my state board of nursing requesting fees for the background check. I paid it immediately and I did not have to schedule my biometrics because I already have an active pharmacy technician license. The results of your background check will take around two weeks to complete. Mine were just completed recently and it did take around two weeks and I am still waiting on my license number to be issued. I am hopeful that my license will appear active in a few days. It really is a waiting process and that is why you need to start applying and sometimes you have to call or even visit your nursing board in person to get everything rolling unless you are in no hurry.
So to summarize:
1. Apply for license through your nursing board ahead of graduation
2. Register for NCLEX few weeks before graduation
3. If you do not receive your ATT, within a week and you want to test right away then call or visit your nursing board
4. Take your NCLEX
5. Depending on the results, check your status online
6. Check email for any necessary fees/requirements that may be requested by the board