Frequently Asked Questions

Licensing-related questions​

How long will it take for my application to be processed and license issued?

Your application will be processed after all the required information has been received and confirmed by the Board. Information such as background checks, or verification of education or certification could be holding up your application. You can check the status of your application by logging into your Nurse Portal and clicking View Status for the application under Submitted License Applications. After all the information has been received, applications are typically processed within 72 hours.


What are the changes in licensing for 2022?

Here are the changes in RN licensing for 2022:

  • Beginning August 1, 2022, RN licenses will move to a two year renewal cycle. After you renew your license in 2022, your expiration date will be 10/31/2024.
  • The requirement for continuing education has been reinstated. This requirement had been temporarily relaxed due to the COVID State of Emergency, but has now been reinstated.
  • For licensees that renew on or before September 30, 2022, renewals for 2022 will be free of charge for the licensee. The Governor's Nursing Workforce Expansion Program is covering the cost of RN renewals until September 30, 2022.
  • Note: The 2022 RN renewal season will open one month earlier than usual, and will begin August 1, 2022.
  • There have been no changes with regards to Dialysis Technicians.


When are the license renewal periods?

The renewal periods for RN and APRN/RXA are as follows:

RN licenses:
All currently active West Virginia RN Licenses expire October 31 of every even year. The renewal period typically begins September 1, and you must renew your license by October 31 or your RN license will lapse.
  • In 2022, West Virginia RNs will move to a two-year renewal cycle. For 2022 and beyond, RN renewals will be good for two years.
  • Renewals for 2022 will be free of charge for the licensee.
  • Note: The 2022 RN renewal season will open one month earlier than usual, and will begin August 1, 2022.

APRN licenses and RXA privilege:
All APRN licenses and RXA privileges expire June 30 of every odd year. The APRN/RXA renewal period for 2023 will begin May 1 and end June 30.

Dialysis Technicians:
All Dialysis Tech certificates expire June 30 of every year. The Dialysis Tech renewal period for 2022 begins May 1 and ends June 30.


What will happen if I don't renew my license by its expiration date?

Your RN license will lapse and you will not be able to practice nursing in this state. Additionally, APRN licenses and RXA privileges depend on having an active RN license in this state. If you have an APRN license or RXA privileges in this state then they will automatically lapse as well. Dialysis technicians who lapse will not be able to practice in this state until their reinstatement application has been approved.


My fingerprint scans were rejected twice - how can I submit my fingerprints manually?

If an applicant receives the double-rejection letter they need to forward the letter to the Board office at this address:

WV Board of Registered Nurses
5001 MacCorkle Ave, S.W.
South Charleston, WV 25309​
Attention: Criminal Background Checks


Continuing Education questions​

What are the educational requirements for renewing my WV RN or APRN license?

Our Education page contains a summary of the requirements for RN and APRN licenses.
Click here to go to the Education page


What is a contact hour? Is it the same as a CEU?

A contact hour is equivalent to 50 consecutive minutes of instruction. A CEU (continuing education unit) equals 10 contact hours or 500 minutes of instruction. The official unit of measure for CE in West Virginia is the contact hour. If you are in doubt about how many contact hours an offering is, count the number of actual instructional minutes, NOT including lunch, breaks, introductory activities or business portion of the meeting, and divide by 50.


Where can I find approved continuing education activities?
  • The Board maintains a list of active WV RN Board approved registered CE providers through our partnership with CE Broker at https://cebroker.com/providers/reports/wvproviders. There are over 3000 courses available from WV RN Board approved providers, many of which are low cost or free of charge, located on the CE Broker website.
  • Associations such as the West Virginia Nurses Association or any other providers accredited by American Nurses Credentialing Center are recognized as approved providers of continuing education programs for purposes of meeting the CE requirements.
  • You may also contact the continuing education departments of hospitals and nursing homes, as well as the CE departments of colleges and universities in your area to find out what else is available. You should also watch for announcements in nursing journals, the mail, newspapers and other forms of media.

Can I use the education credit which can be earned through professional magazines?

Yes. Programmed instruction, presented in nursing or in other appropriate professional journals, and approved through a national accrediting organization can be used to fulfill the CE requirement.


Will college credit be accepted to meet CE requirements?

Yes. Courses provided by an accredited institution of higher learning for which academic credit is awarded can be used to satisfy the CE requirements, providing they are relevant to your nursing practice. The following formula is used to calculate contact hours from credit hours:
1 Quarter hour = 10 contact hours
1 Semester hour = 15 contact hours


Can I use courses taken to fulfill CE requirements for a nursing certification to fulfill the Board CE requirements?

Yes. Continuing Education courses completed to meet requirements for a nursing certification may also be used to meet the 12 hour Board requirement.


What if I want to take a CE activity not targeted to nurses? Will it satisfy the CE requirement?

CE activities targeted at health care professionals other than nursing may be acceptable if the activity meets the minimum standards of the board for CE activities, and you provide a statement regarding how the activity is relevant to your nursing practice. That statement should be maintained with the certificate of completion of the activity. You will also be required to justify relevance of that activity to your nursing practice if you are audited.


Do I have to take CE classes each year?

For each reporting period you will need 12 hours of continuing education. In 2022, West Virginia RN licensing period has increased to two years. You will need to have 12 hours of continuing education prior to renewing your license in 2022. You will need 12 additional hours of continuing education before renewing again in 2024. These hours may be spread out during the reporting period, but all must be taken during a single reporting period.


If I accumulate more than the required number of contact hours in a reporting period can I use them during the next reporting period?

No. Contact hours or other credits may not be carried forward to the next reporting period.


How will I know if a CE activity is approved?

The Board issues a WVBRN provider registration number to those who agree to maintain minimum standards as approved providers. Registered providers are then required to include their WVBRN provider registration number on program announcements and on certificates issued to RNs who complete an approved CE activity. The Board recognizes the West Virginia Nurses Association or any other provider accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an approved provider of continuing education programs for purposes of meeting the requirements of this rule. The Board shall consider written requests to designate other individuals, local, state or national agencies, organizations and associates as approved providers.

A CE activity should meet the definition of continuing education and the provider standards that are in the CE legislative rule (Title 19 Series 11). As an example, if you initially take an ACLS or PALS course and are awarded contact hours from an approved provider, you may use this for purposes of licensure renewal. If you attended a course that renews your ACLS/PALS certification and there is no new information, this would not meet the definition of continuing education and you would not use this CE for purposes of licensure renewal. However, if you attended a course that renews your ACLS/PALS certification and there is new information, you may use the portions of the CE activity that are new and meet the definition of CE and provider standards. Remember that one contact hour is equivalent to 50 minutes of instruction. Also, you may only count the activity in the year that the CE is completed. Also, the CE rule changed and removed the restriction on CE courses required by the employer. So, even if the employer requires the CE courses (from an CE approved provider), they can be counted.


How will I know if an activity meets the minimum requirements?

Most of the requirements can be evaluated by carefully reading the published brochure for the activity. If you require further clarification, you should contact the activity provider.


What if I place my license on the inactive status or allow it to lapse?

  1. There will be no CE requirements if you place your license on the non-practicing (inactive, retired) list, prior to the expiration date of a current license, or if the license expires and becomes lapsed.
  2. To reinstate a lapsed or non-practicing (inactive, retired) license you will be required to complete a reinstatement application, pay the current fee based on your status and meet CE requirements.


What records will I have to keep?

For CE: You must keep all certificates received after completion of a CE activity as well as transcripts or other proof of completion.


How long should I keep CE records?

All evidence to support completion of CE offerings you attended must be retained for 2 years after the date it is reported to the Board. You may be audited on this information at any time during that 2 year period.


When do I send in CE information?

DO NOT SEND CERTIFICATES OF ATTENDANCE FOR CE WITH YOUR RENEWAL APPLICATION. The Board will not retain or return the certificates. You will only send certificates, transcripts or other proof of CE if you receive notice that you are being audited.


What is an audit?

An audit is an official review by the Board of CE offerings you attended. Each year a random sampling of licensees will be audited to verify CE activities. If you are audited you will be required to submit legible photocopies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation of completed CE activities.


What are the minimum standards for CE activities?

Continuing Education Compliance Checklist:

  1. The activity must be at least 50 minutes/1 contact hour in length.
  2. CE programs shall reflect the educational needs of the nurse in order to meet the health care needs of the consumer and may consist of one or more of the following subject areas:
    1. Professional nursing practice and special health care problems;
    2. The biological, physical, social and behavioral sciences;
    3. The legal aspects of professional nursing practice;
    4. Management of health care personnel and patient care;
    5. Teaching and learning process for health care personnel or for patients; and
    6. Subjects relating to professional nursing practice which are required as part of a formal nursing program and which are more advanced than those completed for original licensure.
    7. Written objectives, in measurable terms, are prepared and made available to participants.
    8. Content relates to the program objectives and nursing or health care.
    9. Instructor qualifications are provided in writing to participants.
    10. A written schedule is provided to participants which indicates content and corresponding time frames.
    11. Activity announcements contain the WVBRN provider registration number or other indication that it is approved for CE credit.
    12. A written method is established to determine whether the participant has achieved stated objectives of the activity.
    13. A certificate of completion is provided to participants.

Multistate Licensing questions​

What are criteria for a multi-state license?

An applicant for a West Virginia multistate license must meet the following criteria:

  • West Virginia must be your Primary State of Residency
  • Has graduated from a Board-approved education program
  • Has passed English proficiency exam, if graduated from an international education program
  • Has passed NCLEX
  • Is eligible for or holds active unencumbered license
  • Has submitted to state and federal fingerprint-based criminal background checks
  • Has no state or federal felony convictions
  • Has no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing (determined on a case-by-case basis)
  • Is not currently in an alternative program
  • Is required to self-disclose current participation in an alternative program
  • Has a valid United States Social Security number


I have applied for a Multi-State license. When will it go into effect?

Multistate licenses will be approved and issued as documentation and background checks are received. If your employment situation depends on your multistate license being issued quickly, please email the Board at RNMultistate@wv.gov and we will attempt to accommodate your situation. Please check the License Verification page to see if your multistate has been issued.


What is the process for an existing RN in WV to apply for the Compact License?

First, verify that you meet all the criteria for a multistate license. Then, complete the Multistate Conversion Application in your Nurse Portal. The cost of the multistate conversion application is $7.16.


Do I need to complete a new background check and obtain fingerprints if I am applying to convert my WV single state license to a multistate license since I previously completed fingerprints with my background check for my single state license?

Yes, a recent criminal background check and fingerprinting is required for all new licensees or multistate conversions.


I just recently had a background check performed for another license. Can I use that background check for my multistate license?

No. The background check must be done at the time of the application, and it is the only purpose for which it will be able to be used.


If I live in a neighboring state who is a member of the Compact and work in West Virginia, do I need to keep my single-state West Virginia license?

If you receive a multi-state license in your home state then your West Virginia license will automatically be deactivated and you will work in West Virginia on your multistate license.


If I obtain a West Virginia multistate license and then move to another state, what happens?

First, inform the licensing board of the new state of your intention to move into the state.

  • If you are moving to a Compact state, when your multistate license is issued in the new state, your West Virginia license will be deactivated. You may work in West Virginia on the Compact license issued by your new state.
  • If you are moving to a non-Compact state, your West Virginia license will be converted to a single-state license, and you must obtain a license in that non-Compact state prior to practicing there.


I am an Advanced Practice nurse in a neighboring Compact state. Can I work as an APRN in West Virginia?

No. APRN licenses are not part of the compact and do not cross state lines. You may work as an RN in West Virginia, but to work as an APRN you will need to obtain a West Virginia APRN license. You may apply for an APRN license in your Nurse Portal.


I hold a West Virginia multistate license and I am also an APRN in West Virginia. Can I work in an neighboring compact state as an APRN?

No. APRN licenses are not part of the compact. Check with the RN Board in the state you will be working to determine their process for APRN licensure.


How will I know if my multistate license has been issued? Can I check the status of my application?

Yes. To check the status of your pending application, log into your Nurse Portal and go to the Multistate License Conversion Form and select Check Application Status. After your background check has been received and your application has been processed, check our License Verification page to see if your multistate license has been issued. If so, the verification page will indicate whether it is Single State or Multistate.


I'm currently a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in another eNLC state and recently accepted employment in West Virginia for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse position. Does West Virginia becoming a compact state affect me and what exactly is the process of going about obtaining West Virginia APRN licensure?

Pursuant to WV Code 30-7-1 et seq. and 19-07 certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, certified nurse anesthetists and certified nurse practitioners in West Virginia must be licensed as registered nurses and advanced practice register nurses to practice in West Virginia.

Advanced practice registered nurse license are not part of the eNLC compact in West Virginia and APRN licenses do not cross state lines. You may work as a registered nurse only in West Virginia if you have an active multistate RN license from another eNLC state but to work West Virginia as a certified advanced practice registered nurse you will need an active RN license and West Virginia APRN license. APRN initial license information can be found on the WV RN Board website at www.wvrnboard.wv.gov under the forms and applications tab. Please contact APRN@wv.gov for more APRN license information.


I am a WV resident RN who wants to apply for an eNLC license in WV because I plan to take a travel nursing assignment in another eNLC compact state and that state does not offer the livescan fingerprinting. How can I avoid traveling back to WV to obtain live scan fingerprinting?

Attached is the information from the Identogo website (click here). If you have any questions related to this procedure, call their customer service number on the linked document.


Where can I find the multistate license application?

The Online Multistate License Conversion form is available in your Nurse Portal. Click here to go to the Nurse Portal sign-in page.


Portal-related questions​

How do I change the email address used to log into the portal?

There are two ways to change your email address used to log into the portal. If you are able to log into the portal, then log in and go to Manage Profile, Account Management. You can change your email address in this section. If you no longer have access to your old email address, then call the WV RN Board at 304-744-0900 and we will change it for you.


How do I change my portal password?

  • If you ARE able to sign in to your portal, go ahead and sign in. (Link to Nurse Portal) Click Manage Profile, Account Management. You can change your password, as well as your sign-in email address in this section.
  • If you are NOT able to log into your portal:
    • then go to the Nurse Portal Sign-in page and click Forgot Your Password.
    • Enter the email address you use to log into your portal, and click Submit
    • Check your email inbox for the email from noreply@boardsofnursing.org
    • Open the email and click the link inside
    • Follow the instructions for changing your password.


I am locked out of my portal. What happened, and how do I get it unlocked?

If you enter an incorrect password five times, the system will assume someone is trying to hack into your account and will lock it out. If this happens, please call the Board at 304-744-0900, and we will unlock your portal account.


Payment issues

I think I was charged twice for an online application or renewal. What now?

Please call us at 304-744-0900 or email rnboard@wv.gov. It will be helpful if you have the transaction ID from your confirmation.


My card was declined, but there was sufficient balance or plenty of available credit.

Please call your financial institution, as they will have details as to why the transaction may have failed. The reason could be something other than insufficient funds. There is usually a phone number on the back of your card that will connect you with your financial institution.


The payment page doesn't have a place to put my credit card number, or the Submit button is not clickable.

This can be due to either a web browser issue, or a corporate firewall blocking parts of the payment page. It can also be caused by extensions installed in your browser.

  • Make sure you are NOT using Internet Explorer. It is no longer supported, and no longer being updated by Microsoft.
  • Some browser extensions have been known to interfere with the payment gateway. Disable any browser extensions and try again.
  • ​Some corporate firewalls block the payment gateway. If you are behind a corporate firewall then you may need to complete your renewal by using a different internet connection (for example home instead of work).


West Virginia RN Board
5001 MacCorkle Ave, SW, South Charleston, WV 25309 (304) 744-0900