How To Do Nursing License Lookup in 2024

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and regulations tighten, it has become increasingly important for employers, patients, and colleagues to verify the licensing status and credentials of nurses. In 2024, there are various methods available to perform a nursing license lookup, ensuring that the nurses you work with or hire are properly licensed and qualified to provide safe and effective care. Failure to verify licenses can result in legal consequences, compromised patient safety, and damage to an organization’s reputation. It is crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest methods and resources for nursing license verification.

How to Do Nursing License Lookup in 2024

1. State Board of Nursing Websites

One of the most direct and reliable ways to check a nurse’s license status is through the website of the state board of nursing where the nurse is licensed. Each state has its own board of nursing that oversees the licensing and regulation of nurses within its jurisdiction. 

These websites typically offer online license verification tools that allow you to search for a nurse’s name or license number and retrieve their current licensing information, including license type, expiration date, and any disciplinary actions or restrictions. 

State board websites are considered authoritative sources as they maintain official records and handle the licensing process directly. However, it’s important to note that if a nurse holds multiple state licenses, you may need to check each state’s board individually.

2. NURSYS (Nurse Licensure Compact)

NURSYS is a national database maintained by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) that serves as a comprehensive source for nurse license verification. It is particularly useful for nurses who hold licenses in multiple states through the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). NURSYS allows you to search for a nurse’s license status across participating NLC states, providing a centralized platform for license verification and disciplinary data. 

This database is updated regularly with information from state boards, making it a reliable and efficient tool for checking licenses across multiple jurisdictions. It is important to note that not all states participate in the NLC, so NURSYS may not provide complete information for some nurses.

3. Third-Party License Verification Services  

In 2024, there are several third-party companies that offer professional license verification services for nurses and other healthcare professionals. These services typically aggregate data from various state boards and national databases, making it convenient to perform a comprehensive license lookup with a single search. Some popular third-party verification services include Certiphi Screening, Verified Credentials, and Symplr.

These services often provide additional features such as continuous monitoring, which alerts you to any changes in a nurse’s licensing status or disciplinary actions. While third-party services can be convenient, it’s essential to ensure that the company you choose is reputable and has access to up-to-date and accurate data sources.

4. Healthcare Facility Credentialing Databases

Many healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, maintain their own internal credentialing databases for their employed or affiliated nurses. These databases are typically updated regularly with information from state boards and other sources to ensure that the nurses providing care within their facilities are properly licensed and credentialed. If you are associated with a healthcare facility, you may have access to their credentialing database for license verification purposes. 

These databases can be particularly useful for healthcare organizations that employ a large number of nurses or have affiliations with nurses from multiple states. However, it’s important to ensure that the facility’s credentialing process is robust and that the database is regularly updated with the latest licensing information.

5. Professional Association Databases

Certain professional nursing associations, such as the American Nurses Association (ANA) or specialty organizations, may offer member databases or directories that include license verification information. These databases are often accessible to members or stakeholders and can provide an additional source for confirming a nurse’s licensing status and credentials.

While professional association databases can be valuable resources, it’s important to note that they may not always have the most up-to-date or comprehensive information. It’s best to use these databases in conjunction with other primary sources, such as state board websites or national databases, to ensure accurate and current license verification.

6. Online License Verification Tools and Directories

There are various online platforms and directories that aggregate license information for healthcare professionals, including nurses. Some examples include,, and These websites allow you to search for a nurse’s name or license number and retrieve their licensing details, often sourced from state boards and other official sources. 

While these online tools can be convenient, it’s important to exercise caution and ensure that the information provided is up-to-date and accurate. Some online directories may not have the most current data or may rely on outdated sources. It’s best to cross-reference the information obtained from these tools with primary sources or official state board records.

7. Direct Contact with State Boards  

If you need to verify a nurse’s license status for a specific state and prefer direct communication, you can always contact the respective state board of nursing directly. Most state boards have dedicated phone lines or email addresses where you can inquire about a nurse’s licensing status, disciplinary actions, or any other relevant information they can provide. 

While this method may be more time-consuming, it can provide the most up-to-date and accurate information directly from the source. Additionally, contacting the state board directly can be useful if you have specific questions or need clarification on licensing requirements or regulations in that particular state.

Here are Some FAQ about nursing license lookup

How can I verify if a nurse’s license is active and in good standing across multiple compact states?

The NURSYS database maintained by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) allows you to check a nurse’s license status across participating Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) states. Simply enter the nurse’s name or license number, and NURSYS will provide a comprehensive report on their licensing status and any disciplinary actions in all compact states where they hold a license.

Are there any mobile apps or digital tools specifically designed for nursing license verification?

Yes, there are several mobile apps and digital tools available that simplify the process of nursing license verification. For example, the NURSYS e-Notify app allows you to receive real-time alerts when a nurse’s license status changes in any of the compact states. Additionally, some third-party verification services like Certiphi Screening offer mobile apps for convenient license lookup on the go.

How can I ensure that a nurse’s license is valid for their specific area of practice or specialty?

In addition to verifying the general nursing license status, it’s important to check if the nurse holds any specific certifications or credentials required for their area of practice or specialty. Many state board websites and professional association databases provide information on specialized certifications or endorsements. You can also contact the respective certifying bodies directly to confirm the validity and currency of a nurse’s specialized credentials.

What should I do if I discover a nurse is practicing with an expired or invalid license?

If you discover that a nurse is practicing with an expired or invalid license, it’s crucial to report this to the appropriate state board of nursing immediately. Practicing without a valid license is a violation of nursing regulations and can have serious consequences for both the nurse and the healthcare facility. Follow the reporting procedures outlined by the state board and provide any relevant documentation or evidence.

How can I verify the licensing status of a nurse who has been educated or licensed in another country?

For nurses who have been educated or licensed in another country, the verification process may be more complex. In the United States, you would need to contact the specific state board of nursing where the nurse is seeking licensure. The state board will have guidelines and procedures for verifying and endorsing foreign nursing licenses and credentials.

Are there any legal implications for employers who fail to properly verify nursing licenses?

Yes, there can be significant legal implications for employers who fail to properly verify nursing licenses. Hiring or allowing unlicensed individuals to practice nursing can result in legal penalties, fines, and potential lawsuits for negligence or malpractice. Employers are responsible for ensuring that all healthcare professionals, including nurses, are properly licensed and credentialed to protect patient safety and maintain compliance with state and federal regulations.

How often should nursing license verification be performed for employed or affiliated nurses?

It’s generally recommended to perform nursing license verification at least annually, or more frequently if required by your organization’s policies or state regulations. Licenses can expire or be subject to disciplinary actions at any time, so regular verification is essential to ensure ongoing compliance and patient safety. Some healthcare facilities may choose to implement continuous monitoring systems that automatically check for license status changes on a more frequent basis.

Are there any specific considerations for verifying nursing licenses in rural?

In rural or underserved areas, nursing license verification may present additional challenges due to limited resources or accessibility to state board websites or databases. In these cases, it may be necessary to contact the state board directly or rely on third-party verification services that have access to comprehensive licensing data. Additionally, telemedicine or remote nursing services may require verifying licenses across multiple states or jurisdictions.

Can nursing license verification be automated?

Yes, many healthcare organizations are integrating nursing license verification into their existing systems and workflows. This can be achieved through APIs or data integrations with state board databases, third-party verification services, or by developing in-house automated solutions. Automating license verification can streamline the process, reduce errors, and ensure timely and accurate monitoring of licensing status for all employed or affiliated nurses.

What resources are available for staying up-to-date on changes to nursing license verification processes or regulations?

To stay up-to-date on changes to nursing license verification processes or regulations, it’s important to regularly check the websites and publications of relevant organizations like the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), state boards of nursing, and professional nursing associations. Additionally, attending industry conferences, webinars, or subscribing to newsletters can provide valuable updates on any new developments or changes in the licensing and verification landscape.