California RN Licensure and SSN Issues

California RN Licensure and SSN Issues
July 18, 2008 - After an applicant passes the NCLEX-RN exam through the California Board of Nursing, a letter is sent to the applicant stating that a Social Security Number (SSN) is required before a permanent license is issued. 

The letter from the California Board of Nursing also states that the SSN must be provided within a 3-year window or the applicant's file will be considered abandoned and destroyed.

In the present climate of retrogression, many nurses are realizing that their 3-year window of opportunity to provide their SSN is approaching.  This is due to the fact that one simply cannot obtain a SSN under present immigration conditions. 

If you find yourself caught in this predicament, you need to take action before the 3-year time limit has expired.  We recommend that you contact the California Board of Nursing to discuss your case or have the Certification and Licensure Specialist at the staffing agency with which you are listed do so. 

For your convenience, we have provided the below information.

Mailing Address:
Board of Registered Nursing
P.O. Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 94244-2100

Phone Numbers:
Main Phone: (916) 322-3350      
TDD: (916) 322-1700      
24-Hour Automated Voice Verification: (800) 838-6828      

Licensing & Examination:
For information regarding licensing requirements, examinations, application status, advanced practice certification, and other applicant inquiries:
Fax: (916) 574-7697

The ideal outcome would be to have the CA Board of Nursing decide to extend the pass letter so that no further action is required for another defined period of time. We have heard of instances where additional time has been granted when the nurse personally interfaces with the CA Board.  However, that is not always the decision reached.  If you are told that an extension cannot be granted, you must take steps to ensure that you will not be required to take the NCLEX exam again. 

Failing an extension, the next best option is to endorse to another state which does not require a SSN in order to hold an active license.  One such state is Vermont.  By endorsing to Vermont, you will hold an active license that you will be able to renew once.   This effectively delays any further steps toward California licensure for up to 3 years without the risk of having to take the NCLEX again. 

To start the Vermont endorsement process, click on this link: Vermont Application Form

The application is 5 pages long and the fee is $150.00.  Only pages 1 - 3 of the application are required.  DO NOT send pages 4 -5 or your school documents to the Vermont Board.  You need to attach a copy of your CA pass letter with the date you took the exam.  You also must attach a copy of the nursing license on which you currently practice.

After arriving in the States and obtaining your SSN, you will be required to re-endorse to California according to their guidelines. 

Please be aware when you start the re-endorsement process, that the CA Board of Nursing will have considered your application abandoned and your file will no longer be active.  Thus, it will be necessary for you to submit all educational credentials a second time.  While it will be inconvenient to do so, it will protect you from having to re-take the NCLEX-RN exam.

We are grateful to Janet Smith, RN, BSN, NCLEX Coordinator/Adevia Health, for researching this urgent matter and sharing the information with us.  We know that our readership will find it as valuable as we have.

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We look forward to hearing from you. 
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