South Carolina Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2024

AKA: NP License in SC, APRN Licensure

by Staff

Updated: February 13th, 2024

The healthcare worker shortage is affecting millions in our country and is predicted to only get worse by 2030 if steps aren’t implemented to combat the issues currently being faced.

Five South Carolina nursing programs are receiving a hefty investment from Prisma Health to the tune of $5 million. The investment is going to be used for recruitment efforts at Clemson University, the University of Carolina Upstate, the University of South Carolina, Midland Technical College, and Greenville Technical College.

There’s no better time than now to enroll in a program and further your nursing education. There are organizations in the state dedicated to helping the nursing profession grow and advance. That means creating pathways for candidates to receive the required education and find employment upon graduation.

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in South Carolina

The South Carolina Board of Nursing (SCBON) is the agency that issues a nursing licenses in the state. Nurse practitioner (NP) licenses are granted to applicants with an RN license who have met the education requirements for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and have been nationally certified in a specific specialty.

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in South Carolina.

Registered Nurse (RN) license

Already have your RN License?  Skip to the next section

To obtain an RN license, you need either a high school diploma, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The path to NP licensure will require you to achieve a BSN.

The nursing program you attend has to be approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. Find a full list of accredited nursing schools in South Carolina here.

The full-time BSN program takes about four years to complete. Attending a BSN degree program will give you an edge in landing your preferred RN role.

RN Licensure by Examination

After meeting the educational qualifications, you need to apply for the RN licensing examination. The first step is to send the Board a request to take the exam.

The National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is the exam you need to pass for licensure. Pearson VUE, a computer-based testing organization, conducts the NCLEX-RN. Visit the Pearson VUE website to fill out the application, and download the Candidate Bulletin to help guide you through the process.

The examination fee is $200. You can make the payment online via credit or debit card. After making the payment, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) document in the mail.

The ATT is valid for 90 days and provides your candidate number, test dates, and available testing centers near you. Choose an available time slot and location that works for you, and schedule the exam.

Your test results will be mailed to you from the Board within two to four weeks. Or you can pay $9.95 for the Quick Results Service (QRS) to access the unofficial test results. Simply call (900) 776-2539 to use the QRS system and get the unofficial results two business days after your exam date. You can also visit the Pearson VUE website and pay $7.95 to get the unofficial results.

Graduate nurses can receive temporary licenses while waiting to take the exam. The application fee collected by the Board is $90 without a temporary license and $100 if you request one.

In the event that you don’t pass the NCLEX-RN, you can retake the test 45 days after receiving your score. However, all fees will have to be paid again, including a $65 re-examination cost. Please note that all fees are non-refundable.

Be sure to include the following with the application:

  • 2″ x 2″ signed and dates photo
  • Copy of your birth certificate or valid passport showing the applicant is 18 years of age or older
  • Copy of your social security or permanent resident card

In addition to what’s listed above, out-of-state applicants will have to request their official transcript showing they completed the coursework needed for licensure.

Foreign-trained applicants whose native language isn’t English need to submit evidence of passing the Test of English as First Language (TOEFL), Test of Written English (TWE), and Test of Spoken English (TSE) to the Board. The TOEFL tests ensure applicants are prepared to work with the population. Learn more here about the requirements for those trained abroad.

Initial licensure applications can only be submitted online. All applicants are subject to a criminal background check (CBC). After receiving your application, the Board will send you instructions on how to get your fingerprints processed. Once all requirements are fulfilled, you’ll be granted an RN license. You can check the status of the application using the licensing portal.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

If you have attained an RN license in another state and want to work in South Carolina, you can apply for a license by endorsement. Or, if you’re licensed in a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state and wish to move and declare South Carolina as your permanent residence, you will also have to take this licensure route.

To begin the endorsement process, download and complete the appropriate forms needed to upload with your electronic submission. Other documents you’ll need to upload are:

  • Copy of a driver’s license, state or military-issued ID, or passport
  • Copy of Social Security card or a resident alien registration
  • Notarized Signature Affidavit with passport photo form

Next, pay the required fees for your particular licensure path.

Applicants with RN licenses outside the US or Canada must attach successful English proficiency test results. They will also need to have their credentials evaluated by a Board-approved service provider

Verification of licensure is required, which you can obtain by using the Nursys electronic verification system. All documents are to be sent to

If your former practice state doesn’t use Nursys, ask the nursing board in that state what their verification process entails, and they will help you get your information to SCBON.

You will need to undergo a CBC. The Board will inform you how to complete this step after receiving your application.

As you wait for the application to be processed, you can apply for a 60-day temporary license. Just provide proof of an active, unencumbered license from another state or jurisdiction and pay the $110 fee. If you don’t want a temporary license, the fee is $100.

Documentation of continued competency in one of the following is also required:

  • 30 contact hours of completed continuing education from a Board-approved provider
  • Maintenance of certification or recertification by a Board-recognized national certifying agency
  • Completion of an academic program in nursing or a related field approved by the Board
  • Employer verification of competency and the number of hours practiced

Submit all of the information and check your application status online. Applications are processed in the order they are received, and once yours is complete, you will be notified by e-mail.

Advanced Education Requirements

The minimum requirement for NP licensure is a post-graduate nursing degree. You will need to enroll and receive at least a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree to be eligible for the NP license. A full-time MSN program will take 18 to 24 months to finish. If you decide to earn your doctorate in a related discipline or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, you have a greater chance of attaining leadership positions.

Those taking online courses are asked to double-check that SCBON will accept the program before enrolling.

NPs seeking prescriptive authority need 45 contact hours of pharmacotherapeutics. The coursework has to be completed in the two immediate years prior to application. Out-of-state NPs need 20 contact hours.

National Certification

National certification is a prerequisite for NP licensure in South Carolina. There are several national certifying bodies that the SCBON has approved.

Applying for the Nurse Practitioner License

Submit your application and be prepared to complete the CBC once the Board mails you the instructions. Then, ask your graduating institution to send a copy of your official transcript to the Board of nursing. You’ll also need to contact your national certifying agency and ask them to send your credentials to the Board.

The initial fee without a temporary license is $30, and with a temporary license, it’s $40.

If you’re applying via endorsement, the fee is $140 without the temporary license and $150 with it. NPs applying for prescriptive authority have to pay a $20 application fee.

Attach a passport-sized photo to the application, along with a copy of your social security or permanent residency card, a passport or birth certificate, a nursing license from another state or US jurisdiction, and a declaration of permanent residency.

If your original licensing state is a member of NURSYS, obtain your verification of licensure through their online portal. If not, contact the Board in that jurisdiction to find out their procedure for license verification. After fourteen days, check your verification status here.

The Board will grant your NP license once all documents are received and processed. Please note that you have one year to upload all necessary documents to your online account. If you haven’t fulfilled all the requirements within that time, the application will be voided, and you’ll have to restart the process.