Can I hold an LPN and RN license in more than one state?

By | 2022-02-11T11:18:39-05:00 January 6th, 2010|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I have been working as an LPN in Michigan for more than one year and will complete my RN degree in June. I am looking to move to Illinois at that time, but I’m not sure what I should do. Should I apply to transfer my LPN license or wait until after I take my RN boards? If I apply to transfer as an LPN, will I have to go through the process again when I get my RN license? Also, will I be able to have both a Michigan and Illinois license?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Erica,

I’m not sure I am clear on all that you are asking, so let me answer this way:

Yes, you can hold an active RN (or LPN) license in more than one state. You can take your NCLEX-RN in Michigan if you wish and then apply for a license “by endorsement” in Illinois after you get that. Or you can just take your NCLEX-RN in Illinois (rather than in Michigan) if you definitely plan to move there after graduation. That will be the quickest way to get a license in Illinois.

I’m not sure why you would want to get an LPN license in Illinois if you plan to take your RN exam. But if you need to do that for some reason, you should get an LPN license by endorsement in Illinois. Fill out the appropriate application, pay a fee, and provide requested documents. This process (licensure by endorsement) takes 4-6 weeks in most states.

Some states will also issue a temporary RN or LPN license to someone who already has a nursing license in another state while the license by endorsement is pending.

Good luck!


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