FAQ – Licensure of Military Members and Spouses

  • Military

  • Military Spouses

    • I am a military spouse, or in a domestic partnership, how can I expedite the licensure process and waive the Endorsement application fees coming into California?

      If you are married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, a current active–duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in California under official active–duty military orders and you are licensed as a Practical/Vocational Nurse in another U.S. State or Territory, you may qualify for a waiver of the licensure application fee.

      Applicants considering this expedited processing and waiver of licensure fees will be required to submit the following documents to the Board:

      • Satisfactory evidence of being married to, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union, with an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is assigned to a duty station in California.
      • A copy of the military orders showing your spouse’s or domestic partner’s active military duty in California.
  • Active Military

    • I am a Licensee who has been called to active duty, is there a specific requirement to qualify for renewal?

      Yes. If you hold a current valid California license and are called to active military duty in the United States Armed Forces (including California National Guard), your continuing education (CE) and renewal fee requirements will be waived upon your request. The temporary waiver of those requirements is only available during the time you are on active duty. Once it has been determined that you are on active duty in the Military, your license will be set to the appropriate ‘Military Status’.

      You will not be able to practice in nonmilitary settings under the Military Waiver. If you will be practicing in a nonmilitary position while on active duty, the Fee Waiver and CE’s will not be permitted.

      *Important Notice: You will be required to notify the Board of your discharge within 60 days of the discharge. You may return to practice once you meet the renewal requirements.

      To obtain a Military Waiver, please make a request in writing and include documentation that substantiates your active duty service (e.g. copy of military orders or Leave and Earnings Statements). Send the written request and documentation to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA 95833.

  • Military Method 4

    • Is a DD214 required if I am still in the service?

      No. The DD214 is only required if you have been discharged from active service. If you are still on active duty a DD214 is not required.

    • If I am no longer serving in the military must I be honorably discharged to apply?

      Yes. A DD214 is required if you are no longer on active duty. Your DD214 must show your discharge was an Honorable discharge or a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge. California Business and Professions Code 2873.5.

    • How do I prove I have completed 12 months of beside patient care?

      You must provide copies of military performance evaluations while assigned to a military hospital verifying 12 months inpatient bedside patient care (including hospital assigned, specific dates to and from, wards assigned, and duties performed). Following are the forms per branch of service the Board accepts:

      Navy – Evaluation Report & Counseling Record (E1 – E6) NAVPERS 1616/26
      Air Force – Enlisted Performance Report (AB thru TSgt) AF Form 910
      Army – Counseling Reports or NCO Evaluation Report – DA Form 2166-8 (May need Letter on military letterhead or other military documentation in order to determine timeframe if sending Army Counseling Report form.)

      Send the documentation to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 205, Sacramento, CA 95833.

    • What are the requirements for beside patient care?

      The Board requires inpatient hospital ward nursing experience while on active duty in the military. It can also include ship board nursing experience indicating ward or inpatient bedside patient care or ship board sick call (ship sick call only – land sick call is not accepted).

      Bedside patient care for Board credit does not include clinic, triage, field medicine, Battalion Aid Station, operating room, or emergency transport. The Board will accept a limited amount of hospital emergency room experience, up to 8 months of the 12 months required.

    • I performed duties that were not detailed on my performance evaluation at the time of my service but I think would qualify me. What can I do?

      The Board recognizes that these performance evaluation forms are military forms not meant as Board forms and may not include all the duties performed that would qualify you for Board approval. Therefore, if your performance evaluation did not include all your duties, you can send the Board a signed and dated letter from your military supervisor on military letterhead that details the duties you performed that qualified you but were not included on your performance evaluation. This letter must reference a specific performance evaluation by referencing the dates to and from of the evaluation. General recommendation letters are not accepted.

    • What courses is the Board looking for to satisfy the basic course in nursing in the armed forces requirement?

      Navy - Hospital Corpsman Basic or General Duty Hospital Corpsman Course
      Air Force - Aerospace Medical Service Apprentice Phase I & II
      Army – Health Care Specialist Course
      Coast Guard - Health Service Technician (16 weeks) (Certificate of completion of course, education reference on DD214, or indication of completion on Official Joint Service Transcript or Community College of the Air Force Transcript).

    • What if I completed the Army’s Practical Nurse Course MOS 68C?

      This is a school program under the Texas Board of Nursing and therefore, you would not apply under the military equivalency Method 4 but under Method 2 as an out of state school graduate of another US States Practical Nursing Program.

    • Can I combine my civilian work experience with my military schooling to complete the requirements for the Method 4 Military Equivalency?

      No. For Method 4 Military Equivalency all the requirements must be completed while on active duty in the military. No combination of military and civilian experience is allowed for this method.

  • Professional License Portability and State Registration for Servicemembers and their Spouses

    The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) authorizes service members or their spouses who currently hold a valid license in good standing in another state, district, or territory to practice in California within the same profession or vocation, if they relocate to California because of military orders. For individuals who desire to practice in California under the terms of the SCRA, please visit: https://www.dca.ca.gov/military/federal.shtml.