Application for Vocational Nurse Licensure by Examination

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Applications can be submitted online at DCA BreEZe Online Services

Vocational Nurse Licensure Application Forms

Notices and Information

Qualifying Methods

There are five methods to qualify for licensure as a vocational nurse in the State of California. All applicants for licensure under Section 2873 of the Business and Professions Code must meet the requirements of one of the following methods.

Read the Summary of Requirements for Licensure for each of the following methods and download the application forms for the method by which you qualify.

PLEASE NOTE: The Applicant Live Scan Fingerprint Forms will need to be submitted with each qualifying method.

Method #1 - Graduates of California Approved Schools of Vocational Nursing In California

Instructions are on file with each school. Applications must be submitted by the Director of your Nursing Program. Contact your program director for application instructions and forms.

Approved Vocational Nursing Schools

Method #2 - Graduates of an Out-of-State School of Practical/Vocational Nursing

This method requires completion of a course in vocational or practical nursing in a school approved by the Board of Nursing in the State in which it is located.

Section 2892.1 of the Business and Professions Code specifies that a license which is not renewed for 4 years shall expire. An expired license cannot be renewed, re-issued or reinstated. The licensee is required to submit a new application and retake the licensure examination to receive a new license.

Applicants under this method must submit evidence of prior licensure with this Board (i.e., copy of expired license or license number, original issue date and expiration date.)

Method #3/#5 - Equivalent Education (Method #3) and/or Experience (Method #5)

This method requires the equivalent of completion of 51 months of paid bedside nursing experience in an acute care facility, verification of skill competency and 54-theory hours of pharmacology. For details regarding this method please see Method 3: Qualification Based on Equivalent Education and/or Experience.

Section 2506 of the California Code of Regulations specifies that applications for licensure shall be made "on the form prescribed and provided by the Board". The Board has specific forms that employers must complete in order for an applicant to receive credit for paid work experience. This form will be sent directly to the employer by the Board, and the completed form must be returned directly back to the Board from the employer.

All documentation in support of an application for licensure should be provided directly to the Board. Employers should not provide confidential employment information on licensure applicants to individuals other than the Board.

Applicants with formal nursing education may submit official transcripts for a determination of possible credit in lieu of paid bedside nursing experience.

(See Summary of Requirements for Licensure and/or Method 3: Qualification Based on Equivalent Education and/or Experience for a detailed description of these requirements.)


Pursuant to California Board of Regulation section 2532(c), you are required to complete a minimum of 576 Theory hours which shall include a minimum of 54 hours in pharmacology and 954 Clinical hours to be eligible to take the Licensed Vocational Nursing Exam. You will receive a maximum of 54 theory hour credit for your pre—requisites. You may submit your employment verification and copy of your Certified Nursing Assistant license to complete the remaining hours. You will receive five months credit towards medical surgical nursing for your Certified Nursing Assistant certificate/license.

Method #4 - Military Applicants

This method requires no less than 12 months of active duty bedside patient care on a hospital ward, completion of the basic course of instruction in nursing while in the armed forces and proof that service has been honorable.